Piaggio (Industrie Aeronautiche e Meccaniche Rinaldo Piaggio SpA) Search this
0.15 Cubic feet (3 photo albums)
This collection consists of three Piaggio & Co. (Italy) photo albums containing photographs of Piaggio aircraft from the period of circa 1934 to 1945, including the Piaggio P.16 bomber; the long-distance transport prototypes Piaggio P.23M and P.23R (also known as the P.123); the prototype Piaggio P.32-I bomber; the Piaggio P.50-I and P.50-II bombers; the four-engine Piaggio P.108B, P.108C, and P.108T aircraft; the Piaggio P.111 high-altitude research aircraft; and the prototype Piaggio P.119 fighter. Also included are photographs of aircraft built by Piaggio from designs by two other Italian companies: the Nardi FN.305 and the Nardi FN.315, the Cant (CRDA) Z.501, and the Cant (CRDA) Z.506 family.
Scope and Contents:
This collection consists of three photo albums produced by Piaggio & Co. circa 1943. The first album, "Piaggio Aircraft Projects, 1st Series," covers a period from circa 1934 to 1938, and includes photographs of the Piaggio P.16 bomber, the long-distance transport prototypes Piaggio P.23M and P.23R (also known as the P.123), the prototype Piaggio P.32-I bomber, and the Piaggio P.50-I and P.50-II bombers. The second album, "Velivoli Costruti In Serie Dalla Piaggio Su Progetti Di Altre Ditte" [Aircraft produced in Series by Piaggio of Other Companies' Designs], covering a period from circa 1934 to 1943, presents photographs of aircraft built by Piaggio from designs by two other Italian companies (Nardi and Cant) which were too small to produce the number of aircraft ordered by the Italian government. Fratelli Nardi models include the Nardi FN.305 and the Nardi FN.315 (an improved version of the FN.305). Cantieri Riuniti dell'Adriatico (CRDA, commonly called Cant) models designed by Filippo Zappata include the Cant (CRDA) Z.501, and the Cant (CRDA) Z.506A (civil version), Z.506B (military version), and Z.506S (air-sea rescue version). The third album, "Piaggio Aircraft Projects, 2nd Series," dated October 22, 1945, and includes photographs of the four-engine Piaggio P.108B, P.108C, and P.108T aircraft; the Piaggio P.111 high-altitude research aircraft; and the prototype Piaggio P.119 fighter.
The three photo albums are presented in original order.
In 1979, all photographs were copied in the original order and assigned Smithsonian Institution (SI) negative numbers (SI 79-7688 through SI 79-7788).
In 1990, all items in this collection were reproduced on the first side (Side A) of National Air and Space Museum Archival Videodisc 7, a LaserDisc CAV format 12-inch (30 cm) optical disc published by the Smithsonian Institution. Print numbers applied during videodisc production (keeping to the original order) are used as item-level image numbers (print numbers NASM 7A36888 to NASM 7A36990, videodisc frame capture numbers VD-7A36888 to VD-7A36990).
Biographical / Historical:
Founded in Genoa, Italy, in 1884, Rinaldo Piaggio SpA manufactured interiors for ocean liners, later branching out into the construction of rolling stock for railroads at the beginning of the twentieth century, and moving their works to a large factory space at Finalmarina (later Finale Ligure), Italy. During the first World War, Piaggio expanded his company to include aircraft design and manufacturing (Industrie Aeronautiche e Meccaniche Rinaldo Piaggio SpA) and rebranded as Piaggio & Co. By the end of the 1920s, Piaggio had brought on more aircraft designers, and established an aeronautical research laboratory at the Finale Ligure works, the Cantieri Aeronautici Piaggio di Finale Ligure Marina. In the Italian Fascist period of the mid 1930s and early 1940s leading up to World War II, Piaggio worked on a number of designs for the Regia Aeronautica (Italian Royal Air Force) including several prototype aircraft. Piaggio's facilities were heavily bombed during the war, but the company was able to recover and rebuild in the post-war period (having a notable commercial success with their Vespa motor scooter), and continued to produce aircraft into the twenty-first century.
