The Caproni Ca.36 represented the definitive model in the C-bomber series debuted in 1914 as the C.31. The Ca.36 was a tremendous asset to allied operations against Germany and the Austro-Hungarian Empire and were put into action as quickly as Italy declared war. Surprisingly, the system survived in limited numbers long enough to be used for a time by Mussolini in the opening salvos of Italian involvement in World War 2.
At its core, the Ca.36 was a three-engine biplane bomber of wood and fabric construction. The 1914 Ca.31 appeared with 3 x Gnome rotary type engines with the improved Ca.32 following a year later. The Ca.32 sported three FIAT brand engines of 100 horsepower and were of the water-cooled in-line variety. These particular models were pressed into action almost immediately against Austrian targets. As the was progressed, Gianni Caproni produced an improved C-bomber in the form of the Ca.33 which featured Isotta-Fraschini powerplants. The Ca.34 and Ca.35 were proposed but never produced variants that tried to seat the pilots in tandem in a central nacelle position.
The culmination of the C-series came about with the arrival of the Ca.36 which featured a sectioned wing assembly that could be taken apart into five pieces for easier storage. Armament of this type consisted of 2 x FIAT-Revelli machine guns of 6.5mm or 7.7mm caliber. As a heavy bomber, the Ca.36 could carry an impressive payload of up to 1,764 pounds of ordnance. The Ca.36S represented an air ambulance conversion model while the Ca.36M (or "mod") was a model designed to simplify wartime production.
Operators - as well as producers - of the bomber included Italy, the United Kingdom, France and the United States of America. Other proposed or slightly developed variants of the C-series included the Ca.37 prototype of a two-seat dedicated ground attack bomber, a seaplane derivative in the Ca.39 and the Ca.56a - which were remanufactured wartime Ca.3 bombers for use as civilian passenger transports.
Production 275 Units
Caproni - Italy
Kingdom of Italy; France; United Kingdom; United States
- Ground Attack
36.25 ft (11.05 m)
74.61 ft (22.74 m)
12.14 ft (3.7 m)
5,071 lb (2,300 kg)
8,378 lb (3,800 kg)
(Showcased weight values pertain to the Caproni Ca.3 (Ca.36) production model)
3 x Isotta-Fraschini V.4B engine delivering 150 horsepower each.
85 mph (137 kph; 74 kts)
15,892 feet (4,844 m; 3.01 miles)
372 miles (599 km; 323 nm)
413 ft/min (126 m/min)
(Showcased performance values pertain to the Caproni Ca.3 (Ca.36) production model; Compare this aircraft entry against any other in our database)
2 x 6.5mm OR 7.7mm FIAT-Revelli machine guns
Up to 1,764lb of bombs
(Showcased armament details pertain to the Caproni Ca.3 (Ca.36) production model)
Ca.34 - Proposed Production Model; pilots in tandem seating.
Ca.35 - Proposed Production Model; pilots in tandem seating.
Ca.36 - Removable wing portions for improved storage of system.
Ca.36M - Post-War Model; refined production techniques.
Ca.36 mod - Post-War Model; refined production techniques.
Ca.36S - Air Ambulance Model
Ca.37 - Single Prototype Ground Attack Model; seating for two personnel.
Ca.39 - Proposed Seaplane Variant
Ca.56a - Civilian Passenger Transport Airliner Conversion Models.
* Ribbons not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective campaigns/operations.
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