First flown in 11/37, the Marsupiale was an enlarged version of the SM.73 transport with main landing gear units that retracted into the underside of the engines of the two wing mounted engines. 94 aircraft were built between 1937 and 1943, 83 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 to the SM.75bis standard using three Alfa Romeo 126 RC.18 radial engines, the shorter vertical tail surface of the SM.82 and provision for a dorsal gun turret.
At the time of Italy’s 6/40 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 9/43 and the other surviving aircraft were used by Italian forces on both sides after the armistice. Those aircraft that survived the war were retired only in 1949.
|Powerplant||Three 950 hp Alfa Romeo 128 RC.21 radial engines|
|Max Speed||229 mph at 10,070 ft|
|Cruising Speed||202 mph|
|Crew||Pilot, co-pilot and radio operator + up to 30 passengers|
|Users||Italy, Hungary, Germany|
Article by JDG
Wings: London Blitz to Pearl Harbor – CD-ROM (Discovery Channel Multimedia: Wings)
Elke Weale, Combat Aircraft of World War II, Bracken Books, 1985.
The Rand McNally Encyclopedia Of Military Aircraft, 1914-1980