Ansaldo SVA-5
by Candice Uhlir

To free the Italian aviation industry of its dependence on foreign technology two Italian officers, Savoia and Verduzio, designed the SV fighter. When Ansaldo agreed to manufacture the design, the aircraft was designated SVA for Savoia, Verduzio, and Ansaldo.

The completed aircraft had excellent performance, but was rejected by the top Italian fighter pilots because the machine guns were mounted beyond the pilot's reach where he could not clear a jam. Also, the visibility so necessary for a fighter was lacking due to the high engine cowling. However, the aircraft was an excellent trainer and had a long combat flight range that made it an excellent platform for bomber and recon missions.

The most famous use of this aircraft was the Vienna raid of June 1918. This raid was planned as far back as 1915, but the Italians lacked aircraft of sufficient range to carry it out. 87 Squadriglia, "La Serenissima," carried out the raid and leaflets were dropped over Vienna urging the population to revolt. The 87th's pilots were primarily from Venice, and their aircraft were emblazoned with a bold representation of the ancient flag of the Venetian Republic, with its symbol "The Lion of Venice."

Like the British Avro 504 trainer, the Ansaldo saw service well into the 1930's as a military trainer and civil aircraft.

I have only built one resin kit before and, while I enjoyed it, it did pose a little more work than the run of the mill injection molded kit. In a resin kit the parts don't quite fit right, I would have to use more "green stuff" than usual, and I had to use CA as my primary glue. So it was with some hesitation that I started to build the Spin 1/48 Ansaldo. Well surprise, surprise, surprise! Spin Models, a limited-run company from the Czech Republic, has turned out a resin kit that is a pretty accurate representation of the Ansaldo S.V.A.5 - and I didn't have to scratchbuild anything. This kit is as close to a "slammer" as I have ever done. You can build it right out of the box and get a great looking model of a famous Italian WW1 trainer and light bomber. The only aftermarket items I added were some additional decals.

I want to thank list member Alberto Casirati for giving me the secret of the upper wing and tail camouflage: 1/72 scale "Spring Leaf" from Americal/Gryphon. It really wouldn't be possible to accomplish a model like this without the help of List Members like Alberto.


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