Difference between revisions of "S.81"

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== Description ==
 
== Description ==
''In the description, the first part needs to be about the history of and the creation and combat usage of the aircraft, as well as its key features. In the second part, tell the reader about the aircraft in the game. Insert screenshot of the vehicle. If the novice player does not remember the vehicle by name, he will immediately understand what kind of vehicle it is talking about.''
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<!-- ''In the description, the first part should be about the history of and the creation and combat usage of the aircraft, as well as its key features. In the second part, tell the reader about the aircraft in the game. Insert a screenshot of the vehicle, so that if the novice player does not remember the vehicle by name, he will immediately understand what kind of vehicle the article is talking about.'' -->
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[[File:GarageImage_{{PAGENAME}}.jpg|420px|thumb|left]]
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{{Break}}
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The '''{{Specs|name}}''' is a rank {{Specs|rank}} Italian bomber {{Battle-rating}}. It was introduced in [[Update 1.71 "New E.R.A."]].
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The S.81 is distinctive with its three engines, two on the wings and one in the nose. This provides a level of redundancy with the nose engine unlikely to be disabled except from a head-on or a diving attack. Although, each engine is less powerful than contemporaries on other aircraft so each engine loss will heavily impact the aircraft's speed, causing it to lose altitude. Losing one engine on the wing would also cause the aircraft to start rolling over to the weakened end. However, if you manage to land your plane after losing an engine, you will be able to taxi back to base at 100% power. It will be slow though, as you can only reach speeds up to 14 km/h.
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The plane in its default state is covered in a light green paint with black splotches around to break up the solid figure. A huge white band stretch out at the mid-section of the fuselage, right around the beam turrets, which could serve as reference points for enemies to knockout the beam and ventral turret gunners. On the tail's vertical stabilizer, a large white cross is also present with the logo of the ''Regia Aeronautica'' in the upper centre point of the paint. On the wings, the ''Regia Aeronautica'' roundels were also present to make the vehicle certainly belonging to the Italian tech tree.
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Three types of turrets are available on the S.81, a dorsal turret on top, a ventral turret on the bottom, and two beam turrets for both sides of the fuselage. All the turrets provide an excellent arc of fires on their sectors, with mutual machine gun fire from more than one turret able to be met in most areas. Unfortunately, all the turrets used a 7.7 mm machine gun and while sustained fire could cause sufficient damage, they lack the quick stopping power needed to prevent fighters from strafing the bomber, and taking down enemy fighters quickly is crucial as the S.81 lacks any sort of armour for itself and the crew except self-sealing fuel tanks. Enemy machine-gun fire will quickly go through, damaging modules and crew members.
  
 
== General info ==
 
== General info ==
=== Flight Performance ===
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=== Flight performance ===
''Describe how the aircraft behaves in the air. Maximum speed, maneuverability, speed and allowable loads - these are the most important characteristics of the vehicle.''
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<!--''Describe how the aircraft behaves in the air. Speed, manoeuvrability, acceleration and allowable loads - these are the most important characteristics of the vehicle.''-->
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{| class="wikitable" style="text-align:center" width="70%"
 +
! rowspan="2" | Characteristics
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! colspan="2" | Max Speed<br>(km/h at 4,000 m)
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! rowspan="2" | Max altitude<br>(metres)
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! colspan="2" | Turn time<br>(seconds)
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! colspan="2" | Rate of climb<br>(metres/second)
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! rowspan="2" | Take-off run<br>(metres)
 +
|-
 +
! AB !! RB !! AB !! RB !! AB !! RB
 +
|-
 +
! Stock
 +
| 321 || 310 || rowspan="2" | {{Specs|ceiling}} || 30.1 || 31.3 || 3.9 || 3.9 || rowspan="2" | 450
 +
|-
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! Upgraded
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| 351 || 335 || 28.0 || 29.0 || 9.4 || 6.3
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|-
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|}
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==== Details ====
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{| class="wikitable" style="text-align:center" width="50%"
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|-
 +
! colspan="5" | Features
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|-
 +
! Combat flaps !! Take-off flaps !! Landing flaps !! Air brakes !! Arrestor gear
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|-
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| ✓ || ✓ || ✓ || X || X    <!-- ✓ -->
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|-
 +
|}
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 +
{| class="wikitable" style="text-align:center" width="50%"
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|-
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! colspan="7" | Limits
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|-
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! rowspan="2" | Wings (km/h)
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! rowspan="2" | Gear (km/h)
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! colspan="3" | Flaps (km/h)
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! colspan="2" | Max Static G
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|-
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! Combat !! Take-off !! Landing !! + !! -
 +
|-
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| {{Specs|destruction|body}} || {{Specs|destruction|gear}} || 386 || 386 || 241 || ~3 || ~2
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|-
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|}
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{| class="wikitable" style="text-align:center"
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|-
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! colspan="4" | Optimal velocities (km/h)
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|-
 +
! Ailerons !! Rudder !! Elevators !! Radiator
 +
|-
 +
| < 260 || < 270 || < 270 || > 330
 +
|-
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|}
  
