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Società Leonardo da Vinci Forlanini F.2 / Città di Milano




Enrico Forlanini designed and built a series of dirigibles, notably, in 1912, the Città di Milano, dedicated to his beloved home town. It showed exceptionally good characteristics of stability and controllability that won Forlanini international renown.
The F.2's gondola was divided in three compartments: the command cabin, passenger cabin, and machine room. For safety all the material was treated with a fire suppressant and the envelope was double-skinned.
A coning tower was situated at the bow connected to a deep, V-shaped keel, which allowed access to the eight separate gas bags and the engine cars in a similar arrangement to the Zeppelins. The gass bags were in turn enclosed within an annular air ballonet positioned between the gas bags and outer cove. The 2 inch air space served the double purpose of acting as a ballonet and as an insulating air cushion to minimisw the effects of external temperature changes on the hydrogen gas.
Owned by the Royal Italian Army (Regio Esercito) and first flown on 17 August 1913, the Città di Milano completed 43 flights.
On 9 April 1914 the Città di Milano made an emergency landing during a storm, then was damaged by trees and terrain while moored. While attempting to deflate gas cells, it caught fire and was destroyed.
Propulsion: Two Isotta Fraschini petrol engine, 80 hp
Volume: 12,000 cu.m / 421,000 cu.ft
Length: 72 m
Gas cells: 12
Maximum speed: 70 km/h / 40 mph
Flight ceiling: 2400 m
Useful payload: 5 tonne
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