Mystery Plane

by wjw on March 1, 2013

Here’s a challenging one for all you members of the Ground Observer Corps!  What is this aircraft?

And yes, the strange canvas-covered fin-like object above the wing is a part of the plane.

TJIC March 1, 2013 at 10:22 am

In my RSS reader, follows a half dozen woodworking blogs.

I saw the subject line in the reader, clicked through, and was shocked when I was looking at something that had wings, and not a fore-knob and a chipbreaker.


I was all ready to drop mad early-2oth-century obscure-Stanley-part-number recognition skills.

Clyde March 1, 2013 at 3:30 pm

Looks like a model of a Sopwith Swallow.

Clyde March 1, 2013 at 3:34 pm

On second thought, that is wrong. The wing supports are different.
It’s a Morane-Saulnier L – 1913 recon plane.

wjw March 1, 2013 at 8:45 pm

Clyde: wrong on both counts!

As a bonus question: what is the fin on top of the wing actually *for*?

I’m fairly pleased to have finally put up a mystery plane that wasn’t solved in less than 32 minutes.

Lektu March 2, 2013 at 2:01 am
Lektu March 2, 2013 at 2:04 am

If it is indeed the Caproni 1913, the fin-like appendage would surely be used to steer the aircraft by flexing the wings?

“[…] It was steered by wing flexing.”

wjw March 3, 2013 at 4:26 am

Indeed, what we see here is indeed a Caproni CA-22, built by Italy’s first (and possibly only in 1913) aircraft manufacturer. Good work!

Wing-warping isn’t the reason for the fin, though. Or at best it’s peripheral— I suppose you could warp the wings with it, but that’s not its primary purpose.

Michael Grosberg March 3, 2013 at 7:13 pm

It doesn’t look as if it’s an integral part of the airplane. It seems as if it’s stowed there, and other pictures of the aircraft from the ear show it without the canvas piece. I’m gonna go on a limb here… it looks like a folded camp bed.

jimme blue March 4, 2013 at 12:42 am

I’m going to go way out on a limb and say that it’s a sun shield for the backseat observer, so that he/she (what the hell am I thinking?) he can take pictures with less glare.

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