Alpha Flight 1/48 CANT Z.1007bis
Alcione (Kingfisher)
by Angelo Battistelli

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Alongside the SIAI-Marchetti SM.79 and the Fiat BR.20, the CANT Z.1007 was one of the standard Italian bombers of the Second World War. It was fast and well armed, had a good range, and could carry a satisfactory bomb load. It was used on all fronts, but in extreme climates, such as those of Africa, its all-wood structure showed signs of weakness.

Known as the "Alcione" (Kingfisher), the CANT Z.1007 was designed by Filippo Zappata, and the prototype appeared in the spring of 1937. It was a low-wing three-engine monoplane. The structure was all-wood and the covering was wood with a fabric lining. The prototype was powered by three 840 hp Isotta-Fraschini Asso XI RC 15 engines, liquid-cooled, but this engine did not prove satisfactory, chiefly because of its low power. A first batch of 34 aeroplanes were built, and then an improved and more powerful version came out. This was the CANT Z.1007bis, the largest production model (502 built). The 1,000 hp Piaggio P.XI RC 40 radial engine made it possible for the aeroplane to show all it was capable of. During test flights, the new aeroplane could reach a maximum speed of about 285 mph (458 km/h) at 15,000 ft (4,572 m). It had a range of about 1,250 miles (2,011 km), a ceiling of some 28,000 ft (8,534 m). With a fully loaded weight of almost 30,000 pounds (13,607 kg), it could reach an altitude of over 13,000 ft (3,962 m) in just over 9 minutes. It carried a payload of almost 2,500 pounds (1,133 kg), carrying, for example, one 1,760 pound (798 kg) bomb and three 220 pound (99 kg) bombs. The CANT Z.1007 might also carry 1 ton (1.01 tonnes) of bombs under the wings.

The plane's military debut occured when some Z.1007bis models were assigned to an experimental unit and sent to Belgium in September 1940, where they were used in combat over the English Channel for a single operation where they provided divertionary activity during a BR.20 bombing raid.

The first large-scale use of CANT three-engine aeroplanes took place in October 1940, during the Greek campaign. Later the bomber operated chiefly in the Mediterranean (from Sicilian and Sardinian bases), the Aegean, and in north and east Africa in 1941 and 1942. They were used occasionally in Russia. About 30 aircraft reached the Allies in September 1943 and were incorporated in a bomber group that operated on the Balkan front. Another 30 aircraft fell into German hands and were taken north, but were not used operationally.

A total of 581 CANT Z.1007s were built (811 ordered). The last model was the Z.1007ter (275 ordered, 89 built), which appeared in 1943. This third model was superior to its predecessor. Powered by three 1,175 hp Piaggio P.XIX engines, it had a top speed of more than 300 mph (482 km) and a ceiling of about 33,000 ft (10,000 m).


CANT Z.1007 bis "Alcione" Serie V - 193^ Squadriglia, 87o Gruppo BT, 30o Stormo. Resin kit scale 1/48 carrying C.R.D.A.'s typical polyicyclical mottle of Verde Mimetico, Marrone Mimetico, and Giallo Mimetico.

Technical Data

Aircraft: CANT Z.1007bis
Manufacturer: Cantieri Riuniti dell'Adriatico
Type: Bomber
Year: 1938
Engine: Three Piaggio P.XI RC 40, 14-cylinder radial, air-cooled, 1,000 hp each
Wingspan: 81 ft 4 in (24.80 m)
Length: 61 ft (18.59 m)
Height: 17 ft 1 in (5.22 m)
Weight: 38,200 lb (17,327 kg) (Loaded)
Maximum Speed: 283 mph (456 km/h) at 15,100 ft (4,600 m)
Ceiling: 26,500 ft (8,100 m)
Range: 1,243 miles (2,000 km)
Armament: 4 machine guns; 2,430 lb (1,100 kg) of bombs
Crew: 5

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