Filippo Zappata's projects at Breda (was: answer to Archipeppe)


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The projects drawn by Filippo Zappata, famous Italian designer known for the CANT Z 10XX and 5XX series, while working at Breda (circa 1942-1950) are one of the major problems of Italian aviation history.
Breda archives were utterly destroyed when the aviation branch of the company went bankrupt in 1950 (to the point that the photographic plates in the archive were scratched to remove the milligrams of silver still there). Working from a variety of sources, one can reconstruct what follows:

Zappata came to Breda with a couple of concept in mind, one more and the other less evolved. First was the CANT Z-1018 twin-engine bomber; second was a terrestrial version of the transatlantic floatplane CANT Z-511. Actually, the tranfer of Zappata from Cantieri Aeronautici to Breda was arranged just to start in earnest the production of the all-metal construction of the Leone. Zappata derived from the Leone four different aircrafts, with the same general layout, but targeted to different uses: they were the BZ-301 to 304. The story of these (only the 301 and 303 was accepted for production) is rather well known, even if no 302 and 304 drawings survived (perhaps 8) ).
Less known is the evolution of the Z-511. Zappata in late 42 derived four different aircrafts, starting from the Z-511 base and enlarging it: BZ-305, 306, 308 and 408. Apart from the 308, no drawings has survived, but a table with dimensions and characteristics can be found in an old issue of magazine "L'Ala" (1948). The table has been copied from an official Breda document, then still exstant, and later destroyed. I'll post the scan in my next post... ;D
Dear Skybolt, many many thanks for this side of Zappata's history I didn't know...

Anyway I will wait for your scans!!!
Dear Skybolt, thank you for this information. This is my first time on Secret Projects; the Breda Zappata BZ.308 is of great interest to me as I am hoping to build a scale model of this aircraft next year. Would you be able to recommend a source for accurate plans/general arrangement drawings for the BZ.308 please? I'm afraid my own research has reached a dead end and my Italian contacts seem to be having the same trouble. :-[

I much look forward to your scans too as it would be fascinating to see the actual sequence between the Z.511 and the BZ.308. :)

All best wishes, Terry (Caravellarella).
Well, Terry, there is a fairly accurate GA drawing (signed by Zappata himself) of the BZ-308 in "Le navi aeree di Filippo Zappata", by Giorgio Evangelisti and Giuseppe Zappata (late son of Filippo) Editoriale Olimpia, 1996 (No ISBN). For the color scheme, refer to "Dimensione Cielo Vol. 14 Aerei Italiani del dopoguerra - Trasporto" Edizioni dell'Ateneo e Bizzarri, 1979, by Emilio Brotzu and Giancarlo Garello. Both drawings are small scale, but if you plan to do it in 1:144 they could be more than enough. There are a number of faily accurate models of the BZ around, one at 1:48 is in storage at the Museo della Scienza e Tecnologia in Milan, another,, little, in the Piazzai Colelction now at the Malpensa Airport near MIoan but being transferred to the new Museo Dell'aereonautica in Vizzola Ticino (nearby). Probably the most accessible one is in the little display section of the Fondazione Breda in Sesto San Giovanni (I post it here...). Large scale drawing could be in Rome archives of the Air Force (the lone 308 was used by the High Command for some time), I'll check next week.


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Thanks Skybolt for these images of this cute model.
Is this a "factory model" made at the BZ 308's time, or is some hadycraft work made by an enthusisast modeler after??
Anyway, if I remember well, the painting scheme of the actual aircraft in Italian service was not the same represented in the model... ::)
It's a factory model, used for a some aviation salon (Paris, Bruxelles and Milan). The color scheme is Breda's.
Thank you Skybolt for all this wonderfully helpful information. How did you you guess I was planning in 1/144 scale? Oddly enough, my/our 3D-design software prefers to work in 1/1 scale and I/we scale down afterwards; so small scale original drawings are of limited use to me/us. I've been trying to track down a copy of Dimensione Cielo No.14 for a while; to no avail.....

The images you post of the model are interesting as they show the same livery as applied to the prototype, but as Archipeppe suspects, in a different colour. The prototype appears to have received four distinct liveries:-

1. Overall polished metal with small BZ.308 titles on the rear fuselage (pre-first flight?)
2. Overall polished metal with the registration I-BREZ; the lettering on the rear fuselage appears to have white outlines.
3. The Breda livery above, but on a silver overall-doped fuselage.
4. The Breda livery above in blue, but with a white upper fuselage (as appeared in "Roman Holiday").

There is an interesting Youtube-style video showing the Big Breda, but I cannot relocate it after watching it last night.........

All best wishes,

Terry, (Caravellarella).
Many thanks for the line drawing Terry.
It is coloured exactly as I remember (notably the SM -5 marking, it stands for "Stato Maggiore" (Military Staff).
The liver exibited in the line drawing is referred for the period in which BZ 308 served as "Italian Air Force One" used sometimes by the President of Republic or Prime Minister in some occasional travel.

