three-engined bomber appeared in 1914, powered by three Gnome rotary
engines. The production version, equipped with three 100 hp fixed
in-line Fiat A 10 engines entered service in the summer of 1915, and it
was the most effective bomber of any air force, excluding the Russian
The same model remained in production throughout the war, first in its
350 version (with two Fiats and one Isotta Fraschini engine) and then
as the Ca 450 hp, with three Isotta Fraschini V.4B 180 hp engines.
Several hundreds were built, and it equipped bomber squadrons 1 to 15
(of which 11a Squadriglia operated in Albania, and 12a Squadriglia in
Lybia, while 3a, 14a and 15a were sent to France in 1918) and 201a
Squadriglia of the Naval Aviation with single examples going to home
All designations such as Ca.31, Ca.32 etc. are spurious post-war
reconstructions: this bomber was exclusively called Ca 450 hp or Ca.3.
The first models had a three-men crew, formed by two pilots and an
observer-gunner in the nose, but all later Capronis had a fouth crew
member, a gunner who operated from a turret rising above the central
Its production was scaled down in 1918, but as its successor, the Ca.5
600 hp, proved a failure, it was hurriedly put back in production in
the Savigliano plant. The last version was the ca.3 Modificato, with
folding wings, that was even reintroduced in production in 1923, some
150 of them being produced for the Regia Aeronautica and serving in
bomber units until 1927, 13 years after its initial flight.
Many Caproni were used at Foggia for the instruction of American
pilots, who also used it operationally, with extreme distinction,
flying in Squadriglie 1a, 2a, 4a, 5a, 6a, 7a, 8a, 9a and 10a.
Entered service: summer of 1915
Engines: 3 Isotta Fraschini V.4B 180 hp
Length: 11.05 m
Height: 3.85 m
Empty Weight: 2,650 kg
Loaded Weight: 3,650 kg
Maximum Speed: 37 km/hr.
Wing Span: 22.74 m
Ceiling: 4,100 m
Endurance: 4 h 45 min