Caproni WW1 bombers: your ultimate guide

Luigino Caliaro examines the Italian pioneer’s 1914-18 biplane and triplane giants – and untangles their destinations

Four of the six Ca 42 triplanes ordered by the Royal Naval Air Service lined up at Ghedi. They variously used Isotta Fraschini V5 and Fiat A12bis engines.
Four of the six Ca 42 triplanes ordered by the Royal Naval Air Service lined up at Ghedi. They variously used Isotta Fraschini V5 and Fiat A12bis engines. NATIONAL ARCHIVES AND RECORDS ADMINISTRATION

 

Development

The Italian pioneer who harnessed the potential of the strategic bomber

Shortly before the outbreak of World War One, Italian aviation pioneer Gianni Caproni designed an innovative multi-engine aircraft capable of carrying a considerable bomb load to a distant target. Meanwhile, the commander of Italy’s Battaglione Aviatori, Capitano Giulio Douhet, realised that, with Caproni’s aeroplanes, he had the ideal means to develop his theories — at the time still embryonic — on the true capabilities of air assets.

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