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Caproni Ca.161, Ca.161AQ and Ca.161bis

Nico

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Hallo my friends:
researching the Italian prewar high altitude research, I found that picture of the famous Caproni Ca.161bis or Ca.161AQ (for Alta Quota, High Altitude). This aircraft was developed by ing. Giacomo Malannino, from the Ca.137 (for commercial purposes labelled Ca.113AQ), designed by ing. Rodolfo Verduzio, of SVA fame. By the way, some decades ago, ing. Malannino was subject of a controversy as he refferred to himself as the chief engineer of the 'motoreattore Campini'.
The picture that is the matter of this post is from Caproni Archives and is very retouched, depicting a pressurised and totally enclosed cockpit; in other photos and movies I already saw the Ca.161 as an open cockpit aircraft withe the pilot wearing a pressure suit like those of deep-sea divers. Some sources state that the open cockpit version was the Ca.161 (or Ca.161AQ), and the closed-cockpit one was the Ca.161bis.
I hope you could find some interest in this not so often seen photograph and could enlighten the cockpit question.

Nico
 

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Pelzig

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It is my understanding that the Ca.161 was developed from the Ca.113 AQ (itself a modification of the standard Ca.113 trainer). Renato Donati took the Ca.113 AQ up on April 11, 1934 to a height of 14,432.8m. His plane was open cockpit and he only had his flight suit and a pure oxygen source as survival means (which still wasn't much to battle the cold and the risk of oxygen toxicity). From the Ca.113 AQ, the first version of the Ca.161 was built. Lieutenant-Colonel Mario Pezzi used a pressure suit in the open cockpit of the Ca.161. In it, he rose to 15,655m. The revised Ca.161bis, among other changes, used a simple (daresay crude) pressurized and heated cockpit so the pilot could do away with the pressure suit. Pezzi took this aircraft up to 17,083m.

To add, the photo in your scan was heavily retouched and portrays the Ca.161bis' cockpit incorrectly.
 

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hesham

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Hi,


Here is the Caproni Ca.160 as I think,they wrote on the picture,Caproni 160-161.
 

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