 
=== Survivability and armour ===
 
=== Survivability and armour ===
''Examine the survivability of the aircraft. Note how vulnerable the structure is and how secure the pilot is, whether the fuel tanks are armoured. Describe the armour, if there is any, also mention the vulnerability of other critical aircraft systems.''
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<!-- ''Examine the survivability of the aircraft. Note how vulnerable the structure is and how secure the pilot is, whether the fuel tanks are armoured, etc. Describe the armour, if there is any, and also mention the vulnerability of other critical aircraft systems.'' -->
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* No armour plating
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* No armour glazing
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* Critical components located at front of aircraft (fuel, pilot, engine, controls)
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* More fuel tanks located in wings near fuselage
  
 
== Armaments ==
 
== Armaments ==
=== Offensive armament ===
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=== Suspended armament ===
''Describe the offensive armament of the aircraft, if any. Describe how effective the cannons and machine guns are in a battle, and also what belts or drums are better to use. If there is no offensive weaponry, delete this subsection.''
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<!-- ''Describe the aircraft's suspended armament: additional cannons under the wings, bombs, rockets and torpedoes. This section is especially important for bombers and attackers. If there is no suspended weaponry remove this subsection.'' -->
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{{main|GP 50 (50 kg)|GP 100 (100 kg)|GP 250 (250 kg)|GP 500 (500 kg)}}
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The '''''{{PAGENAME}}''''' can be outfitted with the following ordnance:
  
=== Suspended armament ===
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* 28 x 50 kg GP 50 bombs (1,400 kg total)
''Describe the aircraft's suspended armament: additional cannons under the wings, bombs, rockets and torpedoes. This section is especially important for bombers and attackers. If there is no suspended weaponry remove this subsection.''
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* 16 x 100 kg GP 100 bombs (1,600 kg total)
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* 4 x 250 kg GP 250 bombs (1,000 kg total)
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* 4 x 500 kg GP 500 bombs (2,000 kg total)
  
 
=== Defensive armament ===
 
=== Defensive armament ===
''Defensive armament with turret machine guns or cannons, crewed by gunners. Examine the number of gunners and what belts or drums are better to use. If defensive weaponry is not available remove this subsection.''
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<!-- ''Defensive armament with turret machine guns or cannons, crewed by gunners. Examine the number of gunners and what belts or drums are better to use. If defensive weaponry is not available, remove this subsection.'' -->
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{{main|Breda-SAFAT (7.7 mm)|Lewis (7.7 mm)}}
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The '''''{{PAGENAME}}''''' is defended by:
 +
 
