Savoia-Marchetti SM.85, a failed banana...

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The Savoia-Marchetti SM.85 was an Italian dive bomber developed during the late 1930s and early 1940s. It was designed by Alessandro Marchetti and Giuseppe Savoia as a dedicated dive bomber for the Regia Aeronautica, the Italian Air Force.

The SM.85 was a twin-engine aircraft, constructed of wood and was primarily intended for precision bombing missions. It was equipped with a robust structure and capable of carrying a significant bomb load relative to its size.

The development of the SM.85 faced challenges, including delays due to technical issues and changes in requirements from the Italian Air Force. Despite these setbacks, 30ish SM.85 were produced and put in service.

The production was in 1940 terminated in favor of the cheaper and slightly better performing (in terms of combat versatility) JU87.

These aircrafts didn’t suffer any losses until the transfer to Pantelleria, when one of them crashed to a wall, killing the pilot. The others carried out a few missions over the Mediterranean until the end of July.
In summary, the SIAI-Marchetti S.M.85 represents an important, albeit less successful, step in Italy’s efforts to develop effective dive bombers during a period of rapid advancements in military aviation technology. Its development highlighted several technical and operational challenges that would need to be addressed in future aircraft designs.

Legacy

Although the S.M.85 was not widely adopted or produced in large numbers, it played a role in the evolution of Italian military aviation by highlighting the need for more advanced and capable aircraft. The lessons learned from the development and operational testing of the S.M.85 informed subsequent Italian aircraft designs, including the more successful Savoia-Marchetti S.M.79 and other bomber aircraft used during World War II.

The SM85 was then improved, giving it a better airframe and engines, evolving it into the SM86, see: Savoia Marchetti SM-86: The screaming dive bomber

Specifications
  • Length: 10.40 m

  • Width: 14.00 m

  • Height: 3.30 m

  • Weight: 2950 kg

  • Max. Combat Weight: 3800 kg

  • At maximum payload, with a 4,000 kg (8,820 lb) takeoff weight, the climb rate was 20 min to 5,000 m (16,400 ft), but freshly started engines did not meet their maximum power and the aircraft was usually slower than this. The takeoff needed 433 m, and the landing 415 m . Ceiling was 6,000-6,500 m (19,690-21,330 ft) and 756–827 km range.

  • Maximum speed was 368 km/h (288 mph) at 4,000 m (13,123 ft).

  • The fuel capacity was 1,078 L , contained in four self-sealing fuel tanks.

  • At the maximum payload with a 500 kg (1,100 lb) bomb, it was incapable of taking off with a full fuel load (around 730 kg/1,610 lb), so this was used only on ferrying missions.

  • Engines: 2 radials Piaggio P VII RC.35 ( 500cv (368kw ) each)
    image
    Piaggio P VII on a Ca311.

Armament
  • Bombs were only stored internally
    It could carry up to 1,000 kg (2,200 lbs) of bombs:
    one 500 kg bomb or a 800kg bomb or two 250 kg bombs.
  • Guns: a fixed forward-facing Breda-SAFAT 12.7 mm caliber, alternatively, a Breda-SAFAT 7.7 mm caliber.
Images

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Sources

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KfOBJ4wsFDI
Savoia-Marchetti SM.85 - Wikipedia
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JyRC6UWqW5Y&themeRefresh=1
SM85 - WAR THUNDER ITALIAN TECH TREE
Savoia-Marchetti SM-85

This is considered one of the worst fails of the italian aviation because of its underperfoming engines and therefore an underperforming aircraft. I think both this and the SM86 should be added, with the SM85 (maybe foldered with something else) being a rank 1 and SM86 could even be rank 3.

4 Likes

BTW

image

That’s not a gull wing

2 Likes

I copied the wrong source, very sorry

+2! +1 for the plane and +1 for Metal Mike!
P.s. here a bonus pic of the engine

2 Likes

I remembered that it had already been suggested in the past. Maybe I’m confused with the SM.86. Anyway +1.

1 Like

The SM.86 has in fact been suggested, the SM85, being the weak twin wasn’t

1 Like