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Author Topic: The slightly less well known  (Read 79893 times)

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Offline Angry Turnip

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Re: The slightly less well known
« Reply #500 on: June 27, 2020, 03:46:33 PM »
Piaggio P.150

The Piaggio P.150 was a 1950s two-seat trainer designed to replace the North American T-6.

The P.150 was designed and built to compete as an Italian Air Force T-6 replacement against the Fiat G.49 and Macchi MB.323. It was an all-metal low-wing cantilever monoplane with a wide-track retractable tailwheel landing gear. The pilot and instructor were seated in tandem under a glazed canopy. It was originally powered by a 600hp Pratt & Whitney Wasp radial engine and later an Alvis Leonides engine driving a two-bladed prop. The aircraft was not selected and did not go into production, and just one was completed.

Max speed was 220 mph with a cruise of 195 mph.It was fitted with a single machine gun in the port wing. The aircraft was first flown in 1952 and was evaluated from 1952 until 1954.
« Last Edit: June 27, 2020, 03:46:50 PM by Angry Turnip »

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Re: The slightly less well known
« Reply #501 on: June 27, 2020, 04:01:22 PM »
Piaggio P.166 Series.

The Piaggio P.166 is a two crew twin-engine pusher-type utility aircraft from the late 1950`s.

The basic P.166 was a development of the P.136 amphibian, and flew for the first time on 26 November 1957. It had a new fuselage and tail unit but retained the wing and engines from the P.136. Several were purchased for use as executive transports or as feeder and taxi aircraft. The improved P.166B was more powerful and had up to ten seats; a prototype was first flown on 27 March 1962.

The aircraft model name was Portofino, and is also known as Albatross in South African military service.A further version, the 12-seater P.166C with improved undercarriage, first flew on 2 October 1964.A turboprop-powered variant, the P.166D, was developed with 600 hp Lycoming LTP101 engines and it first flew on 3 July 1976.

Around 155 aircraft were built in various sub-types and with different powerplants, ranging from 340 hp to 615 hp.The aircraft was operated in Italy, South Africa, Australia, and Somalia
« Last Edit: June 27, 2020, 04:01:52 PM by Angry Turnip »

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Re: The slightly less well known
« Reply #502 on: June 29, 2020, 05:37:46 PM »
Piaggio PD.808

The Piaggio PD.808 was a business jet from the mid 1960`s.

Originally named the PD.808 Vespa Jet the business jet was a joint venture between Piaggio and the Douglas Aircraft Company. The basic design work was carried out by Douglas and the prototype was built by Piaggio.
It was a low-wing cabin-monoplane with tip-tanks and powered by two rear-mounted Bristol Siddeley Viper 525 turbojets. It has retractable tricycle landing gear and was originally designed with a cabin for a pilot and six-passengers.
The first Viper 525-powered prototype first flew on 29 August 1965, this was followed by a second Viper 525 powered prototype and two civil demonstrators.

Production aircraft had Rolls Royce Viper Mk526 turbojet engines of 3,330lb/f each, which gave a max speed of 529 mph (mach 0.85), and a cruise of 449 mph.
The only interest was from the Italian Air Force as a liaison, training and radar calibration aircraft who placed an order for 25.The aircraft were operated from 1970 until being retired in 2003.
« Last Edit: June 29, 2020, 05:39:15 PM by Angry Turnip »

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Re: The slightly less well known
« Reply #503 on: June 30, 2020, 04:38:09 PM »
SAI Ambrosini SAI.3

The Ambrosini SAI.3 was a two-seat touring airplane first flown in 1937.

It was a low-wing monoplane with a graceful, elliptical wing, and fixed tailwheel undercarriage. Customers could choose between enclosed or open cockpits, and between an inline Alfa Romeo 115 engine or a 85hp radial Fiat A.50.
A upgraded version was marketed as the SAI.3S with a smaller-chord wing and a Siemens-Halske Sh 14 radial engine, this offered much improved performance to the original SAI.3 design.

Max speed was 124 mph with a cruise of 105 mph. Ten aircraft were completed.
« Last Edit: June 30, 2020, 04:39:06 PM by Angry Turnip »

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Re: The slightly less well known
« Reply #504 on: June 30, 2020, 04:51:04 PM »
SAI-Ambrosini SS.4

The SAI-Ambrosini SS.4 was a fighter prototype developed in the late 1930s.

