19.2.1857 Firenze/ I - 27.2.1932 Gardone Riviera/ I
Cosimo Canovetti graduated as a civil engineer from Paris and there joined Haussmann in the modernization of the French capital. He returned to Italy in 1888 and accepted the position of city engineer of Brescia, designing its water supply and waste water systems. In parallel Canovetti had been interested in aerodynamics from the 1880s and he installed a laboratory in the tower of Brescia in 1898, where he investigated resistance coefficients of various elements. The 1899 report highlights the instrumentation used for these observations and provides basic resistance coefficients for a number of typical body geometries mainly of pyramid shape. Later, from 1902 to 1904 he collaborated with Mario Calderara, the first Italian airplane pilot and a close friend of the Wright brothers.
From 1905 Canovetti abandoned civil engineering completely and continued working exclusively in aerodynamics. He also designed a novel motor for airships with particular regard to vibrations. He also worked on a gas turbine where he succeeded in the propulsion of an early type of helicopter. This design was awarded in 1909 the Silver Medal presented during the Aviation Exposition in Milan, and in 1910 the patent. Canovetti was persuaded from the relatively low efficiency of his design and therefore made a detailed study in 1911 thereby presenting the first and currently classic theory on the tractive force of an airscrew. The perfection of the Canovetti motors greatly contributed to the success of the airships. He was finally also honored from the French Légion d'Honneur.
Canovetti, C. (1891). Influenza della velocità d'arrivo sulla portata degli stramazzi a contrazione completa. Annali della Società degli Ingegnieri e degli Architetti Italiani 6(2): 119- 133; 6(6): 419-441.
Canovetti, C. (1894). Relazione sul progetto di sistemazione della fonte e della conduttura delle acque di mompiano. Apollonio: Brescia.
Canovetti, C. (1895). Dell'acquedotto di Brescia e delle sua riforma. Gussoni: Milano.
Canovetti, C. (1899). Expériences sur le coefficient de résistance de l'air. Bulletin de la Société d'Encouragement pour l'Industrie Nationale Série 5 4: 1038-1056.
Canovetti, C. (1907). Recherches sur la résistance de l'air. 3 Congrès International d'Aéronautique Milan: 127-142.
Canovetti, C. (1912). Storia dell'aviazione. Emporium: Bergamo.
Grisi, S. (2007). Cosimo Canovetti. Personal communication. Comune: Gardone Riviera.

Hydraulicians in Europe 1800-2000 . 2013.

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