Piaggio P. 108C or maybe P.108T

frank

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While surfing the net for info on a couple of other a/c, I found a side view of the P.108C here in this thread. http://warbirdsforum.com/showthread.php?t=2975 It looks like a DC-4. I Googled the a/c & most of what I found was the 108C was a transport version of the basic P.108, which I already had deduced, but also seems to refer to a P.108T. I assume the P.108C / P.108T was a DC-4 type of fuselage mated to P.108 wings, engines & empennage, but I can't find any other info. I'm curious about this design. Any other info available? Thanks.
 

cto1rm1usnret

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The P108bC (Civile) was a 32 passenger airliner that 1st flew in July 1942. 24 were built and used as a military transport(56 troops). Speed 273mph ceiling 21876 range 1553-2484mls.
The P108T (Transporto) was a military freight transport. Only the prototype was built in 1942. It had 2 side doors and a belly door for vehicles. Speed 273mph ceiling 24607 range 2237mls
 

Bailey

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From "Italian Civil & Military Aircraft 1930-45, J.Thompson, Aero Publishing 1963.

Regards Bailey.
 

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red admiral

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The resemblance to the DC-4 just seems superficial, the tail is definitely Piaggio style. I think they just went with a larger diameter fuselage and the shape turned out to be similar to the DC-4. It's a pretty simple fuselage shape.

The 108C had cabin pressurisation for the passengers whilst the 108T was made without, and with some big cargo doors towards the rear. Below is the postwar 108T-2 with a revised fuselage shape.
 

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redstar72

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Some additional info... Sources:
- L+K 17/1983
- Modelarz (a magazine from Poland) 4/2004

According to V. Nĕmeček's article in L+K, it all beginned in late 1930s when Italian airline company LATI (Linie Aeree Transcontinentali Italiane) planned to open lines to South America and Japan. The Italian industry couldn't deliver a suitable aircraft in suitable terms: so it was planned to buy a license for production of an American aircraft (either DC-4E or Boeing 307) and produce it in number of 6 to 12 at Breda factory. But in August 1940 it became clear that soon the USA would be at war and these plans are unrealizable. So it was decided to create a new airliner on the base of successful bomber - the P.108. The wing, empennage, engines and landing gear would be the same, but with totally new fuselage of 3.25 m diameter, containing a pressurized cabin for 32 passengers (Actually built P.108C didn't possess a pressurized cabin, only with climatization). Giovanni Caziraghi, the Piaggio chief designer, wasn't a great enthusiast of this idea - he proposed more advanced projects such as P.126C and P.127; but Regia Aeronautica was also interested in such type of aircraft, and they wanted to have a direct derivative of the bomber. As a result, at July 16, 1942 the P.108C prototype registered MM.496 made its first flight. It was already a wartime, so the luxury airliner wasn't very actual :), but the military transport P.108T was. It was first flown at September 9, 1942, and had the same fuselage as P.108C but was armed with four 12.7-mm Breda-Safat machine guns (one dorsal in Caproni-Lanciani Delta E turret, one ventral and two side-mounted); also it had a big cargo door (1.9 x 4.8 m) in fuselage belly (!).

The data about production of these aircraft are different in different sources. According to L+K, MM.496 was the only built P.108C; the P.108T prototype was registered MM.24667 and was followed by 11 serial aircraft (MM.24668 to 24678), first of which was flown at February 2, 1943. But according to the article by Benedykt Kempski in Modelarz magazine, MM.496 was followed by 5 production P.108C (MM.24681 to 24685). They were adopted for military use, carrying 56 paratroopers each; but they had neither cargo doors nor armament, so they were P.108C, not T. Also this author claims that P.108T prototype was MM.24686 and was followed by 13 production aircraft, MM.24687 to 24699... ???
 

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redstar72

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Yes, I forgot the technical data!

