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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.1 The Z.1007 was to be it's land based counterpart.2 The design of the CANT Z.1007 was done by Filippo Zappata.3,6,7 The design was a low wing three engine bomber.3

The CANT Z.1007's structure was made primarily out of wood with the cover of wood with a fabric lining.3,5,6,7

Tail

During production of the Z.1007 it could have a single tail or a twin tail.2 There was no separate designation for the two different versions.2

Armament

The CANT Z.1007bis could carry 2,500 lbs of bombs internally.3 It was able to carry different configuration of bombs with one being a single 1,760 lb bomb and three 220 lb bombs.3 The CANT Z.1007bis was also able to carry up to 2,000 lbs of bombs under the wings.3

Prototype

The prototype first flew in March 19376 / May 1937 / 19377 with three Isotta Fraschini Asso XI RC 15 (840 HP) engines.1,2,3 The prototype was able to go 267 mph and fly 1,740 miles.7

The engines didn't provide enough power so they were replace by Piaggios in the production version.3 Two blade propellers were used.7

The prototype was able to fly at 267 mph and go for 1,740 miles.7

Production

  • Prototypes: 22
  • CANT Z.1007: 343, 352
  • CANT Z.1007bis/ter: 5262,6
    • Production: 1938 - ?6
  • CANT Z.1007ter: 356
  • Total: 5603, 5632
    • Manufacturer: Cantieri Riuniti dell'Adriatico (CANT)2,3,6, Meridionali2, Monfalcone (frames)7, Piaggio (engines7)2, I.M.A.M.7
    • Production: Production started in 1939.1,2
  • CANT Z.1018: 172

Variants

  • CANT Z.1007:
  • CANT Z.1007bis: Main production version.1 Had Piaggio engines, a larger fuselage, larger wing area, and stronger landing gear.1,7
  • CANT Z.1007 Serie I - III: Single fin rudder.6
  • CANT Z.1007 Serie IV - IX: Twin fin rudder.6
  • CANT Z.1007ter: Produced in 1943.2,3
  • CANT Z.1018 Leone (lion): Was a twin engine, all metal version that saw some service right before Italy surrendered.1,2 Had Piaggio P.XII engines (1,350 HP).2

Usage

The first Cant Z.1007 joined the Regia Aeronautica in 1939.1 The Z.1007 saw service until September 1943.1

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

  • Stormi: 8°6,7, 9°6,7, 16°6,7, 27°6,7, 30°6,7, 35°7, 47°6
  • Gruppi: 41°6,7, 50°7, 51°6,7, 59°6, 87°6,7, 90°6,7, 95°6,7, 107°6,7
  • Squadriglie: 176a7, 264a7

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.6,7

Battle of Britain

Some CANT Z.1007bis' were used only once in a diversionary raid in September 1940.3 These were based in Belgium.3

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.6,7

Malta Convoys

The Cant Z.1007s were used used in the torpedo bombing role against the Malta convoyes.1 They took heavy losses.6

Night Operations

The Cant Z.1007s were mainly used over the Aegean, Malta, and North Africa at night.1

Russia

A few of the Cant Z.1007s saw action in Russia.1,2,7

Fought with Allies

The Free French used one Cant Z.1007bis as a transport.7 It had three Pratt & Whitney Twin Wasp GR-1830 (1,200 HP) engines.7

