Because Italy is more than a geographic expression..

Alessi S.P.A. US

Friday, August 13, 2010

The Engineering Mind Of Gaetano Crocco

Gaetano Arturo Crocco was an Italian engineer born in Naples on Oct. 26, 1877...

1912, he realized the first italian experimental wind tunnel, followed soon by a second one, and finally by a third, specially used for high wind speed (up to 200 km/h) till WWII...

During the long university career (1926-1952), Arturo CROCCO published more than 170 scientific studies, he got 30 patents and invented 50 different aeronautic instruments, many of them are still used today in the field of the aircraft flight stability...
In 1934,he was named Chief Engineer for the building of the new “aeronautic” city of Guidonia, which was the centre of Italian flight studies, researches and experiences and, at that time, one of the most advanced in Europe. He died in Rome on 19thJan 1968.

(Crocco) deeply investigated the hydrodynamic effects of the speed on the hulls and the submerged surfaces of the boats. As a consequence, during the period from 1905 to 1907, he built, with RICALDONI, the experimental boat “Idroplano“ or “Barchino Idroscivolante”, equipped with two “V” dihedral steel foils to lift the boat out of the water and aerial propellers to push it, a true ancestor of the modern hydrofoils.

Crocoo was, in addition, a scientist. He was quite the expansive individual.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

"World's First" Wind Tunnel

From aerodynamic masters Pininfarina:

"The Italian design house’s new Ground Effect Simulation System, which cost €4 million ($5.1 million) and took two years to design, takes ground-effects simulation another step closer to the real world.

Pininfarina considers the new test center a major leap from the one it built in 1995, which at the time was the first capable of testing full-scale cars by simulating the aerodynamic effects due to wheel rotation and ground-relative motion.

The new system banks on the experience gained in more than 10 years of testing. It mainly is intended to improve aerodynamic research on full-scale racecars, providing Pininfarina with a major technical advantage over its competitors."

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Italian Flavor In Space

Italy has a long history dating back centuries in space exploration. Will try and shed light on it over the next couple of posts.

Let's start with the Vega rocket. Though a collaboration (as usally is the case with space initiatives) with other ESA members France, Spain, Holland, Sweden, Switzerland and Belgium, the Italians make up 65% of the project. Its mission is to study earth's low and polar orbits.

It is anticipated, though testing is in full flight, to launch in November, 2010.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Four Wheel Car-Bikes

Karbyk of Udinese is a company specializing in four-wheel pedal cars. Which probably explains the name Kar-Bike. Get it? They have a racing model seen here and a road version (for leisure).

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Article On The Importance Of Mechanical Manufacturing

Noticed this article by Michele de Capitani:

"In Italy there are obviously a lot of enterprises that deal with mechanical manufacture and precision mechanical manufacture. Machine shops are really numerous on the whole territory, but the most important fact really worth noting is the elevated level reached by these machine shops. These are able to develop various kinds of products, down to the smaller parts that require a very high precision degree."

"It is important not to underrate the importance of these manufactures for the Italian industry, first of all because they operate in various sectors, a precision machine shop can create products really necessary for the medical, dental, but even aerospace etc. sector enterprises."

Then, analyzing the data on patents, from the total 846.955 patent requests published from the EPO (European Patent Office) between 1999 and 2006, just 27.616 are from Italy, they increased on the average about 4,9% every year. The trend seems to be positive. But, although it is in pole position in comparison to some European country, especially on innovative brands, Italy results in the fourth last place in the ranking of G9 countries. Italy is fiercely preceded from Germany and followed just by Russia and China.

Among the G9 group, the Italian excellence is especially based on the mechanical machine sector, on the motors and mechanical accessories sectors, with some points of high technological specialization in the processes, machines and manufacturing instruments; vehicles and accessories."

Beyond Evil There's Good

I discuss this story more at my other blogbut felt it should be posted here as well. It's the story of how Italians risked their lives in saving thousands of Jews during WWII and was written by a social worker at Montreal's Jewish General hospital.

In particular, it mentions the names of a few "heroic" Italians like Giorgio Perlasca who was honored at the hospital. Sometimes we remember the stories but not the names who gave the stories its humanistic value.

From time to time, it's good to veer off a blog's track and honor special human interest stories.