If I recall well the sad end of BZ 308 happened in a foreing airport due to a minor accident with no spare parts existing in Italy (by the way only one prototype of BZ 308 was produced).
Dear Archipeppe, she is a lovely airliner, isn't she. Imagine how good she would have looked in Alitalia or Linee Aeree Italiane livery.........

All best, Terry (Caravellarella).
Caravellarella said:
Dear Archipeppe, she is a lovely airliner, isn't she. Imagine how good she would have looked in Alitalia or Linee Aeree Italiane livery.........

All best, Terry (Caravellarella).

I absolutely agree with you.
Anyway, when it will be possible, I will try out to make a 3 views of BZ 308 with typical Alitalia livery of mid '50s....
LAI is more probable, even if with FIAT in the shareholder group I'd see it as very difficult (FIAT was an Alitalia shareholder too.... ;) )
ABd, BTW, the image you posted is the same contained in the Dimensione Cielo book..... (it is the one on the cover).
Skybolt said:
LAI is more probable, even if with FIAT in the shareholder group I'd see it as very difficult (FIAT was an Alitalia shareholder too.... ;) )


Anyway the FIAT participation to LAI and Alitalia did not prevent the latest one to use some Savoia Marchetti SM 95 in the early '50s... ;)
Dear Archipeppe and Skybolt, here is a link.......

to a youtube-type segment on the BZ.308; ignore the cheesy 1970s synth soundtrack and keep an eye out for the inverted-gull wing DC-5 lookalike which turns up for the BZ.308's first (?) flight......

All best wishes, Terry (Caravellarella)
Dear Terry many thanks for this precious contribution, in terms of collection of BZ 308's images.
Anyway the odd DC-5 alike aircraft is not, obviously, related to BZ 308 project.

The aircraft depicted during flying trials is the Breda-Pittoni BP 471, a twin engines, high gull inverted wing, troop/passengers transport offered to AMI in 1947/48 period.

Along with the BZ 308, the BP 471 is another remarkeable project did by Italian at the end of WWII (for Italy it means 1943).
The BP 471 come too late to find a potential market, even if it was a very cute aircraft, cause the afterwar panorama for transport aircraft was litterally saturated by DC3/C47 surplus of war.

Infact AMI did effectively received C47 and, in late 50's, the more capable Fairchild C 119.
Neverthless the BP 471 could be a very effective transport.....
You're most welcome Archipeppe. I've never seen this Breda Pittoni BP.471 before; completely new to me......

It reminds me a little of the Bréguet Br.890H Mercure........

All best, Terry (Caravellarella).
You may find out some, brief, notes about BP 471 even in wikipedia:

Anyway the Br 890H could be inspired by Pittoni's BP 471, considering that the French plane is later than Italian one.....
You could be right Archipeppe as they do look similar from certain angles. The Bréguet 89 Mars/Mercure series (specifically the Bréguet Br.891R Mars) was one of the unsuccessful entrants in the competition won by the S.N.C.A.N N.2500 Noratlas............

All best, Terry (Caravellarella).
Apologies Skybolt, I was distracted by Archipeppe's enthusiasm. Is there already another thread on the BP.471? I can't find it on this site.......

Many thanks, Terry, (Caravellarella).
Caravellarella said:
Apologies Skybolt, I was distracted Archipeppe's enthusiasm. Is there already another thread on the BP.471? I can't find it on this site.......

Many thanks, Terry, (Caravellarella).

Forgive me folks!!
You're right, I mislead the topic.

Please if moderator could be so kind to open another thread about Pittoni's projects, at least me and Terry would appreciate a lot!! :-D
Filippo Zappata, responsible far the C.R.D.A. Cant series of bombers, joined the Breda design staff in 1941, and was subsequently responsible far several interesting projects, few of which were actually built. His first design under Breda auspices was the Bz 301 long-range, all-metal medium bomber derived from the Cant Z.1018 but not built. The Bz 302 was a projected twin-engined heavy fighter of all-metal construction abandoned in favour of the Bz 303 night fighter. The Bz 303 was a sleek two-seat, low-wing monoplane of mixed construction with twin fins and rudders. Power was provided by two 1,450-h.p. Piaggio P.XV R.C.60j2V radials, and the exceptionally heavy armament of eight 20-mm. Mauser cannon (four firing forwards and four firing to the rear) and a 12.7-mm. machine gun in a dorsal position. Maximum speed was 360 m.p.h., and range was 963 miles. The sole prototype was destroyed by the Germans.

Other Zappata projects included the Bz 304 twin-engined attack bomber, the Bz 305 four-engined troop and cargo transport, the Bz 306 four-engined long-range bomber, and the Bz 401 light reconnaissance-bomber seaplane. No prototypes of these aircraft were completed.