The SS.4 was a single-seat fighter of all-metal construction with a canard configuration wing with twin fins mounted on the wing trailing edges, retractable tricycle undercarriage and short fuselage with rear-mounted engine driving a pusher propeller.
The pilot had an enclosed cockpit positioned in the centre of the fuselage, forward of the two fuel tanks and aft of the armament in the nose. Visibility from the cockpit was excellent to the sides and front, but restricted to the rear by the large main wing, engine and large twin fins positioned at approximately the half-span position.

The swept and tapered, high aspect ratio wings had no sweep on the trailing edge and a cut back to give clearance for the propeller, with the large fins with rudders extending past the trailing edge at the ends of the cut-backs, to ensure enough moment to give adequate control and stability. The delta fore-plane was of low aspect ratio with the elevators sited below the trailing edge.The engine was a high performance liquid-cooled Isotta-Fraschini Asso XI R.C.40 engine capable of 960 hp driving a three-bladed metal propeller, which gave a max speed of 355 mph.

Armament was to be two 20 mm cannon and one 30 mm cannon, mounted in the nose.The aircraft was successfully flown for the first time on 7 March 1939. The next day the SS.4 prototype was scheduled to be transported to Aviano airbase by rail, but chief test pilot Ambrogio Colombo wanted a second test flight. After 45 minutes, an aileron malfunctioned just 2 km (1.2 mi) from Eleuteri. Colombo attempted to land but was unable to reach the runway and crashed near Campagna, hitting a tree. A second prototype was ordered immediately, but development priority was placed on more easily developed wooden aircraft, and the SS.4 design was abandoned in 1942.
« Last Edit: June 30, 2020, 05:43:25 PM by Angry Turnip »

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Re: The slightly less well known
« Reply #505 on: July 01, 2020, 02:52:48 PM »
SAI-Ambrosini S.7

The SAI.7 was a racing aircraft flown before World War II that entered production as a military trainer after the war.

The aircraft began their proving flights too late to race, and were disqualified from competitions,but during the war, the Regia Aeronautica expressed interest in the aircraft as a trainer for fighter pilots, and a slightly revised version entered limited production in 1943 as the SAI.7T. Only 10 were built, but in 1949 a modernised version powered by an Alfa Romeo engine was produced, 145 of them for the re-formed Italian Air Force, including some single-seaters. It was of conventional configuration,built from wood, with a tail wheel undercarriage.

Power was provided by an air-cooled inverted inline engine, the 225 hp 6 cyclinder Alfa-Romeo model 115ter.This gave a max speed of 222 mph and a cruise of 165 mph.
« Last Edit: July 01, 2020, 02:53:06 PM by Angry Turnip »

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Re: The slightly less well known
« Reply #506 on: July 01, 2020, 03:02:37 PM »
SAI-Ambrosini 10 Grifone

The SAI.10 Grifone ("Griffon") was a military trainer aircraft produced in small numbers for the Italian Regia Aeronautica early in World War II.

The aircraft was a parasol monoplane of mixed construction which first flew on July 8 1939.A production batch of 50 was ordered, but this was quickly reduced to just 10 machines, all of which were delivered in 1940.
Production aircraft differed by having a 85 hp Fiat A.50 radial engine in place of the prototype's CNA D. Other engine fits that were used included an example with a Siemens-Halske Sh 14, and one with an Alfa Romeo 110; this latter machine designated SAI.11. Another experimental development that did not enter production was a float-equipped SAI.10 Gabbiano ("Seagull").
« Last Edit: July 01, 2020, 03:05:45 PM by Angry Turnip »

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Re: The slightly less well known
« Reply #507 on: July 02, 2020, 06:20:27 PM »
SAI Ambrosini 207

The SAI.207 was a light fighter interceptor built entirely from wood during World War II.

The first of three prototypes was completed and flown in the Autumn of 1940. The SAI.107 was a fighter development of the SAI.7, with similar dimensions, but with a 540 hp Isotta Fraschini Gamma engine. The SAI.107 reached a speed of 350 mph in trials and manoeuvrability proved to be excellent. The SAI.107 was lost, along with pilot Arturo Ferrarin, in a crash on 18 July 1941.

