Technical Specifications
Name : S.79
Family : Silurante
Manufacturer : SIAI Marchetti
Nation : Italy
Production Year : 1934
Length : 15,60 m
Span : 21,20 m
Height : 4,60 m
Wing Area : 61.70 m²
Empty : 6900 kg
Maximum Take-off :  10600 kg
(Italiano) 3 Alfa Romeo 126 RC.34 da 780 CV ciascuno3 Alfa Romeo 126 RC.34 780 HP each
Maximum Speed : 430 km/h
Range : 2800 km at 340 km/h

The three-engined SIAI Marchetti S.79 is the most famous Italian aircraft of the Second World War. About 1,350 were built until 1943, including 603 by SIAI and 63 by Macchi. It was exported to Brazil, Yugoslavia, Lebanon and Spain. The twin-engined S.79B variant was sold to Irak and Romania, which built 72 under license. Designed by Alessandro Marchetti (1884-1966) as a fast airliner, the S.79 brought together the typical SIAI mixed construction (steel tube frame, wooden wing, fabric covering) with important novelties such as retracting gear and flaps. Flown by Alessandro Passaleva (1895- 1941), it made its first flight on 8 October 1934 from Cameri, near Novara. With its speed, the S.79 “Green mice” team won the Istres-Damascus-Paris air race (1937) and starred in the Rome-Rio de Janeiro flight (1938). In pro- duction as bomber from 1936, it made its debut in the Spanish Civil War. From 1940 onwards it served as torpedo-bomber, earning fame for the brav- ery of its crews. Officially named “Sparviero” (Sparrowhawk), it was called “Damned Hunchback” by Italian propaganda. The fuselage on display was recovered in 1993 in Lebanon. It comes from one of the four S.79L that the Lebanese Air Force bought from Macchi in 1949. It is probably from aircraft L-114, built by SIAI in 1940 as MM.23843. It served with the 278th Squadri- glia, the first torpedo-bomber unit, whose pilots included the aces Carlo Emanuele Buscaglia (1915-1944) and Massimiliano Erasi (1908-1945). Con- verted to “bis” standard with Alfa 128 engines, it operated with the Aeronau- tica Nazionale Repubblicana in 1944-45. By 1948 it was with the Italian Air Force Transport School at Frosinone. Entrusted to Celin Avio by the Italian Air Force for restoration for several years, it is now the oldest surviving S.79 and the only one built by SIAI. It has been at Volandia since 2008.

Thanks to: Celin Avio e Aeronautica Militare Italiana.

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