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Raffaele Riva

Raffaele Riva was born on February 27th, 1858, during a period of intense industrial growth and economic expansion for Italy. The country had become one of Europe’s largest producers and exporters by 1850 due to its raw materials, such as coal and iron ore.

As a result of the expansion in industry, Italian workers were forced to labor in unsafe conditions, and Italian cities experienced drastic increases in population. The expansion estimated that Milan’s population tripled between 1855 and 1875 due primarily to immigration from rural areas. This increase caused the growth of housing concerns within the city, leading to the development of dwellings such as La Carmella.

His achievements

  1. While teaching at Milan Polytechnic, Riva designed and constructed a steam boiler for use in a locomotive that was designated for the narrow-gauge railway of Monte Generoso. The engine became famous and was used to pull freight cars and passenger cars up the mountain from 1887 to 1929, but it had problems with ascending the mountain due to its weight.
  2. In 1890, Raffaele Riva started work in a factory of Fiat (an automobile manufacturer) as chief engineer on their first automobile designs and continued until 1901.
  3. He was responsible for designing the first internal combustion engine used in aircraft. It led to the development of a six-cylinder, water-cooled engine known as the R.1, which gave maximum power at 2,000 pm and was used in 1910 to drive a Voisin military aircraft.
  4. In the same year, he helped develop another Voisin model, the R.2, which weighed 650 kg empty and was powered by a four-cylinder engine of his design capable of producing 35 kW (47 hp).

5.Raffaele Riva also designed a six-cylinder, air-cooled engine that produced 50 kW and was used for an aircraft called the R.4 in 1911 and 1912.

Raffaele Riva contribution to the development of aviation and automotive technology is vital in his development of the first indigenous Italian automobile, a six-cylinder, four-cycle engine. See this page on LinkedIn, for additional information.


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