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* 2 x 7.7 mm Breda-SAFAT machine guns, dorsal turret (500 rpg = 1,000 total)
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* 2 x 7.7 mm Breda-SAFAT machine guns, ventral turret (500 rpg = 1,000 total)
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* 1 x 7.7 mm Lewis machine gun, 2 x beam turrets (500 rpg)
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== Usage in battles ==
 +
<!-- ''Describe the tactics of playing in the aircraft, the features of using aircraft in a team and advice on tactics. Refrain from creating a "guide" - do not impose a single point of view, but instead, give the reader food for thought. Examine the most dangerous enemies and give recommendations on fighting them. If necessary, note the specifics of the game in different modes (AB, RB, SB).'' -->
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S.81 is a well armed beginner bomber for Italy, being able to carry a heavy load of bombs in different sizes. Though it doesn't possess the greatest speed, it's still a bomber for the enemy team to recognize as a threat for its carrying capacity of bombs. Being mixed up with bombers from other nations like [[He 111 H-3]], [[F.222.2]], or [[TB-3M-17-32]], they can easily wipe out enemy bomb points and airfield.
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S.81 is armed with 6 x 7.7 mm machine guns: 2 x [[Lewis (7.7 mm)]] and 4 x [[Breda-SAFAT (7.7 mm)]] which is pretty well armed for a low tier bomber. The two Lewis machine guns are placed at the middle rear of the plane in the sides, where they can cover if enemy planes are flying level next to the S.81. Meanwhile, the 4 x Breda machine guns are placed in two turrets that have 360° coverage above and below the bomber, being able to defend it from most angles. It is able to defend itself pretty well against biplanes from reserve ranks, but can have tougher opponents like [[I-16 type 24]], [[Yak-2 KABB]], [[P-36G]], [[He 100 D-1]], [[Potez 631]], and [[J22-A]] that can make quick work of the S.81 as they are faster, more agile, and usually have more firepower than the S.81.
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S.81 is able to carry 28 x 50 kg bombs, 16 x 100 kg bombs, 4 x 250 kg bombs or 4 x 500 kg bombs. Bombloads like 28 x 50 kg and 16 x 100 kg are excellent for carpet bombing convoys and knocking out light targets, meanwhile heavier bombloads like 4 x 250 kg and 4 x 500 kg are excellent for destroying bombing points and damaging airfields. They are all useful in ground battles.
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Best use of S.81 in Air Battles is on clean up duty after other bombers that are way faster and might not have the bombload to take out bombing points in one go, or S.81 can go for stationary targets like pillboxes, light pillboxes, AA emplacements and artillery positions to bleed the enemy team's tickets.
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In ground battles the S.81 can be good air support for allied ground units, protecting points that are being captured by hostile forces and with good communications with the ground teammates it can wipe out entrenched enemies that are likely to be protecting points or certain roads or areas of the map. But beware of enemy SPAA units, S.81's slow speed makes it an easy target for most SPAA vehicles at its battle rating.
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=== Manual Engine Control ===
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{| class="wikitable" style="text-align:center"
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|-
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! colspan="7" | MEC elements
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|-
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! rowspan="2" | Mixer
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! rowspan="2" | Pitch
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! colspan="3" | Radiator
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! rowspan="2" | Supercharger
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! rowspan="2" | Turbocharger
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|-
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! Oil !! Water !! Type
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|-
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| Controllable || Not controllable<br>Not auto controlled || Not controllable<br>Not auto controlled || Not controllable<br>Not auto controlled || Separate || Not controllable<br>1 gear || Not controllable
 +
|-
 +
|}
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=== Modules ===
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{| class="wikitable"
 +
! Tier
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! colspan="2" | Flight performance
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! Survivability
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! colspan="2" | Weaponry
 +
|-
 +
| I
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| Fuselage repair
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| Radiator
 +
|
 +
| Turret 7 mm
 +
| MCSAP100
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|-
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| II
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|
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| Compressor
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| Airframe
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| New 7 mm MGs (turret)
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|
 +
|-
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| III
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| Wings repair
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| Engine
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|
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| Turret 7 mm
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| MCGP250
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|-
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| IV
 +
|
 +
| Engine injection
 +
| Cover
 +
| New 7 mm MGs (turret)
 +
| MCRO500
 +
|-
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|}
  
== Usage in the battles ==
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* When grinding this plane for improvements and modules, focus on the payload first, then the plane performance. Ignore the defensive firepower upgrades as the defensive firepower upgraded is still extremely weak until its the last upgrades you have to get.
''Describe the tactics of playing in an aircraft, the features of using vehicles in a team and advice on tactics. Refrain from creating a "guide" - do not impose a single point of view but give the reader food for thought. Examine the most dangerous enemies and give recommendations on fighting them. If necessary, note the specifics of the game in different modes (AB, RB, SB).''
 
  
 
=== Pros and cons ===
 
=== Pros and cons ===
''Summarize and briefly evaluate the vehicle in terms of its characteristics and combat effectiveness. Mark its pros and cons in the bulleted list. Do not use more than 6 points for each of the characteristics. Avoid using categorical definitions such as "bad", "good" and the like - they have a substitution in the form of softer "inadequate", "effective".''
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<!-- ''Summarise and briefly evaluate the vehicle in terms of its characteristics and combat effectiveness. Mark its pros and cons in the bulleted list. Try not to use more than 6 points for each of the characteristics. Avoid using categorical definitions such as "bad", "good" and the like - use substitutions with softer forms such as "inadequate" and "effective".'' -->
  
 
'''Pros:'''
 
'''Pros:'''
*
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* Decent payload, can hold large numbers of 50 kg bombs
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* Machine gun turrets can reach all sides of the bomber
  
