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Savoia-Marchetti SM.75 Marsupiale

by JDG

Background on the Savoia-Marchetti SM.75

The Savoia-Marchetti SM.75 Marsupiale was a civilian airliner which the Regia Aeronautica primarily utilized for military personnel and cargo flights.

Military version of the Savoia-Marchetti SM.75 Marsupiale.

The military version of the Savoia-Marchetti SM.75 Marsupiale.

The Savoia-Marchetti SM.75 first flew in November 1937. The Marsupiale was an enlarged version of the SM.73 transport with main landing gear units that retracted into the underside of the two wing-mounted engines.

Savoia-Marchetti built 94 aircraft between 1937 and 1943; 83 of them comprised of the standard SM.75 with three 750 hp Alfa Romeo 126 RC.34 radial engines or, alternatively, three 1,000 hp Piaggio P.XI RC.40 radials. The other 11 were built during World War 2 as the SM.75bis using three Alfa Romeo 126 RC.18 radial engines, a shorter vertical tail surface of the SM.82 and provision for a dorsal gun turret.

At the time of Italy’s entry into the war, all Italian-registered SM.75s were placed under military control. The aircraft proved themselves very valuable to the Italian war effort. Germany seized 10 of these aircraft after the Italian armistice in September 1943 and the other surviving aircraft were used by Italian forces on both sides after the armistice. Only a few aircraft survived the war and decommissioned in 1949.

A civilian version of the SM.75 Marsupiale.

A civilian version of the SM.75 Marsupiale.

SM.75 GA Flight from Rome to Tokyo

In summer 1942, an SM. 75 GA successfully conducted a dangerous and secret flight from Rome to Tokyo to deliver new diplomatic codebooks to its Axis partner. Much of the flight occurred over Soviet airspace.

Variants

SM.75bis: Replaced powerplant with three Alfa Romeo 126 RC.18 radial engines.

SM.75 GA: Modified for long distance flights.

SM.76: 1940 designation for the Italian LATI airline

SM.87: Floatplane version.

SM.90: Enlarged fuselage.

SM 75 Specifications

Model Savoia-Marchetti SM.75
Crew 4+1 Gunner for military version
Powerplant (3) Alfa Romeo 126 RC.34
750 HP at 1,800 m
Maximum Speed 226 mph (363 km/h)
Max Ceiling 20,505 ft (6,250 m)
Range 1,416 miles (2,279 km)
Length 70.9 ft (21.6 m)
Height 16.7 ft (5.1 m)
Wingspan 97 ft 5" (29.69 m)
Armament One dorsal Breda-SAFAT 12.7 mm machine gun
Weight Empty: 20,900 lb (9,480 kg)
Max: 31,900 lb (14,470 kg)
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