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Caproni Ca.3

Kingdom of Italy (1917)

Detailing the development and operational history of the Caproni Ca.3 Heavy Biplane Bomber Aircraft.

 Entry last updated on 5/31/2017; Authored by Staff Writer; Content ©

  Caproni Ca.3  
Picture of Caproni Ca.3 Heavy Biplane Bomber Aircraft
Picture of Caproni Ca.3 Heavy Biplane Bomber Aircraft

The Ca.36 was the definitive Italian bomber design by the end of World War 1.

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.

Any available statistics for the Caproni Ca.3 Heavy Biplane Bomber Aircraft are showcased in the areas immediately below. Categories include basic specifications covering country-of-origin, operational status, manufacture(s) and total quantitative production. Other qualities showcased are related to structural values (namely dimensions), installed power and standard day performance figures, installed or proposed armament and mission equipment (if any), global users (from A-to-Z) and series model variants (if any).
Caproni Ca.3 (Ca.36) Specifications
National Flag Graphic
Kingdom of Italy
Year: 1917
Type: Heavy Biplane Bomber Aircraft
Manufacturer(s): Caproni - Italy
Production: 275
Supported Mission Types
Ground Attack
Close-Air Support
Airborne Early Warning
Electronic Warfare
Aerial Tanker
Passenger Industry
VIP Travel
Business Travel
Special Forces
Crew: 4
Length: 36.25 ft (11.05 m)
Width: 74.61 ft (22.74 m)
Height: 12.14 ft (3.70 m)
Empty Weight: 5,071 lb (2,300 kg)
MTOW: 8,378 lb (3,800 kg)

Installed Power
3 x Isotta-Fraschini V.4B engine delivering 150 horsepower each.

Standard Day Performance
Maximum Speed: 85 mph (137 kph; 74 kts)
Maximum Range: 372 mi (599 km; 323 nm)
Service Ceiling: 15,892 ft (4,844 m; 3.01 mi)
Rate-of-Climb: 413 ft/min (126 m/min)

2 x 6.5mm OR 7.7mm FIAT-Revelli machine guns

Up to 1,764lb of bombs

Operators List
Kingdom of Italy; France; United Kingdom; United States

Series Model Variants
• 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.

Supported Weapon Systems
Graphical image of an aircraft medium machine gun
Graphical image of an aircraft conventional drop bomb munition

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