|BOMBER||Virtual Aircraft Museum / Italy / Piaggio|
The Piaggio P.50 four-engine heavy bomber was the first aircraft to be designed for the company by Giovanni Casiraghi, following project outline by Giovanni Pegna. The P.50-1 (MM 369) prototype, test flown in 1937, was a shoulder-wing monoplane with a large single fin and rudder and four 544kW Isotta Fraschini XI RC V-12 engines wing-mounted in tandem pairs and driving two tractor and two pusher propellers. Three defensive gun positions included a nose turret, and offensive load was a maximum of 2500kg. A second prototype (MM 370) was damaged in a landing accident at Malpensa airfield in 1938. During that year the P.50-II (MM 371) appeared with a conventional four-engine layout, the 746kW Piaggio P.XI RC.40 radials driving four three-bladed tractor propellers. Defensive armament was increased to five 12.7mm machine-guns. Although no production ensued, the P.50 was the progenitor of the P.108 of World War II.