Two more fighter prototypes were built as SAI.207s, flying for the first time in the spring of 1941 and 1942.The SAI.207 was a single-seat, low-wing monoplane with a conventional tail-wheel undercarriage.It had a lightweight wooden construction, combined with a 751 hp Isotta-Fraschini Delta R.C.40 inverted-V engine, with a center-line cooling air intake, provided speed and agility. Armament consisted of two fuselage-mounted 12.7 mm Breda-SAFAT machine guns.
A production order for 2,000 machines, plus a pre-production batch of 12 aircraft for operational testing was signed off. After the mixed results of operational evaluation and the signing of the Armistice, no production aircraft were built.

The pre-production batch of 12 aircraft served briefly with three squadrons.The aircraft entered service in July 1943, flying a number of combat missions against heavy Allied raids over the Italian capital, but without success. Despite its speed, Italian pilots were not impressed by the type and its service in the summer of 1943 quickly ended. The aircraft of 83rd Squadriglia were returned to SAI-Ambrosini to be refurbished, but the Armistice made it impossible for them to return to their squadron.
« Last Edit: July 03, 2020, 09:29:47 AM by Angry Turnip »

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Re: The slightly less well known
« Reply #508 on: July 03, 2020, 09:53:20 AM »
SAI-Ambrosini.403

The SAI.403 Dardo ("Dart") was a light fighter aircraft built in 1943 during World War II.

The SAI.403 Dardo was a development and refined version of the SAI.207, improvements induced the Ministero dell' Aeronautica in 1943 to cancel its order for 2,000 of the SAI.207 and order 3,000 of the SAI.403 instead (800 from Ambrosini, 1,000 from Caproni, and 1,200 from Savoia-Marchetti). Apart from the fighter's superlative performance, its all-wood construction was attractive at a time when Italy was facing a shortage of strategic materials. However, by the time of the Armistice, the first of these was yet to leave the factory.

The aircraft was powered by a 750 hp Isotta-Fraschini Delta R.C.21/60 Serie I-IV inverted air-cooled V-12 piston engine, which gave a max speed of 403 mph and a cruise of 300 mph.
It was to be armed with fuselage-mounted 12.7 mm (0.500 in) Breda-SAFAT machine guns, and plans were drawn up to fit 15mm or 20mm canon in the wings in later versions, which did not happen.

The single prototype was seized by the Germans and evaluated by the Luftwaffe. Japanese pilots stationed in Germany were also given a chance to fly the aircraft, with the result that it was ordered into production by both Heinkel and Mitsubishi. None of these flew before the end of the war.
« Last Edit: July 03, 2020, 09:53:56 AM by Angry Turnip »

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Re: The slightly less well known
« Reply #509 on: July 03, 2020, 10:03:16 AM »
SAI Ambrosini S.1001

The S.1001 Grifo ("Griffin") was an Italian light airplane that appeared shortly after the end of World War II.

It was the first plane built by SAI Ambrosini postwar, the prototype flew in 1947 and was derived from the pre-war SAI.2S. It was a four-seat monoplane with spatted fixed undercarriage. A small series was produced for the Italian aeroclubs with an Alfa Romeo 110-ter engine of 130 hp.This gave a max speed of 150 mph and a cruise of 130 mph.

Three examples were even bought by the Italian Aeronautica Militare (AMI), which used them between 1948 and 1950.
A two-seater version powered by a de Havilland Gipsy Major of 120 kW (160 hp) was offered to the AMI as a trainer. The AMI were not interested, but a few aircraft were built as the S.1002 Trasimeno for aeroclubs.
« Last Edit: July 03, 2020, 10:03:37 AM by Angry Turnip »

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Re: The slightly less well known
« Reply #510 on: July 05, 2020, 12:50:59 AM »
SAI Ambrosini F.4 Rondone

The SAI Ambrosini Rondone is a two/three-seat light touring monoplane of the early 1950s.

