Gianni Caproni and the first flight over Malpensa

CA1 officine caproni 2

In 1910 the aircraft Ca.1. took off and landed for the first time in Malpensa: this was the first aircraft produced by the workshop of Gianni Caproni.

The aviation tradition in the area of Varese began with Officine Caproni. Founded at the beginning of the 1900s by engineer Gianni Caproni, in 1910 the company produced the Ca.1 the oldest aircraft now preserved at Volandia (in Italy).

This was the first aircraft designed and built by Gianni Caproni, featuring a 4-cylinder 25 HP Miller W engine, with a wooden frame and tubular spars made of plywood. The airplane was finally tested on the 27th May 1910. The moorland of Malpensa was chosen as field test. The pilot was Ugo Tabacchi, and that was his very first flight.

The plane took off and flew without any problems for some time. The landing, however, was turbulent, but the experiment was an overall success. Officine Caproni was ready to take off. Malpensa received its “baptism of air”. Gianni Caproni became so famous all over the world that his name and some of his airplanes have been mentioned in the animated film “The wind rises” by Hayao Miyazaki.