The Caproni Vizzola line of "F" fighters was led by the late-1937 initiative "F.4" model. This was an all-modern monoplane fighter seating one and armed with twin heavy machine guns while powered by an inline piston engine. The subsequent "F.5" utilized the same airframe and armament but went the route of an air-cooled radial piston engine for its power. The former only lasted as a single prototype tested into 1942 while the latter achieved pre-series production but, itself, only totaled fourteen aircraft in all (including two prototypes). These were, however, fielded as night-fighters with an Italian squadron during the middle of World War 2 (1939-1945) for their part in the conflict.
All of this work led the company to establish the "F.6", a similarly-minded fighting monoplane. It shifted to a liquid-cooled inline engine once the German DB605's became available to Italy but was more or less a continuation of both the F.4 and F.5 lines. The F.5 made up its airframe and the powerplant of choice became the DB605A V-12 inverted piston engine of 1,474 horsepower driving a three-bladed propeller unit at the nose. The wing mainplanes were redesigned and completed as all-metal members for added strength, unlike the wooden ones used in the F.5. Again, armament was a modest load-out of just 2 x 12.7mm Breda-SAFAT heavy machine guns, these fitted to the nose, while a pair of guns could be added to the wings (one per wing).
The revised aircraft was designated as "F.6M" and, in prototype form, the product achieved a first-flight in September of 1941. Its chin-mounted radiator was found to generate significant drag during flight so this structure was modified and repositioned closer to midships (at the belly, aft of the cockpit floor). This prototype was actively tested until a collision at Bresso and given up for good thereafter - Caproni looking to further the promising F.7 fighter instead (detailed elsewhere on this site).
The F.6Z was an offshoot of the F.6 fighter project and developed in parallel with the F.6M, though started only after the M-model gained traction. This model switched to the Isotta-Fraschini "Zeta" R.C.25/60 24-cylinder X-type engine rated near 1,500 horsepower and proposed armament became 3 x 12.7mm Breda-SAFAT heavy machine guns with one per wing and a single mounting in the forward fuselage / nose section area. The Z-model was delayed by engine issues and not flown for the first time until August of 1943 with a downrated (1,200hp) Zeta powerplant. With the Italian surrender arriving in September of that year, all development work on the F.6Z was abandoned in turn.
(OPERATORS list includes past, present, and future operators when applicable)
✓Air-to-Air Combat, Fighter
General ability to actively engage other aircraft of similar form and function, typically through guns, missiles, and/or aerial rockets.
Ability to intercept inbound aerial threats by way of high-performance, typically speed and rate-of-climb.
✓X-Plane (Developmental, Prototype, Technology Demonstrator)
Aircraft developed for the role of prototyping, technology demonstration, or research / data collection.
30.0 ft (9.15 m)
37.2 ft (11.35 m)
9.9 ft (3.02 m)
4,993 lb (2,265 kg)
6,360 lb (2,885 kg)
+1,367 lb (+620 kg)
(Showcased structural values pertain to the Caproni Vizzola F.6M production variant)
1 x Daimler-Benz DB605A inverted V-12 liquid-cooled piston engine developing 1,474 horsepower and driving a three-bladed propeller unit at the nose.
2 x 12.7mm Breda-SAFAT heavy machine guns in forward fuselage.
2 x 12.7mm Breda-SAFAT heavy machine guns in wings (one per wing) (optional).
1 x 12.7mm Breda-SAFAT heavy machine gun in forward fuselage.
2 x 12.7mm Breda-SAFAT heavy machine guns in wings (one per wing).
(Not all ordnance types may be represented in the showcase above)
Hardpoint Mountings: 0
F.6 - Base Series Designation
F.6M - Fitted with Daimler-Benz DB605A V12 engine; 2 x 12.7mm HMG armament with optional 2 x 12.7mm wing guns; damaged in collision and ultimately abandoned.
F.6Z - Fitted with Isotta-Fraschini Zeta R.C.25/60 24cyl X-type engine; armament of 1 x 12.7mm fuselage gun and 2 x 12.7mm wing guns; abandoned development.
Values are derrived from a variety of categories related to the design, overall function, and historical influence of this aircraft in aviation history.
The overall rating takes into account over 60 individual factors related to this aircraft entry.
Rating is out of a possible 100 points.
Relative Maximum Speed
This entry's maximum listed speed (354mph).
Graph average of 300 miles-per-hour.
Caproni Vizzola F.6M operational range when compared to distances between major cities (in KM).
Max Altitude Visualization
The 3 qualities we look at for a balanced aircraft design are altitude, speed, and range.
Aviation Era Span
Showcasing era cross-over of this aircraft design.
Unit Production (2)
This entry's total production compared against the most-produced military and civilian aircraft types in history (Ilyushin IL-2 and Cessna 172, respectively).
Ribbon graphics not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective aerial campaigns / operations / aviation periods.
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