Author Archives: John

A Massive Triple Tandem Triplane (1921)

JF Ptak Science Books  Quick Post

What we see here, below, is a rather extraordinary flying machine, a mammoth beast with 8,000 square feet of wings (more than 40% greater than that of a 747). It was a triple tandem triplane, which is a glorious-sounding and possibly epic description of the aircraft—a plane with three independent triplanes fixed to one fuselage. The article appears in Popular Mechanics for May 1921, and describes this aeronautical attempt as the work of Giovanni (Gianni) Caproni (1886-1957), which was to be a transport for 300-mile round trip excursions at about 80mph cruising speed. It was powered by 8 12 cylinder 400 hp Liberty engines operating on push/pull arrangements on different wings, carrying a crew of eight and 100 passengers. Unfortunately the flying boat crashed on its second test flight, and then the remains were towed badly toward shore, and that was the end of the plane.

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