Would you like to see this aircraft in-game?
Today’s suggestion is going to be focused on a strange specimen, the Caproni Vizzola C.22 (also Known as “Ventura”) a jet powered trainer developed during the 1970/80s with some military capability.
The “Ventura” was a further development of a powered glider, receiving a metal and composite construction for better durability, landing gear and more sophisticated avionics, to comply with military requirements 2 underwing pylons were fitted to carry Bombs, rockets and some machine gun pods, this gave the Ventura an attack capability that most of its equals at the time didn’t have. This certainly made it an strange concept of extremely light aircraft (under one ton) that could be armed for attack or even reconnaissance missions taking advantage of its 2 pylons to carry ordinance or extra fuel.
The Ventura was a result of the concepts practiced and learned by Caproni engineers on a previous project, the Calif glider, contrary to the glider the Ventura had an all metal construction, retractable landing gear and more fuel. The aircraft first flight was in July 1980 while it departed the factory in August of the same year, the prototype would go to its first air show where it would be presented in a static show In the Paris Air Show of 1981, the aircraft would later would be presented again in Farnborough (1982) where it would perform its first demonstration to the public.
The C.22 Performing a demonstration at Farnborough
The Ventura was a twin engine, two seater high wing jet trainer, it had an all metal construction and a retractable landing gear, it shared a few similarities with the design of the glider that inspired it (and most glider designs) as it had a large wingspan and a thin tail. The Ventura or sometimes called “Caproncino” was envisioned as an extremely cheap trainer with some military capabilities, this capabilities were along the usual armaments used by most light trainers of the time, Bombs, rockets and machine gun pods. The aircraft’s power plant was going to be x2 KLOECKNER-HUMBOLD DEUTZ, but in the end x2 Microturbo engines (like que ones in the Calif). The aircraft was planned to be configured into a reconnaissance fitting a camera pod in one of its 2 pylons.
In 1983, the Caproni family sold their business to the Agusta company. The Ventura program was canceled in 1988 after Agusta decided to develop the Siai Marchetti S211 which it found more suitable for the advanced jet training market. FAA certification in the FAR23 category was in progress, but there were some unresolved issues such as non-compliance with noise limits. After a long period of inactivity, the two C22J prototypes were permanently grounded when Agusta sold the remaining TRS-18 reactors to the United States.
The remaining examples lie in museums today.
Preserved example in a museum
Length: 6.19 m
Wingspan: 10.0 m
Height: 1.88 m
Wing Surface: 8.75 m²
Empty weight: 720 kg
Max Takeoff weight: 1135Kg
Power plant: 2 × Microturbo TRS 18-046 turbojets, 1.0 kN (220 lbf) thrust each
Power: 715 Hp
Max speed: 480 Km/h at sea level
Cruise speed: 324 km/h
Service ceiling: 7620 m
Climb-rate: 9.2 m/s
The aircraft had 2 underwing pylons to carry:
Machine gun pods
^An FN Pod can be seen on this picture (7.62mm FN MAG inside) similar to the ones used by Italian helicopters or other trainers.
This would include MATRA T.10s and MATRA 68mm SNEBS
Jane’s all the world’s aircraft, 1987-88
Air International Magazine-1981
Observer’s directory of military aircraft - Green William
Entrenador primario: Prototipo Caproni-Vizzola C. 22 J (Italia)
Caproni Vizzola C22J Ventura - Minijets
CAPRONI VIZZOLA C-22J Ventura - C22J L2J L/G