Caproni Ca 310 and Ca 310bis

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Airman 1st Class
Jan 1, 2006
What was the weight unloaded of the Caproni Ca 310?

Regarding the Ca 310bis I have no information, can anybody help (crew, max speed, range, weight empty, wingspan, armament, bomb load)?


About Ca 310, I had found this sometime ago in the net, don't remember the link anymore:oops:

"Although the Ca.308 Borea civil transport and its Ca.309 Ghibli multi-role colonial warplane half-brother clearly possessed production potential in their basic forms, Cesare Pallavicino appreciated that the concept would offer greater potential in a form revised with an uprated powerplant and retractable main landing gear units. This potential would be military rather than civil, and Caproni encourage Pallavicion to evolve this more potent type in parallel with the Ca.309.

The result was the Ca.310 Libeccio that first flew in prototype form in 4/37 with an airframe that was little modified from that of the Ca.309 except for some local strengthening. The Ca.310 was therefore based on a fuselage of welded steel tube construction with a covering of light alloy panels and fabric, and this carried a simple tail unit of wooden construction with plywood skin on its fixed portions and fabric covering on its moving portions. It also had a cantilever low-set wing of plywood covered wooden construction with virtually the full span of its trailing edges occupied by outboard ailerons and inboard split flaps. Thus the only major changes were limited to the forward fuselage and the engine nacelles: the former was revised to incorporate a more effective bombardier position with heavily framed but more extensive glazing on its lower part, and the latter were revised to provide accommodation for a different powerplant and main landing gear units that were hydraulically retracted rearward to rest in the underside of the nacelles with only part of each wheel exposed.

A more modest change was the addition above the fuselage, in line with the wing trailing edges, of a manually operated dorsal turret armed with a single rifle-caliber machine gun; this signaled Caproni's realization that while the Ca.309 would not be required to face aerial opposition in colonial warfare, the Ca.310 would almost certainly face such a threat in the more advanced level of conflict for which it was planned. The uprated powerplant comprised two 430 hp Piaggio radial engines.

The Ca.310 had been planned as an export model, but the Italian air force ordered a small batch for evaluation purposes: 16 of these aircraft were sent to Spain in 7/38 for operational trials in the hands of a reconnaissance bomber squadron of the Italian expeditionary force operating alongside the Nationalist insurgents in the Spanish Civil War. Caproni was more successful in the export market, soon capturing orders for Peru for a small batch delivered in 1938; Yugoslavia for 12 aircraft; Hungary for 36 aircraft delivered in batches of 12 from 8/38-10/38 with a powerplant of two 470 hp P.VII C.35 radial engines; and Norway for a total of 24 aircraft if its full option was exercised.

Most of these countries soon discovered that the actual performance of the Ca.310 fell below the legend specification, and after discovering this fact with its first four aircraft Norway refused to accept any further deliveries of the Ca. 310, but then agreed to take 12 examples of the Ca.312 whose upgraded powerplant offered improved performance. In any event, none of these 32 aircraft had been delivered before Norway was invaded by German forces in 4/40 and the aircraft were taken on charge by the Italian air force. Hungary was also unhappy with its Ca.310s and in 1940 the surviving 33 machines were returned to Italy where they were refurbished by Caproni and reissued to the 50th Stormo d'Assalto as temporary replacements for the groups unsatisfactory Breda Ba.65 attack aircraft.

Potentially the most important customer for the Ca.310 was Great Britain, which was undertaking a major expansion of the RAF in a program that was accelerated after the Munich Crisis of 10/38. A major element in this British program was a much enlarged bomber force, and for successful implementation this required an effective crew trainer. Late in 1938 the British decided that the Ca.310 could be evolved into such a machine. Protracted negotiations continued until after the outbreak of World War II when Italy was still neutral, and in 12/39 the British government told Caproni that it was planning to buy 200 examples of the Ca.310 and 300 examples of the more powerful Ca.313, although further change followed the advent of the Ca.311, when the British decided to replace its planned force of 200 Ca.310s with 100 Ca. 311s.


