Caproni Ca.316: Italy's little big floatplane

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Introduction: The Italians have a long history of developing seaplanes, and are considered to be experts in this field. Today’s suggestion covers one which is relatively unknown; the Caproni Ca.316.

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Description: The Ca.136 can trace its origin from a requirement for a three-seat, catapult-launched reconnaissance floatplane to replace the venerable Ro.43. The aircraft was intended to be used as a spotter plane from the largest of Italy’s capital ships, though the aircraft could also carry offensive armament. Caproni based their design from the Ca.310. The aircraft was of mixed construction, with the wings being made of wood, and the fuselage comprising of welded-steel tubes and a light alloy cover, or fabric over the rear. Defensive armament consisted of a single 0.50in (12.7mm) Breda-SAFAT machine gun in the port wing root, and a 0.311in (7.9mm) machine gun in a dorsal turret. Provision was also made for 884lb (400kg) of bombs, or a single torpedo. The prototype first flew on August 14th, 1940, at Lake Iseo. The aircraft was tested extensively at Vigna di Valle, and a production order was given, but progress was slow on the project, as the Ca.313 and 314 were given more importance. Despite this, the Royal Yugoslav Navy reportedly ordered six aircraft, but they were never delivered before the German invasion of the country, and its subsequent collapse and occupation. Tragedy struck when the third prototype crashed, further delaying the project. It was found that the Ca.316 faced issues when operating from ships, and thus it was relegated to shore-based training, which it did at the Osservazione Marittima flight school until 1943. A total of 14 aircraft would be produced.

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Performance:

Spoiler

General characteristics

Crew: 3
Length: 12.89 m (42 ft 3 in)
Wingspan: 15.87 m (52 ft 1 in)
Height: 5.11 m (16 ft 9 in)
Wing area: 38.0 m2 (409 ft2)
Empty weight: 4,000 kg (8,820 lb)
Gross weight: 4,804 kg (10,590 lb)
Powerplant: 2 × Piaggio P.VII radial engine, 460 kW (343 hp) each

Performance

Maximum speed: 328 km/h (205 mph)
Range: 1,600 km (1,000 miles)
Service ceiling: 6,000 m (19,680 ft)

SECOND PART
TECHNICAL DATA AND CHARACTERISTICS
Technical data
Wingspan
111
15,900
Maximum length.
m
12,897
Max height
5,440
Total load-bearing surface (including the fuselage part).
m
38,00
Surface of an aileron
m
1,595
Surface of an air brake
m
1,765
Mobile floor surface.
Drift surface
Surface of the fixed tail plane
Steering wheel surface
Empty weight of the airplane
Useful load.
Total weight
Surface load Pt/st.
Weight per unit of power
m
4,010

2,80
m"
1,20
m
2,31
Kg
3360,900
Kg 1443,400
Kg 4804,300
Kg/m³ 127
Kg/C.V. 5,23
DATA RECORDED BY THE EXPERIMENTAL CENTER
Empty weight
Kg 3360,900 (According to the most recent
Rules for load distribution)

Armament

1 × 7.7 mm (.303 in) Breda-SAFAT machine gun
400 kg (882 lb) of bombs

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Conclusion: The Ca.316 is one of those aircraft about which very little is known, and thus, it does not get much attention. However, it was quite an ambitious aircraft for its time, being one of the few twin-engine catapult-launched floatplanes to be built. It is also quite an attractive little machine, which frankly deserves its position amongst the other Italian seaplanes in game. Special credits go to @Alphanoodle for making the suggestion on the old forums, from which I got most of the sources.

Sources:

Spoiler

Caproni Ca.316

Уголок неба ¦ Caproni Ca.316

https://www.aeronautica.difesa.it/2023/10/12/caproni-ca-316_/

Caproni Ca.316 - RC Groups

Google Books

Caproni Ca.316

Caproni  Ca

4 Likes

love me some floatplanes

3 Likes

A goober! +1

4 Likes

+1. could be a nice BR 1.0 bomber.

2 Likes

Yes +1.

1 Like

A nice reserve/1.0 bomber. +1

2 Likes

u might want to check the engine power because u might have inverted the kW and hp in the calculator to get those numbers, 1 kW = 1.34048 hp so it is impossible for the kW to be higher than the hp

other than that, an absolute +1, Italy needs to have floatplanes and i still do not understand why gaijin keeps on ignoring em

2 Likes

im surprised no one caught the typo in this suggestion

Thanks for that. Unfortunately English language sources are limited for many Italian aircraft, so I had to go off of what I had at hand. Thankfully, I was messaged by @ImportantSimone5 with some Italian sources which should hopefully fix that, as they seem to be primary sources.

4 Likes