The hunchback of Sesto Calende

TECHNICAL DETAILS SAVOIA-MARCHETTI SM79

For self-defence the SM79’s gunner could operate two 0.5in (12.7mm) machine guns, one in the underfuselage gondola and, as shown, one in the dorsal hump.

At the outset, the SM79’s design concept was decidedly modern, but having reached the limit of its development potential it rapidly became obsolete in comparison with newer foreign machines in the same class. Its original design as a civilian aircraft resulted in some compromises when it came to military use. In particular, its bomb load was restricted by the low wing position. In some ways the Heinkel He 111, also created as a passenger transport, shared these issues. Nevertheless, the German aircraft had the advantage of being a more modern design, enabling it to be widely developed.

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