Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Caproni Bergamaschi Ca 310 series

Developed in parallel with the Ghibli, the Caproni Bergamaschi Ca 310 Libeccio (south west wind) was structurally similar to the earlier machine, but was provided with retractable landing gear and powered by two 470-hp (350-kW) Piaggio P.VII C.35 radial engines. The prototype, which was flown for the first time on 20 February"1937, had two 460-hp (343-kW) P.VII C.16 engines. A total of 161 production Ca 310s was delivered to the Regia Aeronautica between 1937 and 1939, including 10 destined originally for Romania. Export deliveries went to Norway (4), Peru (16) and Yugoslavia (12), and this last nation also acquired 12 more under the designation Ca 310bis; this variant, built at Caproni's Taliedo factory, differed primarily by having an unstepped extensively-glazed nose. The designation Ca 310 Idro applied to an experimental civil version with twin floats, but this did not enter production.

The prototype of the Ca310bis served as a development aircraft for the following Ca 311; the first of 320 built for the Regia Aeronautica was flying on 1 April 1939. As built they were similar to the Ca 310bis, but most were later modified by the introduction of a stepped windscreen, then being redesignated Ca 311M. Defensive armament of this version comprised a Caproni Lanciani turret with a single 7.7-mm (0.303-in) machine-gun, complemented by one machine-gun in the port wing root and another firing aft through a ventral hatch. Yugoslavia ordered 15 Ca 311s, of which five were delivered to the Royal Yugoslav air force in 1941 and 10 to the Croatian air force in 1942. These were followed by the Ca 312, for which the original Ca 310 prototype and one production example served as development aircraft, powered by 650-hp (485-kW) Piaggio P.XVI RC.35 engines with three-blade propellers. The Norwegian government ordered 15 with the designation Ca 312bis, these having an unstepped, glazed forward fuselage similar to that of the Ca 311, but the German invasion of Norway took place before they could be delivered. The Norwegian aircraft were then diverted for service with the Regia Aeronautica, as were 24 intended originally for the Royal Belgian air force. A modified Ca 310 with two Isotta-Fraschini Asso 120 IRCC 40 engines served as the Ca 313 prototype, first flown on 22 December 1939, but France had already confirmed an order for 200 of these aircraft on 1 October, followed closely by British and Sweden orders for 300 and 64 respectively. However, Italy's entry into the war prevented delivery of any of the British machines and France received only five Ca 313F models, the remainder being diverted to the Regia Aeronautica. Delivery of the first Ca 313S to Sweden was made during November 1940, and a total of 84 had been supplied by early 1941. These received the Swedish designations D 16, S 16, T 16 and Tp 16S, identifying bomber, maritime reconnaissance, torpedo bomber and transport versions respectively. Initial production aircraft were basically Ca 311s with 730-hp (544-kW) Isotta-Fraschini Delta RC.35 I-DS engines, these being identified by the designation Ca 313 RP.B.1, but a stepped cockpit was a feature of the Ca 313 RP.B.2, of which 122 were built for the Regia Aeronautica. Ca 313 production totalled 271, this including only a small number of the 905 Ca 313G communications/trainer aircraft ordered for the Luftwaffe, which were not completed because of Caproni's heavy involvement in development and production programmes.

Most extensively built version was the Ca 314, for which the first three production Ca313 RP.B.2s, with revised armament, served as prototypes. Variants included the Ca 314A or Ca 314-SC (Scorta), a convoy escort/maritime patrol aircraft, the Ca 314B or Ca314RA (Ricognizione Aerosiluranti) torpedo-bomber with a l,894-lb (900 kg) torpedo or a bombload of one l,l02-lb (500-kg) or two 551-lb (250-kg) bombs, and the ground-attack Ca 314C which carried two additional 12.7-mm (0.5-in) Breda-SAFAT machine-guns beneath the wing roots. Production of this version comprised Ca 314A (73), Ca 314B (80) and Ca 314C (134) built at Toliedo, plus 60 Ca 314Cs built at Ponte San Pietro, and a further 60 Ca 314s manufactured by AVIS at Castellamare di Stabia.

    * Ca310: Twin-engined reconnaissance aircraft.
    * Ca.310 Idro: Twin-float seaplane version.
    * Ca.310bis 

Specifications (Ca.310)
General characteristics
    * Crew: 3
    * Length: 12.20 m (40 ft)
    * Wingspan: 16.20 m (53 ft)
    * Height: 3.52 m (11.5 ft)
    * Wing area: 38.7 m² (127 ft²)
    * Empty weight: 3,040 kg (6,702 lb)
    * Loaded weight: 4,650 kg (10,251 lb)
    * Powerplant: 2× Piaggio P.VIII C.35, 350 kW (470 hp) each
    * Maximum speed: 365 km/h (227 mph)
    * Cruise speed: 285-312 km/h (177-194 mph)
    * Range: 1,690 km (1,050 mi)
    * Service ceiling: 7,000 m (22,966 ft)
    * Guns: 3 × 7.7 mm (0.303 in) Breda SAFAT machine guns (2 × 7.7 mm/0.303 in machine guns fixed forward firing mounted in the wing roots; 1 × 7.7 mm/0.303 in machine gun in a dorsal turret)
    * Bombs: up to 450 kg (992 lb)

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