1. Introduction

    The Caproni C-22J is an Italian twin-engine two-seat jet designed by Carlo Ferrarin in the late seventies. This page will introduce you to the history of this aircraft, its specifications, and several very interesting pictures and drawings.

    Many thanks to Carlo Ferrarin for providing me with first hand information.


2. History

    The project Caproni C22J began in 1978 as a response to the Low Cost Aircraft draft specifications set by the USAF for jet training at minimal direct operating cost. The C22J was designed in compliance to the aerobatic category of FAR23.

    The C22J development was principally based on the experienced gained by Caproni on the A21SJ self-launching glider.

A21 SJ
A21 SJ glider

    The development, manufacturing and testing phase was accomplished by a team of 14 people led by Carlo Ferrarin. The engineer Marco Morganti and test pilot Paolo Barberis also contributed to the development of the C22J.
The first flight of the prototype (I-CAVJ) took place on July 21, 1980. The prototype was then powered by two TRS 18-046.
The production aircraft had shorter wing spans and tip tanks, and was powered by the more powerful TRS 18-1. The first flight of a pre-production aircraft (I-GIAC) took place on February 17, 1983.
In 1988, FAR23 certification of the C22J was obtained from the RAI (the certification body in Italy).

    In 1983, the Caproni family sold the business to Agusta. The C22J program was canceled in 1988 as Agusta considered the (Agusta division's) Siai Marchetti S-211 more suitable for the jet training market. FAA certification under FAR23 category was under way, and there were a few unresolved hurdles such as noise limits. After a long period of inactivity, the two C22J prototypes were indefinitely grounded when Agusta sold the remaining TRS-18 engines in the US.

3. Technical description

    The C22J had two turbojet engines installed in the fuselage and fed by a NACA inlet. The fuel was stored in the wings, and in wing tip tanks.

C22J General Arrangement

Span   30 ft 2 1/4 in  9.2 m
Length   20 ft 6 1/2 in  6.264 m
Height   6 ft 2 in  1.88 m
Wing area   89 sqft  8.28 m2
Aspect ratio   10.2  
Dihedral   2 deg  
Incidence   1 deg 9 min  
Max. take-off weight   2760 lb  1255 kg
Empty weight   1628 lb  739 kg
Max. wing loading   31 lb/sq ft  152 kg/m2
Load factors   + 7 g / - 3.5 g  
Total take-off thrust   657 lb  298 kg
Maximum continuous thrust   528 lb  264 kg
Thrust loading   4.23 lb/lb  4.23 kg/kg
Max. dive speed (VD)   325 kts  600 km/h
Max. operating speed (VMO)   300 kts  555 km/h
Max. structural cruise speed SL (VC)   260 kts  480 km/h
Max. manoeuvre speed (VA)   225 kts  416 km/h
Max. speed landing gear ext.   143 kts  264 km/h
Stall speed (power off, flaps down) (VSC)   73 kts  135 km/h
Max. speed brake ext.   225 kts  416 km/h
Max. level speed (VH)   280 kts  518 km/h
 TAKE-OFF (ISA, SL, 1100 kg / 2400 lb)    
Ground roll   1148 ft  350 m
Obstacle clearance 15m / 50ft   1804 ft  550 m
Same obstacle at 1500m / 5000ft alt.   2624 ft  800 m
Sea level   1930 ft/min  9.8 m/s
3000 m / 9840 ft   1515 ft/min  7.7 m/s
6000 m / 19680 ft   1062 ft/min  5.4 m/s
Service ceiling (FAR limit is 25000ft)   29500 ft  9000 m
Time to climb to 5000 m / 16400 ft   10 min  
 CRUISE (1255 kg / 2730 lb - tip tanks)    
Cruise speed at 3000 m / 9840 ft   285 ktas  530 km/h
Maximum range   650 nm  1200 km
Endurance   3.5 h  

C22J Threeview

    The C22J has obviously its roots in gliders, much like the Fouga Magister. The fuselage was designed for laminar flow. The airfoil was a Wortmann FX-67K-170.

4. Powerplant


TRS-18Powerplant : Two Microturbo TRS-18 turbojets. Thrust range : 250 to 400 lbst
SFC : Less than 1.20 lb/lb/hr (oops)
Length : 23.5 in
Diameter : 13 in
Weight : 91 lbs
The 200 lbst Microturbo TRS-18-046 was certified under the FAR33 rules by the FAA in 1976, and Caproni contributed to the process. It was the first engine certified in FAR33 with an electronic (analogic) control system.

TRS-18 Mockup

Powered by a pair of Microturbo TRS-18, these thirsty engines required the addition of tip tanks. The first prototype flew in 1980 without tip tanks.

5. Photos

C22J without tip tanks

    The NACA inlets are known to generate turbulent flow to the engines and generate a poor pressure recovery, but this was of less concern in the case of the TRS-18 engines with its plenum inlets.

C22J engines and NACA intake

    The landing gear was a particular design challenge.

C22J main landing gear

    The cockpit design made it very inviting.

C22J cockpit


2.1 Mb PDF file. Click cover page to access:


6.2 Mb Windows WMV Video File, amateur video of the Paris Le Bourget flight demonstration routine.

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Air International Feb 1981 Article

Last update : 02FEB11