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Ca 161
Caproni Ca.161.jpg
Role High-altitude experimental aircraft
Manufacturer Caproni
Designer Rodolfo Verduzio
First flight 1936
Lieutenant Colonel Mario Pezzi wearing a pressure suit for a high-altitude flight.
Lieutenant Colonel Mario Pezzi wearing a pressure suit for a high-altitude flight.

The Caproni Ca.161 was an aircraft built in Italy in 1936, in an attempt to set a new world altitude record. It was a conventional biplane with two-bay, staggered wings of equal span, based on Caproni's Ca.113 design. The pressure-suited pilot was accommodated in an open cockpit.

On 8 May 1937, Lieutenant Colonel Mario Pezzi broke the world altitude record with a flight to 15,655 m (51,362 ft). The following year, Pezzi broke the record again in the more powerful Ca.161bis, making a flight to 17,083 m (56,047 ft) on 22 October 1938. The Grob Strato 2c broke this record for piston-powered crewed airplanes generally in 1995, but as of 2022 it still stands for piston-powered biplanes, and for crewed single engine piston aircraft.

A final altitude record for floatplanes was set on 25 September 1939 in the float-equipped Ca.161Idro, piloted by Nicola di Mauro to 13,542 m (44,429 ft). As of 2012, this record also still stands.

Caproni Ca.161 front quarter view.jpg

Variants

Specifications (Ca.161bis)

Data from Italian Civil and Military Aircraft 1930–1945 apart from weights

General characteristics

Performance

See also

Aircraft of comparable role, configuration, and era

References