The Rondone was designed for private pilots and aero clubs for a more modern touring aircraft. Stelio Frati prepared the basic design for the prototype two-seat F.4 Rondone I which was built and first flown in 1951.It was a two-seater with a 65 hp Walter Mikron III engine.

This was followed by nine production examples produced by SAI Ambrosini in collaboration with Aeronautica Lombardi; these were powered by 85 hp Continental engines.The three-seat F.7 Rondone II first flew on 10 February 1954 and the prototype and nine production examples were built with a 90 hp Continental C90-12F engine.

The aircraft are of wooden construction with a plywood-covered one-piece single spar wing, and a monocoque fuselage. The tricycle undercarriage is retractable. Two-position flaps and dual controls are fitted. The Rondone II has an extended cabin with additional rear side windows.Many of the 20 completed aircraft are still airworthy.
« Last Edit: July 05, 2020, 12:52:56 AM by Angry Turnip »

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Re: The slightly less well known
« Reply #511 on: July 05, 2020, 01:01:07 AM »
SIAI S.13

The SIAI S.13 was a 1910s reconnaissance flying-boat.

It was a smaller version of the earlier S.12, the S.13 was a single-engined biplane reconnaissance-fighter flying boat. It had a crew of two in side-by-side seats behind a single windscreen; the observer had a single flex-mounted machine-gun. The flying boat was powered by a single 250 hp Isotta Fraschini V6 engine.

The Royal Italian Navy took delivery of 12 aircraft in 1919, and the flying boat was exported to Japan, Norway, Spain, Sweden, and Yugoslavia. In France, the S.13 was built under license as the CAMS C.13 and the Spanish naval workshops in Barcelona also built seven under licence.
A single-seat version, the S.13 Tipo, was ordered by the Royal Italian Navy, but was later cancelled when the Royal Navy decided to develop the Macchi M.7 instead and a civilian version, the S.13bis, failed to attract any orders.
« Last Edit: July 05, 2020, 01:01:27 AM by Angry Turnip »

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Re: The slightly less well known
« Reply #512 on: July 05, 2020, 04:18:48 PM »
SIAI S.51

The SIAI S.51, Savoia Marchetti S.51 or Savoia S.51 was an Italian racing flying boat built by SIAI for the 1922 Schneider Trophy race.

The S.51 was a single-seat sesquiplane flying boat, which first flew in 1922. It was powered by a 300 hp Hispano-Suiza 8A V8 engine, mounted on two struts above the hull and below the upper wing, it drove a two-bladed propeller in a pusher configuration. The lower wings had small stabilizing floats mounted on inclined struts so that they hung below and outboard of the outer tips of the lower wing.

Italy entered the S.51 in the 1922 Schneider Trophy race and also two Macchi M.17 flying boats in competition with a British Supermarine Sea Lion II flying boat. The race was held at Naples on 12 August.
The S.51 capsized in an accident during the seaworthiness trials before the race. It was recovered by its crew, and it completed the race, flown by Alessandro Passaleva but could only take second place, with the Sea Lion a comfortable 2 min 22 s ahead. The course was 13 laps long, a total distance of 230 mi, over which the S.51 averaged 142.65 mph.

On 28 December 1922 the S.51, flown again by Passaleva, set a world speed record for seaplanes of 174.080 mph.
« Last Edit: July 05, 2020, 04:19:43 PM by Angry Turnip »

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Re: The slightly less well known
« Reply #513 on: July 05, 2020, 04:31:39 PM »
SIAI S.52

The SIAI S.52 was a fighter prototype of 1924.

The S.52 was a single-seat, all-metal biplane with its fuselage suspended between the upper and lower wings. The aircraft was a development of the earlier S.50. The semi-elliptical wings were extremely thin in section and larger in area than those of the previous S.50, and used ailerons to allow lateral control rather than the wing warping as the S.50 employed.
The S.50's all-moving tail surfaces were replaced by a conventional tail unit which combined fixed and moving surfaces. The 300 hp  Hispano-Suiza HS 42 eight-cylinder water-cooled piston engine drove a two-bladed propeller, and the S.52 was armed with two fixed, forward-firing 0.303-inch Vickers machine guns synchronized to fire through the propeller.

