Caproni Ca.101

Caproni Ca.101

__NOTOC__ infobox Aircraft
name = Ca.101
type = Transport/bomber
manufacturer = Caproni

caption =
designer = Rodolfo Verduzio
first flight = 1928
introduction =
retired = 1939
status =
primary user = Regia Aeronautica
more users =
produced =
number built =
unit cost =
developed from =
variants with their own articles =

The Caproni Ca.101 was an Italian airliner which later saw military use as a transport and bomber. It was designed in 1927 and first flown in 1928.

Design and development

The Ca.101 was a derivative of the Caproni Ca.97, with an enlarged airframe, which increased the payload from 574 kg to 800 kg. This made the payload 20% of the maximum weight, compared to only 9% for the Ca.74G, which was heavier, smaller and inferior in performance.

Initially planned as a civil airliner, it was soon converted to the bomber/transport role. The aircraft was a typical 1920's design. It had three engines, one in the nose and one under each wing, high wings and a fixed undercarriage. The fuselage, of quadrangular cross-section, was made of steel tubes covered with fabric, as were the wings and tail. The floor was made of wood.

Initially fitted with the 200 hp Armstrong Siddeley Lynx driving a two-bladed metal propeller 2.88 m in diameter. The 1,200 litre fuel tank was located in the upper part of the central fuselage. Fuel was fed to the engines by means of copper pipes. All three engines had 44 litres of oil in a tank located behind the engine. The compressed air and fire extinguisher systems were also centrally located.

A variety of engines were used, sometimes with a composite layout: Piaggio P.VII (370 hp), Alfa Romeo Jupiter (420 hp), and other models of 240 hp and 270 hp.

Exports of the Ca.101 were made to Australia, China and Paraguay. Hungary bought twenty aircraft for use as air-mail aircraft.

The Ca.101bis, designed for use in Italy's colonies, was slightly larger (56 m² wing area, 19.7 m span and 13.54 m length) and heavier than the original model. It had an empty weight of 3,000 kg, and a payload of 1,986 kg.

It was fitted with a Alfa Romeo Jupiter in the nose, and a Armstrong Siddeley Lynx under each wing, giving it over 800 hp in total. The ceiling was improved to 5,500 m, but the greater drag and weight reduced the maximum speed to 205 km/h, and the endurance to only six hours.

The D2 version, was produced replacing the motors with three more powerful Alfa Romeo D.2 motors. In operations in Eritrea, they guaranteed good performance in the tropics. From the opening of the hostilities in East Africa in 1935, various versions of the Ca. 101 came used for all the conflict, carrying out tactical support missions for the infantry and bombing. The D.2 version, in particular, operated with the 14th Bomber Flight "Hic Sunt Leones" and 15th Bomber Flight "La Disperata" of the 4th Bombers Squadon.

A further development was the Ca.102, with the original airframe, but only two Bristol Jupiter engines, fitted with four-blade propellers, delivering 1,000 hp. This greatly enhanced the performance of the aircraft, almost to the level of three-engined Ca.133. It had a maximum speed of 234 km/h, ceiling of 6,000 m, payload of 1,800 kg and an empty weight of 2,500 kg. The Ca.102 carried an additional 600 litres of fuel in a mid-fuselage tank under the passenger seats.

The removal of the engine in the nose made the aircraft more aerodynamic, improved visibility for the pilots, and allowed the fitting of four machine guns. Its long slim nose, housing the bomb-sight, gained it the nickname "Pinocchio".

An interesting development was the Ca.102quater, a four-engined variant, with two engines on each wing, one facing forwards, the other backwards, all with two-blade propellers. Only one model was built, as performance was unimpressive.

Operational service

The Regia Aeronautica ordered 72 Ca.101 and 34 Ca.102. These aircraft served with 8 and 9 Wing (Ca.102) and 7 Wing (Ca.101).

Though the Ca.102 was more advanced, only the Ca.101 served in the Second Italo-Abyssinian War. Though vulnerable to small-arms fire, the aircraft proved generally effective. The Paraguayan Ca.101's also saw action in the Chaco War. Several were also used as airliners, flying from Italy to Africa.

In 1939 the Regia Aeronautica retired their Ca.101's. The Ca.102's were apparently retired before that, possibly because the twin-engine layout gave less overall reliability.


* Ca.101 - Production model
** Ca.101"bis" - Slightly larger and with more powerful engines designed for colonial service.
* Ca.102 - Ca.101 airframe with two Bristol Jupiter engines.
** Ca.102"quater" - Ca.102 with four engines (1 built)

Military operators


pecifications (Ca.101)

met or eng?= met
crew=Three (pilot, co-pilot, gunner/observer)
capacity=8 soldiers "or" 4 wounded "or" 1,500 kg (3,300 lb) of cargo
length m=13.5
length ft=44
length in=4
span m=18.8
span ft=61
span in=8
swept m=
swept ft=
swept in=
rot number=
rot dia m=
rot dia ft=
rot dia in=
dia m=
dia ft=
dia in=
width m=
width ft=
width in=
height m=3.6
height ft=11
height in=10
wing area sqm=52
wing area sqft=560
swept area sqm=
swept area sqft=
rot area sqm=
rot area sqft=
volume m3=
volume ft3=
aspect ratio=
empty weight kg=2,450
empty weight lb=5,390
gross weight kg=3,950
gross weight lb=8,690
lift kg=
lift lb=
eng1 number=3
eng1 type=Alfa Romeo licence-built Armstrong Siddeley Lynx
eng1 kw= 149
eng1 hp= 200
eng1 kn=
eng1 lbf=
eng1 kn-ab=
eng1 lbf-ab=
eng2 number=
eng2 type=
eng2 kw=
eng2 hp=
eng2 kn=
eng2 lbf=
eng2 kn-ab=
eng2 lbf-ab=
max speed kmh=210
max speed mph=130
max speed mach=
cruise speed kmh=
cruise speed mph=
range km=1,000
range miles=620
endurance h=
endurance min=
ceiling m=5,000
ceiling ft=16,400
glide ratio=
climb rate ms=2.6
climb rate ftmin=512
sink rate ms=
sink rate ftmin=
armament1=2 × .303 Lewis guns in the nose and ventral position. There was sometimes a twin forward installation and a dorsal defensive turret mounted.
armament2=250 × 2 kg (4.4 lb) or 40 × 12 kg (26.4 lb) bombs carried internally.


* Lembo, Daniele, "Ca.101/102", Aerei Nella Storia magazine, Westward editions, n.42 pagg.23-29.

External links

* [ Virtual Aircraft Museum]
* [ Airwar 1939-1945 - Italské letectvo - Caproni Ca.101] Illustration

ee also

Caproni Ca.97 -
Caproni Ca.111
similar aircraft=Ford Trimotor - Fokker F.VII
sequence=← Ca.98 -
Ca.99 -
Ca.100 - Ca.101 - Ca.102 -
Ca.103 -
Ca.104 -
Ca.105 →
* List of aircraft of Italy, World War II
see also=

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