Ansaldo A.1 Balilla
|FIGHTER||Virtual Aircraft Museum / Italy / Ansaldo|
During World War I, Italy's Corpo Aeronautica Militare had relied heavily on French-designed combat aircraft, with the exception of bombers and naval types. The first Italian-designed fighter, the Ansaldo A1 Balilla (Hunter), did not enter service until 1918, and only a small number of the 108 aircraft built reached the front-line squadrons. The Balilla was a small, single-bay biplane with equal-chord, unstaggered wings and a hexagonal cutout in the upper wing trailing edge, providing good forward and upward views. Pilots were enthusiastic about the aircraft's high top speed, but critical of its handling characteristics and manoeuvrability. The majority of Balillas served on home defence duties in mid-1918.
Robert Jackson "The Encyclopedia of Aircraft", 2004
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