When Cats Fly

17 December 2016     Editor    3 Comments.

Continuing in the ‘Old School’ vein, here is the 1924 Savoia-Marchetti S.55 - a twin-hulled flying boat that set 14 world records for speed, payload, altitude and range. “The most incredible serial-built flying boat of the Interbellum.”

Designed by Alessandro Marchetti, the S.55 achieved great fame through spectacular long-distance flights: Lieut-Col the Marchese de Pinedo flew the Santa Mariafrom Sardinia to Buenos Aires and then through South America and the USA in 1927; later Brazilian, American and Russian crews achieved world headlines. The S.55 will be chiefly remembered, however, for the remarkable mass formation flights led by the famous Italo Balbo - which were dubbed the ‘Aerial Armada’ by the international press.

A fascist propaganda dream come true, the flying boats were undeniably capable, and well… catamarans. Flying catamarans!

Read more here, and here.

Thanks to the Multihulls Digest for the report.

 history / catamarans / airships 


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04 Jan - 21:27


Pish Tush. There are flying catamarans, and then there are FLYING CATAMARANS! I've always liked the 1901 Kress Drachenflieger - an over-ambitious, visually historic flying machine, supported on the water by two, long, narrow pontoons. That the Drachenflieger failed to fly is neither here nor there. 3-view plans - http://www.ctie.monash.edu.au/hargrave/images/kress02_1000.jpg Colourised photo - http://media.gettyimages.com/photos/the-austrian-aircraft-constructor-wilhelm-kress-in-front-of-his-kress-picture-id89777966 Paul

10 Jan - 20:59


Of course, anything that's done in the West, the Soviets can improve on. In 1934, they came up with the massive 6-engined Tupolev ANT-22. An excellent real-life example of dieselpunk design. Dramatic photo - http://img-fotki.yandex.ru/get/6731/137106206.3eb/0_d9ecc_e3fe8422_orig.jpg

14 Jan - 11:14


Thanks for the links Paul! Both are incredible.