Caproni Ca.73

The Caproni Ca.73 was an Italian airliner produced during the 1920s which went on to serve as a light bomber in the newly independent Regia Aeronautica. It was an inverted sesquiplane with a biplane tail and two engines mounted in a push-pull configuration within a common nacelle mounted on struts in the interplane gap above the fuselage. The two pilots sat in an open cockpit, while ten passengers could be accommodated within the fuselage.

Caproni Ca.73 airliner
Role Airliner, later used as a bomber
Manufacturer Caproni
First flight 1925

The publication of General Giulio Douhet's seminal treatise on strategic bombing Il dominio dell'aria (The Command of the Air) in 1921 had left Italy's military planners acutely aware of a lack of this capability. Established as a separate service in 1923, the Regia Aeronautica relied upon World War I-vintage Caproni Ca.3 bombers, and a replacement was soon sought. The immediate solution was to repurpose the Ca.73 as a warplane by adding a gunner's position in the nose, dorsally, and ventrally amidships. Bombs were carried on external racks on the fuselage sides.

Ca.73s remained in frontline service until 1934, and from 1926 onwards participated in Italy's military actions in North Africa.


  • Ca.73 – airliner powered by Isotta Fraschini Asso 500 engines
    • Ca.73bis – airliner powered by Lorraine-Dietrich engines
    • Ca.73ter (later redesignated Ca.82) – bomber version with gun positions and fuselage bomb racks
    • Ca.73quarter (later redesignated Ca.88) – bomber with revised control systems and strengthened airframe
      • Ca.73quarterG (later redesignated Ca.89) – bomber with glazed nose, underwing bomb racks, and retractable ventral gun turret
    • Ca.74 (later redesignated Ca.80) – version powered by Bristol Jupiter engines
  • Ca.80 – the Ca.74 redesignated
    • Ca.80S – air-ambulance and paratroop transport version
  • Ca.82 – redesignated Ca.73ter
  • Ca.88 – redesignated Ca.73quarter
  • Ca.89 – redesignated Ca.73quarterG


Military operators

 Kingdom of Italy

Specifications (Ca.73)

General characteristics

  • Crew: two pilots
  • Capacity: ten passengers
  • Length: 15.10 m (49 ft 7 in)
  • Wingspan: 25.00 m (82 ft 0 in)
  • Height: 5.60 m (18 ft 5 in)
  • Wing area: 143.0 m2 (1,539 ft2)
  • Empty weight: 3,400 kg (7,496 lb)
  • Gross weight: 5,390 kg (11,883 lb)
  • Powerplant: 2 × Isotta Fraschini Asso 500, 373 kW (500 hp) each


  • Maximum speed: 180 km/h (112 mph)
  • Endurance: 3 hours
  • Service ceiling: 4,600 m (15,080 ft)


See also

Related lists


  • Taylor, Michael J. H. (1989). Jane's Encyclopedia of Aviation. London: Studio Editions. pp. 232–33.
  • World Aircraft Information Files. London: Bright Star Publishing. pp. File 891 Sheet 09.
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