CANT Z.1007bis Alcione: Precious Italian Imbroglio

The Dreamy Dodo

The magnificent Alcione (Kingfisher) was designed starting in 1935 by the great Filippo Zappata, a sort of derivate of his superb CANT Z.506. As usual with Italian big aircrafts of the era the Z.1007 was three-engined,a trend necessary due to the meagre power output of their local engines. The Alcione was, with the SM.79 “Gobbo”, one of the best medium bombers of the Regia Aeronautica, but also a especially good reconaissance aircraft. The main handicap of these excellent aircrafts apart of their engine layout was their all-wood structure,easily damaged by the extreme climates.
Curiously the Z.1007’s were built at the same time in both single and twin tail arrangements (the later improved markely their questionable longuitudinal stability) and they were operated mixed in the same units…some crews prefered one and anothers the other.

Such a pretty thing; those Piaggio P.XI bis R.C.40’s roarin’.

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I’ll be glad when someone invents the enclosed cockpit. Or at least the cabin heater.

Click to enlarge

Fokker E.II/35 from Feldflieger Abteilung 14 preparing to land at an airfield on the Eastern Front. The E.II was built in parallel with the E.I and whether an airframe became an E.I or E.II depended on the availability of engines. In total, Fokker production figures state that 49 E.IIs were built and 45 of these had been delivered to the Western Front Fliegertruppe by December 1915. These figures mean that E.II 35/15 was one of the very few E.IIs that saw action on the Eastern Front. In the distant background (right side) is a possible Rumpler aircraft

Heavy Austro-Hungarian Artillery in Action

Some WW1 Photographs...

I spent some time in trying to understand the model of this gun, but it’s almost midnight and I cann’t wait no more… At first sight, this gun seems to be a Skoda 15 cm. M 15/16 gun in a very well-built shelter. You have probably noticed that the shell is split into two parts: one for the propellant charge and of course the projectile itself, with the explosive charge.


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The Battle of the Doppelgangers


When World War I broke out, it was not uncommon for navies on both sides to commission civilian ships for military use, either as transports or warships.  One sneaky move was to arm civilian ships, especially passenger liners, to trick the enemy.  Such ships could use the element of surprise to attack an enemy who believes the ship is nothing more than an unarmed civilian vessel.


In 1914 the German Navy armed the 18,000-ton, 613-foot long passenger liner Cap Trafalgar with two four-inch guns and six 37mm auto-cannon.  In addition the Cap Trafalgar was disguised to look like a similar British Cunard line passenger liner called the 19,524-ton, 650-foot long RMS Carmania.  The idea was that the Cap Trafalgar could approach British merchant and supply convoys with little suspicion of being a German warship.  When the convoy least expected it, the Cap Trafalgar would open fire and destroy the…

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W29 Hansa-Brandeburg/C-Typ in Austro-Hungarian service
Per google translate:

After the German Hansa-Brandenburg W29 pattern / C-type – one also developed by Professor Heinkel Seejäger with two floats – a squadron were still ordered 24 pieces in UFAG than under license.
3 machines were built and tested to end of war – all 25 engines were ready.

I don’t know why I have such a soft spot for floatplane fighters, but they are some of my favorites.

Cigarette Lighting

How ironic. I quit smoking a year ago today (14SEP) LOL!

Some WW1 Photographs...

This nice studio picture of two Italian NCOs (I think the man on the right is a sergeant) lighting their cigarettes reminded me the legend of the “Three on a match” superstition. According to it, if three soldiers lit their cigarettes from the same match, one of the three would be killed or that the man who was third on the match would be shot. Since then it has been considered bad luck for three people to share a light from the same match.

The belief was that when the first soldier lit his cigarette, the enemy would see the light; when the second soldier lit his cigarette from the same match, the enemy would take aim; when the third soldier lit his cigarette from the same match, the enemy would fire.

Even if this superstition is known as a Great War one, there is an article dated 1894 which…

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