 
'''Cons:'''
 
'''Cons:'''
*
 
  
== Historical part ==
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* Slow and sluggish
''Describe the history of the creation and combat usage of the aircraft in more detail than in the introduction. If the historical reference turns out to be too big, take it to a separate article, taking a link to an article about the vehicle and adding a block "/ historical reference" (example: https://wiki.warthunder.com/index.php?title=Name-vehicles/historical reference) and add a link to it here using the main template. Be sure to include links to sources at the end of the article.''
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* No armour or bulletproof glass for protection
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* Abysmal defensive firepower
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* Loss of a single engine will hamper the plane's ability to stay in the air
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* Low maximum altitude
 +
 
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== History ==
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<!-- ''Describe the history of the creation and combat usage of the aircraft in more detail than in the introduction. If the historical reference turns out to be too long, take it to a separate article, taking a link to the article about the vehicle and adding a block "/History" (example: <nowiki>https://wiki.warthunder.com/(Vehicle-name)/History</nowiki>) and add a link to it here using the <code>main</code> template. Be sure to reference text and sources by using <code><nowiki><ref></ref></nowiki></code>, as well as adding them at the end of the article with <code><nowiki><references /></nowiki></code>. This section may also include the vehicle's dev blog entry (if applicable) and the in-game encyclopedia description (under <code><nowiki>=== In-game description ===</nowiki></code>, also if applicable).'' -->
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Under the need to have an aircraft capable reaching the far reaches of the Italian colonies in Africa, a project was made to develop an aircraft able to suit the Regia Aeronautica. Approaching manufacturer Savoia-Marchetti, chief designer Alessandro Marchetti developed the aircraft based on the Savoia's SM.73 airliner and militarized the vehicle for its intended use.<ref name="MFS.81">Military Factory. "Savoia-Marchetti SM.81 Pipistrello (Bat) Medium Bomber / Transport Aircraft." Military Factory, 31 May 2017, [http://www.militaryfactory.com/aircraft/detail.asp?aircraft_id=811 Website].</ref> The first prototype was built and flown in early 1935, approximately six months after the SM.73 debuted.<ref name="CenturyS.81">Century of Flight. "Savoia Marchetti S.M.81 Pipistrello." Italian Aircraft of World War Two, 11 Nov 2007, [http://www.century-of-flight.net/Aviation%20history/photo_albums/timeline/ww2/Savoia%20Marchetti.htm#r Website].</ref> This aircraft was then known as the '''SM.81 "Pipistrello"''' ('''"Bat"'''). The aircraft was accepted for service in the same year with mass-production slated, with different engines used throughout the production life. 534 SM.81 would be produced in the time span between 1935 to 1944.<ref name="MurphyS.81">Murphy, Justin D., and Matthew A. McNiece. Military Aircraft, 1919-1945: an Illustrated History of Their Impact. ABC-CLIO, 2009.</ref>
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===Combat usage===
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At its inception, the SM.81 was considered one of the better medium bombers of the era with its top speed of 211 miles, long range of 1,336 miles, well armed with six machine gun positions and able to carry a payload of up to 2,205 lbs.<ref name="MurphyS.81" /> The SM.81 found a versatile use on the battlefield, being used in a transport, bombing, ground attack, and a reconnaissance role, ensuring its relevancy even later in the war. One was procured by Benito Mussolini to be used as his private aircraft, the aircraft being nicknamed "Taratuga" ("Turtle") for its sluggish speed.
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The SM.81 was first used in the Second Italo-Ethiopian War (also known as the Second Italo-Abyssinian War), lasting from 03 October 1935 to May 1936, quickly putting the SM.81 into action. Their versatile performed well in their support of the Italian troops, culminating with the annexation of Ethiopia into Italy's East African colonies. The SM.81 saw use again in the Spanish Civil War to aid the Spanish Nationalists in the Aviazione Legionaria, where they were used to the same degree as in Ethiopia. Though 12 were sent on a 705-mile flight on 29 July 1936 to Spanish-controlled Morocco, complexity in the flight had only nine arrive. These nine bombers provided a great asset in the Strait of Gibraltar as more aircraft arrived, keeping the Spanish Republican's Navy at bay. As the Nationalists push closer to Madrid, the SM.81, working alongside the German Condor Legion, bombed the Spanish capital almost daily. Though the SM.81 sometimes flew with escorting [[CR.32_(Family)|C.R.32]] biplanes, flying unescorted with tight formations was also possible due to the mutual machine gun protection with each other.<ref name="SmithS.81">Smith, Richard K., and R. Cargill. Hall. Five down, No Glory: Frank G. Tinker, Mercenary Ace in the Spanish Civil War. Naval Institute Press, 2011.</ref> However, when Soviet [[I-15_M-22|I-15]] and [[I-16 type 5|I-16]] appeared, flights started to be conducted at night to avoid losing precious bombers. When Italy left Spain at the conclusion of the war, around 64 SM.81 was left behind for the Spanish Air Force.
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By the outbreak of World War II, the SM.81 was showing its age, though 300 units still remained in the Regia Aeronautica's inventory.<ref name="MFS.81" /> With the faster and more powerful [[S.M.79_(Family)|SM.79]] beginning to see service in 1936, the SM.81's roles was supplemented. The SM.81 still saw service in secondary roles and so deliveries still continued. It was used in the African theater as the main bomber against British forces in East Africa, but British [[Gladiator_Mk_II|Gladiators]] and [[Hurricane_(Family)|Hurricanes]] posed a major threat. Due to this the SM.81 was relegated as a night bomber in North Africa, with the darkness as cover against the enemy fighters. 80 SM.81 were also produced into a dedicated transport aircraft, known as ''SM.81T'', which proved vital in transporting troops and material to Rommel's Afrika Korps.<ref name="MurphyS.81" />
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Even after Italy's surrender to Allied forces in September 1943, the SM.81 still saw service in North Italy's Aeronautica Nazionale Repubblicana and South Italy's Aviazione Cobelligerante Italiana. Though South Italy soon removed them from service, North Italy used them until the end of the war.<ref name="MFS.81" /> In the conclusion of World War II, several SM.81 were still in service with the post-war Aeronautica Militare Italiana, sticking around until 1950 when they were all officially retired.
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===Other developments===
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Two main variants of the SM.81 existed, the SM.81 as a bomber/transport variant and the SM.81T as a dedicated transport aircraft, both using various engines as propulsion. A project was done known as the ''SM.81B'', which used a two-engine configuration. This provided inadequate performance compared to the three-engine configurations and so the project was discontinued.
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Though the SM.81 saw use in the various Italian air forces and in Spain, three were also sent to the Chinese Nationalist forces, arriving at an unknown date. However, all three samples were destroyed in training exercises in early 1938.<ref name="MFS.81" />
  
