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Kyushu J7W


Posts : 192
Join date : 2017-02-18
Location : East Coast USA

PostSubject: Caproni_Ca.311   Sun Feb 19 2017, 12:35

Another salvaged from the past.

This was an unusual aircraft, at least for me. I have not seen one in 1/48 so this resurrected model will fill a needed gap. Not sure why I made it the color I did when it was first built. It appears that I attempted to paint the German bombers built in the same time frame some sort of camo so perhaps the instructions showed this color scheme.
This is an Italerikit , NUMBER 113 from the 70's and for some reason I put the fasces roundels on the fuselage side as well as the top and bottom of the wings. ( see the lead picture of the Ashes thread). Not sure what I was thinking there. Embarassed

I tried to remove those with some long soaking in warm water and then using masking take to try to pull them off with mixed success. I started doing more damage to the paint and as these are relatively quick fixes rather than strip down to bare plastic rebuilds, I put on a white fuselage band. The perspex framing was not painted so I used the closest match I had and then added some clumsy field mottling to attempt to detract from the contrast. Of course the fuselage band is out of place due to the need to cover the remaining roundel pieces, but, between friends, lets just call them unsanctioned field modifications after too much new years eve vino. Smile I saw a few examples with fuselage banding and wing tip markings and figured give it a go. Fixed the tail wheel and a few other odds and ends. Like most of the other old kits the radio hoop is missing.

The bomb bay and cockpit was fairly detailed but my picture really does not show it well. I seems to have put some effort into aircrew in those days. I hate doing that now as they are so small. I like this little aircraft. I would have not have wanted to have been one of the crew on the Russian front using it in ground attack with all that glass. The aircraft had some interesting history you can read below.

Caproni Ca.311

Role Reconnaissance bomber
Manufacturer Caproni
First flight April 1939
Number built 335

The Caproni Ca.311 was a light bomber-reconnaissance aircraft produced in Italy prior to and during World War II. It was a member of the large family of Caproni designs derived from the Ca.306 airliner prototype of 1935, and more directly a modification of the Ca.310 bomber. As with other related types, it was a low-wing cantilever monoplane of conventional design. This particular design incorporated the Ca.310's retractable main undercarriage, as well as the heavily glazed nose that had been tested on the Ca.310bis prototype. New features included a relocation of the dorsal turret to a position immediately aft of the cockpit, and additional glazing throughout the fuselage.

From 1940, this aircraft began to replace the IMAM Ro.37 in service, completing this process the following year. The defensive armament was quite basic and insufficient included one 7.7mm machine gun placed in the ventral position, one 7.7mm machine gun in a revolving turret just behind the cockpit which was to be used for rear and side protection and one 7.7mm machine gun was placed in the wing mounted on the left side close to the cockpit wall for low level strafing. It had a bomb load of 400kg (880ld) and had basically well conceived aerodynamic features and was equipped with Piaggio 470 hp engines. These proved to be only powerful enough for the prototypes with out armament and bomb load, but caused problems for mass-produced fully equipped units, which included armament. Further failures resulted from the glass structure of the cockpit; these were eliminated by redesigning the cockpit profile. Similar changes were made to the two related aircraft the CA 313 and 314.

The plane first saw limited service in 1940 with armed patrols of the French border and in the early African campaign, where they were assigned to the 129th Squadron. In spite of the inadequate performance of the engines and insufficient armament they distinguished themselves in numerous actions. In Greece & North Africa the following squadrons were added where they conducted armed recon, antisubmarine, convoy escort and ground attack with groups 61 , 65, 66 68 and 69. The Ca.311 gave the majority of it service in North Africa, but supply issues combined with crew casualties, illness and effective RAF air strikes destroyed or damaged many aircraft. The units were invlved all the way to El Alamein.

Yugoslavia used them in the Balkans and some were later taken over by Croatian forces based around Mostar and used in anti partisan activities where the Italian also used them in Albania against partisan forces and for ASW operations in the Adriatic. . In Russia, thanks to the ability of their brave crews they flew ground attack and armed recon in the worst of conditions around Stalino and Tudora. The units sent to Russian in 1941 included the 34th 119th and 128th squadrons. Having taken part on many fronts, the CA 311 reached the end of the war still in action with Flying Schools in various areas.

In a contract finalized during January of 1940 prior to Italy joinng the war there was to be a delivery of some 400 Ca.310 series aircraft to Britain, the Italian Air Ministry included 100 Ca.311 in place of the 200 Ca.210. These aircraft were to be delivered in disassembled form to an airfield near Marseilles, assembled and then flown to Britain. The Germans knew of the order and in 3/40 signaled their approval for the contract to go ahead despite the fact that Germany and Britain were at war. Six weeks later however, the Germans changed their minds and requested the Italian authorities to halt implementation of the order.
Faced with this German embargo, Count Caproni (who was anti-German) arranged for the aircraft to be delivered to Britain via a front organization in Portugal, but less than four weeks later Italy entered the war on the German side and all further work ceased on the British order. The Italians were about to sell 300 Reggiane 200 to the RAF as well when the war broke out.

This pic shows the stinger and the bottom of the drop down seat. Not as badly exposed as the poor gunner in the JU-86 but still scary. The pic below shows the proper placement of the fuselage band.

Ca.311 - Twin-engined reconnaissance bomber aircraft.
Ca.311M (Modificato - "Modified") - version with less glazing

The original national air markings had three fasces, they symbolised the three holders of power in the Italian state, King, Parliament, and the Fascist Party. "In the 1920s, Italian Fascism, adapting aesthetic elements of ancient Rome, attempted to portray itself as a revival of its Roman imperial past by adopting the fasces for its symbol, as an emblem of the increased strength of the individual fascis when bound into the entire bundle. The fasces, which consisted of a bundle of rods tied around an axe, were an ancient Roman symbol of the authority of the civic magistrates, and the symbolism of the fasces suggested strength through unity: a single rod is easily broken, while the bundle is very difficult to break.

Independent State of Croatia
• Zrakoplovstvo Nezavisne Države Hrvatske
Kingdom of Italy
• Regia Aeronautica - 284 aircraft [1]
Kingdom of Yugoslavia
• Yugoslav Royal Air Force
• SFR Yugoslav Air Force - Postwar.

Specifications (Ca.311)
General characteristics

• Crew: 3
• Length: 11.74 m (38 ft 6 in)
• Wingspan: 16.20 m (53 ft 2 in)
• Height: 3.69 m (12 ft 1 in)
• Wing area: 38.4 m2 (413 ft2)
• Empty weight: 3,460 kg (7,630 lb)
• Gross weight: 4,822 kg (10,630 lb)
• Powerplant: 2 × Piaggio Stella P.VII C.35 7-cyl. radial engines, 350 kW (470 hp) each
• Maximum speed: 307 km/h (191 mph)
• Range: 1,600 km (1,000 miles)
• Service ceiling: 7,400 m (24,300 ft)
• 1 × fixed, forward-firing 7.7 mm (.303 in) Breda-SAFAT machine gun in port wing
• 1 × 7.7 mm (.303 in) Breda-SAFAT machine gun in dorsal turret
• 1 × flexible, rearward-firing 7.7 mm (.303 in) Breda-SAFAT machine gun in ventral hatch
• 400 kg (880 lb) of bombs

Two very good books on the subject of the Regia Aeronautica. They are out of print but can still be found. Courage Alone is especially good. They were the sources for some of my data . The rest was wikipedia and other web pages.

If you score a victory but lose your wingman, you lost the battle.
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