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"Italian Cantieri Z 1007" from Tactical and Technical Trends

The following U.S. intel report on the Italian CANT Z.1007 "Alcione" bomber originally appeared in Tactical and Technical Trends, No. 25, May 20, 1943.

[DISCLAIMER: The following text is taken from the U.S. War Department publication Tactical and Technical Trends. As with all wartime intelligence information, data may be incomplete or inaccurate. No attempt has been made to update or correct the text. Any views or opinions expressed do not necessarily represent those of the website.]


Used as a bomber and reconnaissance plane, the Italian Cantieri Z 1007 has recently appeared in two different versions. Similar features include an all-wood cantilever construction of the mid-wing monoplane type, a length of 61 ft. 3 in, and a long nose. The wings have a sharp dihedral with a span of 81 ft. 10 in. and a gross area of 810 sq. ft. They are in three sections built upon two wooden box-spars with stressed plywood covering. The fuselage is semi-monocoque of wood with stressed covering of poplar plywood. In one type the braced stabilizer is elliptical, with "V" cut-out and a wide single fin and rudder. The other type has an angular stabilizer with oval, out-rigged twin fins and rudders. The landing gear is retractable.

Both planes are powered by three 14-cylinder, radial Piaggio PXI RC-40 air-cooled engines, one in the nose of the fuselage and one on either side in the wings, giving a maximum speed at 15,000 feet of 280 mph, and a cruising speed of 235 mph. The range is approximately 400 miles with a full bomb load of 4,850 pounds. An improved model of this engine with 1,300 hp may be fitted and would increase the maximum speed to about 300 mph at 13,000 feet.

[Cantieri Z 1007 ]

The armament consists of two 12.7-mm machine guns (one Isotta-Fraschini "Scotti" in the dorsal turret and one Isotta-Fraschini in the rear) and two lateral 7.7-mm Breda machine guns. The normal bomb capacity is 2,640 pounds, and the maximum load is 4,850 pounds.

The hand-operated turret is traversed by means of a wheel mounted at the lower end of an inverted control column. Operation of the wheel rotates the turret, while movement of the column gives elevation or depression. Elevation is from 0 degrees to approximately 70 degrees. A light metal rod mounted to project upwards though the perspex dome helps to balance the relative wind pressure on the gun barrel and gives the impression of two guns firing in opposite directions.

The shallow cupola, which projects above the top line of the fuselage, is of thick, transparent plastic material, and has a flat panel inserted for better sighting. There is no bullet-proof glass, but for the protection of the gunner there is a large curved sheet of armor plate (2 ft. 6 in. by 3 ft. 6 in.) 8 mm thick, which turns with the turret and protects the gunner's body. A smaller curved piece, 14 in. by 8 in., gives partial protection to his head. The gunner's seat is thought to consist of a single padded sling, hanging from the turret and rotating with it.

The lateral gunners' positions are protected by pieces of 5-mm armor plate on the side of the fuselage, and each lateral gun has three small pieces of 6-mm armor plating attached to the gun itself. The ventral gun position is also protected by 6 mm of armor.

Radio equipment of a new type incorporates an intercommunication amplifier A. 40 which replaces the speaking-tube system to which the Italians have adhered for so long, and is operated by the radio operator. In addition, provision is made for the latest fighter radio set (B. 30) to be fitted, but no part of this equipment has been actually installed.

Six self-sealing tanks are carried in each wing. The self-sealing system consists of covering the light-alloy metal tanks first with felt, then with two layers of black sponge rubber, and finally on the outside with yellow canvas. There is an unprotected oil tank behind each engine.

Apart from the gunners' armor already referred to, 5-mm armor is fitted in the roof over the front pilot and on the port side of the cockpit. The rear pilot is protected by a seat consisting of 6-mm plate and a piece of 5-mm plate over his head, as well as a bulkhead of 6-mm plate just aft of the lateral guns. This bulkhead does not fill the whole cross section of the fuselage but is of horseshoe shape.

A recently-crashed Cantieri Z 1007 was found to have a Breda turret rotating by an electric motor. This motor was mounted behind the control panel to the right of the gun, which was on the left side of the turret and was fired hydraulically. Elevation and depression were effected by a hydraulic jack. The arcs of fire were probably 360 degrees in azimuth and 0 to 90 degrees in elevation. A San Giorgio reflector sight of a new type, smaller than the usual one, was fitted, and had its own speed-control mechanism. New-type exhausts were fitted similar to those on a Beaufighter, two pipes to each engine, and it is thought that they fitted on either side of each nacelle below the wings.

Internal racks for twenty 110- or 220-pound bombs were carried, apparently the electrical-release type. Stowage for three 110- or 220-pound bombs was found inside each wing, outboard of the engine nacelles, operated by rotating shaft control. All the bomb locks were the same type and could be operated either electrically or mechanically. It is thought that the wing racks were not in use, as no bomb steadiers had been fitted.


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