Italy - Museo Storico dell'Aeronautica Militare, Bracciano

by Michele

I think the Aeronautica Militare Museo Storico on Lake Bracciano is a place your readers should know about. It is only about an hour from Rome.

I'm a vintage aircraft enthusiast and vintage race car restorer by profession. A friend told me about your website, it is very nicely done.

I do also some work on vintage aircrafts from time to time. I have restored a famous WW1 aircraft some time ago, Tennent's Cabruna SPAD VII; it doesn't fly, it is in static display in Rome, but I loved the job.

I'm getting in touch for two matters:

1- l would like to let you know about a museum here in Italy that is not listed on your website and you may be interested in: the museum is "Vigna di Valle", the oldest Italian airport built in 1908 for airships, it is situated some 30 miles from Rome, on the shores of lake Bracciano.

It is almost unknown, but there are on display some real jems, including four Schneider Trophy hydroplanes and the actual speed record holder for the category with 709km/h (440mph) established in 1936! It would be nice to have it listed on your website.

-2 I am looking for a WW1 Hispano Suiza v8 motor and hope you could help me. I have in mind a project that combines my passion for vintage aircrafts and vintage cars: my intention is to re-create for myself a famous racing car of the 20's, the "Italona".

In the early 20s the Italian racing driver Emilio Materassi built a racing car using a Itala type 51 chassis and running gear mated to an Italian built Hispano Suiza aircraft motor (Itala had built those motors under licence during the war). The 11,5 litre V8 unit was very thirsty, heavy and had too much torque for the twisty Italian roads. Materassi made the motor a four cylinder removing one of the banks. He campaigned the car he nicknamed "Italona" ("big Itala")  for three years with great success, taking part and winning many of the most important competitions of the time.

The original car doesn't exist anymore, was scrapped before WW2. I want to re-create that car.

I already found a very rare, original and unmolested Itala short chassis. I was wondering if you could help me to find a complete motor -without reduction- or even better the dismantled components to make a four cylinder motor.

Maybe is someone knows something they can comment here. Many Thanks.

Kind regards


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May 16, 2017
Yes, This Is A Great Museum
by: Judy and Mark

You're right. This is a great museum. We went years ago. Loved all the sea planes and racers. When we can dig back through our files and find the photos, we will try to put up a proper page on this. Thanks so much for writing to us.

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