Special Hobby 1/72 Caproni Ca.311M
Reconnaissance/Light Bomber
by Jean Barby

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In 1936 Caproni began producing twin-engine reconnaissance aircraft. Five main models were designed and built, and these fine aeroplanes became the Italian Air Force's most common all-round aeroplanes. A total of 1,693 aircraft were built.

All the aeroplanes were designed by Cesare Pallavicino. The first was the Ca 309 'Ghibli' (Desert Wind). It was a small twin-engine low-wing aircraft. The structure and covering were composite. The aeroplane carried three machine guns and could carry about 650 pounds (294 kg) of bombs. Power was provided by a pair of 195 hp Alfa Romeo 115 air-cooled in-line engines. The aeroplane was widely used in Africa, and in 1942 it went into service over Italy in secondary roles.

The Ca 310 'Libeccio' (Southmost Wind) appeared in 1937. It had the general form of its predecessor, but was a better aeroplane. It had more powerful engines (470 hp Piaggio P.VII), the structure was modernized, and the under-carriage was made retractable. This model also had an intensive career, and was also a commercial success - the model was exported to Yugoslavia, Hungary, Norway, and to some South American countries.

The next model was the Ca 311, which appeared in 1939. It was basically a transition model. The Ca 311 differed from its predecessor in the lines of the forward section of the fuselage and the large side windows, designed to provide a maximum of visibility for the observer. This aeroplane was used for reconnaissance, replacing the Meridionali Ro 37 and was used extensively on all fronts. Two observation groups in Russia were equipped with the aeroplane, which also performed other duties on that front. The 311M (Modificato) featured a different nose design with a stepped windscreen and was slightly longer as a result.

The final model, the Ca 313, appeared in 1940. It was slow in coming out, chiefly because of delays in preparing the new Isotta-Fraschini Delta engines, which were the main new feature of the Ca 313. The Deltas generated 700 hp (the Piaggio radial had provided 470 hp) and were in-line engines, so the nose of the aeroplane became smaller, with a consequent improvement in aerodynamics. A total of 215 Ca 313s were built, while 425 were built in the improved Ca 314 model. Armament was improved: the 7.7 mm guns were replaced by 12.7 mm ones. The Ca 314 could also carry incendiary bombs or ordinary bombs, up to 1,100 pounds (498 kg), as well as a torpedo. An attack model was also developed with a two-wing housing for a 12.7 mm machine gun.

This aeroplane was used constantly on all fronts. After the 1943 armistice most of the surviving aircraft went south to join the Allies, and some aircraft were still in service in the 1950s. The Ca 313 and 314 were also exported, mainly to Sweden. About 90 313s went into service with the Swedish Flygvapnet. Special models of the 313 and the 314 were built for Germany, and France also acquired the aircraft.


Giallo Mimetico 3 + Verde Mimetico 3 with Grigio Mimetico under-sides. Special Hobby have done a real nice job on the Caproni, full interior, inside and outside masks for the clear parts, the half fuselages are molded in transparent plastic. Not easy to have the camo done in 72nd as I do not built in that scale for a long time. But that was for a very good friend, soooooo! Enjoy.

Technical Data

Aircraft: Caproni-Bergamaschi Ca.311M
Manufacturer: Caproni Aeronautica Bergamasca
Type: Reconnaissance
Year: 1939
Engine: Two Piaggio P.VII RC 35, 7-cylinder radial, air-cooled, 470 hp each
Wingspan: 53 ft 1 in (16.20 m)
Length: 39 ft 8 1/2 in (12.10 m)
Height: 12 ft 1 in (3.69 m)
Weight: 10,645 lb (4,822 kg) (Loaded)
Maximum Speed: 226 mph (365 km/h)
Ceiling: 24,280 ft (7,400 m)
Range: 990 miles (1,600 km)
Armament: 3 machine guns; 880 lb (400 kg) of bombs
Crew: 3

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