Castoldi C.209

Skybolt

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You probably waited for this...
After the demise of the AC-208 program, Castoldi tried another then popular type among Italian designers: the two-seat jet trainer, capable of other roles, like night fighter and interceptor (the only built was the G-80 and following prototypes). Normally these projects used British engines (Vampires were started in license production in Italy, along with De Havilland Ghosts). So was for the Castoldi C.209, a private venture of the designer (or was it intended for Agusta again, we don't know, but in 1951 Agusta hired Zappata from the bankrupted Breda Aviazione). The airplane looks rather large and heavy, The engine is doubtful: another Ghost installation, or an axial flow (it looks like an early-series Avon, an RA.7R), with lateral laminar intakes and an afterburner ? All in all it is very similar to the G-80, already outdated in respect to the T-33, for example. The design is dated 1951. So ended the known career of Mario Castoldi. With a whisper, not a bang.
Uh, it is a never-seen-before, I owe it to my good friend Gianni Cattaneo.
 

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red admiral

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Thanks very much Skybolt, the engine is definitely a RR Avon.

How would the aircraft be used as a night fighter? The forward undercarriage leg seems to take up all of the nose when retracted.
 

Skybolt

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The primary role was as a trainer, like the G-80. With reworking, a night-fighter could be derived from that (like some projected evolutions of the G-82 family). Probably, the entire distribution of weight would have to be reworked, but the airframe had space to grow. I think though that the structure itself was too heavy, since Castoldi had little experience with modern construction techniques (like Gabrielli, BTW: witness the G-80). The Vampire license production had still to have effect on Italian manufacturers skills. In this sense, both the G-91 and the MB-326 were "sons" of the Vampire.
 

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