 
== Media ==
 
== Media ==
''An excellent addition to the article will be video guides, as well as screenshots from the game and photos.''
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<!-- ''Excellent additions to the article would be video guides, screenshots from the game, and photos.'' -->
 +
{{Youtube-gallery|9_txEPailKc|'''The Shooting Range #92''' - ''Pages of History'' section at 06:20 discusses the S.81.}}
  
== Read also ==
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== See also ==
''Links to the articles on the War Thunder Wiki that you think will be useful for the reader, for example,''
+
''Links to the articles on the War Thunder Wiki that you think will be useful for the reader, for example:''
 
* ''reference to the series of the aircraft;''
 
* ''reference to the series of the aircraft;''
 
* ''links to approximate analogues of other nations and research trees.''
 
* ''links to approximate analogues of other nations and research trees.''
''ETC.''
 
  
== Sources ==
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== External links ==
''Paste links to sources and external resources, such as:''
+
<!-- ''Paste links to sources and external resources, such as:''
 
* ''topic on the official game forum;''
 
* ''topic on the official game forum;''
* ''page on aircraft encyclopedia;''
+
* ''encyclopedia page on the aircraft;''
* ''other literature.''
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* ''other literature.'' -->
 +
=== References ===
 +
<references />
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{{AirManufacturer SM}}
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{{Italy bombers}}

Latest revision as of 11:40, 1 November 2020

RANK 6 USA
"APACHE" | AH-64A Peten
S.81
s_81_ar125.png
AB
RB
SB
General characteristics
Brief
Detailed
1.3/1.3/1.3BR
5 peopleCrew
10.51 tTake-off weight
Flight characteristics
6800 mCeiling
3 х Alfa Romeo 125 R.C.35Engine
RadialType
airCooling system
Speed of destruction
530 km/hStructural
530 km/hGear
Defensive armament
7.7 mm Lewis machine gun2 х Turret
500 roundsAmmunition
551 shots/minFire rate
2 x 7.7 mm Breda-SAFAT machine gun2 х Turret
1000 roundsAmmunition
900 shots/minFire rate
Suspended armament
28 x 50 kg GP 50 bombSetup 1
16 x 100 kg GP 100 bombSetup 2
4 x 250 kg GP 250 bombSetup 3
4 x 500 kg GP 500 bombSetup 4
Economy
2900 Rp icon.pngResearch
700 Sl icon.pngPurchase
Sl icon.png660 / 832/430 / 542/220 / 277Repair
200 Sl icon.pngCrew training
1000 Sl icon.pngExperts
20 Ge icon.pngAces
100 % Rp icon.pngReward for battle
60 % Sl icon.png50 % Sl icon.png20 % Sl icon.png

