Aviation of World War II

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Z.501 Gabbiano
Reconnaissance Flying Boat

CANT Z.501

The single-engine flying boat Z.501, built by CANT, made its maiden flight on February 4, 1934.

Structurally, the Z-501 was a high-wing parasol, made of wood, with a linen wing covering. The crew of the flying boat consisted of five people, all of them, with the exception of the mechanic, were located inside the boat fuselage. Shooting points were located along the fuselage in the nose, behind the wing, as well as in the nacelle behind the engine, open shooting points were equipped with "Vickers" or "Breda" turrets: respectively, the machine guns were Lewis or Breda-SAFAT systems. Ammunition for each shooter for "Vickers" was 10 discs of 47 rounds.

The fifth crew member, a gunner-mechanic, occupied a separate cabin in the tail section of the nacelle - above the wing, just behind the engine. In flight, he had access to the engine, which made it possible to fix minor problems right in flight. Access to the nacelle from the boat fuselage through a hatch at the bottom of the nacelle. On the wing struts there were bomb racks for two 250-kg or four 100-kg bombs.

The power plant is one 12-cylinder in-line liquid-cooled Isotta-Fraschini Asso XI 750R engine (750hp) with a three-bladed pulling propeller.

The combat effectiveness of the "Kants", despite its widespread use, remained low, due to obsolescence, low survivability and low reliability of the engine. Until the end of 1940, the Italians lost 62 seaplanes - 30 of them from enemy fire, 19 for unknown reasons, 13 due to engine failure. For the same reason, 35 accidents occurred. Despite this, the single-engine "Kant" remained in service throughout the war. After the surrender, 30 seaplanes remained on the side of the allied aviation of Italy. By May 1944, their number had dropped to 24 - the rest remained in Nazi-occupied Northern Italy. The last "Kants" were written off only in 1950.

A total of 455 Z-501 aircraft were built, of which 249 were built at the Monfalcone factories. Serial production ended in March 1943.

CANT Z.501 Specification
Crew 4-5
Wingspan, m 22.50
Wing area, m² 62.00
Length, m 14.95
Height, m 4.43
1 PE Isotta-Fraschini Asso XI (750R), power, h.p. 750
Weight, kg:
Empty weight 3,850
Loaded weight 5,950
Maximum speed, km/h 275
Cruising speed, km/h 196
Ferry range, km 2600
Service ceiling, m 7000
three 7.7 mm movable machine guns, bombs, kg, 640
Photo Description

Схема CANT Z.501, двигатель Isotta-Fraschini Asso XI

CANT Z.501 вид 3/4 спереди и сзади

CANT Z.501, кабина пилотов.

CANT Z.501, приборная панель.

CANT Z.501, кабина пилотов. Приборная доска только у командира корабля, 2-й пилот довольствуется только компасом и осуществляет навигацию.

CANT Z.501, рабочее место за переборкой кабины пилотов.

CANT Z.501, рабочее место стрелка радиста.

CANT Z.501, боковой люк.

CANT Z.501, передняя турель Breda AZ1.

CANT Z.501, средняя турель в мотогондоле двигателя Breda AZ1.

CANT Z.501, кабина стрелка-бортмеханика за мотогондолой.

CANT Z.501 с установленными площадками для ТО двигателя. Снизу мотогондолы открыт люк в кабину бортмеханика.

CANT Z.501, rear turret Breda AZ3.


  • Encyclopedia of Military Equipment / Aerospace Publising /
  • Idrovolante "CANT Z 501" /Ministero dell' Aeronautica 1935/