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Caproni AP.1

Fighter-Bomber Aircraft

Caproni AP.1

Fighter-Bomber Aircraft

OVERVIEW
SPECIFICATIONS
ARMAMENT
VARIANTS
HISTORY
MEDIA
OVERVIEW



Poor performance eventually led to the Caproni AP.1 being replaced within the Regia Aeronautica.
National Flag Graphic
ORIGIN: Kingdom of Italy
YEAR: 1936
MANUFACTURER(S): Caproni - Italy
PRODUCTION: 86
OPERATORS: El Salvador; Kingdom of Italy; Paraguay
SPECIFICATIONS



Unless otherwise noted the presented statistics below pertain to the Caproni AP.1 model. Common measurements, and their respective conversions, are shown when possible.
CREW: 2
LENGTH: 30.64 feet (9.34 meters)
WIDTH: 42.68 feet (13.01 meters)
HEIGHT: 9.84 feet (3 meters)
WEIGHT (EMPTY): 4,277 pounds (1,940 kilograms)
ENGINE: 1 x Alfa Romeo 126 RC.34 radial piston engine developing 780 horsepower.
SPEED (MAX): 216 miles-per-hour (347 kilometers-per-hour; 187 knots)
RANGE: 932 miles (1,500 kilometers; 810 nautical miles)
CEILING: 21,325 feet (6,500 meters; 4.04 miles)




ARMAMENT



STANDARD:
2 x 7.7mm Breda-SAFAT general purpose machine guns in wings.
1 x 12.7mm Breda-SAFAT heavy machine gun in rear trainable cockpit mounting.

OPTIONAL:
Up to 1,102lbs of munitions.
VARIANTS



Series Model Variants
• Ca.301 - Prototype Designation; two examples completed.
• Ca.305 (AP.1bis) - Initial Production Example Designation.
• Ca.307 - Second Production Example Designation
• Ca.308 - Export aircraft for Paraguay Air Force; at least seven examples.


HISTORY



Detailing the development and operational history of the Caproni AP.1 Fighter-Bomber Aircraft.  Entry last updated on 5/31/2017. Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com.
A pair of Ca.301 prototypes served as the basis for a new Italian attack aircraft. The original design sported a low-set monoplane wing arrangement, fixed landing gear legs and a single-seat cockpit held well-forward on the fuselage. The radial piston engine was mounted at the extreme front end of the design. From the outset, the Ca.301 was intended as a fighter and proved an adequate design attempt but she was later revised to incorporate a second crewmember and provisions for bombs in the fighter-bomber role. Construction was of metal and wood, incorporating a few modern features such as a streamlined shape, three-bladed propeller and low monoplane wings while retaining several old ones including use of an open air cockpit and fixed landing gear. At this stage in military aviation, there was a concerted move towards all-metal aircraft and the Ca.301 design stood as something of an "in between" effort. The first of the two, twin-seat prototypes was made airborne on April 27th, 1934 with a period of evaluation following. The type was accepted into service by the Italian Air Force (Regia Aeronautica) - which netted some 36 production forms in its first order - and the C.305 was formally introduced into operational service in 1936.

The Caproni AP.1 was crewed by two personnel with the pilot in the forward cockpit and an observer in a rear cockpit. The aircraft featured a fuselage length of 30 feet, 8 inches, a wingspan of 42 feet, 8 inches and a height of 9 feet, 10 inches. Power was derived from a single Alfa Romeo brand 126 RC.34 series radial piston engine of 780 horsepower. This supplied the aircraft with a top speed of 216 miles per hour, a range of 935 miles and a service ceiling of approximately 21,300 feet. Armament was a mixed affair and unimpressive, made up of a pair of 7.7mm Breda SAFAT machine guns (fixed forward in the wings) and a 12.7mm heavy machine gun (trainable in the rear cockpit). Up to 1,100lbs of external stores could be carried and primarily centered around conventional drop bombs.




Caproni AP.1 (Cont'd)

Fighter-Bomber Aircraft

Caproni AP.1 (Cont'd)

Fighter-Bomber Aircraft



Early service satisfied the Regia Aeronautica enough for it to secure procurement of a second batch of aircraft to be known under the designation of Ca.307. These were, however, modified with a few requirements set forth by the Regia Aeronautica that included the installation of a more powerful engine for improved performance. The Caproni AP.1 eventually made up four total flight groups encompassing eight total squadrons. The South American nations of Paraguay and El Salvador both utilized the type to some degree in their respective air arms as well but none in greater numbers than the Regia Aeronautica. Those sold to Paraguay were designated by Caproni as the "Ca.308".

At the time of the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939) over the Iberian Peninsula between the Republicans and the Nationalists, Italy fielded the Caproni AP.1 in some numbers alongside German mounts. The Germans, in particular, used the battleground as a precursor to the upcoming global war of which Italy would soon become a part. However, the battlefield had advanced at such a quickening pace since the early 1930s that the AP.1 was soon shown to be outmatched by various enemy types it faced off against in the Spanish conflict (a fate faced by many-an-Italian aircraft in World War 2). Her old-school, new-world design approach also ensured that she made a poor gunnery platform in air-to-air duels. Her value was more so in her bomb delivery forte and even then the mount proved limiting. As such, the combat history of the AP.1 was rather short in length and disappointing, ultimately left to the pages of military aviation history and nothing more.

Some 86 AP.1s were believed to have been produced by Caproni.




MEDIA









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 (216mph).

    Graph average of 225 miles-per-hour.
City-to-City Ranges
NYC
 
  LDN
LDN
 
  PAR
PAR
 
  BER
BER
 
  MSK
MSK
 
  TKY
TKY
 
  SYD
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  LAX
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  NYC
Graph showcases the Caproni AP.1'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
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
86
86

  * Commercial Market High belongs to Cessna 172.

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


Altitude Visualization
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Supported Roles
A2A
Interception
UAV
Ground Attack
CAS
Training
ASW
Anti-Ship
AEW
MEDEVAC
EW
Maritime/Navy
SAR
Aerial Tanker
Utility/Transport
VIP
Passenger
Business
Recon
SPECOPS
X-Plane/Development
A2A=Air-to-Air; UAV=Unmanned; CAS=Close Support; ASW=Anti-Submarine; AEW=Airborne Early Warning; MEDEVAC=Medical Evac; EW=Electronic Warfare; SAR=Search-Rescue