Savoia-Marchetti S.55X, the floating pancake.

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Description: The SIAI S.55X was an Italian seaplane developed in the 1930s and 1940s, known for its pioneering exploits in aviation. Designed by engineer Alessandro Marchetti, the S.55X was a wooden central-hull seaplane with a twin-engine configuration. It was one of the earliest aircraft to complete transatlantic and long-distance flights.

One of the most famous feats of the S.55X was the 1933 transatlantic flight, known as the “Croce del Sud” (Southern Cross). Led by General Italo Balbo, a group of S.55X seaplanes crossed the Atlantic Ocean to participate in the Century of Progress Exhibition in Chicago. This flight marked a significant milestone in global aviation.

It was also utilized for military purposes during its service. Its notable range and endurance capabilities made it suitable for various military missions, including reconnaissance, patrol, and transport operations. The S.55X seaplanes were employed by the Italian Air Force (Regia Aeronautica) for maritime reconnaissance and anti-submarine warfare in the Mediterranean theater.

One of the remarkable military uses of the S.55X was its role in supporting Italian naval operations, conducting patrols over the Mediterranean Sea and coastal areas. The seaplane’s ability to land on
water made it well-suited for maritime reconnaissance and air-sea rescue missions.

The aircraft was initially rejected by the Regia Aeronautica (Italian Air Force), but later the decision was reversed, and the prototype entered service in 1926. It would be retained as a frontline aircraft in the Spanish Civil War, where four S55 briefly engaged in bombing Republican ships.

The last remaining example is preserved in Brazil, at the TAM “Asas de um sonho” museum, at São Carlos, São Paulo. The aircraft, registered I-BAUQ and named “Jahú”, was the S.55 used by CommanderJoão Ribeiro de Barros in his crossing of the South Atlantic in 1927.
At “Volandia” museum in Italy a mock up in wood is being built, and some parts of the origanal plane can be seen.


Crew: 2 pilots, 3-4 other crew members
Length: 16.5 m
Wingspan: 24 m
Height: 5 m
Wing area: 92 m²
Empty weight: 5,750 kg
Max takeoff weight: 8,260 kg
Powerplant: 2 × Isotta Fraschini Asso 750 V-18 water-cooled piston engines, 370 kW (500 hp) inline contra-rotating propellers mounted in tandem (push - pull configuration)
Maximum speed: 205 km/h
Stall speed: 105 km/h
Range: 1,200 km to 2,200 km
Time to altitude: 1,000 m in 9 minutes; 2,000 m in 25 minutes; 3,000 m in 45 minutes

Guns 4 Lewis 7,7 mm in installed at each end of the two hulls, providing what was considered a highly respectable defensive armament at the time.
Bombs up to 1 000 kg in different combinations or a torpedo instead
"Croce del Sud"







SI VIS PACEM, PARA BELLUM: Il Savoia-Marchetti S.55 fu un idro-bombardiere/aerosilurante bimotore
Savoia-Marchetti S.55 - Wikipedia


+1 Gaijin PLS gib!

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Oh yeah +1.

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