SAVOIA-MARCHETTI

To present coherent picture this outlines whole pre-1943 history of company formed 12 August 1915 at Sesto Calende as SIAI (Società Idrovolanti Alta Italia) with orders to build FBA flying-boats under licence. Rafaele Conflenti was hired 1916 as designer, improving French boat as S.8, 172 built by Armistice of over 800 ordered. S.9 (mid-1918) was further improved, with 180-hp Isotta-Fraschini replaced by 300-hp Fiat A.12bis, some built by new CAMS in France. Further refinement led to S.12, 13 and 16, over 230 of latter being built, 80 going to Soviet Union and 1 flown by de Pinedo throughout Australia and Far East. SIAI S.17, 19, 21 and 22 were small racing flying-boats. Conflenti produced S.23 trainer boat and twin-engined S.24 (unfinished) before leaving to join CAMS May 1922. His successor, Alessandro Marchetti, brought with him from MVT his high-speed biplane design. Company added Savoia-Marchetti to existing title, aircraft all being known by this joint name. Marchetti started new numbers at 50, S.50 being 161-mph MVT biplane. This was modified 1923 as S.51 fighter. S.52 flying-boat came 2nd in 1922 Schneider race. S.53 bomber led to S.55 twin-hull boat with tandem engines, 2 x 300-hp in prototype (August 1924) increasing with successive versions to 2 x 750-hp in S.55X, 25 of which, led by Gen. I. Balbo, flew to Chicago 1933 and back; about 245 of all versions built. Many other marine aircraft followed, including 22 S.66 (3 x 600-hp) twin-hull boats for airline Ala Littoria. From 1927 Marchetti began adding landplanes, and in about 1933 company name changed in consequence to Società Italiana Aeroplani Idrovolanti 'Savoia-Marchetti'. One early landplane, S.64, set impressive circuit records including 4,764 miles (7,665 1cm) in just under 59 hours. Final Schneider contender, S.65 with pilot sitting between push/pull 1,000-hp engines, crashed (as did 9 Savoia prototypes) into Lake Garda. Seven S.71 high-wing transports (3 x 240-hp) were followed by 6 larger S.72 (3 x 550-hp). This 'Fokker style' was obsolescent, and S.73 (3 x 800-hp) low-wing transport (4 July 1934) was much faster, 48 built (7 Belgian S.73s escaped to England May 1940, served with the RAF in N. Africa where 4 were captured by Italy!). Last high-wing fixed-gear type was S.74 (4 x 700-hp) with 22 passengers. SM.75 introduced 'Savoia-Marchetti' designations, 94 of these 226-mph (363.6 km/h) 30-passenger transports being built 1937-43, plus several variants including 4 SM.87 twin-float seaplanes. SM.78 was last biplane flying-boat, 49 built 1933-6. SM.79 Sparviero was most famous SM type, flown as long-range racer 1934 (3 x 780-hp) and 1,780 bomber and torpedo derivatives being built, most with 3 x 1,000-hp but a few 79B exported with 2 engines. SM.81 was bomber version of SM.73, 534 built 1935-42. SM.82 Canguru was large transport (3 x 950-hp), 720 built 1939-43. SM.83 was high-speed civil airliner, 23 built 1937-8. SM.84 bomber/torpedo carrier (5 June 1940) had 3 x 1,000-hp, 309 built. SM.85 and 86 dive-bombers were failures, and final prototypes were SM.89 attack bomber, 91 twin-boom fighter, 92 twin-boom fighter with no central nacelle, 93 dive-bomber and 95 4-engined transport. Post-war, see SIAI-Marchetti.

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