Around 30 went to the Allied side and were used in the Balkans.3,6

Fought with Germany

Around 30 were taken over by the Germans but weren't used operationally.3

Specifications

  Cant Z.1007 Alcione
Type Medium bomber2
Crew 52
Dimensions  
Span 78' 7"7
Length 51' 10"7
Height 17" 1.25"7
Weight  
Loaded 27,000 lb7
Armament 4: 7.7 mm MG7
Beam 2: 7.7 mm MG2
Dorsal and ventral 2: 12.7 mm MG2
Bombs - internal 4,410 lb2
2,000 kg2
OR  
Bombs - under wing 4: 551 lb2
4: 250 kg2
OR  
Torpedo 2: 1,000 lb2,7
2: 454 kg2
  Cant Z.1007bis Alcione
Type Bomber3, Medium bomber1,6, Torpedo bomber1,5
Crew 51,3,5,6
Pilot, co-pilot, radio operator, gunners (2)5
Engine (Type) 3: Piaggio P.XIbis RC 401,2,7
3: Piaggio P.XI RC 403,4,6
Cylinders Radial1,5,6, Radial 142,3
HP 1,000 each1,2,3,4,5,6
Cooling Air3,5
Propeller blades 3 each1,2, 3 blade Alfa-Romeo controllable pitch5
Dimensions  
Span 81' 4"2,3,4,5, 81' 4.33"7, 81' 4.5"1,6,7
24.79 m2, 24.8 m1,5,6
Length 60' 2.5"1,2,6, 60' 4"4,5, 60' 7"3, 61' 0.25"7
18.35 m1,2,6, 18.4 m5
Height 17'5, 17' 1"3,4, 17' 1.25"7, 17' 1.5"1,2,6
5.2 m5, 5.22 m1,2,6
Wing area 73.35 ft2 1, 753.47 sq ft6, 936 sq ft7
70 m2 1,6
Weight  
Empty 19,000 lb7, 19,005 lb1,5, 19,338 lb2, 20,715 lb6
8,620 kg1, 8,630 kg5, 8,772 kg2, 9,396 kg6
Loaded 28,211 lb7, 28,250 lb4, 28,260 lb5, 30,029 lb1,2, 30,070 lb3
12,840 kg5, 13,621 kg1,2
Loaded - Maximum 30,029 lb6
13,621 kg6
Performance  
Speed 280 mph4
Speed at 13,780' / 4,200 m 280 mph1
450 kph1
Speed at 15,000' / 4,575 m 280 mph5,7
448 kph5
Speed at 15,090' / 4,600 m 283 mph6
455 kph6
Speed at 15,100' 283 mph3
Cruising Speed 210 mph6, 235 mph7
338 kph6
Cruising Speed at 15,000' / 4,575 m 235 mph5
376 kph5
Climb 1,542'/minute1, 1,667'/minute3
470 m/minute1
Climb to 19,685' / 6,000 m 16 minutes 8 seconds6
Service ceiling 24,605'6, 26,500'5,7, 26,575'1, 27,600'3
7,500 m6, 8,100 m1,5
Range 800 miles1,5, 1,115 miles6, 1,242 miles7, 1,243 miles3, 3,100 miles4
1,280 km1,5, 1,795 km6
Endurance 3.4 hours5
Armament 4: MG3,4
2: 7.7 mm MG7
2: 12.7 mm MG7
Beam 2: 7.7 mm Breda SAFAT MG1,6, 2: 7.7 mm5
Turret - Dorsal 1: 12.7 mm5, 12.7 mm Breda-SAFAT or Scotti6
Fuselage - Under 1: 12.7 mm5, 12.7 mm Breda-SAFAT or Scotti6
Dorsal and ventral 2: 12.7 mm1
Bombs 2,430 lb3, 2,600 lb5,7, 2,646 lb6, 4,410 lb7
1,180 kg5, 1,200 kg6
Bombs - internal 2,200 lb4, 4,409 lb1
2,000 kg1
OR  
Bombs - under wing 2,205 lb1
1,000 kg1
OR  
Torpedo 2: 17"6
2: 1,000 lb1,5,7
2: 450 kg5,6, 454 kg1
  Cant Z.1007ter
Engines 3: Piaggio P.XIX7
HP 1,1007, 1,1752,3,6
Weight  
Loaded 29,073 lb7
Performance  
Speed 3003, 3117
Range 1,398 miles7
Armament  
Bombs 2,200 lb7

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
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