The Fin Revealed!

by wjw on March 5, 2013

My last post challenged you loyal readers to identify the strange aircraft in the photo (which loyal reader Lektu correctly identified as a Caproni CA 22), and to explain the bizarre canvas-covered fin on the top wing.

Despite deeply charming suggestions such as sun shades and camp beds— which I wish did exist, because it would imply a much more interesting world— the correct answer did not emerge.  Which is not surprising, because this aircraft is completely unique.

What the  fin apparatus actually does is tilt the entire wing so as to alter the wing’s entire angle of attack. You can, for example, tilt the parasol wing so as to have greater lift for takeoffs and landings, or for less lift but greater speed.

The Caproni was the world’s first tilt-wing aircraft! Take that, VA-22 Osprey!

Invader ACE March 8, 2013 at 12:09 pm

Has that ever been claimed? I’d guess it’s the first in production…
The F-8 Crusader also had a variable incidence wing though not actuated the same way (fortunately for carrier operations).

wjw March 9, 2013 at 7:08 am

Well, *I’m* claiming it, since Signor Caproni isn’t around to do it himself.

Of course it bears about as much resemblance to an Osprey as the F-8 Crusader did to a Wright Flyer, but still it seem to be the very first application of the concept.

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