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Italy's Caproni Bergamaschi Ca.331 reconnaissance

Photos

  • Caproni Bergamaschi Ca.331B night fighter

 

Design

Construction

The construction of the Caproni Bergamaschi Ca.331 was all metal with a stressed skin structure.

Prototype

On August 31, 1940, the Ca.331 Raffica (squall) flew for the first time at Guidonia. The prototype was able to go 300 mph at 16,750'.

Production

The Caproni Bergamaschi Ca.331B night fighters were ready for production at Ponte San Pietro, Reggio Emilia, and Trento in September 1943 but with Italy's surrender and Germany deciding not to proceed with production the project was dropped.

Variants

  • Ca.331:
  • Ca.331A: Light reconnaissance bomber. Transparent nose.
  • Ca.331B: Night fighter. Solid stepped nose.

Usage

Germany Interested

In 1942 a Ca.331 prototype was tested at Rechlin after a German group was impressed by its performance. Aluminum was scarce so the Ca.331 was never produced for the Luftwaffe.

Specifications

  Prototype
Type Light Reconnaissance Bomber
Crew  
Engine (Type) 2: Fraschini Delta R.C.40
Cylinders In Line
HP 770 each
Cooling Air
  Ca.331A
Type Light Reconnaissance Bomber
Armament  
Wing Roots 2: 12.7 mm SAFAT
Turret - Dorsal - Caproni Lanciani 1: 12.7 mm SAFAT
Turret - Ventral 1: 7.7 mm
Bombs 2,200 lb
  Ca.331B
Type Night Fighter
Engine (Type) 2: Fraschini Delta IV
HP 840 each
Dimensions  
Span 53' 9.75"
Length 38' 6.5"
Height 10' 6.25"
Wing Area 414.4 sq ft
Weight  
Empty 10,140 lb
Loaded 14,992 lb
Performance  
Speed at 17,400' 314 mph
Speed - Cruising 280 mph
Climb to 13,120' 9 minutes 35 seconds
Service ceiling 26,550'
Range 994 miles
Armament  
Nose 6: 12.7 mm SAFAT
OR 2: 12.7 mm
4: 20 mm Mauser
OR 6: 20 mm Ikaria
Dorsal 2: 12.7 mm
Ventral 2: 12.7 mm
Bombs 2,200 lb
OR 1: 1,100 lb
OR 1: 137 gallon fuel tank
Under Wing - Bombs 2: 220 lb
OR 2: fuel tanks

Sources:

  1. Italian Civil and Military Aircraft 1930-1945, Jonathan Thompson, 1963
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site