Description

GarageImage S.81.jpg


The S.81 is a rank I Italian bomber with a battle rating of 1.3 (AB/RB/SB). It was introduced in Update 1.71 "New E.R.A.".

The S.81 is distinctive with its three engines, two on the wings and one in the nose. This provides a level of redundancy with the nose engine unlikely to be disabled except from a head-on or a diving attack. Although, each engine is less powerful than contemporaries on other aircraft so each engine loss will heavily impact the aircraft's speed, causing it to lose altitude. Losing one engine on the wing would also cause the aircraft to start rolling over to the weakened end. However, if you manage to land your plane after losing an engine, you will be able to taxi back to base at 100% power. It will be slow though, as you can only reach speeds up to 14 km/h.

The plane in its default state is covered in a light green paint with black splotches around to break up the solid figure. A huge white band stretch out at the mid-section of the fuselage, right around the beam turrets, which could serve as reference points for enemies to knockout the beam and ventral turret gunners. On the tail's vertical stabilizer, a large white cross is also present with the logo of the Regia Aeronautica in the upper centre point of the paint. On the wings, the Regia Aeronautica roundels were also present to make the vehicle certainly belonging to the Italian tech tree.

Three types of turrets are available on the S.81, a dorsal turret on top, a ventral turret on the bottom, and two beam turrets for both sides of the fuselage. All the turrets provide an excellent arc of fires on their sectors, with mutual machine gun fire from more than one turret able to be met in most areas. Unfortunately, all the turrets used a 7.7 mm machine gun and while sustained fire could cause sufficient damage, they lack the quick stopping power needed to prevent fighters from strafing the bomber, and taking down enemy fighters quickly is crucial as the S.81 lacks any sort of armour for itself and the crew except self-sealing fuel tanks. Enemy machine-gun fire will quickly go through, damaging modules and crew members.

General info

Flight performance

Characteristics Max Speed
(km/h at 4,000 m)
Max altitude
(metres)
Turn time
(seconds)
Rate of climb
(metres/second)
Take-off run
(metres)
AB RB AB RB AB RB
Stock 321 310 6800 30.1 31.3 3.9 3.9 450
Upgraded 351 335 28.0 29.0 9.4 6.3

Details

Features
Combat flaps Take-off flaps Landing flaps Air brakes Arrestor gear
X X
Limits
Wings (km/h) Gear (km/h) Flaps (km/h) Max Static G
Combat Take-off Landing + -
530 530 386 386 241 ~3 ~2
Optimal velocities (km/h)
Ailerons Rudder Elevators Radiator
< 260 < 270 < 270 > 330

Survivability and armour

  • No armour plating
  • No armour glazing
  • Critical components located at front of aircraft (fuel, pilot, engine, controls)
  • More fuel tanks located in wings near fuselage

Armaments

Suspended armament

The S.81 can be outfitted with the following ordnance:

  • 28 x 50 kg GP 50 bombs (1,400 kg total)
  • 16 x 100 kg GP 100 bombs (1,600 kg total)
  • 4 x 250 kg GP 250 bombs (1,000 kg total)
  • 4 x 500 kg GP 500 bombs (2,000 kg total)

Defensive armament

The S.81 is defended by:

  • 2 x 7.7 mm Breda-SAFAT machine guns, dorsal turret (500 rpg = 1,000 total)
  • 2 x 7.7 mm Breda-SAFAT machine guns, ventral turret (500 rpg = 1,000 total)
  • 1 x 7.7 mm Lewis machine gun, 2 x beam turrets (500 rpg)

Usage in battles

S.81 is a well armed beginner bomber for Italy, being able to carry a heavy load of bombs in different sizes. Though it doesn't possess the greatest speed, it's still a bomber for the enemy team to recognize as a threat for its carrying capacity of bombs. Being mixed up with bombers from other nations like He 111 H-3, F.222.2, or TB-3M-17-32, they can easily wipe out enemy bomb points and airfield.

