Savoia Marchetti S.M.82 Canguru

First flown during 1939, the Savoia-Marchetti S.M.82 Canguru (kangaroo) was developed from the earlier S.M.75 Marsupiale (marsupial) civil transport, of which a number were impressed into service with the Regia Aeronautica in June 1940. A militarised version designated S.M.75bis was also built for the air force. The S.M.82 prototype was basically an enlarged version of its predecessor with a fuselage that was both longer and deeper, in configuration a cantilever mid-wing monoplane with retractable tailwheel landing gear and the three engine powerplant that was a feature of the Savoia-Marchetti bomber/transport designs of this era.

Despite being underpowered, the S.M.82 cargo/troop transport saw wide scale use with the Regia Aeronautica, and several were used in similar roles by the Luftwaffe. Specially equipped for the cargo role, it even included handling gear to simplify the loading and unloading of items such as aero engines, and its cabin volume enabled it to transport a dismantled Fiat CR.42 biplane without difficulty.

In the troop transport role it had folding seats to provide standard accommodation for 40 and their equipment, but many more than this number were carried in emergency. About 400 were built, the first of them entering service in 1941, but although able to operate as a bomber with a maximum bomb load of up to 8,818 Ibs (4000 kg), the S.M.82 saw very limited use in this role. Following the armistice between Italy and the Allies the type continued to operate in the transport role, about 50 with the Aeronautica Nazionale Repubblicana and 30 with the Aeronautica Cobelligerante del Sud. Post-war some 30 continued in service with the Aeronautica Militare Italiana, many remaining in use until the early 1960s.

(Savoia-Marchetti S.M.82 Canguru "Kangaroo")

Type: Heavy Transport & Bomber

Design: Societa Italiana Aeroplani Idrovolanti (Savoia-Marchetti) Design Team

Manufacturer: Societa Italiana Aeroplani Idrovolanti (Savoia-Marchetti) with factories in Sesto Calende and Borgomanero

Powerplant: Three 950 hp (708 kW) Alfa Romeo 128 RC.21 9-cylinder radial engines.

Performance: Maximum speed 230 mph (370 km/h); cruising speed 186 mph (300 km/h); service ceiling 19,685 ft (6000 m).

Range: 1,864 miles (3000 km) on internal fuel.

Weight: Empty 23,259 lbs (10550 kg) with a maximum take-off weight of 39,727 lbs (18020 kg).

Dimensions: Span 97 ft 4 1/2 in (29.68 m); length 75 ft 1 1/2 in (22.90 m); height 19 ft 8 1/4 in (6.00 m); wing area 1,276.64 sq ft (118.60 sq m).

Armament: One 12.7 mm (0.50 in) Breda-SAFAT machine-gun and four 7.7 mm (0.303 in) machine-guns, plus up to 8,818 lbs (4000 kg) of bombs.

Variants: None.

Equipment/Avionics: Standard communication and navigation equipment.

History: First flight 1939; (first delivery) 1941; withdrawn from service early 1960s.

Operators: Italian Regia Aeronautica, Aeronautica Nazionale Repubblicana and Aeronautica Cobelligerante del Sud, Germany (Luftwaffe).