Institute of the Aeronautical Sciences, gift, 1960s, NASM.XXXX.1216
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Dr. Joseph Victor Foa (1909-1996, born Giuseppe Vittorio Foa) was an aeronautical engineer, aircraft designer, research scientist, and university professor. This collection includes photographs of Dr. Foa and the aircraft he worked on between 1935 and 1938 in Italy at the Studio Caproni Reggio Emilia and later Piaggio & Co. where he designed the Piaggio P.23R and the Reggiane Ca 405 Procellaria. Photographs of the Piaggio P.23R show both the initial design (1935) and the second design (September 1938). One photo shows the Piaggio P.32-II in March 1937. A group of photos taken in July 1937 show the Reggiane Ca 405 Procellaria; these two aircraft were built for an Istres-Damascus-Paris race held in August 1937, but were not finished in time to enter.
Scope and Contents:
This collection includes photographs of Dr. Foa and the aircraft he worked on between 1935 and 1938. All photos were copied from a personal photo album which Dr. Foa loaned to the National Air and Space Museum (NASM) for copying in 1990. Photographs of the Piaggio P.23R show both the initial design (1935) and the second design (September 1938). One photo shows the Piaggio P.32-II in March 1937. A group of photos taken in July 1937 show the Reggiane Ca 405 Procellaria; these two aircraft were built for an Istres-Damascus-Paris race held in August 1937, but were not finished in time to enter. One photo of the Piaggio P.23R, labeled as being taken at Montecchio, December 30, 1938 (probably taken at a ceremony for the record-setting aircraft), carries the handwritten notation "non c'e un ebreo sul campo" ("not a Jew on the field"). Joseph Foa, designer of the P.23R, was barred from attending this event as he was a Jew.
In March 1990, photographs in this collection were copied by the National Air and Space Museum (NASM) from an original photo album loaned to the museum by Dr. Joseph Foa; the resulting 4 x 5 inch black and white copy negatives were assigned Smithsonian Institution (SI) negative numbers (SI 90-3181 to SI 90-3223) which are used as item-level image reference numbers.
The images copied from the original photo album are presented in the roughly chronological order in which they had appeared in the album (not in SI negative number order). The few images which had appeared twice in the album have been reproduced only once, and are presented in the first position in which they had appeared.
Biographical / Historical:
Giuseppe Vittorio Foa was born July 10, 1909, in Torino (Turin), Italy. He received a degree of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Torino in 1931, and graduated as Doctor of Aeronautical Engineering from the University of Rome in 1933. Between 1935 and 1937, Foa was Chief Engineer at the Studio Caproni Reggio Emilia (Italy) where he worked on the design of the Piaggio P.32-II (a.k.a. Reggiane P.32bis) and its adaptation for transport use. From 1937 to 1939, Foa was a Project Engineer at Cantieri Aeronautici Piaggio (the Piaggio & Co. works at Finale Ligure Marina, Italy) where he designed the Piaggio P.23R and the Reggiane Ca 405 Procellaria. In 1939, Foa was forced to leave his job because of his anti-fascist beliefs and because he was Jewish. After being arrested, imprisoned, and released several times, Foa fled to Zurich, Switzerland, to escape further persecution. In September 1939, Foa immigrated to the United States (changing his name to Joseph Victor Foa) where he worked as a research engineer for the Bellanca Aircraft Corp. and later at the Aeronautical Research Laboratory of the Curtiss-Wright Corporation (both in Buffalo, New York), which became the Cornell Aeronautical Laboratory following World War II. From 1952 to 1970, Foa was a Professor at Renssalaer Polytechnic Institute (Troy, NY); Foa was Chairman of their Dept. of Aeronautical Engineering and Astronautics from 1956 to 1967. From 1970 to 1980, Foa was Professor of Engineering and Applied Science at George Washington University (Washington, DC), becoming Professor Emeritus in 1980. Foa died March 31, 1996, in Bethesda, Maryland.
Dr. Joseph V. Foa, gift, 1990, NASM.1990.0033
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National Air and Space Museum. Archives Division. Search this
Drawer AP, Folder 500063-01
Scope and Contents note:
The majority of the Archives Department's public reference requests can be answered using material in these files, which may be accessed through the Reading Room at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Virginia. More specific information can be requested by contacting the Archives Research Request.