The Rome-Tokyo Raid

(February 14th – May 31th 1920)

Gabriele D’Annunzio is also behind the Rome-Tokyo raid, an idea he shares as from 1919 with his Japanese friend and poet Harukichi Shimoi. The event is initially founded on two formations, one consisting of five SVA9, the other on four Caproni bombers (two Ca.450, one Ca.600 and one Ca.900 triplane), piloted by WWI veterans. The Caproni take off on 8 January 1920 from Centocelle, but none of them get beyond Syria; the SVA take off on 11 March, also unsuccessfully. Then comes Arturo Ferrarin who asks to be allowed to depart followed by only one airplane. On 14 February 1920, two SVA9 biplanes lift off from Centocelle with destination Tokyo, where they land on 31 May after covering more than 18,000 km in 112 hours of flight.