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Savoia-Marchetti SM.79

Savoia-Marchetti SM.79
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Alfa Romeo 128 R
3 x 860 h.p. ea.
16,975 lbs.
25,130 lbs.
2,650 lbs.
1x 20 mm
1x 12.7/2x 7.7 mm
53 ft. 2 in.
66 ft. 3 in.
290 mph
1,100 fpm
24,000 feet
1,600 miles

The Savoia-Marchetti SM.79 bomber was derived from a civil air transport. It was fast for its time, rugged, reliable and a crew favorite. The aircraft had a long life. The first prototype took to the air in September 1934. It first saw combat during the Spanish Civil War and continued its career through 1952.

The SM.79 had a unique wing design which permitted both leading edge and trailing edge movements to improve lift during take off and landing. It was able to rotate after less than a roll of 1,000 feet and land in less than 700 feet, impressive for an aircraft of its size and weight. Climb rate, maneuverability, payload, and range were also good.

During the Spanish Civil War, SM.79 crews honed the skills that they would employ during World War II. The war was between General Francesco Franco with his Nationalists rebels and the Republican government forces. The Italians, along with Germany, supported Franco with SM.79 bombers and other war planes. The aircraft were used both against ground forces and as strategic bombers, attacking civilian populations in cities. The war enabled refinement of bombing strategies. Crews which first fought over Spain gained the experience that they would need to carry out missions throughout Europe. The results of the war was a victory for Franco and the Nationalists.

During World War II the SM.79 served as Italy's main conventional and torpedo bomber, serving on every war front. Their war record as torpedo bombers was eighteen merchant ships sunk, with eleven damaged. Three cruisers, one LST, and one aircraft carrier were damaged, and three destroyers sunk. A total of 25 SM.79 aircraft were lost in these actions.

In addition to Italy, Savoia-Marchetti SM.79 aircraft were used by Brazil, Romania and Yugoslavia.

A total of 1,350 SM.79 aircraft of all types were produced between 1936 and 1945.

Savoia-Marchetti SM.79
Ty Brown and his Savoia-Marchetti SM.79.

The first three Savoia-Marchetti SM.79 pictures on this page are of the fantastic model by Ty Brown. It spans 110" wingtip to wingtip and weighs in at around 22 lbs.  Ty uses a OS .91 engine in the nose and a Magnum .62 engine in each wing.

Kit Cutters has plans and a 1/6 scale kit of the Savoia-Marchetti SM.79.

You can find plans for a giant scale Savoia-Marchetti SM.79 from Don Smith Plans.

Precision Cut Kits has a Savoia-Marchetti SM.79 kit for sale. It has a wingspan of 138" and a length of 99".

The last picture below is of a civil aviation version of the Savoia-Marchetti SM.79 by John French. It has a 72" wingspan and weighs in at 8 lbs. 1 oz. John powers his model with E-flite 10 motors.

The AMA Plans Service has plans for a 50" scale model of the Savoia Marchetti SM.79.  Plan number is 33077.

Savoia-Marchetti SM.79
The Savoia-Marchetti S.M.79 detail.

Savoia-Marchetti SM.79
Savoia-Marchetti SM.79 in flight.

Savoia-Marchetti SM.79
Savoia-Marchetti SM.79 by John French.

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