Cantieri Aeronautici e Navali Triestini
Founded in 1923 by the Cosulich family, CANT was reformed in 1930 and renamed Cantieri Riuniti dell’Adriatico (C.R.D.A). Ing. Filippo Zappata (1894-1994) was its renowned chief designer, working with them from 1933 to 1942. His 500 series were water based and the 1000 series were land based. One notable feature of the aircraft was their all wood construction due, in no doubt, to the shipbuilding origins of the company. All aircraft production had ceased by 1944.
CANT Z.501 Gabbiano. This was Zappatas initial 500 series design. This large single-engined reconnaissance aircraft broke many distance records after its debut in 1934. It had a long range thanks to the good fuel economy of its Isotta Fraschini Asso XI engine. Despite being slow and vulnerable, it served throughout WWII and was retired until 1949. The 1/72 Italeri kit is a popular model although the Ali d’Italia guidebook does show up various errors to its shape, such as the ailerons, canopy and engine cowling. White Ensign Models produced a very comprehensive etch set for this model which has many structural parts for detailing its rather sparse interior.
CANT Z.504. A 1934 single engined two-seat prototype, built in response to a Regia Marina request for a reconnaissnace seaplane. As the IMAM Ro.43 was selected for this role no orders were placed. Choroszy Modelbud produced a decent 1/72 resin kit of this aircraft.
CANT Z.506 Airone. First built in 1935, this was Zappatas most successful seaplane design. Originally used as an airliner for Ala Littoria, it was redesigned as a bomber which required an all new fuselage. It was very popular with its pilots as it had very stable handling in rough seas. As well as a bomber, it had a variety of other roles including search & rescue, hospital & ambulance duties and reconnaissance. The last known Z.506 was retired as late as 1959 and there is an original WWII example preserved in the air museum at Vigna di Valle near Rome. In 1986, Supermodel released a basic 1/72 which has since been upgraded by Italeri with improved internal & external details and an enlarged decal sheet. Broplan also produced a vac-form conversion of the original airliner variant. The 1/48 Alphaflight Z.506B resin kit is a challenging build, should you be lucky enough to track one down, but it is well worth the effort.
CANT Z.511. The design of this large elegant 4-engined seaplane was initiated in 1937 but its first flight was not until 1940. It was originally designed for commercial use, mainly for flights to Latin America but in wartime it was adapted for long range maritime transport and patrol. Only 2 were built. No kits are known but it would make an impressive model.
CANT Z.1007 Alcione. Perhaps the most well known Zappata aircraft design. Broplans 1/72 vac-form kit of the early Asso engined version is generally more accurate than the 1970's Supermodel kit of the bis monoderiva & bideriva variants. These had shape errors to the forward section of fuselage and canopy that are impossible to correct and the engine cowls are also oversized. The three 1/48 Alphaflight resin kits, commissioned by Pacific Coast Models, are very accurate by comparison but are not that easy to construct. All the above kits are OOP. Click the colour image to the right to learn more about the Broplan kit. Click on the image below to see more on the Alphaflight kit.
CANT Z.1011. This rather boxy design was the second land based bomber designed by Zappata. 5 of these twin engined aircraft were built but were used for transport as the Regia Aeronautica had selected the Z.1007 trimotor for the bomber role. There are no known kits.
CANT Z.1012. A 1930'S three-engined monoplane aircraft design built for diplomatic use. Both Mussolini and Italo Balbo were thought to have flown in this aircraft. There are no kits known of this aircraft.
CANT Z.1015. A protoype of a modified Z.1007 that was initially thought to be for long distance mail delivery duties but possibly intended as a fast bomber. It had uprated Piaggio engines which gave good performance figures, with a top speed of 347 mph recorded. Italian Wings produced a 1/72 resin kit in the past but it is OOP.
CANT Z.1018 Leone. An elegant twin-engined bomber that was to be the last CANT design. Although the project had started in 1939, it suffered a protracted development programme with all kinds of engine issues and complaints about the high cockpit position and narrow fuselage. In 1942, after numerous changes ordered by the Regia Aeronautica, Zappatta accepted an offer to join Breda and put forward 4 more proposals based on the Z.1018. Of these, the BZ.301 and BZ.303 were progressed under German control but it all was too late. WIth production hampered by Allied bombing, all factory remnants were demolished during 1944, so only a few pre-series machines had ever made it into service. Legato produced a 1/72 resin kit of the Z.1018 some years back and although it was accurate shape wise it had poor details & canopy parts. There was a mini Ali dItalia booklet printed that gives a brief outline of the rather tragic history of this fine looking aircraft.
Model images are linked to detailed write ups and, in some cases, are archived SAMI reviews.