"Springtime in Venice"
Prints are signed by the artist and numbered|
Choose from these limited edition prints:
16" x 11½" Collector Sized Lithograph....$40
14” x 21” Giclee on Paper….$150
18" x 27" Giclee on Canvas....$445
24" x 36" Giclee on Canvas....$745
30" x 45" Giclee on Canvas....$975
Aviation historians often overlook the contribution of the Italians to the advancement of aircraft technology. This was particularly true during aviation’s earliest years. Giulio Douhet was an Italian air power theorist and advocate, similar to Billy Mitchell in America. Douhet postured in the early 1900s that air power would be become the critical influence on all future wars. He argued for a first strike capability that could hit an adversary in the battlefield, at his supply lines, and at his sources of production. The Russians and the Italians were the leading nations in the development of large, long-range, “strategic” bombers. In Russia the primary design force behind this movement was Sikorsky (who would later immigrate to the United States.) In Italy Count Gianni Caproni di Taliedo was the guiding light with more than 300 aircraft designs to his credit. Born in 1886 Caproni had built at an early age a small biplane powered by a small 25-HP engine. He was to become a pioneer in the development of multi-engine aircraft. In 1913 he designed a three-engine machine utilizing 80-HP Gnome-Rhône engines with all three engines inside the fuselage. This arrangement proved impractical and was scrapped for a more conventional system in the Ca.31, which first flew in 1914. The first operational three-engine Caproni was the Ca.32 biplane (military designation Ca.2) and it utilized 100-HP Fiat 6-cylinder, liquid-cooled engines. The 32 had a wingspan of almost 73 feet (compared to 98 feet for Sikorsky’s Ilya Mourometz) and a maximum speed of about 72-MPH. The 32 was armed with one or two machineguns, had a crew of 4, and a bomb capacity of 780 lbs. These aircraft were utilized in the first Italian bombing raid of the War. More than 164 Ca.32s were produced. In 1917 Caproni began a production run of 269 Ca.33s, which were similar to the 32 but with more powerful engines. Near the end of the War Caproni produced more than 225 Series 5 aircraft (some under license). Series 5 covered the Ca.44, Ca.45, and Ca.46. The 46 could carry a 1984-pound bomb load at a maximum speed of more than 94-MPH. One of the most distinctive in the series of Caproni bombers was the Ca.42. This was a triplane configuration. Thirty-two aircraft were built, and six of these were sent to the Royal Navy Air Service. The 42 was primarily used for night bombing, although a couple of variants were also produced, one of which was fitted with floats and could carry two torpedoes, and another which had a biplane tail fitted with a rear gunners position. In Stan Stokes’ painting one of Caproni’s WW I tri-engine bombers overflys the beautiful city of Venice in a scene very removed from the ravages of WW I trench warfare. Shortly after the War Caproni conceived of a plan for a huge flying boat capable of carrying 100 or more passengers on overseas journeys. The Ca-60 was a 55,000-pound behemoth powered by Liberty engines. Unfortunately production technology was not yet as advanced as Caproni’s farsighted thinking. The Ca-60 was destroyed during one of its early flight tests.
Stan Stokes Art is an independent gallery and is not affiliated with The Stokes Collection.
"Stan Stokes" used with permission.