Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Caproni Bergamaschi Ca 135

Caproni Ca.135 – Peru

A medium bomber designed at Bergamo, the Caproni Bergamaschi Ca 135 was not allocated a type number in the Caproni Bergamaschi Ca 300 series as it was to have been built at Caproni's main Taliedo factory. However, the project was retained at Ponte San Pietro and the prototype, completed in early 1935, was flown for the first time on 1 April. Powered by two 800-hp (597-kW) Isotta Fraschini Asso XI RC radial engines, the Ca 135 was of mixed construction, with a stressed-skin forward fuselage and a wood- and fabric-covered welded steel-tube rear section, the wing being a metal and wood structure with fabric and wood covering. Production Ca 135s had three-blade metal propellers instead of the two-blade wooden propellers of the prototype. Some 14 aircraft, designated Ca 135 Tipo Spagna (Spanish type), were ordered by the Regia Aeronautica in 1936, these having 836-hp (623-kW) Asso XI RCAO engines, and Breda turrets in nose, dorsal and ventral positions, the dorsal and ventral turrets being retractable.

Maximum take-off weight had risen to 18,497 Ib 90 kg-) from the prototype's 16,2261b (7360 kg) , and despite the increased power maximum speed dropped from 248 mph (400 km/h) to 227 mph (365 km/h). To restore overall performance, in 1938 the Tipo Spagna aircraft had Fiat A.80 RCA1 or Piaggio P.XI RCAO radials installed, each rated at 1,000 hp (746 kW). The Piaggio-engined version was the more successful and, redesignated Ca 135 P.XI, it was given revised engine cowlings, a refined nose section and a Caproni Lanciani dorsal turret. Unsuccessful in a May 1938 Imperial Japanese Army air force competition, in which the Fiat BR.20 was preferred, the Ca 135 P.XI was ordered by the Hungarian air force, which flew about 100 aircraft with the German Luftflotte IV against the Soviets. The last example was retained by Caproni and modified by the incorporation of a dihedral tailplane and 1,400-hp (1044-kW) Alfa Romeo 135 RC.32 Tornado radial engines which increased the maximum speed of this Ca 135bis Alfa to more than 298 mph (480 km/h). Peru also procured the Ca 135, an initial order for six examples with 815-hp (608-kW) Asso XI RCA5 engines being followed by a contract for 32 aircraft designated Ca135 Tipo Peru (Peruvian type) which had 900-hp (671-kW) Asso XI RCAO engines in modified cowlings, as well as revised gun positions. Final variant was the single Ca 135 Raid which, built to the order of Brazilian pilot de Barros, was powered by 986-hp (736-kW) Isotta Fraschini Asso engines and provided with additional fuel capacity for extended range. While attempting a flight from Italy to Brazil during 1937, de Barros and the Ca 135 Raid disappeared over North Africa.

    * Ca.135 Tipo Spagna : Seven aircraft fitted with Fiat A.80 RC.41 engines for service in Spain.
    * Ca.135 P.XI : Medium bomber version, powered by two 746 kW (1,000 hp) Piaggio P.XI RC 40 radial piston engines.
    * Ca.135 Tipo Peru : Export version for Peru, six aircraft fitted with two 671 kW (900 hp) Isotta-Fraschini Asso XI R.C.40 Spinto engines.
    * Ca.135 bis/Alfa : Single aircraft fitted with two 1,044 kW (1,400 hp) Alfa Romeo 135 RC 32 Tornado radial piston engines.
    * Ca.135 Raid : Special long range version, fitted with extra fuel tanks. One built.
Ca.135 P.XI
General characteristics
    * Crew: 4 (sometimes 5)
    * Length: 14.4 m (47 ft 3 in)
    * Wingspan: 18.8 m (61 ft 8 in)
    * Height: 3.4 m (11 ft 8 in)
    * Wing area: 60.0 m² (645.86 ft²)
    * Empty weight: 6,050 kg (13,340 lb)
    * Max takeoff weight: 9,550 kg (21,050 lb)
    * Powerplant: 2× Piaggio P.XI-RC40 14-cylinder radial engines, 746 kW (1,000 hp) each

    * Maximum speed: 440 km/h (273 mph) at 4,800 m (15,750 ft)
    * Cruise speed: 350 km/h (217 mph)
    * Range: 2,600 km (1,244 mi)
    * Service ceiling: 6,500 m (21,325 ft)
    * 3 × 12.7 mm (0.5 in) dorsal Breda-SAFAT machine guns in nose, dorsal, and ventral turrets.
    * 1,600 kg (3,527 lb) internal bomb load.

Ca.135 Tipo Peru
General characteristics
    * Crew: ?
    * Length: 14.4 m (47 ft 3 in)
    * Wingspan: 18.8 m (61 ft 8 in)
    * Height: ? (?)
    * Wing area: 60.0 m² (645.86 ft²)
    * Powerplant: 2× Isotta Fraschini Asso XI R.C.40 Spinto 14-cylinder radial engines, 671 kW (900 hp) each
    * Maximum speed: 400 km/h (248 mph) at 4,000 m (13,123 ft)
    * Stall speed: 109 km (68 mi)
    * Range: 2,090 km (1,298 mi)
    * Take-off run 350 m (1,148 ft)
    * Landing distance (brake-assisted): 300 m (984 ft)

    * Engine rated power is at 4,000 m (13,123 ft); engine rated power at sea level is 559 kW (750 hp) each
    * Maximum speed at sea level: 355 km/h (220 mph)
    * Stall speed is minimum speed at 500 m (1,640 ft)
    * Range figure is maximum range at economic cruising speed with 1,600-kg (3,527-lb) bomb load at 4,500 m (14,763 ft); normal operational range at that altitude was 1,170 km (727 miles).
    * Included 2 × 12.7 mm (0.5 in) dorsal Breda-SAFAT machine guns in dorsal and ventral turrets.
    * 2,000 kg (4,409 lb) internal bomb load.

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