Flight, January 1930
THE CAPRONI Ca.79
An Italian Bombing and Torpedo Plane
CAPRONI is a name usually associated with "giant" aeroplanes, for the large Caproni triplanes, and even some of the biplane bombers constructed during the Great War by the well-known
Italian aircraft firm, were well above the average as regards overall dimensions. While this firm has, subsequently, produced small and medium-size aircraft, it has not forsaken the "big" machine, as may be gathered from the following brief description of one of their recent types, the Ca.79 - to say nothing of the Ca.6000 just completed, which is even larger.
The Ca.79, which is a multi-engined Service machine that could no doubt also be adapted for commercial work, is certainly on the large size - although, perhaps, this is not at first apparent from the accompanying photographs - being over 100 ft. in span.
It is a biplane of typical Caproni design i.e., with a large-span lower wing and a short-span upper wing. The latter, it will be noticed, is "straight" and mounted high above the boat-like fuselage to which the lower 'plane, set at a dihedral angle, is attached by way of short centre sections. Top and bottom 'planes are separated by four pairs of struts, and are of fairly thick section. Balanced ailerons are fitted to the lower 'plane only.
The Ca.79 is of metal construction (steel and duralumin) with fabric covering for the wings and part of the fuselage. The main wing spars are built up of sheet steel, and the ribs and leading edges of duralumin, while internal bracing is of steel wire and tubing. The monoplane tail 'plane is of steel tube construction, and both the vertical and horizontal stabilising surfaces are adjustable during flight; the rudder is balanced, but not the elevator.
Steel tubing is employed for the fuselage, and the forward portion is covered with sheet duralumin. The pilots' cockpit, equipped with the usual Caproni dual control, is situated at the leading edge of the lower 'plane, where an excellent view all round is obtained. In the nose is a gunner-bomber's cockpit, while at the rear of the wings is a second gunner's or observer's cockpit. A central passage in the fuselage communicates with all three cockpits, access to which is by means of two doors on the left-hand side.
The front cockpit is provided with a machine gun mounting as well as the bomb-release controls, which are electrically operated; the bombs are carried, either outside or inside the fuselage, beneath the lower wing, and comprise four 500-800 kg. bombs, or 32 of 100 kg., or torpedo. The second machine gun in the rear cockpit has a wide range of fire both vertically and sideways, while a third gun is mounted in the floor of the fuselage firing downwards and being completely retractable when not in use.
The Ca.79 is equipped with four Isotta-Fraschini "Asso" engines of 500 h.p. each. Two of these are mounted centrally in tandem on a strong cabane above the fuselage, between the top and bottom planes. The other two are mounted on the lower plane centre sections, one on each side of the fuselage and projecting a little way beyond the leading edge and driving tractor airscrews.
All four engines are extremely accessible and, we believe, easily removed for replacement or overhaul.
An exceptionally strong undercarriage, of the divided or non-axle type, is provided. It has twin wheels, each pair being carried on a well-faired V-member hinged to the lower fuselage longerons. Landing shocks are taken by a vertical shock-absorber member extending up from the wheels to the centre section front wing spar. The tail skid is steerable.
The principal characteristics of the Caproni Ca.79 are :-
Span (maximum) 108 ft. 4 ins. (33 m).
Chord 13 ft. 2 ins. (4 m).
Gap 13 ft. 2 ins. (4 m).
Overall length 53 ft.9 ins.(16-40m).
Height 23 ft. (7-01 m).
Wing area 2,367 sq. ft. (220m2).
Area of tail plane 170 sq. ft. (15-79 m2).
Area of fin 110 sq. ft. (10-22 m2).
Area of elevators 70 sq. ft. (6-50 m2).
Area of rudder 55 sq.ft. (5-11 m2).
Weight empty 14,332-5 lbs. (6,500 kgs.).
Useful load 9,922-5 lbs. (4,500 kgs.).
Total weight 24,255 lbs. (11,000 kgs.)
Weight per h.p. 12-12 lbs. (5-50 kgs.).
Wing loading 10-25 lbs./sq ft. (50kg./m2).
Speed range 56-118 m.p.h. (90-190 k.p.h.).
Climb in 40 mins. 13,100 ft. (4,000 m.).
Ceiling 15,100 ft. (4,600 m.).