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Caproni Vizzola F.4

Kingdom of Italy (1940)
Picture of Caproni Vizzola F.4 Single-Seat, Single-Engine Monoplane Fighter Prototype

Just one prototype was built of the Caproni Vizzola F.4 fighter - it was equipped with the German DB601 series inline engine.


Detailing the development and operational history of the Caproni Vizzola F.4 Single-Seat, Single-Engine Monoplane Fighter Prototype.  Entry last updated on 6/8/2018. Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com

In the run-up to World War 2 (1939-1945), during the latter part of 1937, the Italian aero-concern of Caproni went to work on a new, all-modern low-wing, single-seat / single-engine monoplane fighter. The engineering team was led by F. Fabrizi and this endeavor ultimately yielded two similar fighting aircraft in prototype form - the Caproni-Vizzola "F.4" and "F.5" - which began a new fighter line that culminated with the "F.6". None of these aircraft achieved much during their time aloft, becoming nothing more than footnotes in Italian military aviation history.

The F.4, the focus of this article, was completed by a traditional mixed construction process in which both wood and metal played a major part in its makeup. A welded steel tube framework made up the support structure surrounding the internals. The cockpit seated one and was fully-enclosed at midships. The engine was fitted to the nose ahead of the cockpit in the usual way and drove a three-bladed propeller unit in puller fashion. The tail unit had a single vertical fin with low-set horizontal planes. The wing mainplanes, made of wood, were set low against the fuselage sides and were slim and rounded in their general appearance. For ground-running, a typical tail-dragger undercarriage was used (wholly retractable). The aircraft was skinned over in plywood at the wings and duralumin at the fuselage with flushed rivets used for an inherent aerodynamic quality.

It was planned that the new F.4 would carry a indigenous Isotta-Fraschini "Asso" 121 R.C.40 series liquid-cooled, 12-cylinder inline piston engine of 960 horsepower output. However, the Regia Aeronautica's preference for another engine type for its fleet of fighters forced the F.4 to sit idle for the time being as attention was passed to the radial-powered F.5 instead.

The fortunes for the F.4 changed some when, in the summer of 1939, the Kingdom of Italy's relationship with the Germans paid off and Daimler-Benz DB601A inline engines were becoming available in number to the German wartime ally. With Italian authority approval, this engine was fitted into the final pre-production form of the F.5 series to beget what would essentially become the prototype F.4. This then led to a first-flight recorded in July of 1940 - by which point World War 2 (1939-1945) was already in full swing and the Italian commitment ever-growing. The engine was to be licensed-produced locally by Alfa-Romeo when the time came.

As a combat fighter platform, the F.4 would be modestly armed by standards of the period - proposed armament was nothing more than a pair of 12.7mm Breda-SAFAT machine guns in fixed, forward-firing mounts.

Plans were underway to produce the new fighter as the "F.5bis" but the arrival of the Daimler-Benz DB605 series inlines, and steps taken to fit these more powerful engines to the newer "F.6" fighter, meant that the F.4 had no foreseeable future in the Regia Aeronautica. As such, it was relegated to testing for the remainder of its service life, this with 303 Squadriglia, and its days came to an abrupt end during 1942.

As tested, the aircraft could reach a maximum speed of 342 miles per hour through cruising was closer to 305 miles per hour. Range was out to 435 miles and its service ceiling reached 32,800 feet.

The F.5 fared a little better with several prototypes and twelve preproduction units completed. The F.6 faced development difficulties and delays itself and was tested into August of 1943. However, the Italians capitulated that September, brining about the final end for this Fabrizi fighter line.

Any available statistics for the Caproni Vizzola F.4 Single-Seat, Single-Engine Monoplane Fighter Prototype are showcased in the areas immediately below. Categories include basic specifications covering country-of-origin, operational status, manufacture(s) and total quantitative production. Other qualities showcased are related to structural values (namely dimensions), installed power and standard day performance figures, installed or proposed armament and mission equipment (if any), global users (from A-to-Z) and series model variants (if any).




