Pegna P.C.1 – DOCUMENTATION

My second Peanut Pegna P.C.1 is nearly completed.  It needs a prop spinner, a windscreen, exhaust ports, and the surface radiator.  I drew up a new plan, having retired my original P.C.1 after it attained 20 victories.  I haven’t shared photos recently of the build, because I wanted to share this study on documentation of the P.C.1

The only reference I have been able to find regarding the 1921 Pegna P.C.1 is in the book The Speed Seekers by Thomas Foxworthy.  In addition, the only 3-views I have ever found are just rearrangements of Mr Foxworthy’s 3-view from his book.  He dedicates a few paragraphs (and the 3-view) to an airplane that never was built beyond some construction on the hull.  It was never completed, never flown, and as far as I can tell, never photographed.  As such, the only easily-accessible documentation is limited to what Mr Foxworthy writes.

My first plane was built from the John Walker plans in the June 1979 Model Builder magazine.  For the coloring, I followed the guidelines on the plan: “Italian Schneider entries were painted a deep red”.  When I built it in 1994, this was enough documentation for me.  In fact, the construction article and plan from Model Builder are more than enough for Flying Aces Club (FAC) competition.  The FAC allows scale models “of any heavier than air, full size prop driven aircraft, jet, or manned rocket, built or proposed” (emphasis mine).  In addition, regarding coloring, “Where a model is built of a proposed design, the full scale prototype never having been built, then its color and markings should reflect its designed purpose and era of its creation”.  So the plans give all of the documentation required, including a 3-view.

the first version of my first Peanut Pegna P.C.1

But, as time went on with my model, and rebuilds took place, I started to want to get more details on this sparse model.  Of course, with such little documentation, it is pretty easy to get high scale scores, by making your model match the provided information.  But I started to research things like exhaust styles and location, and the surface radiator.  And I got to think about the coloring of the aircraft.

I focused on two things when I decided to re-do this model:  the engine exhaust and the overall coloring.

ENGINE EXHAUST:  The side view of the 3-view has a strange shape to the engine outline.  It was confusing to me – until I found a matching contemporary engine.

And, Mr Pegna was using this engine in his contemporary P.C.2 design.  I overlayed the image onto my plan and located the four exhaust ports to a relatively-close position to where they would likely have been,should the plane have been completed.

I also added on exhaust shields, that are similar to a later Pegna design; the Piaggio-Pegna P.C.7.  I hypothesize that shields such as these would be necessary to prevent spray from entering the open exhaust.  You can see them below the leading edge of the wing on this photo.

 

COLORING:  All Italian Schneider race planes were red, correct?  Just like this 1933 Macchi-Castoldi MC-72, the holder of the record for fastest piston-driven seaplane, even today – at 440.7 mph.

Everyone knows that, the plans say that, so what’s the question?  My question started when I started to look for “contemporary” planes.  The P.C.1 was to compete in the 1921 Schneider Cup race.  So what about that era, not 1933?  I found a wikipedia page that lists many Schneider Cup planes (probably not “all”)  Here is the link and below is a table showing various Italian racers and probable colors.

Wiki Page: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schneider_Trophy_aircraft

NAME:  1920 Savoia S.12
 
COMMENTS:  While speculative, this does not show red coloring.
NAME: 1921 Macchi M.7

note the light colored hull, and the Italian flag colors on the underside of the wing.

COMMENTS: again, it is clear that this plane was not red.
NAME: 1922 Macchi M.17
 
COMMENTS: 1922 and still not red – maybe the hull…
NAME:  1922 Savoia S.51
 
 
COMMENTS: Finally, an Italian racer appears in overall red.
NAME:  1925 Macchi M.33
 
 
COMMENTS:  Three years after the all-red Savoia S.51, Macchi has not yet adopted all-red.

Starting in 1926, it seems that all Italian racers were overall red, with the flag tail marking and the fasci symbol on the fuselage.  It is my contention that overall red was NOT a standard race team or national team color until 1926.  Therefore it is unlikely that Giovanni Pegna would have colored his 1921 racer in all red.  I propose his colors would have been much closer to the 1920/21/22 colors of his contemporary competing manufacturers.  Here is my proposal:

I propose that (much like the Macchi M.7) the bottom of the hull was white, the sides varnished wood, top deck of the hull, wings and h-stab were silver, with the Italian Green-White-Red on the fin/rudder,
with Green-White-Red roundels on the top of the wing and the under side of the wing white with Green and Red tips, as shown in my 3-view, shown here:

 

Of course, this is speculation, but I feel that this is much more representative of “contemporary” colorings than the popular all-red for the Pegna P.C.1.  Which is correct?  Well, there can be no “correct” for this plane as it was never completed.  As a modeler, you will need to use your own judgement, should you choose to model this plane.

P.S.

the proper Green for the Italian flag is 0/146/70
(https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Flag_of_Italy.svg)

the proper order for Italian wing roundels (either way is ok!)
(http://www.theaerodrome.com/forum/showthread.php?t=23234&garpg=6#content_start)

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