|FIGHTER||Virtual Aircraft Museum / Italy / Ansaldo|
In the summer of 1916, Ingegneri Umberto Savoia and Rodolfo Verduzio of the Direzione Tecnica dell' Aeronautica Militare (Technical Directorate of Military Aviation), together with Ingegner Celestino Rosatelli, began designing a single-seat fighter around the 205hp SPA 6A six-cylinder water-cooled engine. The task of supervising the development and production of the fighter was assigned to the Societa Ansaldo, and thus the prototype, first flown on 19 March 1917, was designated S.V.A. (Savoia-Verduzio-Ansaldo). The S.V.A. was a conventional biplane of wooden construction with interplane bracing of the Warren truss type and an armament of two synchronised 7.7mm Vickers machine guns. It displayed exceptional speed but, inherently stable, was considered to lack the manoeuvrability demanded for fighter-versus-fighter combat. However, its excellent range rendered it suitable for the reconnaissance fighter role, and the Aviazione Militare decided to adopt the S.V.A. for this task. Deliveries of the initial production version, the S.V.A.2, had meanwhile commenced in the autumn of 1917, 65 being built by the year's end and this model being assigned to training.
All the World's Rotorcraft