Macchi M.41 bis
Macchi M.41 bis
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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.
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.
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.
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.