As the British Spitfire and the American Mustang characterized an era in the history of aviation in their countries, so too did the Sparviero (Sparrowhawk) for Italy. It was certainly the best known Italian airplane of the Second World War and saw duties on all fronts.  The aircraft was designed as a bomber but it became famous as a torpedo-carrier and was an outstanding airplane.

This is the 1/48 scale Classic Airframes Savoia Marchetti S-79 Aerosilurante.

First let me say that I did this plane because I was supplied with a lot of home-made resin parts by my old friend Alain Saccoccio, who made a terrific model of the plane in Replic magazine.

Of course the whole interior was built from scratch using ever green rods and strips and following the plan of the Ali d'Italia book blown up to match 1/48 scale.

CONSTRUCTION
Here is a list of the items replaced with resin ones:

wheels and hubs
tail wheel.
engines.
propeller blades and spinners.
machines-guns
radio boxes
control pannels
undercarriage doors.
lateral scoops on the fuselage
upper fuselage scoops.
under gondola ade to the right scale.

The main difficulty is with the flaps and ailerons line on the underwing, which required some hard cutting and sanding to get the proper look of it.

The torpedo and the tail control surfaces are from Alpha flight and they are pure gems.

PAINTING AND MARKINGS
The S.79 is a really striking looking aircraft, and the Italian pilot who flew this example did a stunning job in the Mediterranean, flying from Rhodes, hunting the ships and convoys to Malta. Painted in Giallo Mimetico with blotches of Verde Mimetico and Bruno Mimetico, the Aerosilurante crews experiment a new camouflage by painting the front area of the plane in Griggio Mimetico to make themselves less visible to the British gunners.

The front part of the hump was painted as such as well.

This plane belongs to the 281st Squadriglia from the 132nd Gruppo Autonomo Aerosilurante, based at Rhodes Garuda in 1941.
Technical Data:
Aircraft:
SIAI-Marchetti SM.79
Manufacturer:
SIAI-Marchetti
Type:
Bomber
Year:
1937
Engine:
Three Alfa Romeo A.R.126 RC 34, 9 cylinder radial, air-cooled, 750 hp each
Wingspan:
69 ft 7 in (21.20 m)
Length:
53 ft 2 in (16.20 m)
Height:
13 ft 5 1/2 in (4.10 m)
Weight:
23,180 lb (10,500 kg) (Loaded)
Maximum Speed:
267 mph (430 km/h) at 13,120 ft (4,000 m)
Ceiling:
23,000 ft (7,000 m)
Range:
1,180 miles (1,900 km)
Armament:
4-5 MGs; 2,756 lb (1,250 kg) of bombs
Crew:
6

Additional Images:
Classic Airframes 1/48 Savoia Marchetti SM.79
Sparviero (Hawk)
by Jean Barby
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