The LOOTM Archive

January 2014


In the realm of speed, a float plane seems to be a contradiction. Maybe that's why the speed record for piston-powered seaplanes/floatplanes--~440 mph--remains unbroken since 1934!

This is the aircraft that set that record, the Macchi-Castoldi MC-72. In fact, it held the world speed record for any aircraft until 1941.

Boasting two V-12 engines mounted inline with each other, contra-rotating propellers to cancel out the massive torque, and flush-mounted radiators in the floats, the aircraft was a technological marvel of its day. As with any cutting-edge technology, however, the teething pains were many and varied.

The all-out speed record set by the MC-72 was broken years later--by a jet! The seaplane speed was finally exceeded in 1961--also by a jet. But neither aircraft had the beautiful lines and stage presence of the Macchi-Castoldi MC-72.

 

  The January 2014 LOOTM

Macchi-Castoldi MC-72

Enjoy!

Happy New Year!

 

More information on this stunning airplane here:

http://www.air-racing-history.com/aircraft/Macchi-Castoli%20MC%2072.htm

 

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/9/98/FIAT_AS.6_istallato_sull%27idro_MC.72_senza_le_capotes_laterali.jpg

Now THAT"S an engine! More at the Wiki entry here:

 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Macchi_M.C.72

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/45/Macchi-Castoldi_M.C.72_2009-06-06.jpg

One MC-72 remains in a museum near Roma, Italia. A little video here--this thing sound phenomenal!

You're welcome:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gLRLhZJsCh4