The S.52 was too late for the 1923 fighter contest, first flying in 1924. Two prototypes – designated MM.3 and MM.4 – were built, but no Italian production order was received.
The second prototype was shipped to Latin America for demonstration flights, one of which was a 1927 flight from Argentina to Paraguay. SIAI had learned that the Paraguayan Air Arm was interested in purchasing aircraft, so the S.52 made a series of successful flights at the Paraguayan Military Aviation School.

The Paraguayan government decided to buy it in 1927 – the first fighter Paraguay had ever bought and its only fighter until the arrival of seven Wibault 73 C.1 aircraft in 1928 – but placed no order for additional S.52s.  It was destroyed in an accident on 8 May 1933.
« Last Edit: July 05, 2020, 04:36:28 PM by Angry Turnip »

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Re: The slightly less well known
« Reply #514 on: July 06, 2020, 09:26:39 PM »
Savoia-Marchetti S.55 Series.

The Savoia-Marchetti S.55 was a double-hulled flying boat produced in 1924.

The S.55 had many innovative features. The passengers and/or cargo were placed in the twin hulls,with the pilot and crew operated the plane from a cockpit in the thicker section of the wing, between the two hulls. The S.55 had two inline contra-rotating propellers, mounted in tandem. The engines were canted sharply at an upward angle. Two wire-braced booms connected the triple-finned tail structure to the twin hulls and wing.The aircraft first flew in August 1924.

The Savoia-Marchetti S.55 was a remarkably reliable craft. In 1926, the S.55P prototype set 14 world records for speed, altitude and distance with a payload. The S.55's greatest successes, were its many flights between Europe and the Americas.
Pilots Francesco de Pinedo and Carlo del Prete took off from Sesto Calende, Italy, in an S-55 in Feb 1927. Four months later, they arrived back in Italy, having flown nearly 30,000 miles in 193 flying hours and having made just over 50 stops, including Rio de Janeiro, Buenos Aires and New York City.

The Italian Air Marshall, Italo Balbo, became famous for organizing a squadron of S.55s for Atlantic crossings, culminating in his 1933 flight with 24 aircraft to Chicago's Century of Progress International Exposition.
On 1 July 1933, General Balbo commanded a flight of S-55s from Orbetello, Italy, completing the flight in just over 48 hours, maintaining a tight "V" formation. These large fleets of aircraft were sometimes called a "Balbo".

The aircraft went on to serve in the Regia Aeronautica as a long-range bomber and patrol aircraft, but by World War II, the last S.55s were no longer serviceable and were in reserve.
« Last Edit: July 06, 2020, 09:28:12 PM by Angry Turnip »

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Re: The slightly less well known
« Reply #515 on: July 07, 2020, 06:03:29 PM »
Savoia-Marchetti S.57

The Savoia-Marchetti S.57 was an Italian single-engine biplane flying boat intended for aerial reconnaissance, built by Savoia-Marchetti for Regia Aeronautica after World War I.

It was of wooden construction with a single-step hull, with pilot and observer/gunner in tandem open cockpits in the bow, the S.57 was powered by a single 249 hp Isotta-Fraschini V.6, which gave a max speed of around 135 mph. The observer had a single ring-mounted 7.7 mm (0.303 in) machine gun.

Eighteen S.57s were accepted by Regia Aeronautica in 1925 and used as trainers.In total 20 aircraft were completed.
« Last Edit: July 07, 2020, 06:04:03 PM by Angry Turnip »

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Re: The slightly less well known
« Reply #516 on: July 07, 2020, 06:21:32 PM »
Savoia-Marchetti SM.62

The Savoia-Marchetti SM.62 was a single-engine maritime patrol flying boat produced from 1926.

The SM.62 flying boat was one of the main successes of Savoia-Marchetti, developed from the SM.59 which first flew in 1925.
The single-engine, single-spar wing, wooden biplane aircraft was powered by a single Isotta Fraschini Asso 500 R.I., 500 hp engine mounted between the upper and the lower wings, and drove a pusher propeller. It had a wingspan of 51 ft,and had a crew of 3 or sometimes 4, and entered production in 1926.

In 1927 the SM.62bis development was developed with a more powerful engine. This aircraft formed the basis of the future SM.78. The new 750 hp Isotta Fraschini Asso 750 engine produced 50% more power, which allowed a maximum speed of 140 mph.

