To fly or not to fly

Caproni CA-60 triple triplane flying boat

The Caproni CA-60 was made as a cross between a house-boat and a plane. This 1920 triple-wing monstrosity used three sets of triplane wings left over from WW1 bombers, bolted to a 100 {!} passenger flying boat hull. It had twice the wing area of a B-52 bomber and weighed 55,000 pounds. The 9000 square foot wings were equipped with ailerons and the rear set were elevators. Power was by eight 400 hp American Liberty engines in pusher and tractor sets, ten times as much as the average passenger aircraft of the time. The center front and rear nacelles housing 2 engines each. Miraculously, this machine DID fly the first time in 1921- it reached a heigth of 60 feet, collapsed, and plummeted toward the lake just after take off, killing both pilots. It was „mysteriously“ destroyed in a fire while undergoing repairs. Despite it‘s massive size, it was merely a prototype for a 150 seater designed to cross the Atlantic.

The Caproni CA-60 under construction (within an airship hangar).

Spinning (Cylinder-) Wings  -  The Magnus - Robbins Effect

The effect on a spinning cylinder or sphere moving through a fluid, in which force acts perpendicular to the direction of motion and to the direction of spin. Applied to aeronautics in experimental wingforms, the Magnus Theory states that if air is directed against a smooth, revolving cylinder, whose circumferential speed is greater than that of the air current, a force is directed against one side of the cylinder - air compressed on one side and vacuum formed on the other - creating lift. Named after physicist Heinrich Gustav Magnus (1802-70).