Ca.309 file photo [5358]

Ca.309 Ghibli

Primary RoleTransport
Maiden Flight1 April 1937


ww2dbaseThe Ca.309 Ghibli ("Desert Wind") twin-engine transport aircraft were designed by Caproni engineer Cesare Pallavicino in 1936, intended to be used in Italian North Africa as a reconnaissance aircraft with some light bombing capability. Subsequently, several variants were built, designated Ca.310 through Ca. 314. Starting in 1938, about 1,000 units of all variants were built. For the most part, the only two major differences between the variants were the choice of engine and the shape of the nose. They were of a mix construction with steel, wood, and fabric.

ww2dbaseIn 1938, several Ca.310 Libreccio ("Southwest Wind") aircraft were sold to Norway and Hungary. They were considered largely ineffective. In Jul 1938, 16 Ca.310 aircraft were sent to Spain to participate in the Spanish Civil War on the side of the Nationalists. Seeing that the first batch of aircraft were so unreliable, Norway demanded the rest of the order to be changed to Ca.312 aircraft with upgraded engines, but the Ca.312 aircraft were not delivered due to the German invasion of Norway in 1940. Before Italy entered WW2 in 1940, Ca.313 aircraft were sold to the United Kingdom and France, though similar to the Norway situation, the aircraft were not delivered. They were also sold to Yugoslavia and Peru. In late 1939, because of the start of the European War, Sweden found that the still-neutral Italy became the sole source for purchasing aircraft. 84 Ca.313 aircraft, among others, were delivered to Sweden. They were designated B 16A in the Swedish air force. Because Ca.313 aircraft were not considered reliable, Sweden began phasing them out as soon as 1941.

ww2dbaseIn the early phases of WW2, Italy used Ca.309 Ghibli (and variants) aircraft in their intended transport and light bomber roles in North Africa. After the Axis defeat in the Desert War, remaining aircraft were withdrawn to Italy to be used as transports.

ww2dbaseThe German Luftwaffe ordered 905 aircraft to be used as trainers, but only a few were delivered.

ww2dbaseThe last Ca.309 Ghibli aircraft was retired in 1948 from the Italian Air Force.

ww2dbaseSource: Wikipedia.

Last Major Revision: Dec 2007


Ca.309 Ghibli
MachineryTwo Alfa Romeo 115-II engines rated at 390hp each
Armament2x7.7mm forward fixed Breda SAFAT machine guns, 1x7.7mm dorsal Breda SAFAT machine gun, up to 330kg of bombs
Span16.20 m
Length12.85 m
Height3.04 m
Wing Area38.70 m²
Weight, Empty1,960 kg
Weight, Loaded2,930 kg
Speed, Maximum250 km/h
Service Ceiling4,250 m
Range, Normal1,050 km

Ca.310 Libreccio
MachineryTwo Piaggio P.VIII C.35 engines rated at 470hp each
Armament2x7.7mm forward fixed Breda SAFAT machine guns, 1x7.7mm dorsal Breda SAFAT machine gun, up to 450kg of bombs
Span16.20 m
Length12.20 m
Height3.52 m
Wing Area38.70 m²
Weight, Empty3,050 kg
Weight, Loaded4,650 kg
Speed, Maximum365 km/h
Speed, Cruising285 km/h
Service Ceiling7,000 m
Range, Normal1,690 km

MachineryTwo Isotta Fraschini Delta R.C.35 I-DS liquid-cooled inverted-V engines rated at 730hp each
Armament1x7.7mm forward fixed Breda SAFAT machine gun, 1x7.7mm dorsal Breda SAFAT machine gun, 1x7.7mm ventral Breda SAFAT machine gun, up to 400kg of bombs
Span16.65 m
Length11.80 m
Height3.70 m
Wing Area38.90 m²
Weight, Empty4,072 kg
Weight, Maximum5,672 kg
Speed, Maximum430 km/h
Service Ceiling8,500 m
Range, Normal1,700 km

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