Savoia-Marchetti SM81 Pipistrello radio-controlled trimotor model airplane (Denis Hefford)

From The Brighton Toy and Model Index
Exhibit

Savoia-Marchetti SM81 Pipistrello radio-controlled trimotor model airplane (Denis Hefford)

Savoia-Marchetti SM-81 Pipistrello radio-controlled trimotor aeroplane (Denis Hefford).jpg (i)
BTMM map 072.gif
location:
Arch Two , Area 72
Arch Two, Overhead

A radio-controlled model of an Italian trimotor Savoia-Marchetti SM81 Pipistrello airplane. It's displayed overhead in Arch Two, near Puppet Corner.

Large SM.81 Pipistrello flying model

The Savoia-Marchetti SM-81

The Savoia-Marchetti SM.81 Pipistrello (Italian for "bat") bomber and military transport aircraft appeared in 1935, and participated in Italian conflicts in 1935/36, and then World War Two from 1939 onwards.

Adapted from a commercial SM passenger plane design, the Pipistrello was an adaptable workhorse (comparisons might be drawn with the American DC-10), and although it wasn't as fast as other planes that were in service by WW2, a number of Pipistrellos survived the war and remained useful planes afterwards.

The model shows the sightly jarring cylindrical upper gun emplacement - on other SM aircraft such as the later SM.79 Sparrowhawk (1937), an upper gun emplacement tended to be implemented as a smoothed "hump".

Markings

The plane carries the markings for 11 Squadriglia, 26 Gruppo, 9 Stormo 11 Squadriglia, 26 Gruppo, 9 Stormo, stationed in Ethiopia in 1936. It's sand-coloured, but with high-visibility red stripes across the upper leading surfaces of the wings, to make the plane easier for rescue teams to spot if it had to ditch in the desert.

External links