Military Factory logo
Icon of F-15 Eagle military combat fighter aircraft
Icon of Abrams Main Battle Tank
Icon of AK-47 assault rifle
Icon of navy warships
Icon of military officer saluting
Icon of a dollar sign
HOME
AVIATION
COUNTRIES
MANUFACTURERS
COMPARE
GOLDEN AGE
WORLD WAR 2


CANT Z.501 Gabbiano (Gull)


Reconnaissance Flying Boat Aircraft


The CANT Z.501 Gabbiano was a serviceable floatplane for Italian interests in World War 2, though hardly an offensive-minded weapon.
Authored By: Staff Writer | Edited: 5/31/2017
National Flag Graphic

Specifications


Year: 1936
Manufacturer(s): Cant - Italy
Production: 200
Capabilities: Navy/Maritime; Reconnaissance (RECCE);
Crew: 4 to 5
Length: 46.92 ft (14.3 m)
Width: 73.82 ft (22.5 m)
Height: 14.44 ft (4.4 m)
Weight (Empty): 8,488 lb (3,850 kg)
Weight (MTOW): 15,543 lb (7,050 kg)
Power: 1 x Isotta Fraschini Asso XI R2C.15 12-cylinder liquid-cooled inline engine developing 900 horsepower.
Speed: 171 mph (275 kph; 148 kts)
Ceiling: 22,966 feet (7,000 m; 4.35 miles)
Range: 1,491 miles (2,400 km; 1,296 nm)
Rate-of-Climb: 820 ft/min (250 m/min)
Operators: Kingdom of Italy; Romania; Spain
The CANT Z.501 Gabbiano (meaning "Gull") was a flying boat aircraft developed in Italy and shared a resemblance to the successful American Consolidated PBY Catalina series. By the time of the World War 2, the design should have been on its way out but was pressed into further service in the reconnaissance role. In the end, the system forged on through the global conflict eventually seeing the end of its operational life by 1950.

First flown in 1934 as a prototype, the Z.501 was a design of famous Italian aviation engineer Filippo Zappata in an attempt to replace the aged Savoia-Marchetti S.78 series. Design was of a traditional type, with a large wing assembly mounted on struts up high and away from the fuselage, which featured a boat-like hull. The engine was mounted in the wing structure and was of a single type - an Isotta Fraschini Asso XI R2C.15 12-cylinder liquid-cooled inline engine of 900 horsepower. A crew of four or five personnel were called upon to operate the various positions and systems of the aircraft which included a bow gun position, an engine nacelle gun position and a dorsal fuselage gun position. The machine guns were supplemented by the 1,411lb bombload.




In combat, the Z.501 were pressed into service mainly for their reconnaissance capabilities but also served in search and rescue sorties. In either case, the aircraft performed superbly thanks to the type's long range capabilities and loitering times. Losses of the system were high as is expected with these slow flying boat types but the aircraft saw action against French and British forces nonetheless and also took part in the Spanish Civil War before that. Aircraft production in wartime necessitated the need for speed and as such many were sent off the production lines in less than stellar operating condition. If the Z.501 had a blotch on its otherwise adequate operating record it was in the wooden fuselage construction which had a tendency to break up in rough waters. As an aircraft, the Z.501 fared better than as an ocean-going craft. In terms of combat performance, the Z.501 was nothing to speak of - finishing the war without a single air-to-air kill.

The Z.501 did go on to break several distance endurance records during its production run.








Graphical image of an aircraft medium machine gun
Graphical image of an aircraft conventional drop bomb munition

Armament



STANDARD:
1 x 7.7mm machine gun in bow position
1 x 7.7mm machine gun in engine nacelle position
1 x 7.7mm machine gun in dorsal position

OPTIONAL:
Up to 1,411 lb (640 kg) of bombs.

Variants / Models



• Z.501 - Base Series Designation
Site Disclaimer  |  Privacy Policy  |  Cookies  |  Site Map

www.MilitaryFactory.com. Site content ©2003- MilitaryFactory.com, All Rights Reserved.

The "Military Factory" name and MilitaryFactory.com logo are registered ® U.S. trademarks protected by all applicable domestic and international intellectual property laws. All written content, illustrations, and photography are unique to this website (unless where indicated) and not for reuse/reproduction in any form. Material presented throughout this website is for historical and entertainment value only and should not to be construed as usable for hardware restoration, maintenance, or general operation. We do not sell any of the items showcased on this site. Please direct all other inquiries to militaryfactory AT gmail.com.

Part of a network of sites that includes GlobalFirepower, a data-driven property used in ranking the top military powers of the world, and WDMMA.org, the World Directory of Modern Military Aircraft.


Facebook Logo YouTube Logo