Caproni CA-165

1st Flight 1938
The Caproni Ca.165 was an Italian biplane fighter developed just before World War II, but produced only as a prototype, as the competing Fiat CR.42 Falco was selected for series production.
Caproni CA-165
Although known for three-engine heavy bombers, Caproni had a long history with fighters, starting in 1914 with an interceptor monoplane with a single machine gun, and a monoplane.
This was innovative for its time, but it had also no success, as had almost all the fighters proposed in the next decades.
Caproni CA-165
Many types of machines were developed by Italian industries prior to World War II, and some were produced at least in limited numbers, but this would not be the case with the Ca.165, a biplane fighter proposed for a fighter contest.
In February 1938, it flew for the first time as prototype.
Caproni CA-165
The Ca.165 had a mixed construction.
The fuselage was framed in steel with a skin of light alloys, while the wing was built out of wood with fabric skin.
Caproni CA-165
Finally, the tail was metallic, also covered in fabric.
The Ca.165 had a narrow fuselage featuring an enclosed cockpit.
Caproni CA-165
The undercarriage was fixed with spatted wheels.
A unique feature of the Ca.165 was the retractable radiator, which the pilot could deploy for optimum performance, or retract depending on the flight conditions: completely open in climbs, or closed in level flight and dives.
Caproni CA-165
In this way, it was similar to the Morane-Saulnier M.S.406.
When deployed, the radiator significantly increased the drag on the aircraft, but increased engine performance and reliability.
The engine was a V-12 671 kW (900 hp) Isotta Fraschini L.121 R.C.40 driving a three-bladed Alfa Romeo electric propeller.
Top speed was around 465 km/h (289 mph) at 5,350 m (17,550 ft) with a 10,000 m (32,810 ft) ceiling.
The range was relatively small, around 672 km (418 mi). Dimensions were 8.1 m (26.6 ft) length, 9.3 m (30.5 ft) height, 2.8 m (9.2 ft) wingspan, 21.4 m2 (230.3 ft2) wing surface.
The weight was 1,855/2,435 kg (4,090/5,368 lb), with 570 kg ( lb) of payload.
After several modifications, the Ca.165 had the tail surface augmented and the aft fuselage lowered to fit a canopy with 360° visibility.
Specifications
Crew: 1
Length: 8.1 m (26 ft 7 in)
Wingspan: 9.3 m (30 ft 6 in)
Height: 2.8 m (9 ft 2 in)
Wing area: 21.4 m2 (230 sq ft)
Empty weight: 1,855 kg (4,090 lb)
Max takeoff weight: 2,435 kg (5,368 lb)
Power plant: 1 × Isotta Fraschini L.121 R.C.40 V-12 liquid-cooled piston engine, 671 kW (900 hp)
Propellers: 3-bladed constant-speed propeller
Performance
Maximum speed: 450 km/h (280 mph, 240 kn) at 4,999 m (16,400 ft)
Cruise speed: 378 km/h (235 mph, 204 kn)
Stall speed: 114 km/h (71 mph, 62 kn)
Landing speed: 110 km/h (68 mph; 59 kn)
Range: 672 km (418 mi, 363 nmi)
Service ceiling: 10,000 m (33,000 ft)
Wing loading: 113 kg/m2 (23 lb/sq ft)
Armament
Guns: 2 × 12.7 mm (0.5 in) machine guns
Credits-
Italian Civil and Military Aircraft 1930-1945-Jonathan Thompson
Aeroplani Caproni: Gianni Caproni and His Aircraft, 1910-1983–Rosario Abate, Gregory Alegi, Giorgio Apostolo
Wikipedia

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