General Assessment (BETA)
Firepower  
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Performance  
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Survivability  
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Versatility  
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Impact  
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Rating: 44 (of 100)
The rating is an internal assessment derived from forty factors pertaining to this entry.
Relative Maximum Speed Rating
Hi: 400mph
Lo: 200mph
    This entry's maximum listed speed (342mph).

    Graph average of 300 miles-per-hour.
City-to-City Ranges
NYC
 
  LON
LON
 
  PAR
PAR
 
  BER
BER
 
  MOS
MOS
 
  TOK
TOK
 
  SYD
SYD
 
  LAX
LAX
 
  NYC
Graph showcases the Caproni Vizzola F.4's operational range (on internal fuel) when compared to distances between major cities.
Aviation Era
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Useful in showcasing the era cross-over of particular aircraft/aerospace designs.
Unit Production Comparison
Comm. Market HI*: 44,000 units
Military Market HI**: 36,183 units
1
1


  * Commercial Market High belongs to Cessna 172.

  ** Military Market High belongs to Ilyushin Il-2.


Altitude Visualization
Small airplane graphic
  Compare this entry against other aircraft using our Comparison Tool  
National Flag Graphic
Origin: Kingdom of Italy
Year: 1940
Type: Single-Seat, Single-Engine Monoplane Fighter Prototype
Manufacturer(s): Caroni Vizzola SA Division (Caproni) - Italy
Production: 1
Status: Cancelled
Global Operators:
Kingdom of Italy (cancelled)
Historical Commitments / Honors:

Military lapel ribbon for Operation Allied Force
Military lapel ribbon for the Arab-Israeli War
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Britain
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Midway
Military lapel ribbon for the Berlin Airlift
Military lapel ribbon for the Chaco War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cold War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cuban Missile Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for the Falklands War
Military lapel ribbon for the French-Indochina War
Military lapel ribbon for the Golden Age of Flight
Military lapel ribbon for the 1991 Gulf War
Military lapel ribbon for the Indo-Pak Wars
Military lapel ribbon for the Iran-Iraq War
Military lapel ribbon for the Korean War
Military lapel ribbon for the 1982 Lebanon War
Military lapel ribbon for the Malayan Emergency
Military lapel ribbon for the attack on Pearl Harbor
Military lapel ribbon for the Six Day War
Military lapel ribbon for the Soviet-Afghan War
Military lapel ribbon for the Spanish Civil War
Military lapel ribbon for the Suez Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for the Vietnam War
Military lapel ribbon for Warsaw Pact of the Cold War-era
Military lapel ribbon for the WASP (WW2)
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 1
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 2
Military lapel ribbon for the Yom Kippur
* Ribbons not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective campaigns/operations.
Measurements and Weights icon
Structural - Crew, Dimensions, and Weights:
Unless otherwise noted the presented statistics below pertain to the Caproni Vizzola F.4 model. Common measurements, and their respective conversions, are shown when possible.

Operational
CREW


Personnel
1


Dimension
LENGTH


Feet
29.20 ft


Meters
8.9 m


Dimension
WIDTH


Feet
37.07 ft


Meters
11.3 m


Dimension
HEIGHT


Feet
9.51 ft


Meters
2.9 m


Weight
EMPTY


Pounds
5,434 lb


Kilograms
2,465 kg


Weight
LOADED


Pounds
6,614 lb


Kilograms
3,000 kg

Engine icon
Installed Power - Standard Day Performance:
1 x Daimler-Benz DB601A V12 inline piston engine developing 1,175 horsepower and driving a three-bladed propeller at the nose.

Performance
SPEED


Miles-per-Hour
342 mph


Kilometers-per-Hour
550 kph


Knots
297 kts


Performance
RANGE


Miles
435 mi


Kilometers
700 km


Nautical Miles
378 nm


Performance
CEILING


Feet
32,808 ft


Meters
10,000 m


Miles
6.21 mi

Supported Weapon Systems:

Graphical image of an aircraft medium machine gun
Graphical image of an aircraft heavy machine gun
Armament - Hardpoints (0):

PROPOSED:
2 x 12.7mm Breda-SAFAT machine guns.
Variants: Series Model Variants
• F.4 ("Fabrizi 4") - Base Series Designation; single prototype completed.