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Caproni Ca.331 Raffica

The Caproni Ca.331 Raffica was an Italian reconnaissance aircraft/light bomber/night fighter.

In response to a 1938 Italian Air Ministry requirement for a new tactical reconnaissance aircraft with combat capability, Ing Cesare Pallavacino of the Caproni company’s Caproni Bergamaschi subsidiary began the design of the Ca.331 O.A. (O.A. standing for Osservazione Area, Italian for “Area Observation”), also designated Ca.331A, in October 1938.

It was innovative for Caproni in being of all-metal construction.

The Ca.331 O.A. prototype, a twin engine low wing monoplane with an unstepped cockpit and glazed nose, had duralumin stressed skin on both its fuselage and wings, and its wings were of an inverted gull-wing configuration.

It had two Isotta Fraschini Delta RC.40 engines rated at 574 kilowatts (770 horsepower) each.

The aircraft employed a three-man crew of pilot, observer/gunner and radioman/gunner, and was armed with four 12.7-millimeter (0.5-inch) Breda-SAFAT machine guns, two of them in fixed mounts in the wing roots firing forward, one in a dorsal turret, and one in a ventral mount.

The Ca.331 O.A. also had a bomb bay capable of carrying up to 1,000 kilograms (2,205 pounds) of bombs and four external bomb racks under its wings.


Caproni Ca.331 O.A. / Caproni Ca.331A

Tactical reconnaissance aircraft/light bomber prototype (one built)

Caproni Ca.331 C.N. / Caproni Ca.331B

Night fighter prototype





11.7412 m (38 ft 6.25 in)


16.4021 m (53 ft 9.75 in)


3.2068 m (10 ft 6.25 in)

Wing area

38.50 m2 (414.4 sq ft)

Empty weight

4,599 kg (10,140 lb)

Gross weight

6,800 kg (14,992 lb)


2 × Isotta Fraschini Delta IV piston inverted air-cooled V-12 piston engine, 630 kW (840 hp) each


Maximum speed

505 km/h (314 mph, 273 kn) at 5,303.5 m (17,399.9 ft)


1,600 km (994 mi, 864 nmi)

Service ceiling

8,090 m (26,550 ft)

Time to altitude

3,999 m (13,120.1 ft) in 9 minutes 35 seconds



Original armament

6 x 12.7 mm (0.5 in) Breda-SAFAT machine guns in the stepped “solid” nose.

2 x 12.7 mm (0.5 in) Breda-SAFAT machine guns machine guns in dorsal and ventral defensive positions.



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