The Caproni Ca.3R has FLOWN! Although technically speaking, it just made a short hop to test the response of the flight controls and engine behavior, this is a major milestone on the road to the real flight tests, which will surely take place soon.
As WarbirdsNews reported last year (see HERE), Giancarlo Zanardo has been building the replica WWI-era, three engined bomber over the past seven years for the Jonathan Collection at Francesco Baracca airfield, just north of Venice, Italy. It is the largest aircraft he has built to date. While the their previous constructions of a replica airworthy Wright Flyer, Fokker Dr.I and Bleriot XI were notable achievements, Zanardo and the Jonathan Collection were little known outside Italy. That will all change now, as the Caproni has well and truly put them on the world stage. It is already a marvel to see her flying again, if only for a brief hop, but it will be a magnificent achievement once she’s fully airworthy.
For now, the team is working on finishing up some details on the engines, with the central pusher requiring particular scrutiny. They are also preparing some new propellers as well. The taxiing tests were satisfactory, and as they state the “jumping flea” phase has just begun to allow the pilots to test the engines, and get a feel for the flight controls. They will also be optimizing the new propellers to ensure a slight increase in thrust. We at WarbirdsNews wish them all the best, and will be sure to bring our readers further details when they become available.
Thanks to Paolo Franzini and Daniele Mattiuzzo for the information and the picture.