(Redirected from Savoia-Marchetti)

SIAI-Marchetti was an Italian aircraft manufacturer.

FateAbsorbed by Agusta in 1983
Absorbed by Aermacchi in 1997
ProductsTransport aircraft
Experimental planes
Air force trainers


The original company was founded during 1915 as SIAI (Società Idrovolanti Alta Italia - Seaplane company of Northern Italy). As suggested by its name, the firm initially specialised in the manufacture of seaplanes, the vast majority of which were intended for the Italian armed forces. Perhaps its most prominent early aircraft was the SIAI S.16, a seaplane that had been configured to perform both aerial reconnaissance and bomber roles, but also proved itself quite capable of long distance flights. During 1925, the Italian aviator Francesco de Pinedo of the Regia Aeronautica (Italian Royal Air Force) used an SIAI S.16ter he named Genariello for a record-setting flight from Rome to Australia and Tokyo in order to demonstrate his idea that seaplanes were superior to landplanes for long-distance flights. Having departed Rome on 21 April, Pinedo and his mechanic, Ernesto Campanelli, performed visited dozens of countries, often stopping for multiple weeks at a time, particularly in Australia, before successfully arriving in Tokyo on 26 September 1925.[1][2][3]

Shortly following the end of the First World War, the company was rebranded as Savoia following its acquisition of the Società Anonima Costruzioni Aeronautiche Savoia, an Italian aircraft company founded by Umberto Savoia in 1915. The name Marchetti was added to the company's name shortly following the recruitment of its long-serving chief designer, Alessandro Marchetti, during 1922.

Savoia-Marchetti gained prominence with the innovative S.55 flying boat. During 1926, the S.55P prototype successfully established 14 separate world records in categories including speed, altitude and distance with a payload.[4] Production models were produced for both civilian and military export customers; numerous S.55s saw use during the Second World War as well as for a number of years beyond the conflict, despite the arrival of many newer types.[5][6]

Savoia-Marchetti became relatively well known for its flying boats and seaplanes, aided by the numerous endurance and speed records that had been set by its products. The company earned the favour of numerous Italian officials, including Air Marshal Italo Balbo.[citation needed] Accordingly, the company was involved in the rapid development and prototyping of a wide portfolio of aircraft types during the 1930s. One such aircraft was the SM.75 trimotor monoplane transport aircraft, which was developed in response to an enquiry by the Italian airline Ala Littoria for a modern, middle-to-long-range airliner and cargo aircraft; it featured an early implementation of retractable main landing gear and was capable of long range missions, such as transporting up to 24 passengers over a 1,000 mile distance.[7][8] Another was the SM.81 Pipistrello, which became the first three-engine bomber/transport aircraft to be adopted by the Italian Regia Aeronautica;[9] furthermore, it would be one of the most flexible, reliable and important aircraft operated by the service through the Second World War, transitioning from a front-line bomber to various second-line duties towards the conflict's latter years.[10][11]

The company became increasingly focused on the construction of military aircraft during the lead-up to, and throughout the majority of, the Second World War. In particular, the SM.79 Sparviero trimotor Italian medium bomber that has been claimed by aviation authors Enzo Angelucci and Paolo Matricardi as being the best-known Italian aeroplane of the conflict.[12] Performing its first flight on 28 September 1934, early examples of the type established 26 separate world records between 1937 and 1939, qualifying the SM.79 for some time as being the fastest medium bomber in the world.[13] It was operated in various capacities during the Second World War, initially focusing on its transport and medium bomber duties.[12] The SM.79 was developed into an effective torpedo bomber, in which capacity it achieved numerous successes against Allied shipping in the Mediterranean theater.[14]

During 1943, the company was rebranded as SIAI-Marchetti. As the conflict turned in favour of the Allies, the company's manufacturing facilities were a particularly high priority target for enemy bombers, leading to their virtual destruction by the final months of the Second World War. The firm continued to make efforts to design and produce new aircraft, such as the SM-93 dive bomber during 1944, but the economic consequences of the costly war made such ambitions unrealistic at best.[15]