This was the most successful Italian flying boat outside Italy, with at least one being acquired by Japan for its naval aviation service, several by Romania, and 40 by Spain, some of which were license-built. The USSR acquired the license to construct the SM.62bis as the MBR-4, with many examples built.Romania also acquired the licence to construct the SM.62bis in Brașov. Five of the flying boats were produced there in 1936.
« Last Edit: July 08, 2020, 01:07:58 AM by Angry Turnip »

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Re: The slightly less well known
« Reply #517 on: July 08, 2020, 11:33:17 PM »
Savoia-Marchetti S.64

The Savoia-Marchetti S.64 was a monoplane developed in 1928 to contest world duration and distance records.

It was a pod-and-boom design,the empennage was carried on two open truss structures that extended to the rear from the wings. The engine was mounted on struts above the wing, and consisted of a single engine driving a pusher propeller. The cockpit was located inside the stubby fuselage pod and was fully enclosed. The powerplant was a  590 hp Fiat A.22T V-12 water-cooled piston engine, which gave a max speed of around 145 mph.

On 31 May 1928, Arturo Ferrarin and Carlo Del Prete broke three world records in the S.64 by making 51 round trips between Torre Flavia (in Ladispoli) and Anzio. When they landed on 3 June, they had covered 7,666 km (4,791 mi) – a new world distance record over a closed circuit – and stayed aloft for 58 hours 34 minutes – a new world endurance record. They also set the world record for top speed over a distance of 5,000 km (3,110 mi) 87 mph. With the record attempt successfully concluded, an announcement was made that this was to be a proving exercise for a Rome–New York City transatlantic flight.

The following month Ferrarin and Del Prete did cross the Atlantic in the S.64, not to New York, but across the South Atlantic to Brazil. They departed Montecelio on the evening of 3 July, they flew over Sardinia overnight, and then Gibraltar early the next morning. Crossing the Brazilian coast near Natal, they continued south, hoping to reach Rio de Janeiro. However, bad weather forced them to turn back towards Natal.
They were running low on fuel and with the weather still against them, they were forced to abandon landing there as well. Instead, they continued north for another 100 miles and made a forced landing on a beach at Touros. A Brazilian mail plane conveyed Ferrarin and Del Prete first to Natal and then to Rio de Janeiro, where in both cities they were given a heroes' welcome. The S.64 suffered structural damage during its landing on the sand, and was brought to Rio de Janeiro by ship.When it arrived in the city, it was donated to Brazil.

During the flight from Italy, the S.64 had covered 5,030 miles in 48 hours, 14 minutes. The FAI officially recognised this as a flight of 4,500 miles – the orthodromic distance between Montecelio and Natal – and a new world straight-line distance record. The festivities in Rio de Janeiro continued for weeks, but came to an end when Ferrarin and Del Prete crashed during a demonstration flight in a S.62 on 11 August,sadly Del Prete died from his injuries five days later.
« Last Edit: July 08, 2020, 11:33:47 PM by Angry Turnip »

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Re: The slightly less well known
« Reply #518 on: July 09, 2020, 11:53:19 PM »
Savoia-Marchetti S.66

The Savoia-Marchetti S.66 was a 1930s twin-hull flying boat.

The S.66 was a development and enlarged version of the S.55 with the aim of replacing the S.55P. The S.66 was a twin-hull cantilever monoplane flying boat with metal hull and wings and wooden twin-booms and tail unit.The two flight crew had enclosed cockpits mounted in the wing centre section between the two hulls, each hull contained seven seats, two sleeping couches and a WC.

The prototype first flew in 1931 powered by three 570 hp Fiat A.22 R. engines strut-mounted above the wing. Twenty three production aircraft were built with three 750 hp Fiat A.24R engines and the couches were replaced by two to four more seats in each hull.

Civil versions were retired in 1939, but military versions were not retired until 1943, when the armistice was signed.
« Last Edit: July 09, 2020, 11:56:25 PM by Angry Turnip »

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Re: The slightly less well known
« Reply #519 on: July 10, 2020, 11:38:13 PM »
Savoia-Marchetti S.71

The Savoia-Marchetti S.71 was an eight-passenger light transport designed and built in 1930.

