This beautiful aircraft is a CANT Z.506 Airone floatplane, one of the fastest, most-advanced, and highest flying aircraft of the 1930s. Powered by three Alfa Romeo radial engines, the Z.506 was first developed as a luxury airliner, wherein it set numerous aeronautical world records.
Such success inevitably led to the development of military versions, with the design used by the Italian Airforce for maritime patrol, bombing and torpedo operations, first in the Spanish Civil War (leading to the Franco dictatorship) and then by Italy’s own dictator Mussolini in the Second World War, where it played a significant role in Italy’s invasion of Greece, and bombing French North Africa. Yay fascisim.
Anyway, 1930s and ’40s Dictator willy-waving wasn’t really the CANT Z.506’s fault, and the aircraft continued to fly long after Mussolini was deposed and Italy switched sides, operating in search and rescue until 1959, which is far more noble.
This one is isn’t a search and rescue aircraft though, instead being an early example from the Spanish Civil War, thusly equipped with four machine guns and a 1200kg bomb payload. Flickr’s Eínon is the builder behind it, and there’s more to see of their brilliant Lego version of the CANT Z.506 Airone at their photostream. Click the link above to join the 1930s fight for fascism…