Grigorovitch M9

Grigorovitch M9 Also called ShCh M-9 or Shchetinin M-9 this Russian ww1 biplane flying boat was a development of the M-5, ready in the fall of 1915, which first flew on January 9, 1916 at Baku. By September 17, 1916, Jan Nagórski, test pilot, became the first to make a loop with a flying boat, worldwide. A good indicator of its agility and handling characteristics. The Grigorovitch M9 became the best-seller of the company, being produced by the hundreds (an estimated 500+) by Shchetinin up to the civil war. This…

WEEK 8 – SELECTION OF ITALIAN AIRCRAFT

Italy was at war in February 1915, swapping side of the entente almost at the last minute after some territorial promises. Previously due to its position just south of the Central powers, it was likely to fall in this side. Italy fought most of the war against Austria-Hungary on its northern, Alpine frontier, a harsh mountain war, but also the hilly north-east and the Venetian region, as well as the Adriatic. Naval aviation played an important part in these operations. Industrial capacities of Italy at that time, still largely concentrated…

POMILIO GAMMA & GAMMA 1F

POMILIO GAMMA & GAMMA 1F The Pomilio Gamma was an Italian fighter prototype of 1918. The Pomilio company of Turin designed and manufactured the Gamma, a wooden, single-seat, single-bay biplane with wings of unequal span, the upper wing being of greater span than the lower. It was powered by a 149-kilowatt (200-horsepower) SPA 6A water-cooled engine driving a two-bladed tractor propeller. It had fixed, tailskid landing gear. The Gamma prototype first flew early in 1918. An Italian official commission observed a demonstration of it, and concluded that although it was…

Caproni Ca.3

Caproni Ca.3 The Caproni Ca.3 was an Italian heavy bomber of World War I and the postwar era. It was the definitive version of the series of aircraft that began with the Caproni Ca.1 in 1914. The Ca.3 was a three-engined biplane of wooden construction, with a fabric-covered frame. The crew of four were placed in an open central nacelle (front gunner, two pilots and rear gunner-mechanic). The rear gunner manned upper machine guns, standing upon the central engine in a protective “cage” in front of a propeller. The fixed…

Macchi M.7

Macchi M.7 The Macchi M.7 was an Italian single-seat fighter flying boat designed by Alesandro Tonini and built by Macchi. A modified version of the M.7, the M.7bis won the Schneider Trophy in 1921. The M.7 was similar to the earlier M.5 but had a modified hull and was powered by an Isotta Fraschini V.6 engine. Due to the end of World War I, only 17 aircraft were delivered to the Italian Navy. In 1919, two were sold to Argentina and four to Sweden, and in 1921, Brazil bought three.…

SAVOIA-POMILIO SP.2

Savoia-Pomilio SP.2 The Savoia-Pomilio SP.2 was a reconnaissance and bomber aircraft built in Italy during the First World War. It was a refined version of the SP.1, and like it, took its basic configuration from the Farman MF.11: a biplane with twin tails and a fuselage nacelle that accommodated the crew and a pusher-mounted engine.The SP.2 entered mass production with SIA, and with co-designer Ottorino Pomilio’s own firm that he had recently established. Around 300 examples were produced, and by spring 1917, these equipped twelve front-line squadrons of the Aeronautica…

Società Aeronautica Meccanica Lombarda (S.A.M.L.) S.2

Società Aeronautica Meccanica Lombarda (S.A.M.L.) S.2 The S.A.M.L. (Società Aeronautica Meccanica Lombarda) was the main Italian constructor of the German Aviatik B.1 and B.2 designs up to 1916. In 1916-1917 the company developed this model into a native design called the S.1, which was powered by a 260 hp Fiat A-12 engine and equipped with a rotatable 6.5mm Revelli machine-gun on a tripod mounting in the rear cockpit. A further development of the S.1 including a modified and enlarged rudder, a second machine-gun and a more powerful engine resulted in…

Società Italiana Aviazione 7B

Società Italiana Aviazione (SIA) 7B The SIA 7B was a biplane reconnaissance-bomber built by the Società Italiana Aviazione and served with the Italian Corpo Aeronautico Militare and American Expeditionary Force in 1917. It used the standard Italian structural feature of a plywood-covered fuselage. The SIA.7B was accepted for the Italian Air Force in November 1917 and entered mass production. There were however revealed its shortcomings, like low wing structure durability and poor view. Next variant SIA.7B2, developed in December 1917, had strengthened wings, slightly raised cockpits and stronger engine. Another…

Ansaldo S.V.A.5

Ansaldo S.V.A.5 An exceptional aircraft for its time, the Ansaldo S.V.A.5 was preceded by the S.V.A.4 which was designed in 1917 by Umberto Savoia and Rodolfo Verduzio with Celestino Rosatelli. The principal difference between the S.V.A.4 and the S.V.A.5 was fuel capacity. With a larger fuel tank, the S.V.A.5 could remain in the air two hours longer than the S.V.A.4. In air trials these aircraft were fast and sturdy but lacked the manoeuvrability necessary in a good fighter plane. As a result, the S.V.A.5 entered service as a long range…

Aircraft Project – Week 7

Selection of British Aircraft The Royal Flying Corps The RFC was the direct ancestor of the RAF. The term “flying corp” reflected the use that was made of aviation this moment of pioneers, a simple emanation of the army, devoted to observation. Unlike France, Britain had no active squadrons or aeronautical industry in 1914. Britain’s aircraft came, like most countries, from French productions. The British cockade was itself directly inspired by the French cockade, following misunderstandings and friendly shots due to the symbol of St. George cross drawn from the…