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Italy's Cant Z.1007 medium bomber
Nickname: Alcione (kingfisher), Alcione (halcyon), Airone (heron)

Photos

  • Cant Z.1007bis Alcione bomber
  • Cant Z.1007bis Alcione bomber

Design

The Cantieri Riuniti dell'Adriatico (Cant) was based on the Z.506B Airone (heron) floatplane. The Z.1007 was to be it's land based counterpart. The design of the CANT Z.1007 was done by Filippo Zappata. The design was a low wing three engine bomber.

The CANT Z.1007's structure was made primarily out of wood with the cover of wood with a fabric lining.

Tail

During production of the Z.1007 it could have a single tail or a twin tail. There was no separate designation for the two different versions.

Armament

The CANT Z.1007bis could carry 2,500 lbs of bombs internally. It was able to carry different configuration of bombs with one being a single 1,760 lb bomb and three 220 lb bombs. The CANT Z.1007bis was also able to carry up to 2,000 lbs of bombs under the wings.

Prototype

The prototype first flew in March 1937 / May 1937 / 1937 with three Isotta Fraschini Asso XI RC 15 (840 HP) engines. The prototype was able to go 267 mph and fly 1,740 miles.

The engines didn't provide enough power so they were replace by Piaggios in the production version. Two blade propellers were used.

The prototype was able to fly at 267 mph and go for 1,740 miles.

Production

  • Prototypes: 2
  • CANT Z.1007: 34, 35
  • CANT Z.1007bis/ter: 526
    • Production: 1938 - ?
  • CANT Z.1007ter: 35
  • Total: 560, 563
    • Manufacturer: Cantieri Riuniti dell'Adriatico (CANT), Meridionali, Monfalcone (frames), Piaggio (engines), I.M.A.M.
    • Production: Production started in 1939.
  • CANT Z.1018: 17

Variants

  • CANT Z.1007:
  • CANT Z.1007bis: Main production version. Had Piaggio engines, a larger fuselage, larger wing area, and stronger landing gear.
  • CANT Z.1007 Serie I - III: Single fin rudder.
  • CANT Z.1007 Serie IV - IX: Twin fin rudder.
  • CANT Z.1007ter: Produced in 1943.
  • CANT Z.1018 Leone (lion): Was a twin engine, all metal version that saw some service right before Italy surrendered. Had Piaggio P.XII engines (1,350 HP).

Usage

The first Cant Z.1007 joined the Regia Aeronautica in 1939. The Z.1007 saw service until September 1943.

Units that used the CANT Z.1007 or CANT Z.1007bis:

  • Stormi: 8°, 9°, 16°, 27°, 30°, 35°, 47°
  • Gruppi: 41°, 50°, 51°, 59°, 87°, 90°, 95°, 107°
  • Squadriglie: 176a, 264a

Start of World War II

At the start of World War II (June 10, 1940) for Italy there were 87 CANT Z.1007 and Z.1007bis available with 38 of those combat ready.

Battle of Britain

Some CANT Z.1007bis' were used only once in a diversionary raid in September 1940. These were based in Belgium.

Greece

In October 1940 a number of CANT Z.1007bis' were used in Greece.

The 16° Stormi de Bombardamento Terrestre, stationed at Vicenza, and the 47° Stormi de Bombardamento Terrestre, stationed at Ghedi, were the first units to use the CANT Z.1007s in combat against Greek forces.

Malta Convoys

The Cant Z.1007s were used used in the torpedo bombing role against the Malta convoyes. They took heavy losses.

Night Operations

The Cant Z.1007s were mainly used over the Aegean, Malta, and North Africa at night.

Russia

A few of the Cant Z.1007s saw action in Russia.

Fought with Allies

The Free French used one Cant Z.1007bis as a transport. It had three Pratt & Whitney Twin Wasp GR-1830 (1,200 HP) engines.

Around 30 went to the Allied side and were used in the Balkans.

Fought with Germany

Around 30 were taken over by the Germans but weren't used operationally.

