It was the first '80s and Sergio Dallan, one of the most promising
Italian aerobatics pilots, was competing in the European and World Championship flying a standard
CAP-20L, I-IZAA, owned and operated by
Aero Club Milano.
It was during these years that, while YAK-50 and Pitts era was fading, a new generation of competition aerobatic planes were being created: the revolutionary Zlin 50s, powered by Lycoming engines, ruled and the mighty YAK-55 and Sukhoi 26 were just about entering the scene.
The Italian National Aero Club, Aero Club d'Italia, took measures and bought a brand new CAP-21, then a top-plane, flying which Tomaso Marzetti showed on the spot. Milan and its stablemates (Sergio Dallan, Massimo Lucia, Nicola Colangelo and others) were nevertheless not sleeping, having innovative and bright ideas to realize.
Aero Club Milano's President at the time, Franco Battistoni (also National Team's Manager), teamed with his "first drive" and Colangelo to buy a CAP-21 construction kit (S/N OK3), which Dallan would build by himself introducing several changes to turn it lighter and more performing while keeping original powerplant.
It was 1981 and 200HP Silver Chicken takes shape, dubbed CAP-21DS where DS stands for "Dallan Special": most innovative changes are already in place such as teardrop canopy, landing gear hinged to fuselage instead of to wing spar, lightened structure, streamlined cowling, neither battery nor starter, wooden propeller. Craft is completed in 1982 but too late to compete in that year's World Championship, flown by Sergio on CAP-20.
Back home, everything has changed. Last version's Zlin 50, powered by 300HP Lycoming, demonstrated that no space is left for less powered- albeit very light airplanes. HPs can be exchanged only with HPs and the CAP-21 would be rapidly outperformed (which is what actually happened).
Thus 200HP Silver Chicken did never fly since Dallan, after Colangelo left to buy an extra 230, dramatically revises the design. Coached for engineering verifications by Professor Gianfranco Rotondi of Milan Politechnic's Aeronautical Department, also founder of Club Aviazione Popolare, Italian Experimental Aeronautical Association Chapter, as well as actively supported and trusted by Italian Aeronautical Registry's Dr. Eng. Rodolfo Galli, Milan Dept. Director at that time, kit took an almost totally different shape.
Changes were so great that a new type eventually came to be, the "real" Silver Chicken: 6-cylinders, 260HP engine; shortened, coulisse-shaped engine mount, extended tailplanes; strengthened wing; teardrop canopy; further general lightening and reinforcing of structure.
After those first successes, the Silver Chicken was "X-rayed" by Mudry who used what he saw to give birth to all modern CAP aircraft: CAP-230, CAP-231, CAP-231EX, CAP-232.
The rest is legend...
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