Aviation Historian 21
G.Alegi - High, fast and forgotten
The pilots of the RAQ pose beside the Caproni Ca.161. Capitano Aldo Oddono, second from left, was the only pilot to fly the AQV. Other members of the group include Maggiore Tomaso Lomonaco, the doctor who oversaw the physiological aspects of the high-altitude programme (third from left) and pilots Tenente Colonello Mario Pezzi (second from right) and Maggiore Nicola Di Mauro (furthest right).
This photograph of the main SCA hangar at Guidonia during the 1930s provides a snapshot of its production, overhaul and modification activities. The glider to the right is probably a Grifo, of which the SCA built six, beyond which is a 121a Squadriglia Romeo Ro.30, a sole example of which was used by the RAQ.
The sole AQV, serial MM.422, as built, with a faired fixed undercarriage. The AQV was the only aircraft designed by Giuseppe Schepisi, the majority of his career with the Regia Aeronautica being spent writing military aircraft design rules and specifications that remained in use for several decades.
Less than a handful of photographs of the completed AQV have been found, including this taken outside the hangar at Guidonia.
A rear view of the AQV at Guidonia, showing the aircraft’s distinctive wing markings. It appears that the aircraft was built with equal-span wings, rather than having one wing clipped to counteract engine torque.
Less than a handful of photographs of the completed AQV have been found, including this taken outside the hangar at Guidonia. Interestingly, the lettering beneath the tailplane reads “A.Q. V” with no full point after the “V”. Could it be that the designation included the Roman numeral for “5”, rather than a V for veloce? This remains speculation.
A poor-quality but extremely rare photograph of the Miniero monoplane windtunnel model. Its resemblance to the AQV has led some to identify Miniero as the father of the latter, but there is no evidence to suggest this.
Regia Aeronautica AQV. The scale drawings are based on the original drawings of the 1/8th-scale AQV model tested in the Guidonia windtunnels during 1937, the originals having been traced by the late Angelo Brioschi, courtesy Paolo Waldis. The drawings of the model, which had a fuselage length of 93-8cm (3ft 1in), show both fixed and retractable undercarriage variants and exhibit marked differences from the aircraft as ultimately built.
Available data suggests that the AQV logged a total of 36 flights - three in 1940, the remainder during January-November 1941 - accruing 27hr 35min of flying time, flights being divided into aircraft, climb and engine tests.
The earliest known Italian high-altitude monoplane proposal was the Caproni Ca.117, the original general arrangement drawing of which was rediscovered only during the research for this article, and the plan and profile views of which are reproduced here for the first time