GEORG v. RAUCH COLLECTION
No. 12381. Savoia-Marchetti S.59bis (HR-5) Argentine Navy
Photograph from Aviación Naval Argentina

Savoia-Marchetti S.59bis

04/30/2014. Remarks by Johan Visschedijk: "The prototype of the Savoia-Marchetti S.59, which made its first flight in 1925, was a modernized version of the S.16. The type was destined for the Italian maritime reconnaissance squadrons as a scout/bomber flying-boat. The crew was seated in two side-by-side cockpits forward of the wing, while a lower situated cockpit was fitted with a flexible 0.303 in (7.7 mm) Lewis machinegun. A bomb load of up to 617 lb (280 kg) could be carried externally.

From the outset, the S.59 was underpowered, the prototype had a 360 hp Rolls-Royce Eagle engine and the production aircraft had a 400 hp Lorraine-Dietrich 12dB engine. Despite the limited performance with this engine, the first of forty S.59's for the Regia Aeronautica were delivered in 1926.

The S.59bis of 1927 differed only in being fitted with the more powerful Isotta Fraschini Asso 500 V-engine of 510 hp. This version was built on a large scale by the company itself (82), CANT (50) and Macchi (50), all of which were delivered by 1930.

Italian squadrons equipped with the S.59bis included the 141ª, 142ª, 144ª, 182ª and 184ª. Fifty S.59bis' formed the backbone of a spectacular cruise over the western Mediterranean that took place in 1928. During the thirties many S.59bis' were equipped with Handley Page slats mounted on the leading edge of the upper wing.

After the type was withdrawn from the primary service in 1937, the S.59's flew for many years as a trainer. S.S9bis' were among others exported to Argentina (ten) and Romania (eight). Introduced in 1928, the civilian version S.59P had an enclosed cabin ahead of the wing for two crew and four passengers."

Created April 30, 2014