Now all roads lead to France and heavy is the tread
Of the living; but the dead returning lightly dance.
Edward Thomas, Roads

Friday, August 30, 2019

Caproni's Ca.4 Series Triplane Bombers

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Four Caproni Ca.4 Bombers on the Flight Line

One of the more distinctive large aircraft of the war, the Caproni series of triplane bombers, was actually an effective strategic weapon. Patterned along the lines of its Ca.3 series of biplane bombers, the larger triplanes of the Ca.4 series were designed to be more effective in combat. Sometimes armed with up to eight machine guns, these cumbersome bombers were capable of accurately delivering large payloads of bombs to distant enemy targets. 

Ca.4s were tested by the Italian Air Force in 1917 and began operations in 1918. They were used for attacking targets in Austria-Hungary. Although mainly used at night, they took part in daylight raids towards the end of the war. 

Of 32 Ca.42s manufactured in 1918, six of them were used by the Royal Naval Air Service. At least three CA.42s were sent to the United States for evaluation.  After the war a CA 48, converted to an airliner, crashed at Verona, Italy.  It was Italy's first commercial aviation disaster and one of history's first.

  • Country: Italy 
  • Manufacturer: Società di Aviazione Ing. Caproni 
  • Type: Heavy Bomber 
  • First Introduced: 1918 
  • Number Built: 32 
  • Engine(s): 3 Isotta-Fraschini, V-6, liquid cooled in-lines, 270 hp [190kW](Later versions were equipped with the Liberty engine, which increased their air speed.) 
  • Wing Span: 98 ft 1 in 
  • Length: 42 ft 11¾ in 
  • Height: 20 ft 8 in   
  • Gross Weight: 14,793 lb  
  • Max Speed: 78 mph  
  • Ceiling: 9,842 ft  
  • Endurance: 7 hours 
  • Crew: 4 
  • Armament: four to eight  Revelli 6.5 machine guns
  • Bomb Load: 3,197 lb [1,450 kg] 

Sources: Century of Flight;  Wikipedia

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