11/15/2014. Remarks by Johan Visschedijk: "The prototype of the Savoia-Marchetti SM.83, an airliner for ten passengers, made its first flight on November 3, 1937. The model, which was closely related to the design of the SM.79 bomber, seemed a refined version of the SM.79T long-haul aircraft. Total production amounted to 23 aircraft, most of them were in service with the Italian airlines Ala Littoria and LATI Linee Aeree Transcontinentali Italiane) before Italy became involved in WW II. Seven SM.83 were exported, three for the Romanian airline LARES and four for the Belgian national airline Sabena, which used them on the route to Belgian Congo.
In June 1940, eight SM.83 of the LATI were impressed in the Regia Aeronautica, where they formed the 615° Squadriglia, which was also known as the Nucleo Communicazione LATI. These aircraft, which were mainly operated by the original airline crews, were used for passenger flights to East Africa and Libya. The SM.83 proved to be very valuable to Italy's scheduled services over the South Atlantic to South America, where its long range and high reliability were vital. The SM.83 had a wingspan of 69 ft 6.6 in (21.20 m), a maximum takeoff weight of 25,353 lb (11,500 kg) and powered by three Alfa Romeo 126 RC.34 engines of 750 hp achieved a top speed of 276 mls (444 kmh).
The pictured aircraft was the fourth to go to Romania, on March 25, 1938 it was delivered to Bucharest as the personal aircraft of Prince Bibesco. During WW II the aircraft was returned to Italy and reregistered I-ANTA it was added to the LITA fleet on April 17, 1942.""