SM 79 ‘Sparviero’ “Sparrowhawk”

Savoia-Marchetti SM.79

Unlike many pre-war German bomber types which started their career pretending to be airliners or fast mail aircraft, the Savoia Marchetti SM.79 tri-motor was a bona fide airliner which ended up as Italy’s best (and most famous) bomber type of WWII.

In this picture we can see the Regia Aeronautica’s specialists preparing a torpedo before a bombing run.

Though designed as a bomber, the Savoia-Marchetti SM.79 Sparviero, (Italian for “Sparrowhawk”), is most famous as a torpedo aircraft, a role in which this very stable and rugged machine excelled, the Aerosiluranti squadrons making the Mediterranean a dangerous place for Allied shipping until the 1943 armistice. Italian torpedo bomber pilots enjoyed immense popularity, some reaching the “national hero” status known only to fighter aces in other countries.Perhaps the most famous and highest scoring SM.79 pilot was Carlo Emanuele Buscaglia, who was involved in the torpedoing of the Kent and the Glasgow.

In conclusion, one can say that this strange-looking, slow, obsolescent aircraft was much better than it looked, and fully deserves its place in History as an important and popular type.

Savoia-Marchetti SM.79
Savoia-Marchetti SM.79 ( Image Credit : Paolo Soldan)
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