Dieselpunk + Steampunk Culture

The oddest and most unconventional contender - probably for any aerial competition - was the Piaggio-Pegna PC.7.

Piaggio Pegna PC.7

The floatplane (or should we call it a 'foilplane'?) was built for the 1929 Schneider Trophy contest. A cantilever high-wing monoplane with long slender fuselage, it had twin hydrofoils instead of floats and was intended to float with the wing resting on the surface of the water.

Piaggio Pegna PC.7Piaggio Pegna PC.7The PC.7, designed by Giovanni Pegna, was intended to float deep in the water, with the wings resting on the surface. The engine (723kW Isotta Fraschini Special V.6) had an extra shaft and clutch controlling a water-screw at the back. The plan was for the aircraft to first operate using the water-screw and a lower rudder - like a boat. As it gained speed, the hydrofoils would generate lift and raise the aircraft, clearing the main engine/propeller above the water. The pilot would then switch to conventional controls, and the main engine clutch would be engaged…

Piaggio Pegna PC.7Piaggio Pegna PC.7Without the aerodynamic drag induced by floats or the weight they added to an aircraft, Pegna projected that the P.7 would reach high speeds. Sources differ on the speeds he predicted, claiming both 580 km/h (360 mph) and 700 km/h (434.7 mph).

Piaggio Pegna PC.7The PC.7 never flew. Although theoretically possible, the control/clutch configuration would have required a pilot with more than two arms. In practice, problems with the respective clutches prevented the P.c.7 from ever taking off, and although water trials were conducted on Lake Garda by Dal Molin of the Italian Schneider team, the construction of a second aircraft was abandoned.

Piaggio Pegna PC.7Sources: Virtual Aircraft Museum, X-Planes, Wikipedia

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Comment by Peter G on July 25, 2013 at 5:38pm

 "It's a bit sad to see their achievements underestimated while all kinds of super-duper Deutsche Technik are praised on a daily basis."

Thank you so much for saying this.  It is so true, especially in the fields of aircraft and ship design.  

Comment by lord_k on March 10, 2013 at 4:34pm

Some Italians were both ambitious and sane enough to build wonderful flying machines capable of setting world records in nearly every possible nomination - most notably speed (Macchi MC.72), altitude and distance. It's a bit sad to see their achievements underestimated while all kinds of super-duper Deutsche Technik are praised on a daily basis.

Comment by Cap'n Tony on March 10, 2013 at 4:24pm

Awesome futuristic looks, high hopes, deleriously grand promises, and ultimately untenable and insane...reminds me of the Fascist regime!

Comment by Twizard on March 9, 2013 at 9:12am

But it looks Sooooo CoooooL !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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