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.
In terms of armament for a heavy fighter, the SM.92 was not to disappoint. 2 x 20mm MG 151 cannons (German) were fitted in the central wing mainplane with a third installed in the starboard side fuselage. A single 12.7mm Breda-SAFAT heavy machine gun was installed under each engine with a third fitted to the tail stabilizer unit facing aft (remotely-controlled to engage any trailing interceptors). Beyond its fixed armament, the SM-92 was slated to carry upwards of 4,400 pounds of conventional drop ordnance under the central wing mainplane and an additional 350 pounds under each outboard wing mainplane.
The SM.92 was devised to fulfill an Italian Air Force requirement for a new twin-seat multirole fighter. The wings, tailplanes and boom of the earlier SM.91 were retained for expediency and a twin fuselage, twin-boom planform was used to harness the power of two engines and doubled internal storage space. It was expected that the aircraft would exhibit the required performance of a fighter with the added punch of something more that a traditional fighter could offer. Construction of a flyable prototype was slow and complicated and a first flight was not recorded until October of 1943. Performance was shown to be slower than expected but over twenty hours of flying were recorded through this one example still (though the design was never properly fully vetted). September of 1943 saw the Italians surrender to the Allies but this left the SM.92 in Axis hands nonetheless. In March of 1944, the prototype was engaged by an Axis pilot who mistook the aircraft for an Allied Lockheed P-38 "Lightning" - an American-made fighter which also used a twin-boom configuration but a single, central nacelle for its cockpit placement. While surviving through desperate maneuvering, the prototype was riddled with enough bullets that damage forced it to be grounded for an extended period of time while repairs were enacted.
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(OPERATORS list includes past, present, and future operators when applicable)
✓Air-to-Air Combat, Fighter
General ability to actively engage other aircraft of similar form and function, typically through guns, missiles, and/or aerial rockets.
✓X-Plane (Developmental, Prototype, Technology Demonstrator)
Aircraft developed for the role of prototyping, technology demonstration, or research / data collection.
44.9 ft (13.70 m)
60.9 ft (18.55 m)
13.6 ft (4.15 m)
13,007 lb (5,900 kg)
19,290 lb (8,750 kg)
+6,283 lb (+2,850 kg)
(Showcased structural values pertain to the base Savoia-Marchetti SM.92 production variant)
2 x Daimler-Benz DB 605 V12 liquid-cooled supercharged inline piston engines developing 1,290 horsepower each.
2 x 20mm MG 151 cannons in central wing section
1 x 20mm MG 151 cannon in starboard fuselage
1 x 12.7mm Breda-SAFAT heavy machine gun under portside engine.
1 x 12.7mm Breda-SAFAT heavy machine gun under starboard side engine.
1 x 12.7mm Breda-SAFAT heavy machine gun (remotely-controlled) in tail installation.
Up to 4,400 pounds of conventional drop stores under central wing unit and 350 pounds under each outboard wing unit.
(Not all ordnance types may be represented in the showcase above)
Hardpoint Mountings: 5
SM.92 - Base Series Designation
Ribbon graphics not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective aerial campaigns / operations / aviation periods.
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