Crew Three – pilot, co-pilot/bombardier/dorsal gunner and radio operator/gunner
Users Italy, Hungary, Norway, Yugoslavia, Peru, Croatia
Powerplant Two 430-hp Piaggio P.VIIC.16 radial engines
Range 1,025 miles
Typical Range 746 miles
Engine (2) 470 hp Piaggio P.VII C 35 radials
Max Speed 218-227 mph at 9,845 ft
Cruising Speed 177-194 mph at 11,485 ft
Service Ceiling 22,965 feet
Armament Two 7.7mm machine guns fixed forward firing; one 7.7mm machine gun in dorsal turret; up to 882 pounds of bombs

Article by JDG

Wings: London Blitz to Pearl Harbor
Elke Weale, Combat Aircraft of World War II, Bracken Books, 1985. "
Ok, I've found the link, (
and here is the CA310bis that apparently was renamed CA311 when ordered in service

In 1938 Caprioni flew the Ca.310bis prototype powered by P.VII RC.35 engines with a completely redesigned nose that was completely glazed and heavily framed, eliminating the previous stepped windscreen, and that was reminiscent of the Bristol Blenheim Mk I and Breguet Bre.482. The revised forward fuselage provided excellent fields of vision and, as it met the Italian Air Force's requirement for a light reconnaissance bomber with observation capability, the type was ordered into production as the Ca.311 that first flew in prototype form during 4/39 with the dorsal turret moved forward to a position immediately behind the cockpit as well as additional glazing on the upper sides of the central fuselage over the wings, on the sides of the fuselage above the wing trailing edges, and under the fuselage immediately behind the wing trailing edges.

The Ca.311 began to replace the Meridionali Ro.37 biplane in service with the Italian Air Force air observation wings from 1940, although full re-equipment did not occur until 1941. The details of the Ca.311 included a fixed armament of 3 7.7mm machine guns, and a bomb load of 882 pounds.

The sole subvariant was the Ca.311M Libeccio (modified) that reverted to a more conventional forward fuselage with a stepped windscreen. The subvariant still had extensive glazing on the nose, but the revision altered the overall length by 1 foot, 2.25 inches. Total production of the Ca.311 and Ca.311M series for the Italian air force exceeded 320 aircraft , and these aircraft served with all but two of the Italian Air Force observation air wings in theaters as diverse as North Africa and Russia.

In the contract finalized during 1/40 for the delivery of some 400 Ca.310 series aircraft to Britain, the Air Ministry included 100 Ca.311 in place of the 200 Ca.210. These aircraft were to be delivered in disassembled form to an airfield near Marseilles, assembled and then flown to Britain. The Germans knew of the order and in 3/40 signaled their approval for the contract to go ahead despite the fact that Germany and Britain were at war. Six weeks later however, the Germans changed their minds and requested the Italian authorities to halt implementation of the order. Faced with this German embargo, Count Caproni (who was anti-German) arranged for the aircraft to be delivered to Britain via a front organization in Portugal, but less than four weeks later Italy entered the war on the German side and all further work ceased on the British order.


Users Italy, Croatia
Horsepower 2) 470 hp
Range 1,181 miles
Engine (2) 470 hp Piaggio P.VII C 35 radials
Max Speed 217 mph at 13,125 ft.
Max Ceiling 22,965 ft
Bomb Load 882 lbs
Armament Two 7.7mm machine guns in the wings, one flexible 7.7mm machine gun in dorsal turret guns

Article by JDG

Elke Weale, Combat Aircraft of World War II, Bracken Books, 1977.
Chris Bishop (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Weapons of World War II, Barnes Noble, 1998.
Wings: Midway to Hiroshima cd-rom.
Hans Werner Neulen, In the Skies of Europe: Air Forces Allied to the Luftwaffe, 1939-45, Crowood Press, 2000.
The major part of the sources report an unloaded weight of 3200 Kg for the Ca 310.

The production facility.



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