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Caproni Ca.310 (Libeccio)

Kingdom of Italy (1938)
Picture of Caproni Ca.310 (Libeccio) Reconnaissance / Light Bomber Aircraft

The Caproni Ca.310 never proved itself an adequate military aircraft and its limited service history and production totals reflected this.


Detailing the development and operational history of the Caproni Ca.310 (Libeccio) Reconnaissance / Light Bomber Aircraft.  Entry last updated on 5/31/2017. Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com

The Caproni concern of Italy was founded in 1908 and delivered several notable designs to the Italian Air Service of World War 1 (1914-1918). The company continued its contributions to Italian aviation industry throughout the interwar years with a long line of aviation products (including airliners) in the lead-up to World War 2 (1939-1945). Engineer Cesare Pallavicino was credited with the design of a new aircraft, bestowed the "Ca.310" designation, of which a prototype made its first flight in April of 1937. The design was highly conventional and of a sleek, aerodynamically-friendly fuselage shape mounting two radial engines at the wing leading edges ()low-mounted wings) and featuring a retractable "tail-dragger" undercarriage with traditional single-finned tail unit. The type was adopted by the Italian Air Force - the Regia Aeronautica - and introduced in 1938 to be pressed into service during the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939) on the side of the Nationalists. Some sixteen aircraft served in what was essentially an evaluation period for the line. Despite its promising design, the aircraft never wholly satisfied on a military level.

During its service life, the Ca.310 carried the name of "Libeccio" meaning "Southwest Wind".

The base C.310 utilized a crew of three and featured a length of 40 feet, wingspan of 53 feet and height of 11.5 feet. The airframe showcased an empty weight of 6,700lbs with a loaded weight of 10,250lbs. Power was served through 2 x Piaggio Stella P.VII C.16/35 series radial piston engines delivering 470 horsepower each. This allowed for a maximum speed of 227 miles per hour, a cruising speed of approximately 180 miles per hour, a range of 1,050 miles and a service ceiling of 23,000 feet. The Ca.310 was capable of carrying a bomb load equal to 1,000lbs and was defensed by three machine guns. 1 x 7.7mm Breda-SAFAT medium machine gun was fitted to the dorsal turret while the remaining 2 x 7.7mm Breda-SAFAT guns were fitted one per wingroot in fixed, forward-firing mountings along the leading edges. Overall construction of the aircraft included a steel tubular frame with light metal skinning as well as fabric covering across non-critical surfaces. Wood was used at the tail section and covered in plywood and fabric.
For the life of her career, the Ca.310 was dogged by performance issues. Indeed, a Norwegian order was halted until better engine types were installed and the rest of the order fell incomplete with the arrival of World War 2. Over thirty purchased by Hungary in 1938 were returned to Caproni two years later due to underperformance. For those aircraft that fought under the banner of the Regia Aeronatica leading into, and during, World War 2, the Ca.310 was only ever utilized in the reconnaissance and bombing role. Its performance precluded its use in heavily-contested airspace and its rifle-caliber guns were relatively useless for offense or defense. Additionally, the limited bomb-carrying-capacity allowed for only light bombing sorties to be considered - all this to go along with a commitment from a three-man crew and resources being dedicated to a twin-engine aircraft. Ca.310s were used by Italian forces during the North African Campaign though they never materialized as adequate combat aircraft, eventually relegated to non-confrontational sorties when possible.

Ca.310 was used to designated the base twin-engine reconnaissance/light bomber model while Ca.310 "Idro" marked a specially-modified seaplane utilizing a twin-float arrangement. The Ca.310bis was the only other notable form of the Cz.310 line and essentially formed the prototype for the Ca.311 to follow. This version was noted for its all-glazed, contoured nose sections (non-stepped cockpit). In total, 312 Ca.310s were produced.

Beyond the Regia Aeronautica, Norway and Hungary, the Ca.310 was utilized by Croatia, Peru, Spain and Yugoslavia to various degrees. The aircraft soldiered on into 1948 before being given up for good.






Our Data Modules allow for quick visual reference when comparing a single entry against contemporary designs. Areas covered include general ratings, speed assessments, and relative ranges based on distances between major cities.

