Aviation of World War II

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  • Reconnaissance Flying Boat
  • First flight: 1932
  • Savoia-Marchetti

MBR-4 The first SM-62s began arriving in the USSR in 1930. And in 1932, their serial licensed production began. A total of 22 SM-62s and 29 improved boats, designated MBR-4, were produced.

They tried to send the SM-62 to those units that had previously operated the S-16, which was similar in design and flying technique. In 1931, the Savoys were not only in the Black Sea, but also in the Baltic. The first unit here equipped with new aircraft was a separate reconnaissance squadron of the 105th air brigade, which had previously flown the MP-1. The pilots were pleased with the new machine. They noted that, compared to the MP-1, the SM-62 gained an altitude of 100 - 150 m twice as quickly, at which the first turn was usually made. Then the boat “climbed” to a height of 300 - 350 m. On the MR-1, this figure was achieved only after the second turn.

At the same time, shortcomings also emerged. When the fuel was incompletely filled (only in the rear tanks), the plane swayed in the longitudinal plane. For this reason, several disasters occurred in the Black Sea. In the 105th brigade, flight commander Denidov crashed. After that, fuel began to be poured only into the front tanks, and the cases of rocking stopped.

In the USSR, SM-62 and MBR-4 were operated until 1936, but even later a number of these machines were still used at the Sevastopol flight school, and in reconnaissance squadrons they were used as training and cone towing vehicles for training crews in aerial shooting.

SM.62 Specification
Crew 4
Wing span, m 16.66
Wing area, m² 65.90
Hength, m 12.26
Height, m 4.19
1 × Isotta-Fraschini Asso 750, power, hp 1 × 850
Weights, kg
Empty weight 2,630
Loaded weight 5,030
Maximum speed, km/h 220
Cruise speed, km/h 198
Service range, km 2,000
Service ceiling, m 4,900
Armament Four 7.7-мм machine-guns; 600 kg bombs

Description of design. SM-62/MBR-4 - Reconnaissance Flying Boat - was a single-pillar biplane of all-wood construction. The upper wing consisted of three detachable parts: the center section, on the tubular struts of which the engine mount was attached, and the wing consoles with ailerons. The upper wing consoles were connected to the lower struts, and the lower ones were hingedly attached to the power frames of the boat's hull. The strength of the wing box was ensured by bracing bands. Under the lower wing there were side floats of square section. The wing structure consisted of two spars and ribs made of poplar. The most loaded parts of the hull were reinforced with tubular steel struts.

The boat was made of wooden frames connected by wooden stringers. The bottom and hull below the waterline, in addition to 4 mm plywood sheathing, were upholstered with 4 mm cedar boards 90 mm wide. Between the layers of plywood and boards there was a three-layer linen gasket impregnated with a special mastic. Above the waterline, the hull was also covered with mastic and covered with waterproof varnish. The entire bottom was riveted with copper rivets.

The aircraft's landing gear is two-wheeled, mounted on an axis passing through the hull of the boat near the redan. Seaplanes that operated in the Soviet Union were equipped with skis and could land and take off from snowy areas. They were installed on the chassis axle instead of wheels.

The tail unit is of mixed design. Wooden stabilizer, adjustable in flight. The design of the keel and rudders is welded, made of steel pipes, covered with fabric. Towing and mooring facilities were located in the bow and tail compartments.

Isotta-Fraschini Asso engines with 500 and 750 hp were used as the power plant. or Hispano-Suiza 12-L with 600 hp. The engine was mounted between the wings on N-shaped struts. The propeller is four-bladed, wooden, and has a constant pitch. The fuel was in five fuselage tanks, one of which was consumable.

The aircraft is armed with a DA machine gun or a DA-2 twin gun. Under the lower wings there were bomb racks for eight bombs with a caliber of up to 50 kg.

Photo Description

Drawing S.M.62



  • Flying boats S.62, S.62bis (S-62B) and MBR-4 /AviaCollection 2017-04. P. Dyakonova, V. Kotelnikov./
  • MBR-4 - Taganrog "Savoy" /World of Aviation 1998-02. Vladimir Kotelnikov./
  • Savoia-Marchetti S.M.62 /Aerei Italiani - Scheda Tecnica/