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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 variant, built in February 1918, was the SIA 9 with stronger 700 hp engine. There were built 501 SIA.7B, 71 SIA.7B2 and 62 SIA.9B.

The SIA.7 family aircraft were used for reconnaissance and bombing raids on Austro-Italian front. The SIA.7B2 entered service in March 1918. The SIA.9 managed to take part in World War I service as well. Because of unsatisfactory durability, from July 1918 SIA.7B and 7В2 were moved to training units.

Variants

– SIA 7B1 – main reconnaissance-bomber variant
– SIA 7B2 – improved reconnaissance-bomber variant
– SIA R2 – scout-bomber
– SIA 9B – two-seat reconnaissance-bomber 700 hp Fiat A.14 engine

SIA 7B
Introduction: 1917
Primary users: Corpo Aeronautico Militare, American Expeditionary Force
Number built: 572
Crew: 2
Length: 8.75 m
Wingspan: 12.32 m
Powerplant: 1 × Fiat A.12bis 6-cylinder water-cooled in-line piston engine, 300 hp
Maximum speed: 180 km/h

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