This was the first of the flying boats designed by Ing. Zappata and the plane’s debut couldn’t have been better.  On October 19, 1934 the prototype of the CANT Z.501 set a world distance record flying 2,600 miles (4,184 km) from Monfalcone Italy to Massawa on the Red Sea in 26 hrs and 35 minutes.  The record was increased by 500 miles (804 km) on July 17, 1935. These records indicated the quality of this aircraft.  When Italy entered the war there were 202 CANT Z.501s on hand. The aircraft had an intensive operational career in coastal patrol, long range reconnaissance, convoy escort, anti-submarine warfare and air-sea rescue operations. At the Armistice 30 Z.501s reached the South of Italy while 40 were taken by the Luftwaffe and the ANR.  A few survived WWII and remained in service until 1949.  The aircraft was a high-performance aero plane despite its slow speed and limited armament.

This is the now dated Italeri 1/72 CANT Z.501.  Assembly was straightforward although some fit difficulties were experienced with the two outboard floats and struts to the wing. Some diffculty was also encountered with the fitting of the canopy to the fuselage.  Model Master Enamels and Metallics were used for Aluminum and the distinctive Red Stripes used to locate downed Italian aircraft. Interiors were painted Verde Anticorrison. The model corresponds to black 9 of 184a Squadriglia di Ricognizione Marittima. Overall an enjoyable build of this classic aircraft. Recommended.

Technical Data:
Aircraft:
CANT Z.501
Manufacturer:
Cantieri Riuniti dell'Adriatico
Type:
Maritime Reconnaissance
Year:
1934
Engine:
Isotta-Fraschini XI RC, 12-cyclinder, liquid-cooled, 900hp
Wingspan:
73 ft 10 in (22.49 m)
Length:
46 ft 11 in (14.27 m)
Height:
14 ft 6 in (4.43 m)
Weight:
13,090 lb (5,937 kg) (Loaded)
Maximum Speed:
171 mph (275 km/h)
Ceiling:
13,000 ft (3,962 m)
Range:
1,490 miles (2,397 km)
Armament:
3 MGs; 1,408 lb (635 kg) of bombs
Crew:
1

Additional Images:
Italeri 1/72 CANT Z.501 Gabbiano
Mediterranean Flying Boat
by Rick Chin
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November, 2005
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