Caproni Ca.309

The Caproni Ca.309 Ghibli was an Italian aircraft used in World War II. Its nickname 'Ghibli' refers to a desert wind and later served as the inspiration for animation Studio Ghibli's name.[1][2]

Role Reconnaissance
Manufacturer Caproni
First flight 1937
Retired 1948
Primary users Regia Aeronautica
Hungarian Air Force
Paraguayan Air Arm


The Caproni Ca.309 was designed by Cesare Pallavicino, based on the Ca.308 Borea transport. It was intended to replace the obsolete IMAM Ro.1 biplane, and to serve as a reconnaissance and ground-attack aircraft.

The Ca.309 was a low-wing cantilever monoplane with a piston engine fitted to each wing.

The aircraft was also produced in Bulgaria. That variant, 24 of which were built, was known as the Kaproni-Bulgarski KB 6/KB 309 Papagal.


The Ca. 309 served in Libya during the first part of World War II with the Auto-Saharan Company, with good operational results.[3]

After the loss of the African colonies the surviving planes were returned to Italy, where they were used as transports. Two Ghiblis were bought by the Paraguayan government for its Military Air Arm. They were used as transport planes from 1939 to 1945 and in that year they were transferred to Líneas Aéreas de Transporte Nacional (LATN), the Paraguayan first airline which was run by the Military Aviation. They were in active service until the early 1950s and later sold to a private Argentine owner.


 Kingdom of Italy
  • Paraguayan Air Arm (two Ca.309)
  • Líneas Aéreas de Transporte Nacional (LATN) used two ex-Paraguayan Air Arm Ca.309s


Specifications (Ca.309 production)

Data from Italian Civil and Military Aircraft 1930–1945 [6]

General characteristics

  • Crew: 3
  • Length: 13.2906 m (43 ft 7.25 in)
  • Wingspan: 16.2 m (53 ft 2 in)
  • Height: 3.04 m (10 ft 0 in)
  • Wing area: 38.7 m2 (417 sq ft)
  • Empty weight: 1,960 kg (4,321 lb)
  • Gross weight: 2,930 kg (6,460 lb)
  • Powerplant: 2 × Alfa Romeo 115-II (or 115-I) 6-cylinder inverted air-cooled in-line piston engines, 291 kW (390 hp) each
  • Propellers: 2-bladed variable-pitch propellers


  • Maximum speed: 250 km/h (160 mph, 130 kn)
  • Cruise speed: 249 km/h (155 mph, 134 kn) maximum
209 km/h (130 mph; 113 kn) economical
  • Landing speed: 84 km/h (52 mph; 45 kn)
  • Range: 671 km (417 mi, 362 nmi)
  • Service ceiling: 4,499 m (14,760 ft)
  • Time to altitude: 2,890 m (9,480 ft) in 17 minutes 30 seconds


  • Guns: 3 × 7.7 mm (.303 in) Breda SAFAT machine guns
  • Bombs: up to 330 kg

See also

Related development

    Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era

      Related lists


      1. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-09-23. Retrieved 2015-09-13.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
      2. Chen, C. Peter. "Ca.309 Ghibli Transport".
      3. Section Storia: History of the "Ghibli" in Libya during WWII (in Italian)
      4. "Caproni Ca.309 Ghibli", Ali e uomini [Wings and men] (in Italian).
      5. "Italian Air Force Aircraft Types".
      6. Thompson, Jonathon W. (1963). Italian Civil and Military Aircraft 1930–1945. USA: Aero Publishers Inc. pp. 106–108. ISBN 0-8168-6500-0.
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