|Primary Role||Medium Bomber|
|Maiden Flight||1 January 1939|
Contributor: C. Peter Chen
The SM.82 Marsupiale ("Marsupial") bombers were based on the design of the SM.75 Marsupiale civilian transport. Compared to their predecessors, they had deeper and longer fuselage. The fuselage were of mixed construction, having the framework made of welded steel tubes and the skin made of light alloy, fabric, and plywood. The wings were built almost entirely of wood; inside the wings were 12 self-sealing fuel tanks, carrying a total of 4,403-kg of fuel. There was an additional tank in the nose of each aircraft, which carried higher octane fuel for takeoff use. In the interior, they had two decks, with the upper deck holding 32 seats and the lower deck open for cargo; the upper deck could be removed for transporting large cargo or when they were at times used as bombers.
After the prototype took flight in 1939, the Italian air force Regia Aeronautica began receiving production SM.82 Marsupiale aircraft in 1940. Although underpowered and slow, they were immediately deployed as long range transports to shuttle men and supplies between Italy and Africa. In Aug 1940, they surprised the British with their capabilities as night bombers, although one aircraft was shot down. They continued to perform the occasional bombing missions, some at very long distances, targeting Gibraltar and Alexandria, Egypt.
Production of SM.82 Marsupiale transports doubled in 1942, just in time to meet an escalated level of war. Between Nov 1942 and Apr 1943, over one hundred of them were lost, some destroyed on the ground after Allied bombing.
After the Italian surrender in Sep 1943, the Germans took over most of the remaining functioning SM.82 Marsupiale transports, numbering at about 200, while the Italian Co-Belligerent government operated 29. The Germans continued to produce SM.82 Marsupiale transports until the end of the war. Total production reached somewhere between 700 to 750 units.
After WW2, 30 SM.82 Marsupiale transport remained in service with the new Italian air force. The last SM.82 aircraft retired from military service in the early 1960s.
|Machinery||Three Alfa Romeo 128 RC.18 radial engines rated at 860hp each|
|Armament||1x12.7mm Scotti machine gun in dorsal turret, 3x7.7mm Breda SAFAT machine guns in ventral and lateral positions, optional 4,000kg of bombs|
|Wing Area||99.99 m²|
|Weight, Empty||10,550 kg|
|Weight, Maximum||18,020 kg|
|Speed, Maximum||347 km/h|
|Speed, Cruising||250 km/h|
|Service Ceiling||6,000 m|
|Range, Normal||2,100 km|
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