Savoia-Marchetti SM.81 Pipistrello (Bat) Medium Bomber / Transport Aircraft
The Savoia-Marchetti SM.81 survived World War 2 and continued in service until 1950.
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The Savoia-Marchetti SM.81 Pipistrello ("Bat") served primarily with the Regia Aeronautica throughout the 1930s and 1940s. The aircraft played an effective role as both a troop transport and a bombing platform, taking part in the 1935 Italo-Abyssinian War, the 1936 Spanish Civil War, the 1939 invasion of Albania and the 1943 evacuation of Axis forces in Tunisia. The aircraft was nicknamed the "Slug" by its pilots on account of her slow performance by 1940s standards. Some 535 examples were produced in whole.
Roots of Savoia-Marchetti
Roots to the Savoia-Marchetti firm were laid down in 1915 during World War 1 (1914-1918). At this time, the company operated under the name of Societa Idrovolanti Alta Italia ("Seaplane Company of North Italy") under the initials of "SIAI" with a concentration on seaplane design and production. In the post-war world, the firm absorbed Societa Anonima Costruzioni Aeronautiche Savoia, an aircraft bureau begun by Umberto Savoia (also founded in 1915), and added the Savoia name. In 1922, chief designer Alessandro Marchetti joined the ranks of Savoia and the company name changed once more, this time to the more well-known "Savoia-Marchetti".