I think I want a flying hydrofoil

The X-Planes tumbleblog has been doing a special feature on the Schneider trophy. The race was for flying boats and the floats they needed slowed the planes down. In 1929 the Italians came up with a typically gorgeous but mad design that tried to get around this. The Piaggio-Pegna PC.7 had a fuselage that doubled as a hull, two little hydrofoils instead of floats and a screw and rudder that would power and control the aircraft whilst the propeller was submerged. When it reached a sufficient speed the hydrofoils would lift the body, and propeller, clear of the water and the drive could be switched over. The one seated plane had too many controls that neede attention at once for one man to be able to operate it.

It’s completely mad, and it looks like the sort of thing you’d see in an anime or propellerpunk alternate history. It never flew.


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