B 16A - Caproni Ca 313 (1940-1943)
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 Swedish Air Force Bomber / Long Range Reconnaissance Aircraft B 16 / S 16 Caproni Ca 313

n 1936, Cesare Pallavicino, an engineer at Caproni of Italy, designed two prototypes of two-engine aircraft intended to be used in the Italian colonies in Africa. They were named Ca 309 Chibli (Desert Wind) and Ca 310 Libeccio (South-west Wind). The Ca 309 was ordered by Regia Aeronautica of Italy and used in northern Africa mostly as a combined reconnaissance- and bomb aircraft or as a six-seated transport. The more powerful Ca 310 was exported to several other countries. Further developments were designated Ca 311 - Ca 314. Around 1.000 aircraft of the variants Ca 309 - 314 were manufactured.  

At the end of 1939, the supply of any aircraft to the Swedish Air Force from manufacturers abroad became impossible. The capacity of the domestic Swedish aircraft industry was small. One exception was the still neutral Italy. When the possibility to purchase Italian aircraft arose, Sweden had to take the opportunity. The aircraft, the fighters J 11 and J 20 and the Caproni Ca 313, in Sweden designated B/S/T 16, were not what the Air Force really wanted, and the business use to be mentioned as ”the  Emergency Purchase”. As compensation, Sweden had to export important raw materials to the Italian war industry.  

84 Caproni Ca 313 were delivered to the Air Force. Of these were 30 intended as bombers (B 16A) and supplied to the newly established bomber Wing F 7 at Såtenäs. The first B 16As arrived to F 7 in October 1940.  

The B 16A was armed with two fixed wing-mounted 13 mm automatic cannons and two moveable 8 mm machine-guns. One machine-gun was mounted in a dorsal turret. The other was fitted at the underside of the fuselage, firing downward-backward. The B 16 could carry an internal bomb load of 400 kg and an external of 250-400 kg.  The crew of four consisted of pilot, radio operator/co-pilot, bombardier and mechanic/gunner.  

The aircraft was powered by two 750 hp Isotta-Fraschini Delta RC 35 engines of inverted V-type.  

The Ca 313 was not very successful as a bomber. During 1941, F 7 began to re-arm with light bombers (SAAB B 17). The Capronis were modified to long-range (”strategic”) reconnaissance aircraft (S 16) and transferred to the reconnaissance Wing F 11 at Nyköping. 

Span 16,65 m. Length 11,80 m. Height 3,70 m. MTOW 5.650 kg. Maximum speed 420 km/h.

Photos at top and below of  B 16A's from Air Force Wing F 7 at Såtenäs.


 Swedish Air Force Bomber / Long Range Reconnaissance Aircraft B 16 / S 16 Caproni Ca 313


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© Lars Henriksson

Updated 2010-07-16


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