The S.71 was a three-engine, high-wing monoplane with a fixed tailwheel landing gear. It had a crew of four and room for eight passengers. The first four aircraft were powered by three 260 hp Walter Castor II radial engines, but the last three had more powerful 370 hp Piaggio P.VII engines.
It`s max speed was 146 mph and had a range of almost 1000 miles.
« Last Edit: July 10, 2020, 11:38:46 PM by Angry Turnip »

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Re: The slightly less well known
« Reply #520 on: July 11, 2020, 11:51:03 PM »
Savoia-Marchetti S.73

The Savoia-Marchetti S.73 was a three-engine airliner that flew in the 1930s and early 1940s.

It was developed in parallel with a bomber version (the SM.81 ) the prototype S.73 first flew on 4 July 1934.The prototype had a four-blade wooden propeller on the central engine, and two-blade wooden propellers on each wing engine. Later all aircraft were fitted with three-blade metal propellers.
The pilot and co-pilot were seated side-by-side in an enclosed cockpit, with a compartment for a radio operator and a mechanic. A passenger compartment could house 18 passengers in two rows.
The prototype had French Gnome-Rhône 9Kfr Mistral engines, but further aircraft had 700 hp Piaggio Stella P.X, 770 hp Wright R-1820, 730 hp Walter Pegasus III MR2V, Alfa Romeo 125 or Alfa Romeo 126, driving ground adjustable, three-bladed, aluminium-steel propellers.

The S.73 had an uneventful test programme with only minor modifications recommended by the Regia Aeronautica. It was easy to fly, strong, and easy to operate on the ground, including the ability to fly from short airfields in difficult terrain, in spite of being under-powered and the lack of leading edge slats. Its mixed construction and fixed landing gear were its main shortcomings, when contemporary aircraft in the US and Germany were of all-metal construction with retractable undercarriages. Some of these had better performance, but the S.73 remained competitive for some years.

At the outbreak of World War II the aircraft was already obsolete, but some were pressed into service with the Regia Aeronautica for operations in Abyssinia and Spain. Five S.73s were present in Eastern Africa and used as military transports. Four S.73s survived until the 1943 armistice, three being used by the Allies and one by the pro-Axis government; all had been retired by the end of the war.
« Last Edit: July 11, 2020, 11:52:51 PM by Angry Turnip »

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Re: The slightly less well known
« Reply #521 on: July 12, 2020, 04:51:05 PM »
The Savoia-Marchetti SM.75 series

The Savoia-Marchetti SM.75 was a passenger and military transport aircraft of the 1930s and 1940s.

It was a low-wing, trimotor monoplane of metal and wooden construction with a retractable tailwheel undercarriage. It was the last of a line of transport aeroplanes that Alessandro Marchetti began building in the early 1930s. The SM.75 had a four-man crew, and could accommodate up to 25 passengers. Its short take-off run and shorter landing distance of meant that it could operate from short runways on secondary airfields.
The SM.75 was powered by three Alfa Romeo 126 RC.34 radial engines of 750 hp each. Eleven aircraft fitted with three Alfa Romeo 126 RC.18 14-cylinder engines of 860 hp were designated the SM.75bis.

The Regia Aeronautica showed interest in the SM.75, resulting in the development of a militarized version. It lacked windows in the passenger cabin but was fitted with a reinforced panel to permit the installation of a dorsal gun turret. It was powered by three Alfa Romeo 128 RC.21 engines and had a greater cargo capacity than the SM.75, it entered military service as the Savoia-Marchetti SM.82.

The SM.75 first flew in November 1937 from Novara, in Piedmont. It entered commercial service with Ala Littoria in 1938 and with LATI in 1939, and was used on services both within Europe and to South America, and East Africa.
After Italy entered World War II on 10 June 1940, civil SM.75s continued to perform supply operations to Italian overseas territories, which dwindled as the war progressed, until the Italian armistice with the Allies went into effect on 8 September 1943. They also continued to operate services to South America until December 1941, when Italy declared war on the United States.
After Italy surrendered to the Allies in 1943, some SM.75s entered service with the Italian Co-Belligerent Air Force, which fought on the Allied side for the remainder of World War II.
Only a few of the 90 aircraft produced survived the war and actually remained in service until 1949.
« Last Edit: July 12, 2020, 04:54:53 PM by Angry Turnip »

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Re: The slightly less well known
« Reply #522 on: July 13, 2020, 02:41:31 PM »
Savoia-Marchetti SM.83

The Savoia-Marchetti SM.83 was a civil airliner of the 1930s. It was a civilian version of the Savoia-Marchetti SM.79 bomber.