Subject: Piaggio P.108T. Source: Modelarz 4/2004
Wingspan: 33.05 m
Length: 24.55 m
Height: 7.75 m
Wing area: 142.85 m2
Empty weight: 16 000 kg
Takeoff weight: 28 500 kg
Powerplant: four Piaggio P.XII RC-35 radials, 1303/1478 hp each (1350 hp according to L+K)
Maximum speed: 439 km/h (at 2400m altitude)
Cruise speed: 320 km/h
Landing speed: 135 km/h
Vertical speed: 4.0 m/s
Climb: 9.10 min to 2000 m, 19.40 min to 4000 m
Service ceiling: 6600 m
Flight range: 2560 km
Flight endurance: 8 hours
Takeoff run: 700 m
Landing run: 550 m

And a Luftwaffe P.108T color profile from L+K attached.
 

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Skybolt

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Regarding the production of the transport versions of the P-108, the data must be reconstructed from disparate sources, expecially fom mid-1944 on. Anyway, 6 P-108C were surely produced, of which at least 5 (MM 24676 to 242680) were transferred to Germany. As for the T, were surely completed MM 24668, 24669, 24670, 24671, 24672 and 24673. Three more aircrafts was started (24667 and 24674-5) but probably were never completed. Germans requisited all six completed. In all, Luftwaffe used 12 P-108s, as follows, one P-108A (Artigliere), five P-108C, six P-108T. No-one survived. The last four usable were put on fire on an airport near Munich during the last days of the war.
Source: Giancarlo Garello, Piaggio P-108, La Bancarella Aeronautica, 2000.
 

Nico

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Hi folks,
an interesting feature of the P.108T was the capability of accomodate two fuselages of Aermacchi C.200 Saetta fighters, with separate engines, wings and tail surfaces. To load and unload the fighters, the P.108T was made horizontal by a tail jack. I found some drawing depicting the process, dated March 15 1941. In the event, when the P.108T was available (spring of 1943) Italy has already lost all the colonies and the requirement of carry the fighters was superseded.
There are some doubts about the real number of P.108T built: in 1942 the Regia Aeronautica replaced the order for 14 aircraft with one for nine (P.108T Serie III). The first aircraft (a series production as no prototype was built) was MM.24667 or, according to other sources, MM.24673, flown on September 7, 1942. It was followed by five others, all used by Luftwaffe.
We know some serial numbers and codes of the Luftwaffe aircraft, but not the links between them and with P.108C or P.108T versions: MM.24668, 24669, 24670,24673 and 24678, J4+AH, G6+FY, J4+BH, J4+EH, J4+HH, J4+OH,J4+PH, J4+QH.
There are also some unconfirmed news of the requisition of a P.108B Serie I and a P.108B Serie II bombers by Luftwaffe, only to supply spare partes for the six P.108C and the P.108T. Naturally, any enlightement of that matter will be appreciated.
In enclosed the drawings of the P.108T.
Nico
 

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zeroc

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red admiral said:
The resemblance to the DC-4 just seems superficial, the tail is definitely Piaggio style. I think they just went with a larger diameter fuselage and the shape turned out to be similar to the DC-4. It's a pretty simple fuselage shape.

The 108C had cabin pressurisation for the passengers whilst the 108T was made without, and with some big cargo doors towards the rear. Below is the postwar 108T-2 with a revised fuselage shape.
Hello, a little contribution about P.108T-2
 

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hesham

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Great find Zeroc,


and here is anther drawing to P.108T.
 

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Stargazer2006

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hesham said:
Great find Zeroc
The way I understand it, it's not so much a "find" as a personal artwork by Zeroc himself. Is that right, Zeroc? If so, thanks!
 

zeroc

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Stargazer said:
hesham said:
Great find Zeroc
The way I understand it, it's not so much a "find" as a personal artwork by Zeroc himself. Is that right, Zeroc? If so, thanks!
You're correct, It's my first work using Inkscape. The second (SM106) has been posted on proper section(s) -Artwork, and postwar projects.
I've discontinued using SketchUp due to lacking of spare time (previous 3D works).
Thank you for your appreciation!
 

hesham

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From Air International 1/1987,


here is the P.108C and P.108T drawings.
 

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zeroc

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After a little search, mine could be indentified as T2 version, an unbuilt airliner. Other versions, either the bomber and the transport were for military purposes only.
 
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