Stipa-Caproni: Italy's 'Flying Barrel' from 1933
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Luigi Stipa's experimental airplane with an ‘intubed propeller’ - the ancestor of the jet engine.

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The Stipa-Caproni was an experimental airplane designed by the Italian aeronautical engineer and aircraft designer Luigi Stipa, and built by Caproni, an Italian aircraft manufacturer.  Despite looking like a cartoon air plane, the Stipa-Caproni could fly.  It featured a hollow, barrel-shaped fuselage with the engine and propeller completely enclosed by the fuselage - in essence, the whole fuselage was a single ducted fan. The Stipa demonstrated a better rate of climb than conventional aircraft, as well as a very slow landing speed of 42 mph.  It also proved to be noticeably quieter than similarly powered conventional aircraft. 
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