S.81 is armed with 6 x 7.7 mm machine guns: 2 x Lewis (7.7 mm) and 4 x Breda-SAFAT (7.7 mm) which is pretty well armed for a low tier bomber. The two Lewis machine guns are placed at the middle rear of the plane in the sides, where they can cover if enemy planes are flying level next to the S.81. Meanwhile, the 4 x Breda machine guns are placed in two turrets that have 360° coverage above and below the bomber, being able to defend it from most angles. It is able to defend itself pretty well against biplanes from reserve ranks, but can have tougher opponents like I-16 type 24, Yak-2 KABB, P-36G, He 100 D-1, Potez 631, and J22-A that can make quick work of the S.81 as they are faster, more agile, and usually have more firepower than the S.81.

S.81 is able to carry 28 x 50 kg bombs, 16 x 100 kg bombs, 4 x 250 kg bombs or 4 x 500 kg bombs. Bombloads like 28 x 50 kg and 16 x 100 kg are excellent for carpet bombing convoys and knocking out light targets, meanwhile heavier bombloads like 4 x 250 kg and 4 x 500 kg are excellent for destroying bombing points and damaging airfields. They are all useful in ground battles.

Best use of S.81 in Air Battles is on clean up duty after other bombers that are way faster and might not have the bombload to take out bombing points in one go, or S.81 can go for stationary targets like pillboxes, light pillboxes, AA emplacements and artillery positions to bleed the enemy team's tickets.

In ground battles the S.81 can be good air support for allied ground units, protecting points that are being captured by hostile forces and with good communications with the ground teammates it can wipe out entrenched enemies that are likely to be protecting points or certain roads or areas of the map. But beware of enemy SPAA units, S.81's slow speed makes it an easy target for most SPAA vehicles at its battle rating.

Manual Engine Control

MEC elements
Mixer Pitch Radiator Supercharger Turbocharger
Oil Water Type
Controllable Not controllable
Not auto controlled
Not controllable
Not auto controlled
Not controllable
Not auto controlled
Separate Not controllable
1 gear
Not controllable

Modules

Tier Flight performance Survivability Weaponry
I Fuselage repair Radiator Turret 7 mm MCSAP100
II Compressor Airframe New 7 mm MGs (turret)
III Wings repair Engine Turret 7 mm MCGP250
IV Engine injection Cover New 7 mm MGs (turret) MCRO500
  • When grinding this plane for improvements and modules, focus on the payload first, then the plane performance. Ignore the defensive firepower upgrades as the defensive firepower upgraded is still extremely weak until its the last upgrades you have to get.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Decent payload, can hold large numbers of 50 kg bombs
  • Machine gun turrets can reach all sides of the bomber

Cons:

  • Slow and sluggish
  • No armour or bulletproof glass for protection
  • Abysmal defensive firepower
  • Loss of a single engine will hamper the plane's ability to stay in the air
  • Low maximum altitude

History

Under the need to have an aircraft capable reaching the far reaches of the Italian colonies in Africa, a project was made to develop an aircraft able to suit the Regia Aeronautica. Approaching manufacturer Savoia-Marchetti, chief designer Alessandro Marchetti developed the aircraft based on the Savoia's SM.73 airliner and militarized the vehicle for its intended use.[1] The first prototype was built and flown in early 1935, approximately six months after the SM.73 debuted.[2] This aircraft was then known as the SM.81 "Pipistrello" ("Bat"). The aircraft was accepted for service in the same year with mass-production slated, with different engines used throughout the production life. 534 SM.81 would be produced in the time span between 1935 to 1944.[3]

Combat usage

At its inception, the SM.81 was considered one of the better medium bombers of the era with its top speed of 211 miles, long range of 1,336 miles, well armed with six machine gun positions and able to carry a payload of up to 2,205 lbs.[3] The SM.81 found a versatile use on the battlefield, being used in a transport, bombing, ground attack, and a reconnaissance role, ensuring its relevancy even later in the war. One was procured by Benito Mussolini to be used as his private aircraft, the aircraft being nicknamed "Taratuga" ("Turtle") for its sluggish speed.

