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.
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.