Caproni Ca.60. Transaereo : The Flying Boat that crashed

“Failure is the pillar of success” this adage may sound cliché to us but it is so true. We love to hear success stories but there are stories of failures as well. Technology that surrounds us today, that we take for granted, are actually outcomes of numerous failures and mistakes. Inventors develop new technologies through trial and error.

Few days ago, I came across picture of this weird looking flying craft. The name of this craft is Caproni Ca.60. Transaereo. Italian aviation pioneer Gianni Caproni developed this craft. It is a flying boat with nine wings which is why it is also called  Noviplano (nine-wing).


Gianni Caproni started designing aircrafts during the First World War. At that time, his company built war planes. After the war ended, he decided to build long range aircrafts that would carry people to great distances like crossing the Atlantic and reach USA.

Caproni’s vision was to build a large multi-engine boat that would carry passengers to distant places where it is difficult do go by traditional means of transport- automobile or train.

For this boat, Caproni took out a patent in 1919.


Caproni C.60 had three sets (3×3) of wings. The aircraft was powered by eight Liberty L-12 V12 engines built in the United States. Each engine produced 400 hp. They were the most powerful engines available in the world at that time.

The Transaereo was taken out of its hangar for the first time on January 20, 1921, and the next day it was put in the water for the first time but the boat did not start. There were numerous technical glitches. Still, Caproni continued to work on the craft.

On February 6, 1921, wings of the flying boat was damaged and Caproni forced his workers to work all night and fix the wings. Even after all this hardwork, the flying boat did not start the next day.

Finally, on February 9, 1921, Transaereo started running on water smoothly. A military aircraft instructor, Federico Semprini, piloted the craft. The second trial took place on March 4 1921. Unfortunately, the plane crashed in the water on that day.

After the accident, Caproni stopped the project but he kept the remains of the crashed flying boat. He believed that this boat would showcase the history of Italian aviation to the world. Today, you can see the remains of Transaereo in a museum in Trento Italy.

Today, our skies are filled with great planes flying great distances. It has been possible for people like Caproni. Their mistakes and failures helped them gain experience and knowledge and they used that knowledge to build better aircrafts.

The reason I wanted to write a post about this plane is that failure and mistakes are part of our lives. Without failure one cannot achieve anything great. When I was a child, my father told me the story of Robert the Bruce, the King of Scots from 1306 to 1329. He fought with the English and lost six times. One day, he took shelter in a cave where he saw this spider trying to weave her web one the walls of the cave. The spider tried and failed six times but it did not stop. It scaled the wall carefully and succeeded in its seventh effort. This encouraged Robert Bruce. He raised his army again and fought with the English for the seventh time and achieved victory.


Failure is part of our lives. In my life I have more failures than success. I was weak in maths and in all the exams in my school I failed in maths or just got the minimum pass mark. I failed in maths in class 8. My mother kept me in the same class for another year but it did not change anything. She hoped that I would do well and get chance to sit in the Scholarship exam but it did not happen. I failed in class 9 again in maths and was thrown out of my school. In 1998, I sat for HSC and failed again in Mathematics. I passed my HSC in the second effort in 1999.

In my first semester at North South University, I again failed in accounting. For the next two years, I continued to receive poor grades in all my mathematics courses. It was very frustrating for me. Then Razib vai suggested me to switch my major from BBA to English. I took his advice and studied English. Even today, I am struggling with my life. I really do not know what the future holds for me but one thing I know that there is no point thinking about the mistakes I made or the future. I have to continue my work and that is what I am doing now, nothing extra-ordinary.

I always tell myself that whatever bad conditions I am in today, only I can pull myself out of this no one else can.

There are also stories of great failures and accidents in science and technology as well. In order to invent the next great technologies, scientists have to go through so many failures, accidents and mistakes. The media only writes about the end results; the final great product. Hence, we do not know about those failures.

So, do not get upset with your failures. If you feel like crying then cry and wash your face and continue your work. KEEP WRITING!!! KEEP FIGHTING!!!



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