Aviation of World War II

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Caproni Ca.602
  • Training aircraft
  • First flight: 1940
  • Caproni

The Ca.602 owes its appearance to a competition announced by the DGCA and Regia Aeronautica on August 30, 1938. Then an acrobatic aircraft with high flight characteristics was required, on which military pilots could learn aerobatics. It was assumed that an aircraft of this level should have performed all aerobatics without any restrictions, mainly at altitudes up to 1000 meters.

A special commission was formed, which made changes to the technical specifications at least twice (September 5, 1938 and October 11, 1939) and only on March 21, 1940, the requirements were finally formulated, one of the conditions of which was the use of Isotta Frascini engines "Beta" (6-cylinder, 280 hp) or CAN D.VIII (8-cylinder, 300 hp). As the main prize, the winning company received an order for a large batch of aircraft.

Six companies participated in the competition, presenting the following fighter designs: Caproni-Vizolla CV.3, Caproni-Taliedo Ca.214, CANSA FC.11, IMAM Ro.71, Breda Ba.92 and Caproni-Predappio Ca.602. The first three immediately left the race, and the remaining ones were awarded an order for the construction of prototypes. It should be noted that not all companies fulfilled the requirement for engines, having included the Isottap Frascini "Gamma" (Ca.214) and Piaggio P.VIIZ (Ba.92) in the project.

Ca.602 was considered one of the favorites. It was a two-seat biplane of mixed design equipped with an Alfa Romeo 115 engine with a two-blade propeller with a diameter of 2 meters. The fuselage of the aircraft was made of steel tubes and had a fabric covering; the two-spar wing was made entirely of wood and covered with plywood. The chassis was made non-retractable.

In July 1940, the prototype Ca.602 entered testing at the research center in Guidonia. In parallel with this, the company developed a single-seat version of the aircraft, designated Ca.603.

Crew 2
Wing span, m 6.60
Wing area, m² 52.43
Length, mм 8.05
Height, m 2.45
Weights, kg
Empty weight 469
Gross weight 728
1 × PE Alfa Romeo 115, power hp 1 × 215
Maximum speed, km/h 275
Cruise speed, km/h 240
Service ceiling, m 7,000


Caproni Ca.603
  • Training aircraft
  • First flight: 1940
  • Caproni

As soon as the Ca.602 prototype entered testing at the research center in Guidonia in July 1940, engineer Raffaele Confienti set about refining the aircraft. After modernization, the wing span was reduced by 1.60 m, the cabin for the co-pilot was dismantled, the length of the fuselage was reduced to 6.37 m, and the tail unit was completely redesigned. The aircraft received the new designation Ca.603 and military registration code MM.430. Military trials took place from November 22 to December 20, 1940 and ended quite successfully. The pilots spoke well of the flight capabilities of the Ca.603, although after replacing the propeller the alignment of the aircraft was somewhat disturbed, which resulted in a slight deterioration in flight stability. But in other respects he had no equal.

Perhaps the Ca.603 could have become the best of the acrobatic training aircraft, but the leadership of the Regia Aeronautica, greatly concerned about the build-up of military aviation, did not bother to issue an order for the serial construction of the Ca.603. To save the plane in October 1942, it was offered to the Hungarian military mission, although without any success. As a result, the aircraft remained in a single copy and in May 1942 was transferred to the disposal of the 3rd Independent Air Group, located at the Rome-Centocelle airfield. Until July 21, 1943, the Ca.603 was still on the balance sheet of the Italian Air Force, but after this date, traces of the aircraft are lost.

Crew 1
Wing span, m 8.90
Wing area, m² 24.60
Length, mм 6.37
Высота самолета, м 2.72
Weights, mг
Empty weight 580
Gross weight 840
1 × ПД Alfa Romeo 115, power hp 1 × 185
Maximum speed, km/h 2675
Cruise speed, km/h 220
Service ceiling, m 5,800
Photo Description
Ca.603 Drawing Ca.603


  • Acrobatic fighter Caproni Ca.603 /Andrey Krumkach./
  • Caproni Ca.602 /Aerei Italiani - Scheda Tecnica./
  • Aeroplani Caproni : Gianni Caproni and His Aircraft , 1910-1983 /R. Abate, G. Alegri, G. Apostolo./