The Ca.1 was a three-engine heavy bomber biplane of fabric-covered wooden construction.
It had four crew members in an open central nacelle: two pilots, a front gunner, and rear gunner-mechanic, who manned upper machine guns, standing upon the central engine in a protective cage, just in front of the rear propeller.
The Ca.1 had a tricycle landing gear.
It was a twin-boom biplane, featuring a layout that included three 67 kW (80 hp) Gnome rotary engines housed one behind the other in a central nacelle, the rearmost driving a pusher propeller, and the other two driving tractor propellers mounted on the fronts of the two booms.
Referred to by Caproni as the Caproni 260 hp and retrospectively, after the war, as the Ca.30), this design flew in a slightly modified form (later called the Ca.31) in October 1914.
Test flights revealed the power to be insufficient and the engine layout unworkable.
Caproni altered the aircraft, retaining the pusher engine in its original location and moving the other two engines to the front of the booms, directly driving the propellers.
With more powerful inline engines, the air arm of the Italian Army became interested in purchasing the Caproni 300 hp (later known as the Ca.32), which they designated the Ca.1.
The Ca.1 entered service with the Italian Army in the middle of 1915.