CANT Z.506 Airone

1st Flight 1935

The CANT Z.506 Airone was a triple engine floatplane produced from 1935.

It served as a transport and postal aircraft with the Italian airline “Ala Littoria”.

It established 10 world records in 1936 and another 10 in 1937.

During World War II it was used as a reconnaissance aircraft, bomber and air-sea rescue plane, by the Italian Regia Aeronautica and Regia Marina, Aeronautica Cobelligerante del Sud, Aeronautica Nazionale Repubblicana and the Luftwaffe.

The military version revealed itself to be one of the best floatplanes ever built.

Despite its wooden structure it was able to operate in very rough seas.

A number of Z.506S air-sea rescue aircraft remained in service until 1959.

Variants

Z.506

Prototype, one built.

Z.506A

Civil version

Z.506B

Military version.

Z.506C

Civil version.

Z.506S

Air-sea rescue version

Z.506 Landplane

One aircraft was converted to a landplane for an attempt by Mario Stoppani on an endurance record.

It did not take place due to bad weather.

Z.509

A larger and heavier version of the Z.506B, three built.

Specifications

Crew

5

Length

19.24 m (63 ft 1 in)

Wingspan

26.5 m (86 ft 11 in)

Height

7.45 m (24 ft 5 in)

Wing area

86.26 m2 (928.5 sq ft)

Empty weight

8,750 kg (19,290 lb)

Max take-off weight

12,705 kg (28,010 lb)

Powerplant

3 × Alfa Romeo 126 R.C.34 9-cylinder air-cooled radial piston engines, 560 kW (750 hp) each

Propellers

3-bladed variable-pitch propellers

Performance

Maximum speed

350 km/h (220 mph, 190 kn)

Cruise speed

299 km/h (186 mph, 161 kn)

Range

1,998 km (1,241 mi, 1,079 nmi) with a 950 kg (2,095 lb) bomb load

Endurance

6 hours 26 minutes

Service ceiling

7,000 m (23,000 ft)

Time to altitude

3,999 m (13,120 ft) in 20 minutes

Armament

Guns

1 × 12.7 mm (0.50 in) Isotta Fraschini-Scotti machine gun in a Capronin Lanciani Delta E dorsal turret

3 × 7.7 mm (0.303 in) machine guns

Bombs

1,200 kg (2,645 lb) of general ordnance

or

1 × 816 kg (1,800 lb) torpedo

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