In the years just before the Italian capitulation to the Allies, the Italian aircraft industry was just beginning to emerge from the technical backwater that it had been stuck in since the 1930's. The licensed manufacture of German aero engines like the Daimler-Benz DB series such as the DB.605 (as the Alfa Romeo Tifone) filled Italy's need for a powerplant to power modern and competitive aircraft. No Italy would begin to pump out many promising designs. One thing that Italy needed was an aircraft to contest the USAF P-38 Lightnings and the RAF Mosquitos, so SIAI Savoia-Marchetti designed and built two twin engine fighter designs, the SM.91 and SM.92. The SM.91 was very similar to the P-38 with a central cockpit pod with the engines mounted in long gondolas. The SM.92 took the drag reduction a step further by eliminating the central crew engine pod and putting the crew in one of the engine gondola. Caproni developed a competing design that followed much the same design philosophy as the SM.92 or the German BF-109Z. The CA.380 was designed to have twin fuselages with the two man crew consisting of the pilot and radio operator sitting back to back in the starboard fuselage, while the entirety of the fuel supply was carried in the port fuselage. Twin license built DB.605 engines putting out 1475hp were to power it with the plan to switch them out with DB.603s (1550hp) later in development. To reduce cooling drag and e=interesting annular radiator was designed. Thrust generated by the expanding air moving through the radiators was calculated to completely negate any drag caused by the radiators. Armament was to consist of four MG.151 20mm cannons in a streamlined pod under the wing center section as well as two SAFAT 7.7mm machine guns. While it remainded a paper project only, estimated performance was excellent with a top speed of 400mph at 23,000 ft with a cruising speed of 323mph and a ceiling altitude of 34,000ft. Climb to 20,000ft was estimated to take 7 minutes with max range somewhere between 1300-1600 miles.
VTOL down for flaps. Due to the fuel being all in the one side the CG is asymmetric so this plane has a tendency to roll.
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- Wingspan 50.7ft (15.4m)
- Length 39.2ft (11.9m)
- Height 13.1ft (4.0m)
- Empty Weight 14,425lbs (6,543kg)
- Loaded Weight 15,541lbs (7,049kg)
- Horse Power/Weight Ratio 0.187
- Wing Loading 27.0lbs/ft2 (131.8kg/m2)
- Wing Area 575.9ft2 (53.5m2)
- Drag Points 4180
- Number of Parts 606
- Control Surfaces 4