|Caproni Ca.73 airliner|
|Role||Airliner, later used as a bomber|
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.
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.