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Ansaldo SVA 5 Early and Late


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Ansaldo SVA 5 Early and Late



The Ansaldo SVA (named for Savoia-Verduzio-Ansaldo) was a family of Italian reconnaissance biplane aircraft of World War I and the decade after. 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 (if not 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, with the final examples delivered in 1928. Two minor variants were produced, one with reconnaissance cameras, the other without cameras but extra fuel tanks.

The SVA was a conventionally-laid out unequal-span biplane, featuring Warren Truss-style struts, and therefore having no transverse (spanwise) bracing wires. The plywood-skinned fuselage had the typical Ansaldo triangular rear cross-section behind the cockpit, transitioning to a rectangular cross section going forwards through the rear cockpit area, with a full rectangular cross section forward of the cockpit.

The famous Flight over Vienna propaganda flight, inspired by Gabriele d'Annunzio, was carried out on August 9, 1918, by the 87th Squadriglia La Serenissima from San Pelagio, consisting of an eleven plane flight of various models of Ansaldo SVA-series biplanes. At least two of the aircraft were two seater SVA 9 or 10s to accommodate d'Annunzio himself for the flight he inspired, with the remainder being SVA 5 single-seaters.

The Models

These two kits differ in only minor details in that the early version has extra resin parts for the machine guns and bombs. Therefore I can describe them together.

The kits come in quite floppy end opening boxes, which, once opened, are even floppier, but all the parts are held in a sturdy plastic bag protecting them from being lost easily. Each box has a picture of the aircraft in flight on the front and the painting and decal instructions on the rear.

The two sprues of light brown styrene contain all the main parts of the model. There is little or no flash and all the parts are very finely moulded with nice detail, fine recessed “panel” lines and quite restrained ribbing on the wings, rudder and tailplane.

The first sprue includes the fuselage halves, rudder, horizontal tail surfaces, interplane struts, two types of radiator front and under engine panel depending on whether the early or late versions are to be built, plus two overwing fuel tanks, (only one used on the early version). The undercarriage parts and propeller complete the exterior. For the interior there are the seat bulkhead forward bulkhead and foot plates.


The second sprue contains the wings, struts, tail skid.


There are quite a few small resin parts included in each kit including individual engine exhausts, a very nice seat with moulded on seatbelt, instrument panel, control column, oil tank and control horns. In the early version the modeler is also provided with two machine guns and three bombs.


Completing the build you have a choice of a injection moulded or vacform windscreen, both of which are nice a clear.



Both kits come with some very colourful decals with the choice of three schemes per kit. They are very well printed and in register.




These are really nice kits of an unusual subject, one which I knew little about until researching for this review. Built up, they would make a welcome addition to any collection.

Review sample courtesy of


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