Ansaldo SVA

1st Flight 1917

The Ansaldo SVA was a group of Italian reconnaissance biplane aircraft of World War I and beyond.

Originally conceived as a fighter, the SVA was found inadequate for that role.

Nevertheless, its impressive speed, range and operational ceiling, with its top speed making it one of the fastest of all Allied combat aircraft in World War I, gave it the right properties to be an excellent reconnaissance aircraft and even light bomber.

Production of the aircraft continued well after the war, the final examples were delivered during 1918.

Variants

SVA.1 – single prototype

SVA.2 – 65 production aircraft

ISVA – float-equipped version.

SVA.3 – AER-built SVA.4

SVA.3 Ridotto – fast-climbing interceptor variant for anti-Zeppelin defence.

Some fitted with additional oblique-firing machine gun

SVA.4 – first major production version.

Portside Vickers gun deleted to save weight for cameras.

SVA.5 – definitive production version

SVA.6 – prototype bomber version

SVA.8 – single prototype; nature unclear

SVA.9 – two-seat unarmed reconnaissance version with larger wings.

Intended as pathfinder for SVA.5 formations, and as trainer

SVA.10 – two-seat armed reconnaissance version with 250 hp Isotta Fraschini engine and fitted with single forward firing gun and a Lewis gun on a flexible mounting in the rear cockpit.

Specifications

SVA.5

Crew: 1

Length: 8.1 m (26 ft 7 in)

Wingspan: 9.1 m (29 ft 10 in)

Height: 2.65 m (8 ft 8 in)

Wing area: 24.2 m2 (260 sq ft)

Empty weight: 680 kg (1,499 lb)

Gross weight: 1,050 kg (2,315 lb)

Powerplant: 1 × SPA 6A 6-cylinder water-cooled in-line piston engine, 150 kW (200 hp)

Propellers: 2-bladed fixed-pitch propeller

Performance

Maximum speed: 230 km/h (140 mph, 120 kn)

Range: 690 km (430 mi, 370 nmi)

Endurance: 3 hours

Service ceiling: 6,000 m (20,000 ft)

Rate of climb: 5 m/s (980 ft/min)

Armament

Guns: 2 × synchronized .303 in (7.7 mm) Vickers machine guns

Bombs: up to 90 kg (200 lb) of bombs.

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