The SM.81 was first used in the Second Italo-Ethiopian War (also known as the Second Italo-Abyssinian War), lasting from 03 October 1935 to May 1936, quickly putting the SM.81 into action. Their versatile performed well in their support of the Italian troops, culminating with the annexation of Ethiopia into Italy's East African colonies. The SM.81 saw use again in the Spanish Civil War to aid the Spanish Nationalists in the Aviazione Legionaria, where they were used to the same degree as in Ethiopia. Though 12 were sent on a 705-mile flight on 29 July 1936 to Spanish-controlled Morocco, complexity in the flight had only nine arrive. These nine bombers provided a great asset in the Strait of Gibraltar as more aircraft arrived, keeping the Spanish Republican's Navy at bay. As the Nationalists push closer to Madrid, the SM.81, working alongside the German Condor Legion, bombed the Spanish capital almost daily. Though the SM.81 sometimes flew with escorting C.R.32 biplanes, flying unescorted with tight formations was also possible due to the mutual machine gun protection with each other.[4] However, when Soviet I-15 and I-16 appeared, flights started to be conducted at night to avoid losing precious bombers. When Italy left Spain at the conclusion of the war, around 64 SM.81 was left behind for the Spanish Air Force.

By the outbreak of World War II, the SM.81 was showing its age, though 300 units still remained in the Regia Aeronautica's inventory.[1] With the faster and more powerful SM.79 beginning to see service in 1936, the SM.81's roles was supplemented. The SM.81 still saw service in secondary roles and so deliveries still continued. It was used in the African theater as the main bomber against British forces in East Africa, but British Gladiators and Hurricanes posed a major threat. Due to this the SM.81 was relegated as a night bomber in North Africa, with the darkness as cover against the enemy fighters. 80 SM.81 were also produced into a dedicated transport aircraft, known as SM.81T, which proved vital in transporting troops and material to Rommel's Afrika Korps.[3]

Even after Italy's surrender to Allied forces in September 1943, the SM.81 still saw service in North Italy's Aeronautica Nazionale Repubblicana and South Italy's Aviazione Cobelligerante Italiana. Though South Italy soon removed them from service, North Italy used them until the end of the war.[1] In the conclusion of World War II, several SM.81 were still in service with the post-war Aeronautica Militare Italiana, sticking around until 1950 when they were all officially retired.

Other developments

Two main variants of the SM.81 existed, the SM.81 as a bomber/transport variant and the SM.81T as a dedicated transport aircraft, both using various engines as propulsion. A project was done known as the SM.81B, which used a two-engine configuration. This provided inadequate performance compared to the three-engine configurations and so the project was discontinued.

Though the SM.81 saw use in the various Italian air forces and in Spain, three were also sent to the Chinese Nationalist forces, arriving at an unknown date. However, all three samples were destroyed in training exercises in early 1938.[1]

Media

See also

Links to the articles on the War Thunder Wiki that you think will be useful for the reader, for example:

  • reference to the series of the aircraft;
  • links to approximate analogues of other nations and research trees.

External links

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Military Factory. "Savoia-Marchetti SM.81 Pipistrello (Bat) Medium Bomber / Transport Aircraft." Military Factory, 31 May 2017, Website.
  2. Century of Flight. "Savoia Marchetti S.M.81 Pipistrello." Italian Aircraft of World War Two, 11 Nov 2007, Website.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Murphy, Justin D., and Matthew A. McNiece. Military Aircraft, 1919-1945: an Illustrated History of Their Impact. ABC-CLIO, 2009.
  4. Smith, Richard K., and R. Cargill. Hall. Five down, No Glory: Frank G. Tinker, Mercenary Ace in the Spanish Civil War. Naval Institute Press, 2011.


Savoia-Marchetti
Bombers  S.M.79 serie 1 · S.M.79 serie 8
  S.M.79 AS · S.M.79 bis/T.M · S.M.79 B
  S.81
Attackers  SM.91 · SM.92
Captured  ▀S.M.79 serie 1 · ▀S.M.79 serie 4 · ▀S.M.79 serie 8
  ▀S.M.79 AS · ▀S.M.79 bis/T.M · ▀S.M.79 B · ▀S.M.79 bis/N

Italy bombers
Fiat  B.R.20DR · B.R.20M M1
Savoia-Marchetti  S.81 · S.M.79 serie 1 · S.M.79 B · S.M.79 serie 8 · S.M.79 AS · S.M.79 bis/T.M
CANT  Z.1007 bis serie 3 · Z.1007 bis serie 5
Piaggio  P.108B serie 1 · P.108B serie 2
German  ▄Ju 87 R-2 · ▄Ju 87 D-3