Macchi M.41

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Macchi M.41
Macchi M.41bis.jpg
The M.41bis, the production model of the Macchi M.41.
Role Flying boat fighter
National origin Italy
Manufacturer Macchi
First flight M.41: 1927
M.41bis: 1929
Introduction 1930
Retired 1938
Primary user Regia Marina (Italian Royal Navy)
Number built M.41: 1
M.41bis: 41
Variants Macchi M.71

The Macchi M.41 was an Italian flying boat fighter prototype of 1927 designed and manufactured by Macchi. Its production model, the M.41bis, first flown in 1929, was in front line service from 1930 to 1938.

Design and development[edit]

M.41[edit]

In 1927, the Regia Marina (Italian Royal Navy) held a contest for a replacement for the Macchi M.7ter flying boat fighter. In response, Macchi designed the M.41, based on its Macchi M.26 design of 1924. The M.41 was a wooden, single-seat, single-bay biplane armed with two fixed, forward-firing 7.7-millimeter (0.303-inch) machine guns. It had plywood and fabric skinning, and its wings were of equal span and unstaggered. Its engine, a 313-kilowatt (420-horsepower) Fiat A.20 driving a pusher propeller, was mounted on struts above the hull and below the upper wing, and the aircraft was fitted with an oblique frontal radiator. Like the M.26, it was of very clean aerodynamic design for an aircraft of its type.[1]

In the 1927 contest, the M.41 prototype competed against the SIAI S.58bis. Macchi received no production order for the M.41 and built only the first prototype. Although plans were made for SIAI to produce 97 S.58bis aircraft, these fell through when the Regia Marina decided to save money by re-engining the M.7ter rather than procure any new replacement aircraft in 1927.[1]

M.41bis[edit]

In 1929, the Regia Marina again organized a contest for an M.7 ter replacement. Macchi produced a new version of the M.41, dubbed the M.41 bis, which differed from the M.41 chiefly in having a vertical radiator. It performed better than the SIAI S.58ter in the contest, and this time Macchi was awarded a contract to produce 41 M.41 bis aircraft.[1]

Operational history[edit]

Macchi delivered all 41 M.41 bis aircraft, which began to enter service in 1930. They operated in two squadriglie of the 88° Gruppo Autonomo Caccia Marittima, and remained in front-line service until replaced in 1938 by the IMAM Ro.44 floatplane fighter.[2]

Operators[edit]

 Italy
 Spain

Specifications (M.41bis)[edit]

Data from The Complete Book of Fighters: An Illustrated Encyclopedia of Every Fighter Aircraft Built and Flown

General characteristics

  • Crew: 1
  • Length: 8.66 m (28 ft 4⅞ in)
  • Wingspan: 11.12 m (36 ft 5¾ in)
  • Height: 3.12 m (10 ft 2.8 in)
  • Wing area: 31.90 m2 (343.38 ft2)
  • Empty weight: 1,170 kg (2,579 lb)
  • Gross weight: 1,600 kg (3,527 lb)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Fiat A.20 water-cooled V12 engine, 313 kW (420 hp) each

Performance

  • Maximum speed: 262 km/h (163 mph)
  • Range: 700 km (435 miles)
  • Endurance: 3 hours  30 min
  • Service ceiling: 7,500[3] m (24,605 ft)

Armament

Notes:

  • Time to 1,000 m (3,280 ft): 2 min

See also[edit]

Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era
Related lists

References[edit]

Notes
  1. ^ a b c Green and Swanborough 1994, pp. 358, 527.
  2. ^ Green and Swanborough 1994, p. 358.
  3. ^ Angelucci 1983, p. 124.
Bibliography
  • Angelucci, Enzo. The Rand McNally Encyclopedia of Military Aircraft, 1914–1980. San Diego, California: The Military Press, 1983. ISBN 0-517-41021-4.
  • Green, William, and Gordon Swanborough. The Complete Book of Fighters: An Illustrated Encyclopedia of Every Fighter Aircraft Built and Flown. New York: Smithmark Publishers, 1994. ISBN 0-8317-3939-8.