The Savoia-Marchetti-82 "Canguru", the largest of Italy's 3-engine aircraft, not only constitutes
about 75 to 85 per cent of the Italian Air Force transport fleet but has been the only reported
Italian plane in substantial use by the Germans. Recent reports indicate that some of these planes
have been used by the Germans to evacuate troops from Corsica. A development of the SM-75, with
deeper fuselage and a single fin and rudder of radically different design, it
is a 4- or 5-place, 3-engine, low-wing cantilever monoplane with wings tapering moderately
to rounded tips, and hydraulic landing gear. The fuselage is wide and deep, with 8 windows high up
and 3 below along both sides. It has a wing span of 97 feet, 6 inches, a length of 73 feet, 6 inches, and
a gross wing area of 1,290 square feet.
The aircraft is powered with 3 Alfa Romeo 128 RC 21 9-cylinder air-cooled radial engines, each capable
of 860 hp at 6,900 feet altitude. The maximum speed is 205 mph at 7,000 feet, and 185 mph at
sea level. Normal cruising speed is 172 mph at 10,000 feet, and economical speed, 155 mph. The
service ceiling with a normal load is 17,000 feet, and the range is 1,160 miles or 6.8 hours.
Self-sealing tanks fitted into the wings have a total capacity of 928 U.S. gallons. Additional fuselage
self-sealing tanks may be installed to hold 639 U.S. gallons, making a maximum fuel load of 1,567 U.S. gallons.
The armament consists of one 7.7-mm free machine gun in the forward fuselage with a 60° traverse,
one 12.7-mm free machine gun in the hand operated dorsal position just aft of the cockpit, with
a 360° field of fire, and two 7.7-mm free machine guns in the lateral positions, each capable
of a 65° traverse. The airplane is not fitted with armor.
The "Canguru" is reported to be capable of carrying the following alternative loads:
(1) 75-mm gun with ammunition and/or one flame-throwing outfit with crew and equipment
(2) small tank
(3) 51 men with light automatic weapons
(4) a dismantled Fiat CR-42 fighter, which is carried with wings detached and stowed along
the sides of the fuselage.
The SM-82 is well known for its four-day, 16,200-mile liaison flight from Rome to Tokyo and return
in 1942. In 1939 it set a world's closed circuit distance record when it covered approximately 8,000 miles
at an average speed of 143 mph remaining in the air for 56 1/2 hours. The aircraft
has seen extensive service throughout all the various African campaigns.