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Caproni Ca.101 / Ca.102

 

capronica101


The Ca 101 appeared with various power plants as a civil transport aircraft. Characterized by a steel-tube, square-section fuselage, the Ca 101 was a high-wing strut-braced cabin monoplane, underpowered, and its payload (defen-sive armament plus 500 kg (1102 lb) of bombs, or eight passengers in a transport role, in addition to the crew of three) was modest.


It was developed originally for use by the Regia Aeronautica's colonial and night bomber squadrons, and entered service with the Stormi da Bombardamento before Italy's invasion of Ethiopia, employed on both attack and supply missions. After that campaign, it was phased out of the combat units and transferred to transport and ancillary duties. Most of those produced for military use, were powered by three 240-hp Alfa Romeo D.2 9-cylinder radial engines, driving two-blade metal propellers.


Armament consisted of a free-mounted dorsal 7.7-mm (0.303-in) machine-gun, with one or two similar guns mounted ventrally and, on occasion, two others firing through the side windows to protect it from beam attacks.


The Ca.101 D2 was powered by three 179kW Alfa Romeo D2 uncowled radial engines. Fitted with Handley Page leading-edge slats, the Ca.101s armament comprised four 7.7mm machine-guns firing from a retractable dorsal turret, a ventral bulge and lateral window ports. The bomb load was carried externally under the fuselage.
Overall production included 24 built by the Cantieri Aeronautici Bergamaschi, and some Ca 101s were still in service after Italy's entry into the Second World War. These included about 20 supplied to the Hungarian air force, with which they served as transports on the Eastern Front until 1943, in spite of the relatively low payload which could be carried.

 

capronica101-2


Also built in small numbers was a twin-engined derivative, the Ca 102, powered by a pair of 500-hp Bristol Jupiter radials. The Ca 102 quater was a variant of this with four engines mounted in tandem pairs. Although an experimental prototype only, it did serve operationally for a time with the 620 Sperimentali Bombardieri Pesanti (Experimental Heavy Bomber Squadron).


A few civil Ca.101s were flown on colonial passenger routes for several years (with various Walter, Piaggio and Alfa Romeo engines of 149-313kW).

Ca.101 D2
Engines: 3 x Piaggio "Stella VII", 275kW
Max Take-off weight: 5135 kg / 11321 lb
Empty weight: 3435 kg / 7573 lb
Wingspan: 19.7 m / 64 ft 8 in
Length: 14.4 m / 47 ft 3 in
Height: 3.9 m / 12 ft 10 in
Wing area: 61.7 sq.m / 664.13 sq ft
Max. speed: 250 km/h / 155 mph
Cruise speed: 205 km/h / 127 mph
Ceiling: 6000 m / 19700 ft
Range w/max.fuel: 1000 km / 621 miles
Crew: 3-4
Armament: 2-4 machine-guns, 500kg of bombs

 

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