Macchi M 7, (Fighter Hydroplane, 1921-1927)

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Swedish Fighter Hydroplane Macchi M 7i

When WWI ended in 1918, Italy was left with a number of excellent small flying
boats. One type was the Macchi M7, a ”Fighter Hydroplane”. It  seemed to suit our country well with its long coastline and many lakes and rivers.

In spite of lack of  financial means, the Army managed to purchase four aircraft from Italy. The intention was to use them in the North at the important Fortress of Boden, which lacked air-field at that time. But the harsh Swedish climate with its moisture and cold was too hard for this type of aircraft.  A simple base for the Macchis was established at lake Roxen, adjacent to Malmen and the city of Linköping. The base included three hangar tents. From there the aircraft were flown by the more experienced pilots, but to a limited extent. See the unique photo below.

One exception is the No. 945. Lieutenant Nils Kindberg flew this aircraft, in bad weather conditions, on a tour to Finland and Estonia and happily returned to Roxen. This aeroplane (photo at top) is preserved and now residing in the Swedish Airforce Museum, Malmslätt, being the only survivor in the world.  

The type was fitted with an Isotta-Fraschini I.F.V-6 engine of 250 hp. The armaments consisted of two fixed 8 mm machine-guns.

When the M7 entered service it was painted light blue with crown markings on white rectangles. In 1926, when the Swedish Airforce was formed it, was rendered a charcoal grey fuselage and grey flying surfaces. A Swedish Navy flag was all the time painted on the rudder.   

Length: 8,10 m. Span: 9,95 m.  Maximum take-off weight:1.080 kg. Max. speed: 220 km/h.


Swedish Fighter Hydroplane Macchi M 7i


Military Aviation in Sweden - main page

© Lars Henriksson

Updated 2010-07-12