Savoia-Marchetti SM.92 Heavy Fighter Prototype Aircraft
The Savoia-Marchetti SM.92 was an Italian World War 2 attempt at producing a twin-fuselage heavy fighter.
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The conjoining of two airframes to produce an all-new design was a somewhat common occurrence throughout World War 2 (1939-1945) - the Americans and Germans both attempted it through several notable designs. The benefits to such design work was in increased range, firepower and straightline performance though often at the cost of maneuverability, weight and valuable war material. One of the classic examples of this conjoining became the North American F-82 "Twin Mustang" of the United States which mated the bodies of two P-51 fighters along a common central wing mainplane element and tail stabilizer. One of the lesser-known of the conjoined fighter developments of the war became an Italian design - the twin-engine, twin-boom, two-crew Savoia-Marchetti SM.92 - a heavy fighter based on the earlier twin-engine, single-boom, three-crew SM.88 of which only one was built. Like the SM.88, the SM.92 was also only seen in one completed example in 1943 which was destroyed before the end of the war by an Allied air raid.
The SM.92 utilized an asymmetric cockpit arrangement in which the two crew were seated in tandem under a shared canopy within the portside fuselage (as opposed to having two individual cockpits, one in each fuselage as in the F-82). The two crewmen consisted of the pilot and a dedicated rear gunner. Both fuselages included a Daimler-Benz DB 605 series liquid-cooled supercharged inverted V12 engine (1,290 horsepower each) at their front (driving three-bladed propeller assemblies) and vertical rudders at their rear. The two aircraft halves were joined by a common central wing mainplane and a common tail stabilizer plane. The outboard wing mainplanes were symmetrical and held well-forward of midships. The undercarriage was of a "tail-dragger" arrangement with a main leg held under each fuselage section and a single tailwheel fitted under the tail stabilizer unit. Dimensions included a length of 13.7 meters, a wingspan of 18.5 meters and a height of 4.15 meters. Performance from the twin-engine, twin-fuselage arrangement netted a maximum speed of 382 miles per hour, a range out to 1,245 miles and a service ceiling up to 39,360 feet.