During the immediate postwar era, SIAI-Marchetti endeavoured to survive within the commercially inhospitable climate by diversifying into the manufacture of various items of railway equipment and trucks.[citation needed] The company was relatively insolvent, operating as such for roughly six years following the conflict's end before being compelled to declare bankruptcy during September 1951. During the firm's bankruptcy, all of its staff were dismissed, although more than half were re-employed by the liquidator to complete outstanding orders.[16] During 1953, the company reemerged from the bankruptcy process, and quickly began to focus its development efforts on the emerging market for helicopters.

Largely as a result of its investment into helicopters, SIAI-Marchetti was acquired by the Italian helicopter specialist Agusta during 1983. Its remaining fixed-wing assets were subsequently absorbed by the aircraft manufacturing interest Aermacchi during 1997.


See alsoEdit



  1. ^ De Pinedo’s Milestone Flights Australia - Japan - America
  2. ^ Anonymous, "Italian Flight to Tokyo Accomplished." Flight, 1 October 1925, p. 644.
  3. ^ Anonymous, "Rome-Tokyo-Rome: Marquis de Pinedo's Grand Air Tour Successfully Concluded." Flight, 12 November 1925, p. 756.
  4. ^ Yenne, Bill (1997). Batchelor, John (illustrations) (ed.). Seaplanes & flying boats. New York, N.Y.: BCL Press. p. 58. ISBN 1-932302-03-4.
  5. ^ Howard, Lee; Garello, Giancarlo (2010). "Flying-boat in the family". Aeroplane. Kelsey Publishing (December 2010): 94–95.
  6. ^ Spencer C. Tucker, World War II at Sea: An Encyclopedia (2 volumes): An Encyclopedia. ABC-CLIO, 2011, p. 633.
  7. ^ Angelucci and Matricardi 1978, p. 207.
  8. ^ Rosselli, p. 20.
  9. ^ Angelucci and Matricardi 1978, p. 188.
  10. ^ Sutherland 2009, p. 31.
  11. ^ Neulen 2000, pp. 85-86.
  12. ^ a b Angelucci and Matricardi 1978, p. 198.
  13. ^ Arena et al. 1994, p. 7.
  14. ^ Arena et al. 1994, p. 9.
  15. ^ Thompson, Jonathan W. (1963). Italian Civil and Military aircraft 1930-1945 (1st ed.). New York: Aero Publishers Inc. pp. 288. ISBN 0-8168-6500-0.
  16. ^ Bridgman 1953, p. 144


  • Angelucci, Enzo and Paolo Matricardi. World Aircraft: World War II, Volume I (Sampson Low Guides). Maidenhead, UK: Sampson Low, 1978. ISBN 0-562-00096-8.
  • Bridgman, Leonard (1952). Jane's All The World's Aircraft 1952–53. London: Sampson Low, Marston & Company, Ltd.
  • Gunston, Bill (2006). World Encyclopedia of Aero Engines (5th ed.). Phoenix Mill, Gloucestershire, England, UK: Sutton Publishing Limited. ISBN 0-7509-4479-X.
  • Neulen, Hans Werner. In the skies of Europe - Air Forces allied to the Luftwaffe 1939–1945. Ramsbury, Marlborough, THE CROWOOD PRESS, 2000. ISBN 1-86126-799-1.
  • Rosselli, Alberto. "In the Summer of 1942, a Savoia-Marchetti Cargo Plane Made a Secret Flight to Japan." Aviation History. January 2004.
  • Sutherland, Jon & Diane Canwell: Air War East Africa 1940–41 The RAF versus the Italian Air Force. Barnsley (South Yorkshire) Pen and Sword Aviation, 2009. ISBN 978-1-84415-816-4.

External linksEdit