Scratch-built 1/72 Savoia Marchetti S.64 - 1928

By Gabriel Stern

Introduction

Long range planes were in vogue in different countries at the time when the record fever was burning high.

This elegant monoplane was designed by Alessandro Marchetti aiming to conquer the endurance and distance records. First flown in 1928, the unusually configured machine demonstrated that the potential was there to implement the planned feat

The S.64 was a sort of motor-glider, with a large wing area and minimal extras, capable of accommodating a crew of three in a small pod blended with the wing, on top of which the engine –a Fiat A 22T- was enclosed inside a streamlined gondola. Construction was mostly of wood –even the wings were covered in plywood- and the struts were metal.

It conquered the distance and endurance records in closed circuit and later, in a flight to Brazil, in straight distance.

In 1929 a second machine, the S.64bis, with minor modifications, re-conquered the records that by then were in the hands of France and Germany. None of the machines survived long

The model:

The usual stuff plus the experimental addition of the fuselage pod and engine gondola are made of Fimo, a malleable plastic that you “bake” in the kitchen oven. Both parts were hand modeled, “baked”and then sanded, drilled, carved and glued. The in-process photos will clarify doubts or generate more. If the last is the case I am not at home.

The engine is an adaptation of an Engine & Things resin product, the propeller blades came from a cannibalized Aeroclub Models item and wheels came also from that source.

Struts are from Strutz (metal) and again Aeroclub (plastic). The wheel spats were an adaptation of parts coming from one of the wonderful Khee-Kha vac kits –Thanks, Lars!

I enjoyed tons with this model, and also had to re-paint it five – yes, five - times. Lovely.

Thanks to Fabrizio D’Isanto, Jim Schubert and all the modelers that helped with information and advice.

 

 

 

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