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Relative Maximum Speed Rating
Hi: 300mph
Lo: 150mph
    This entry's maximum listed speed (227mph).

    Graph average of 225 miles-per-hour.
City-to-City Ranges
NYC
 
  LON
LON
 
  PAR
PAR
 
  BER
BER
 
  MOS
MOS
 
  TOK
TOK
 
  SYD
SYD
 
  LAX
LAX
 
  NYC
Graph showcases the Caproni Ca.310 (Libeccio)'s operational range (on internal fuel) when compared to distances between major cities.
Aviation Era
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Pie graph section
Pie graph section
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Pie graph section
Useful in showcasing the era cross-over of particular aircraft/aerospace designs.
Unit Production Comparison
Comm. Market HI*: 44,000 units
Military Market HI**: 36,183 units
312
312


  * Commercial Market High belongs to Cessna 172.

  ** Military Market High belongs to Ilyushin Il-2.


Altitude Visualization
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National Flag Graphic
Origin: Kingdom of Italy
Year: 1938
Type: Reconnaissance / Light Bomber Aircraft
Manufacturer(s): Caproni - Italy
Production: 312
Global Operators:
Croatia; Hungary; Kingdom of Italy; Norway; Peru; Spain; Yugoslavia
Historical Commitments / Honors:

Military lapel ribbon for Operation Allied Force
Military lapel ribbon for the Arab-Israeli War
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Britain
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Midway
Military lapel ribbon for the Berlin Airlift
Military lapel ribbon for the Chaco War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cold War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cuban Missile Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for the Falklands War
Military lapel ribbon for the French-Indochina War
Military lapel ribbon for the Golden Age of Flight
Military lapel ribbon for the 1991 Gulf War
Military lapel ribbon for the Indo-Pak Wars
Military lapel ribbon for the Iran-Iraq War
Military lapel ribbon for the Korean War
Military lapel ribbon for the 1982 Lebanon War
Military lapel ribbon for the Malayan Emergency
Military lapel ribbon for the attack on Pearl Harbor
Military lapel ribbon for the Six Day War
Military lapel ribbon for the Soviet-Afghan War
Military lapel ribbon for the Spanish Civil War
Military lapel ribbon for the Suez Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for the Vietnam War
Military lapel ribbon for Warsaw Pact of the Cold War-era
Military lapel ribbon for the WASP (WW2)
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 1
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 2
Military lapel ribbon for the Yom Kippur
* Ribbons not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective campaigns/operations.
Measurements and Weights icon
Structural - Crew, Dimensions, and Weights:
Unless otherwise noted the presented statistics below pertain to the Caproni Ca.310 (Libeccio) model. Common measurements, and their respective conversions, are shown when possible.

Operational
CREW


Personnel
3


Dimension
LENGTH


Feet
40.03 ft


Meters
12.2 m


Dimension
WIDTH


Feet
53.15 ft


Meters
16.2 m


Dimension
HEIGHT


Feet
11.55 ft


Meters
3.52 m


Weight
EMPTY


Pounds
6,724 lb


Kilograms
3,050 kg


Weight
LOADED


Pounds
10,251 lb


Kilograms
4,650 kg

Engine icon
Installed Power - Standard Day Performance:
2 x Piaggio Stella P.VII C.16/35 radial piston engines developing 470 horsepower each.

Performance
SPEED


Miles-per-Hour
227 mph


Kilometers-per-Hour
365 kph


Knots
197 kts


Performance
RANGE


Miles
1,050 mi


Kilometers
1,690 km


Nautical Miles
913 nm


Performance
CEILING


Feet
22,966 ft


Meters
7,000 m


Miles
4.35 mi

Supported Weapon Systems:

Graphical image of an aircraft medium machine gun
Armament - Hardpoints (0):

STANDARD:
1 x 7.7mm Breda SAFAT machine gun in dorsal turret.
2 x 7.7mm Breda SAFAT machine guns in fixed, forward-firing wingroot mountings.

OPTIONAL:
Up to 1,000lbs of ordnance.
Variants: Series Model Variants
• Ca.310 "Libeccio" - Base series designation.
• Ca.310 "Idro" - Floatplane variant with twin floats.
• Ca.310bis - Streamlined/glazed nose section; becoming prototype for Ca.311 reconnaissance series.