Caproni Calabrone Ca-35 scratch build and evolution


Well-known member
Originally I found this concept on an artist's blog. The files title is Caproni Calabrone Ca-35. "La Dolce Vita"
The Goats bumblebee "the sweet life" according to google translate.
Caproni Calabrone Ca-35-c final.jpg

I love the scene. Prop driven forward swept big wing. exhaust from the massive motor being funneled to an after burner of sorts. A German Horton wing going down in the background. It feels like a fleshed out world. the part that bugs me is the Italians werent fighting the germans at the time of the horton 229 so I rebranded the plane the Commie comet.

In version 1.0 I made the plane tough and heavy by leaving all the paper on the foam with longer tail shafts but otherwise pretty close. I got it as balanced as I could. I had to add a couple nickels and a dime to the nose. It had a great glide profile, nice and flat with a decent toss. The wingspan is about 50cm
Given my lack of control surfaces I was hopeful. Took it out for its maiden flight 2 nights ago loaded up with LEDs so I could see. It was quite windy out and I didnt get much flying in. I did some wind surfing and a couple turn arounds which was very promising, but then on one of the gusts it pitched up and then stalled into a nose dive straight into the ground. Breaking the foam holding the motors on and one tail shaft. The wing shape was sound but my lack of control surfaces made it impossible to stop this from happening with just thrust(weak thrust at that)

Version 1.1
That night I came inside and repaired the damage and decided to add some small horizontal stabalizers to see how much that helped in the am. Being this is basically a flying wing it doesnt really need these if there were elevons, I was sad to modify away from the source art but I didnt think I had much of a choice. This was the result.

It flew pretty well. But it had no turning authority at all and this was max power. Just couldnt get it to climb. Also hit the fence haha. More repairs.

Version 1.2
I decided to give her a complete diet, peeled all the paper off the whole plane. And shortened the tails by an inch to help with turning and balance. I also moved the horizontal stabalizers to the outside of the tail to get them out of the prop blast. To strengthen the tails I split a bbq skewer down the length and glued the two parts to the bottom of the tails from front to back. With the weight loss and tail reduction I was able to remove the dime and a nickle from the front. In total I probably saved 10 grams or so even with the wood.
Took it back out yesterday and got some decent flights in. It was lighter and far more maneuverable. The wing is now more flexible though, and fragile. One of the flights I got it doing a bit of roller coaster oscillating up and down and finally it pushed into a loop but I hesitated and backed off the throttle. It didnt finish the loop and instead was now flying inverted ...uh oh. How am I gonna flip it back?!? I gave it some gas and tried to turn and it dove uncontrollably into the ground again. This one was bad haha, the whole front end was torn off and crumpled both motor mounts failed again. Tails stayed together though!

Version 1.3
I reassembled the jigsaw puzzle of parts and added a half length and halved skewer to the bottom nose and traded the nickle for a dime and voila, it flies amazing.

Minimum throttle and it just floats through the air. Did some heavy turns and gave it some gas. She handles great now. Very responsive and well behaved....until... you try and do a loop haha. I managed to do a full loop by powering through it full throttle, I crashed a few more times in the same manner as before by throttling down part way though. It seems the canopy makes it a bit top heavy and enjoys being there until you do anything with the controls then it nose dives. The addition of the wood on the nose has made it sturdy enough to handle some bad crashes at least. Came out in one piece after these flights.

So this is where it currently sits. I'm trying to figure out a way to make it right itself without crazy adjustments to the vertical stabalizer. I may try giving them some dyhedral maybe it will force it to roll out a bit. But I'm not too worried about this. Honestly if i had full 4 channels of control this wouldnt be an issue at all. Just roll out or pull up while its nose diving. Other than that one scenario it's super stable and glides at 20% throttle now. Give it juice and it will do some loops and tight turns. I'm super pleased with how this turned out. I really think this thing would translate to a larger model very easily and more control surfaces would only improve its flight capabilities.

All that's left for this one is to finish the paint job and enjoy it!
I'm going to make up a good video with all the other clips I've gathered. I'll post up tonight or tomorrow.


Well-known member
So after a whole bunch of flights today the nose dives and inversion are both still happening. Version 1.4 saw some small changes in vertical stabilizer angles with no luck on completely eliminating the issues. It is flying fantastically as long as you keep the plane out of a stall or a underpowered loop. Hovers great in a slight head wind. I spent the morning just surfing the breeze and then took it to the park
I managed to crack the wing on this pole strike but hobbled it together with some tape and continued flying

It did surprisingly well with the wing all mangled.


Well-known member
Version 1.5 happened last night which involved running a split bbq skewer along the top of the wing to support it in future crashes, also helps the wings not flex. This has helped the need for it go inverted a bit. Now it doesnt go full upside down but drives the plane in a hard core dive to the dirt. Also added a support to the top of the tail and the motor mounts

1.6 After all the nose dives the front nose foam was getting pretty squishy so I tore the front end apart. I lowered the battery down about 1cm to lower the CG and built a bit of a belly into the plane to accomodate. I also make the bbq skewer part of the internal structure. The nose is shaped a bit different now but didnt seem to affect the flight path at all. I'm hoping this might help the stall characteristics a bit.