I found this article on projects Breda Zappa.
Talk of a whole family of aircraft:
Bz 301 medium bomber
Bz 302 heavy fighter
Bz 303 night fighter
Bz 304
Bz 305
Bz 306
Does anyone have information, data (size, performance, equipment) and drawings of these aircraft, especially the last three of which I was not aware of?
lucamax said:
On the magazine "Italian Aviation Research Branch" n° 4/1975 there is a 3-view of the BZ.303.
Here it is, hope you'll enjoy it:

Many thanks Luca!
Dear Jan,
I post the text extract from the same magazine (IARB n°4/1975). There are few informations but It's all I have about the aircraft. I hoope you'll like it! I post also an artistic draw of the Bz.303 taken from another old italian magazine.


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from AerFan magazine,a good drawing to BZ.303.


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here is two drawings show the gun positions for BZ.301 and BZ.303.


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lucamax said:
On the magazine "Italian Aviation Research Branch" n° 4/1975 there is a 3-view of the BZ.303.
Here it is, hope you'll enjoy it:

My dear Lucamax,

this BZ.303 drawing is different a little from yours.


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There is an illustrated 4 page article on the Breda Zappata BZ.308 build in the Italian magazine Alata from May 1949 (page 25 onwards).

There is an on-line PDF edition at (select Maggio 1949 link option).

This issue is a Italian Air Show special and also has a BZ.308 brief description summary (in Italian) near the back.
Hi Z.1018 and variants.

"At Brada, Zappata proposed several variants of the Z.1018 metallic:
BZ.301 (Breda-Zappata, mod.301), high altitude bomber;
BZ.302, high altitude fighter;
BZ.303, night fighter, torpedo bomber multirole;
BZ.304, anti-tank (perhaps with a 37 mm gun)."

The Italian Air Ministry authorized only the BZ.301 and 303, called Leone II and Leone III. The wingspan was altered for these variants: 24 m/79 ft (BZ.301); 20.7 m/68 ft (BZ.303).
The BZ.303 project carried the best armament of Italian aircraft programs. It had eight 20 mm MG 151 (200 rpg), four in the wings and four in the nose (plus a 12.7 mm/.5 in gun in the dorsal position). It had radar and two Piaggio P XV RC60 engines of 1,081 kW (1,450 hp). Another version was provided with two DB 603 engines, and was called BZ303bis. In September 1943, there were contracts for several of these "new generation Leoni". At this point,

Bottom drawing is a mistake one?


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Wha is this? Z.1018 first prototype? If so, BZ.301 and BZ.303 looks like the first prototype of Z.1018.

BZ.303;topic=3026.0;attach=210712;image hesham-san, do you have plan view and front view?;topic=3026.0;attach=199020;image
• Engines:
◦2x Piaggio P. XV RC60 2v (1.450 hp)
◦2x Piaggio PXV. RC 15 (1,500 hp) BZ.301
◦2x Daimler-Benz DB 605 (1.550 hp)
◦2x Daimler-Benz DB 603 (1.700 hp)
◦2x turboprop Turbina a Gas Campini 3500 (3.550 CV - 3501 hp)
•Wing span: 20,8m
•Length: 16,98m
•Height: 5m
•Wing area: 59m^2 ( 37,5m^2 with Campini turboprop)
•Empty weight: 8800 kg
•Total weight: 11000 kg
•Wing load: 186,5 kg/m
•Maximum speed: 580 Km/h (according Campini 1000 km/h with Campini turboprop -improbable-)
•Tangency: 13000 m
•Autonomy: 1500 km
•Armament: 8x 20mm MG 151 + 1x12.7 mm Breda (defenses)
Source :


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Hi Z.511 giant seaplane.
General characteristics
Crew: 6
Capacity: 16 passengers (airliner)
Length: 28.5 m (93 ft 6 in)
Wingspan: 39.86 m (130 ft 9 in)
Height: 11 m (36 ft 1 in)
Wing area: 195 m2 (2,100 sq ft)
Empty weight: 20,692 kg (45,618 lb)
Gross weight: 34,200 kg (75,398 lb)
Powerplant: 4 × Piaggio P.XII RC.35 air-cooled radial piston engines, 1,100 kW (1,500 hp) each
Maximum speed: 424 km/h (263 mph; 229 kn)
Cruising speed: 330 km/h (205 mph; 178 kn)
Range: 4,352 km (2,704 mi; 2,350 nmi)
Service ceiling: 7,550 m (24,770 ft)
Rate of climb: 4.16 m/s (819 ft/min)
10 × 12.7 mm (0.500 in) Breda-SAFAT machine guns
10x 20 mm (0.787 in) Cannone-Mitragliera da 20/77 (Scotti) cannon in beam positions, two upper turrets, and belly positions.
Missiles: 4× 450 mm (17.7 in) aerial torpedoes or "Maiale" manned torpedoes.
Bombs: Up to 4,000 kg (8,800 lb) bomb-load in an internal bomb bay and mounted on outer-wing hard-points


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A small Info about BZ.307;'Ala%201948%2002.pdf


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