Azur 1/72 Caproni-Bergamaschi Ca.310
Libeccio (Southwest Wind)
by Jean Barby


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A parallel development of the Ca 309 GhibIi, the Ca 310 Libeccio (Southwest Wind) was a higher-powered, more advanced version with retractable landing gear. The engines were 430/470 h.p. Piaggio P.VII C.16/35 supercharged seven-cylinder radials. Although essentially an export machine, the Ca 310 equipped at least one Stormo at the outbreak of war replacing Breda 65's as a temporary measure.

In addition to a few civil models without the nose transparencies, military Ca 310's were built in quantity (312) equipping the air forces of Hungary (36 examples ordered although 33 were returned), Norway (ordered 24 but swapped 12 for the improved Ca.312; and operated 4 Ca 310s: MM.501, MM.503, MM.505 and MM.507), and Croatia (operated 7 captured ex-Yugoslavian machines). The Royal Yugoslav Air Force purchased 12 aircraft in 1938 and continued to operate the plane post-war in the SFR Yugoslav Air Force. Also, a number of Ca 310's found their way to Peru (purchased 16 in 1938 and used them in the July 1941 Ecuadorian-Peruvian war), and a number served in Spain with the Aviazione Legionaria and the Nationalist air force as reconnaissance aircraft. Some were later used by the Regia Aeronautica in Libya. In the III Raduno Sahariana race (1938), Ca 310's came first, second and third, piloted by Ivo de Vittembeschi, Umberto Maddalena and Giorgio Parodi.

The Ca 310 was structurally and dimensionally very similar to the Ca 309. The fuselage was slightly shorter at 40 ft. 01/4 in. Empty and loaded weights were 6,730 lb. and 10,250 lb. Although a number of Libeccios were built without armament, the standard array was three 7.7-mm. SAFAT machine guns, one flexible dorsal gun and two fixed forward-firing guns in the wing roots. Bomb load was 880 lb. Maximum speed was 218-227 m.p.h. depending on the engines and equipment, with a cruising speed of 177-196 m.p.h. and a landing speed of 65 m.p.h. The Ca 310 had a ceiling of 22,960 ft. and a range of 745-1025 miles. It climbed to 6560 ft. in 6 min. 40 sec., to 13,120 ft. in 12 min. 23 sec., and to 16,400 ft. in 15 min. 32 sec.

Additional models of the Libeccio were the twin-float Ca 310 idro and the Ca 310bis, which was the prototype of the Ca 311 production machine, featuring an all-transparent, unstepped nose.







Construction

Giallo Mimetico 3 + Verde Mimetico 3 with Grigio Mimetico under-sides. Typical Special Hobby (Azur) late production kits have really improved over earlier ones. All three models I built (310, 311 and 311M) were for a customer, so I send you some pics before she’s gone to Finland!



Technical Data

Aircraft: Caproni-Bergamaschi Ca.310
Manufacturer: Caproni Aeronautica Bergamasca
Type: Reconnaissance/Light Bomber
Year: 1937
Engine: Two Piaggio P.VII RC 35, 7-cylinder radial, air-cooled, 470 hp each
Wingspan: 53 ft 10 in (16.40 m)
Length: 40 ft 01/4 in (12.20 m)
Height: 10 ft 6 in (3.20 m)
Weight: 10,472 lb (4,750 kg) (Loaded)
Maximum Speed: 227 mph (365 km/h)
Ceiling: 19,685 ft (6,000 m)
Range: 1,050 miles (1,690 km)
Armament: 3 machine guns 7.7mm Breda-SAFAT; 880 lb (400 kg) of bombs
Crew: 3

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August, 2017
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