Macchi M.8/Savoia S.13 (Reconnaissance Seaplanes, 1919-1922)

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n 1919 Sweden was visited by four Italian marine aviators - Count di Robilant, Lieutenant Maddalena, Sergeant Minchiotti and Sergeant Longo. To make the Swedish military authorities interested in the Italian aviation industry, two small hydroplanes of was presented from the Italian state to Sweden . The design of the two types was rather similar; biplanes with pushing propeller and engine mounted between the wings. The aircraft were handed over at a ceremony the 9th of November by the Italian navy attaché Captain Count Gravina to the Swedish representative Captain TWM Lübeck.

One of the hydroplanes was a Macchi M.8. It was a single-seater, intended as a fighter aircraft. However, like all other Swedish Navy aircraft from this era, it was never fitted with any armaments. The engine was a 180 hp Franco Tosi, which showed to be pretty undependable. The aircraft was given the Navy number 41. Due to the engine problems, the Macchi was written off in 1921. 

The other seaplane, a Savoia S.13, made more luck. This was a two-seated reconnaissance machine fitted with a Isotta-Fraschini V6-engine of 250 hp. Further three aircraft of this type were ordered from Italy . They were given the numbers 43-45. No one of this aircraft made any longer service in the Navy, mostly due to the disastrous fire at Galärvarvet 1921(see the text about Friedrichshafen FF 33, which destroyed spares and fittings. In 1922, all the four aircraft had been written off.

Photos of Savoia S.13 numbers 42 (top), 43 and 44 (below). All photos from Stumholmen, Karlskrona naval base in 1922. Bottom: Model of Savoia S.13 number 43 displayed at Flygvapenmuseum (Swedish Air Force Museum)

M.8 - Length: 9,9 m. Span: 13,8 m. Maximum take-off weight: 1.400 kg. Max. speed: 140 km/h


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© Lars Henriksson

Updated 2009-05-13


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