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CANT Z.1012

CANT Z.1012
  • Transport aircraft
  • First flight: 1937
  • CANT

CANT Z.1012. In 1937, the Ministry of Aeronautics published a specification for a light, high-speed communications aircraft. According to this specification, engineer Filippo Zappata developed a design for the aircraft, designated Z.1012. It was intended to transport important persons and serve the diplomatic corps. Without departing from accepted standards, the Z.1012 was made according to a three-engine design. The structure of the aircraft was wooden and covered with canvas. The chassis was tricycle with a tail wheel and retracted into engine nacelles.

Design work began in 1937 and was completed in May 1938, when the first prototype, number MM.367, made its first flight. This and three other prototypes had Alfa Romeo 110 engines (120 hp), while the three production aircraft received Alfa Romeo 115 (185 hp) and a slightly modified fuselage designed for one pilot and 6 passengers .

Two prototypes of the Z.1012 were placed at the disposal of the diplomatic corps and served the embassies in Washington and Rio de Janeiro. After the official declaration of war, both vehicles were requisitioned. The Americans kept the Z.1012 for themselves, so to speak, “as a souvenir,” while the Brazilians decided to earn a little money. In the early 1940s. the former Italian aircraft was sold to the Swiss embassy, where it served for several more years.

The production aircraft with the code I-IEAI was used for some time by Marshal Italo Balbo. I-BRVO was Bruno Mussolini's personal aircraft. The third production Z.1012 was delivered to LATI airline.

By May 1943, only one aircraft of the Z.1012 type remained in operation. The other two lay idle with their engines removed and were soon written off. When Italy was divided into two parts by Allied and German forces, the surviving Z.1012 was, in all likelihood, destroyed by the Italians themselves.

Z.1012 went down in history as one of the first vehicles designed specifically for diplomatic missions.

CANT Z.1012 Specification
Crew 1
Wing span, m 15.00
Wing area, m² 25.00
Length, m 9.85
Height, m 3.10
3 × PE Alfa Romeo 115, power hp. 3 × 185
Weights, kg
Empty weight 1950
Нормальная взлетная 3090
Maximum speed, km/h 320
Cruise sprrd, km/h 240
Service range, km 1000
Service ceiling, mм 6000
Полезная нагрузка
до 5 пассажиров
Photo Description
Drawing CANT Z.1012 Drawing CANT Z.1012

CANT Z.1015

CANT Z.1015
  • Transport aircraft
  • First flight: 1939
  • CANT

In preparing for the coming war, Italy pursued clearly aggressive goals, without completely hiding this fact. Having had some good practice in Ethiopia, the management of Regia Aeronautica made generally correct conclusions that it would not hurt to update the Air Force fleet. In addition to issuing new specifications, a program of quantitative and, most importantly, qualitative re-equipment was adopted in 1938. As part of this event, it was planned to commission at least 5,000 modern aircraft, the design of which was already in full swing. This relegated the needs of civil aviation to the background, but did not mean that it was completely forgotten. Possessing vast colonial territories, Italy required a modern transport aircraft with good speed and payload capacity. For this purpose, a corresponding technical specification was formulated, issued in June 1938 to several aviation companies. In addition to speed, one of the most important indicators was also flight range, since the future aircraft needed to make, among other things, postal transatlantic flights.

One of the clear favorites was the project proposed by engineer Filippo Zappata. As a basis, he took the serial bomber Z.1007bis, the design of which was made several changes. Previously, the plane did not have any military equipment or weapons; the bomb bay was dismantled, placing in its place a cabin for passengers or oversized cargo. The Piaggio P.XI R2C 40 engines, previously installed on the bomber, were replaced with Alfa Romeo 135 RC.32 with a power of 1550 hp, which were supposed to provide a speed of at least 500 km/h, with a maximum range of 2000 kg and a load of 2000 kg . To ensure the required range, the number of fuel tanks was increased, partially placing them in the wing root. The aircraft converted in this way received the designation Z.1015 and, due to its good design data, was simultaneously submitted to the 1938 competitions for transport aircraft (Z.1015) and bombers (Z.1015B). The first prototype was assembled by December 22, 1938, but it only took off on January 20 of the following year. Factory tests were carried out at the Ronchi Legionari airfield, the aircraft was piloted by Mario Stoppani. Almost immediately, major problems emerged in the operation of the power plant, which were not possible to correct until the end of 1939. Since military orders were of paramount importance at that time, the Air Force refused to conduct further tests of the Z.1015. The company's specialists tried to correct the situation by replacing the engines with less capricious Piaggio ones with three-blade propellers, but this work was done too late. After several more flights, the plane was left in the company's hangar awaiting further decisions.

So Z.1015 stood until 1942, until the commander of I° Nucleo Aerosiluranti di Gorizia, Colonel Carlo Unia, drew attention to it. After the defeat inflicted on the Italians on all fronts, there was an urgent need to replenish the considerably thinned regiments and groups of bomber aviation. The most massive bombers in 1941-1942. there were still SM.79 and Z.1007. These were reliable, but obsolete cars that needed to be replaced in the very near future. It was then that we remembered Z.1015. The aircraft was again accepted by the Air Force for comparative tests with the SM.79 and received the registration number MM.512. In test flights that took place from June 23 to July 3, 1942, the Z.1015 completely rehabilitated itself, showing a speed of 563 km/h with the same payload and range characteristics. The only major criticisms were the large weight of the aircraft and the lack of armor, which could make it easy prey for enemy air defense and fighters. Serial production of the Z.1015 was abandoned, but from the end of 1942 the aircraft was put into limited service. By the time of the armistice, it was at the disposal of the company and most likely was captured by German troops, after which traces of the only copy of Z.1015 are lost.

CANT Z.1015 Specification
Crew 4
Wing span, m 24.80
Wing area, m² 75.00
Length, m 8.07
Height, m 5.20
3 × PE Piaggio P.XII RC.45, power hp. 3 × 1350
Weights, kg
Empty weight 9,000
Loaded weight 12,890
Maximum speed, km/h 563
Cruise speed, km/h 480
Service range, km 2980
Service ceiling, mм
Mail, cargo, kg 2000
Photo Description
Drawing CANT Z.1015 Drawing CANT Z.1015


  • Cantieri Riuniti dell'Adriatico Cant Z.1012/Gruppo Modellistico Sestese. /
  • Multipurpose aircraft CANT Z.1012 /Andrey Krumkach/
  • CANT Z.1012 /Aerei Italiani. Scheda Tecnica./
  • Cantieri Riuniti dell'Adriatico Cant Z.1015/Gruppo Modellistico Sestese. /
  • Mail transport aircraft CANT Z.1015 /Andrey Krumkach/