Caproni

Founded in 1908 by Count Gianni Caproni, this company is famed for its large WWI aircraft suh as the legendary Ca.3 bomber. In the inter-war period its manufacturing became more diverse and grew into one of the largest group of companies in Italy, only FIAT was comparable in size.

Caproni Ca.100. A biplane based on the Tiger Moth with a short span upper wing. This feature gave it a very distinctive appearance and appeared on other Caproni biplanes. Choroszy Modelbud produce a multitude of Ca.100 kits in 1/72 scale, about 10 at the last count, covering nearly all engine types and floatplane variants. Legato also produced 1/72 & 1/48 resin kits but are OOP. GAE printed a useful mini reference source for this aircraft, but it is out of print. The top five images on the right show some of the Choroszy kits built for SAMI review.

Caproni Ca.101. This aircraft is the first of three Caproni tri-motor aircraft to see widespread use in the early years of the Regia Aeronautica. Italiankits re-released the RCR Models 1/72 resin kit at one time but is recommended for the more experienced modeller. The Fly Models 1/72 injection-moulded kit has smaller parts cast in resin and looks good enough in the box but on closer inspection is rather disappointing. It suffers from softly moulded parts, thick tail pieces and very thick trailing edges on the wing.The resin engines are poorly detailed and too small. LF Models re-released the same kit, using their own decals but no attempt was been made to rectify the kits shortcomings.

Caproni Ca.111. A variant of the Ca.101 tri-motor used for reconnaisance duties. It was powered by a single inline 18-cylinder Isotta Frascini Asso 750 R.C. engine. The Broplan 1/72 vac form kit of the Ca.111 is thought to be OOP and the only kit known of this type. Despite the relatively thin plastic and rather crude injection moulded parts it manages to capture the aircrafts distinctive functional lines.

Caproni Ca.113. A tidy looking two-seat trainer biplane with an elegant streamlined fuselage. Many records were set in various versions of this aircraft including those for altitude, distance & endurance. Planet Models have produced a nicely moulded 1/48 resin kit of this aircraft.

Caproni Ca.114. A very capable single & two seat biplane design that never made it into Regia Aeronautica service despite good performance. It matched or even exceed other biplanes of the time, such as the FIAT Cr.32. It was eventually sold to Peru. Planet Models have produced a good quality 1/48 resin kit with decals for a Peruvian aircraft.

Caproni Ca.133. A more efficient development of the Ca.101 tri-motor that saw widespread use. Its generous fuselage proportions made it ideal for the transport role although it was also used as a bomber in the early years. Aviation USK produced a 1/72 vac-form kit of this plane but has been OOP for a while now.

Caproni Ca.161. Lt. Col. M. Pezzi broke the altitude record for a piston engined aircraft back in 1937 in this very wide-span biplane which was a specially modified Ca.113. He flew a bis version a year later to reach 56,032ft, a record that still stands. Now OOP Brach Models 1/48th resin kit is highly detailed, is of excellent quality and includes a standing figure of a suited-up Mario Pezzi, complete with a separately moulded pressurised helmet.

Caproni Ca.164. A two-seat trainer complete with trademark smaller upper wing which found very limited Regia Aeronuatica use. Dujin produced a 1/72 resin kit as did Choroszy Modelbud who would be my preferred choice as seen on the sixth image to the right.

The aircraft listed below were all experimental prototypes.

Caproni Stipa. Quite possibly one the oddest aircraft ever built. A veritable "flying barrel" prototype that did actually fly, thus proving ing. Stipas bold and original 'venturi’ concept worked. It still has some relevance to modern day ducted-fan technology. Dujin released a 1/72 resin kit but will be hard to find now and will need a lot of work to correct. See the image on the right. When built and put on your display shelf it is bound to provoke some kind of reaction! The image used by Dujin on their packaging was that of a scaled down flying replica.

Caproni CH.1. A prototype biplane that showed good promise during development. Designed by ing.Chiodi, it was notable mainly for its resemblance to racing aircraft of that era. An accident cut short it and Chiodis promising career. Dujin released a reasonably good 1/72 resin kit. Issue 88 of Aerofan has a good in-depth article of this aircraft which showed that Dujin have modelled the canopy incorrectly, perhaps the only serious fault on the model. The last image on the right is the kit built for a SAMI review.

Campini-Caproni. ing. Secondo Campini joined forces with Caproni in 1940 to build his experimental jet prototype, which used a piston engine to drive the compressor. One complete aircraft is preserved at the Vigna di Valle Museum. Delta 2 produced a crude toy like 1/72 injection moulded kit of this interesting aircraft. It is OOP. So is the mini Ali d'Italia booklet, which proved just how inaccurate the Delta2 model was. Valom released a limited run injection moulded kit in 1/72 scale but, despite looking pretty good in the box, it did not match published plans. It actually looks if it is based on the Delta2 kit, which is a shame.