No. 10595. Caproni Ca.316 (MM27193) Italian Air Force
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Caproni Ca.316

04/30/2011. Designed to succeed the Industrie Meccaniche e Aeronautiche Meridionali Ro.43 as a three-seat catapult reconnaissance bomber float seaplane aboard Littorio class battleships of the Italian Navy, the Ca.316 was designed by Chief Engineer Cesare Pallavicino of the Compania Aeronautica Bergamasca at Bergamo, one of the Caproni group of companies, also referred to as Caproni Bergamaschi.

The Ca.316 was a progressive development of a series of light, twin-engined multi-purpose aircraft stemming from the Ca.309 Ghibli and Ca.310 Libeccio of 1936, and was evolved in parallel with the land-based Ca.313 and Ca.314 light reconnaissance bombers.

The prototype Ca.316 was flown for the first time late on August 14, 1940 at Montecollino on Lake Iseo with moderately supercharged Piaggio P.VII C.16 seven-cylinder air-cooled radial engines rated at 430 hp for takeoff and 460 hp at 5,348 ft (1,630 m), although it was proposed that the production model would receive P.VII C.35 engines offering 500 hp for takeoff and 460 hp at 11,483 ft (3,500 m).

The Ca.316 was of mixed construction, the wing being of wood with two box spars, former ribs and plywood covering, and the fuselage was a welded steel-tube structure covered by light alloy panels forward and fabric aft. The floats were of all-metal construction, and accommodation was provided for three crew members. Provision was made for an 884 lb (400 kg) bomb load or a single torpedo, and defensive armament comprised a single 0.50 in (12.7 mm) Breda-SAFAT machinegun in the port wing root and one 0.311 in (7.9 mm) machinegun in a Lanciani dorsal turret.

The Ca.316 was extensively tested at the Vigna di Valle base by Comandante De Bernardi, but production priority was allocated to the Ca.313 and Ca.314, production plans for the floatplane being progressively postponed until they were finally abandoned in 1942. Several float seaplane variants of the land-based Ca.312 were projected during 1939-40, but these were not proceeded with.

Created April 30, 2011