Specifications

  Cant Z.1007 Alcione
Type Medium bomber
Crew 5
Dimensions  
Span 78' 7"
Length 51' 10"
Height 17" 1.25"
Weight  
Loaded 27,000 lb
Armament 4: 7.7 mm MG
Beam 2: 7.7 mm MG
Dorsal and ventral 2: 12.7 mm MG
Bombs - internal 4,410 lb
2,000 kg
OR  
Bombs - under wing 4: 551 lb
4: 250 kg
OR  
Torpedo 2: 1,000 lb
2: 454 kg
  Cant Z.1007bis Alcione
Type Bomber, Medium bomber, Torpedo bomber
Crew 5
Pilot, co-pilot, radio operator, gunners (2)
Engine (Type) 3: Piaggio P.XIbis RC 40
3: Piaggio P.XI RC 40
Cylinders Radial, Radial 14
HP 1,000 each
Cooling Air
Propeller blades 3 each, 3 blade Alfa-Romeo controllable pitch
Dimensions  
Span 81' 4", 81' 4.33", 81' 4.5"
24.79 m, 24.8 m
Length 60' 2.5", 60' 4", 60' 7", 61' 0.25"
18.35 m, 18.4 m
Height 17', 17' 1", 17' 1.25", 17' 1.5"
5.2 m, 5.22 m
Wing area 73.35 ft2 , 753.47 sq ft, 936 sq ft
70 m2
Weight  
Empty 19,000 lb, 19,005 lb, 19,338 lb, 20,715 lb
8,620 kg, 8,630 kg, 8,772 kg, 9,396 kg
Loaded 28,211 lb, 28,250 lb, 28,260 lb, 30,029 lb, 30,070 lb
12,840 kg, 13,621 kg
Loaded - Maximum 30,029 lb
13,621 kg
Performance  
Speed 280 mph
Speed at 13,780' / 4,200 m 280 mph
450 kph
Speed at 15,000' / 4,575 m 280 mph
448 kph
Speed at 15,090' / 4,600 m 283 mph
455 kph
Speed at 15,100' 283 mph
Cruising Speed 210 mph, 235 mph
338 kph
Cruising Speed at 15,000' / 4,575 m 235 mph
376 kph
Climb 1,542'/minute, 1,667'/minute
470 m/minute
Climb to 19,685' / 6,000 m 16 minutes 8 seconds
Service ceiling 24,605', 26,500', 26,575', 27,600'
7,500 m, 8,100 m
Range 800 miles, 1,115 miles, 1,242 miles, 1,243 miles, 3,100 miles
1,280 km, 1,795 km
Endurance 3.4 hours
Armament 4: MG
2: 7.7 mm MG
2: 12.7 mm MG
Beam 2: 7.7 mm Breda SAFAT MG, 2: 7.7 mm
Turret - Dorsal 1: 12.7 mm, 12.7 mm Breda-SAFAT or Scotti
Fuselage - Under 1: 12.7 mm, 12.7 mm Breda-SAFAT or Scotti
Dorsal and ventral 2: 12.7 mm
Bombs 2,430 lb, 2,600 lb, 2,646 lb, 4,410 lb
1,180 kg, 1,200 kg
Bombs - internal 2,200 lb, 4,409 lb
2,000 kg
OR  
Bombs - under wing 2,205 lb
1,000 kg
OR  
Torpedo 2: 17"
2: 1,000 lb
2: 450 kg, 454 kg
  Cant Z.1007ter
Engines 3: Piaggio P.XIX
HP 1,100, 1,175
Weight  
Loaded 29,073 lb
Performance  
Speed 300, 311
Range 1,398 miles
Armament  
Bombs 2,200 lb

Sources:

  1. Fighting Aircraft of World War II, Editor: Karen Leverington, 1995
  2. Aircraft of WWII, Stewart Wilson, 1998
  3. World War II Airplanes Volume 1, Enzo Angelucci, Paolo Matricardi, 1976
  4. Aeronautics Aircraft Spotters' Handbook, Ensign L. C. Guthman, 1943
  5. Jane's Fighting Aircraft of World War II, 1989
  6. The Encyclopedia of Weapons of World War II, Chris Bishop, 1998
  7. Italian Civil and Military Aircraft 1930-1945, Jonathan Thompson, 1963
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site