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Caproni Ca.135


Ca.135 Tipo Spagna

Designed in mid- 1934 by Ing Cesare Pallavicino, the Ca 135 was a mid-wing, twin-tailed monoplane. The prototype, powered by two 836-hp Isotta-Fraschini Asso XI RC 40 engines, was built by Caproni-Bergamaschi and flew for the first time on April 1, 1936.

Carrying a four-man crew, the Ca 135 was armed with a single 12.7-mm (0.5 in) Breda-SAFAT machine-gun in the nose, another in a ventral position, and one or two similiar guns in a Breda dorsal turret.

The Isotta-Fraschini Asso XI RC 40 was retained for the initial production version, and 32 were delivered to the Regia Aeronautica's 330 and 340 Gruppi Bombardied from June 1938, and a further six (known as Tipo Peru) to the Peruvian air force in 1938-39.

The Regia Aeronautica Ca 135s were employed chiefly as bombing trainers, but those of the Hungarian air force (delivered in 1940-41) were used for bombing attacks in the Balkan campaign during the latter part of 1941, and on the southern part of the Eastern Front during the following year.

The maximum bombload, carried internally, amounted to 1862 kg (4105 lb) on the Ca 135 Asso, reducing to 1600 kg (3527 lb) on the Fiat and Piaggio-engined versions. Two torpedoes could be carried instead of bombs.

Eight examples were completed of the Ca 135 S (Tipo Spagna), which differed in having 1000-hp Fiat A.80 RC 41 engines. These were intended for the Italian Legion fighting in the Spanish Civil War, but the first three were lost during delivery and the remaining five were delivered to the Regia Aeronautica.

The principal production version was the Ca 135 bis, of which 68 were ordered with 1000-hp Piaggio P.Xl RC 40 radial engines: 32 for the Regia Aeronautica and 36 (designated Ca 135 bis U) for the Hungarian air force. All 68 went to Hungary, the Regia Aeronautica making good the deficiency by having 32 Asso-engined Ca 135s refitted with the Piaggio engines. Total production amounted to 115, includ-ing the prototype.

Ca.135 bis
Span: 18.80 m (61 ft 8.25 in)
Length: 13.70 m (44 ft 11.5 in)
Gross weight: 9500 kg (20944 lb)
Maximum speed: 428 km/h (266 mph)


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