The SM.83 was a monoplane, with retractable undercarriage, and a slim fuselage. The cabin was provided with heaters, oxygen provision and sound insulation, but it was only large enough for the 4 crew and four to 10 passengers. The construction was of mixed materials, steel tubes for the fuselage, wood for the wings, and the outer skin made up of wood, fabric or metal. The wings had slats. The powerplant was three AR.126 engines giving about 750 hp each.

It first flew on 19 November 1937,and entered into production for LATI, SABENA and other companies, but it had less success compared to the more capable 18 seater Savoia-Marchetti S.73 even if had much improved performance. As a result, only 23 were built in two main series.

When war broke out, the Italian aircraft were impressed into the Regia Aeronautica, and used in transport units.
« Last Edit: July 13, 2020, 02:43:46 PM by Angry Turnip »

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Re: The slightly less well known
« Reply #523 on: July 13, 2020, 02:56:37 PM »
Savoia-Marchetti SM.91

The Savoia-Marchetti SM.91 was a long-range fighter-bomber prototype, designed to compete in a contract offered by the Regia Aeronautica to the Italian aircraft companies in 1938.

In July 1942, the Regia Aeronautica requested designs for a new aircraft, to be powered by the German DB 605 engine, capable of flying at 385 mph with a range of 990 mi. Armament should consist of six MG 151 cannons in the nose and wings and a 12.7 mm Breda-SAFAT machine gun as a defensive weapon. It should have an 800 kg (1,800 lb) bomb load. At that point, the request for a long-range fighter killed the SM.88, which was still in development, and the SM.91, a larger, heavier and more modern design, was authorized.

The fuselage and the wings were all-metal, to achieve the best performance regardless of cost. The central nacelle held the crew of two, and the wings and tail were similar to the SM.88.
The two DB 605 engines gave a total of 2,950 hp. The aircraft's maximum speed of 363 mph was better than the SM.88. There were three 20 mm MG 151s in the nose. Two more were mounted in the wings, close to the fuselage. Another machine gun was provided for the rear gunner. Bomb load was 1,640 kg (3,620 lb) or a torpedo could be carried.

The prototype,flew for the first time on 11 March 1943. There were two prototypes, the second was a modified SM.88.
It was captured and sent to Germany in October 1943, after which it vanished and is presumed destroyed. The second prototype was captured by the Germans incomplete when they occupied northern Italy in September 1943. This aircraft was tested on 10 July 1944, but was destroyed by Allied bombers later in the year.
« Last Edit: July 13, 2020, 02:57:43 PM by Angry Turnip »

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Re: The slightly less well known
« Reply #524 on: July 14, 2020, 05:20:55 PM »
SIAI-Marchetti SM.102

The SIAI-Marchetti SM.102 was a 1940s light transport cabin monoplane.

The SM.102 was developed from the earlier abandoned SM.101 single-engined light transport monoplane. The SM.102 was a twin-engined low-wing monoplane with a tailwheel landing gear with retractable main gear. It had an enclosed cabin for two crew and eight passengers. The prototype was powered by two 500 hp Ranger SGV-770C-1B engines, one mounted on the leading edge of each wing.

The prototype SM.102 first flew on 24 February 1949 , it was demonstrated in India and both the Middle and Far East without the success of any orders so it was decided to modify the design to meet a requirement for a light transport for the Italian Air Force. The new version was re-engined with two 450 hp Pratt & Whitney R-985 Wasp Junior radial engines and first flew on 7 April 1950. A small production run of 21 for the Italian Air Force followed. These were eventually retired in 1959.
« Last Edit: July 14, 2020, 05:21:22 PM by Angry Turnip »