By William Pearce
Inspired by Charles Lindbergh’s New York to Paris transatlantic flight of 3,600 miles (5,800 km) in May 1927, Italian pilot Arturo Ferrarin discussed with Alessandro Marchetti the possibility of building an aircraft to set non-stop distance records. Ferrarin was an experienced long distance flyer, having flown from Rome to Tokyo in 1920. Marchetti was the chief designer for Savoia-Marchetti and had complete control of the aircraft’s design and configuration. What emerged from Marchetti’s drafting table was the S.64. The Italian Air Ministry supported the project as a way to demonstrate the capabilities of Italian aviation to the world; two S.64 aircraft were ordered in late 1927.
The Savoia-Marchetti S.64 was an aircraft of a rather unorthodox configuration yet similar to Marchetti’s earlier flying boat design…
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