Caproni-Campini N1 (CC.2) - Kingdom of Italy, 1940
Detailing the development and operational history of the Caproni-Campini N1 (CC.2) Technology Demonstrator Aircraft.
Entry last updated on 5/31/2017; Authored by Staff Writer; Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com
The Caproni-Campini N1 was anything but an advancement for jet-powered flight, often refered to as a technological dead end.
With the introduction of the N1 (may also be known as the CC.2), Italy became only the second nation in the world to achieve jet-powered flight (Germany being the first), though the development of this particular aircraft did little to further the arrival of the jet age and help a nation stuck on the losing end of a World War. Engine designer Secondo Campini joined forces with the Caproni aircraft firm to try and produce fruit for his labor in reaction propulsion technology. The product would become an interesting mix of the old and the new, for the N1 would feature a basic piston engine driving a fan compressor system with ignited fuel for added propulsion - in effect becoming an engine with afterburn characteristics to an extent. Though not a true turbojet, the N1 was nonetheless a practice aircraft and would prove the engine design possible but effectively become a design that could not be furthered to become something more.
The N1 became a large aircraft design piloted by two personnel. It was a low-wing monoplane with a traditionally-designed empennage and a single vertical tail surface. The intake was open at the extreme forward position and exhaust jettisoned at the extreme rear of the aircraft. The first flight was achieved in 1940 and several more controlled flights followed soon after. As this was mostly a technology demonstrator than a viable fighter design, no armament was fitted the to the system. Landing gear was powered and fully retractable. Keeping with early "jet" designs of the time, wings were straight-wings and featured the distinct smooth curves of piston engine fighter designs. The N1 would achieve a top speed of only 233 miles per hour.
The Caproni-Campini N1 (CC.2) neither a true piston engine aircraft or a full-blown turbojet design. As a result, development of this type of technology proved to be a dead end for the most part and the failing war effort at home put priorities for Italy mostly on the defensive. The N1 would never truly achieve much beyond proving a design concept and bringing Italy one step closer to the jet age. The N1 would go on to survive through the end of the war, becoming a museum set piece.