During the 1916 Italian officers Umberto Savoia and Rodolfo Verduzio begun project work on new training plane powered with 100 HP engine. This team was supported with Celestino Rosateli and due to the Italian practice the airplane got designation SV, from the names of designer’s. Some inspiration came from the wreck of Austro Hungarian warplane and designers intend to make modern shaped plane, plywood covered with Warren trussed wings. In the same 1916 drawings of the plane was sent to Ansaldo and thanks to the very skillful workers first fuselage was statically tested in December of the same year. In the same time three prototypes was finished. In tests new plane proved good performance and by the end of trials the type got A in name and became SVA [for Ansaldo]. In July 1917 was also tested a version with floats. In August 1917 begun first operational test within 91ª Squadriglia. But SVA was rejected as a fighter plane due to the low rate of fire excessive distance of guns from the pilots cockpit and limited visibility and maneuverability.

Ansaldo SVAIn October 9 1917 Ansaldo SVA flew it’s first operational flight. And first combat engagement happen two day’s later with success of new Italian plane. In the same time 50 of them were used in training of the pilots in the Malpensa and had lower rate of accidents of all types. In February 1918 became operational 1ª Sezione Autonoma and unit used in combat as a attack and reconnaissance plane. One of the first action was strafing of Innsbruck airfield and dropping of seven bombs. More units was formed with Ansaldo SVA dedicated on combat use. They performed deep penetration into the enemy’s territory and in one mission SVA engaged combat fight and shot one Aviatik D.I over Mori. One of the best known action was raid on the Vienna.

Ansaldo SVA

In the moment of armistice SVA equipped six sezioni and four Army squadriglie and many other training units. SVA continue post war service with success and with various modifications. Ansaldo marketed aggressively their product and some 184 planes they sold in 1920. SVA was used by Regia Aeronautica in Italy as well in Africa. Number of them was sold to private owners and use of the type was almost till the beginning of WW2.

Srecko Bradic

Photo- Mashahiro Ohno Color profile- Srecko Bradic