SAI 403 - details

Discussion in 'Aircraft Requests' started by poprune, May 25, 2005.

  1. poprune

    poprune Member

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    I thought I knew most of the aircraft of WW2, but as usual with 'know-it-alls' I found myself tripped up when I came across a referece to the Ambrosini SAI 403 (apparently a single-engined, single-seat fighter). Does anyone know whether it actually got into service with the Regia Aeronautica and any other details?
     
  2. mosquitoman

    mosquitoman Active Member

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    Ask CC, he knows most about the RA round here
    BTW Welcome and enjoy your stay
     
  3. poprune

    poprune Member

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    Many thanks.
     
  4. cheddar cheese

    cheddar cheese Active Member

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    The SAI 403 is a great plane! 8) I think it proves just how capable the Italians were at building great airframes.

    [​IMG]
     
  5. poprune

    poprune Member

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    That fills a big gap and is much appreciated.
     
  6. cheddar cheese

    cheddar cheese Active Member

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    Welcome. I just took it from another site :lol: I never knew much about it before now but it appears a remarkable aircaft.
     
  7. cheddar cheese

    cheddar cheese Active Member

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    And I just found a rare 1/72nd plastic kit of one which WILL be mine! :D Go me! :D
     
  8. poprune

    poprune Member

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    The main reason I asked about it is that I've just found a card model of it, with all the instructions and gen in Polish...!

    By the way, I think those performance figures you gave are probably before it was fitted with war equipment, which would have a pretty drastic effect, as it always does. Still impressive, though and rather reminiscent of the Saab J32 in terms of performance and power available.
     
  9. cheddar cheese

    cheddar cheese Active Member

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    Look at this other Ambrosini...the S.S.4 8)
     

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  10. poprune

    poprune Member

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    That looks a bit SAAb-ish, too. Incidentally, thst J32 should read J21 - finger trouble!
     
  11. cheddar cheese

    cheddar cheese Active Member

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    Yes it does look like a SAAB - Except this flew 1939 8)
     
  12. poprune

    poprune Member

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    Impressive, but what's that engine?
     
  13. cheddar cheese

    cheddar cheese Active Member

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  14. Civettone

    Civettone Active Member

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    Forgive me for resurrecting this 5-year old thread but couldn't find a more recent one and didn't want to start a new topic.

    I was doing some more thinking about the SAI.403 and its possibilities.

    But I would first like to add some information found at the Great Planes forum:

    The SAI.207 was operationally tested but washed out. It really wasn't suited as a fighter because of structural deficiencies and limited climb rate.
    These problems were supposed to be overcome with the SAI.403 but there exists little verifiable info on that type. To me it does seem however that the SAI.403 got an upgraded Delta engine of more than 800 hp. A next version would get the stronger Zeta engine but this powerplant proved even more troublesome than the Delta.

    My own personal opinion on the possibilities of the SAI.403 has become more negative in recent months. By 1943/1944 the main threat came from the American bombers. The SAI.403 would have been horribly vulnerable against them: it had virtually no armour, a light armament of 2 MGs, no supercharger for higher altitudes and a speed unable to escape enemy escort fighters. There was a version planned to have 2 20mm cannons in wingpods (given that the wing would be able to hold the recoil forces) but this would have made the SAI.403 a great deal slower.
    So it's clear that the only use of the SAI.403 would have been against enemy fighters at low or medium altitude. But when we compare with the average allied fighter aircraft of 1944 we see the Spitfire IX, the P-47 or P-38. All of these are faster and have more powerful armament.

    So then one would say, yes, but the SAI.403 is a light and cheap fighter which can be built in larger numbers. Well, I have my doubts about that. First of all. the SAI.403 is NOT a light fighter. It weight over 2 tons, which makes it close to the Yak-1 or -3 which was also partially made out of wood. The IF Delta engine was lighter than other ww2 fighter engines but did not give the same amount of power either. It was smaller and lighter than other fighters and built out of wood. But nothing indicates that this type could have been built in twice the numbers of the old CR.42 or C.200 fighters.

    And still .. it could have been a nice supplement to the Italian G.55 and Re.2005 which excelled at higher altitudes and had a powerful armament. The SAI.403 could have been used for CAP at lower altitude and as an unarmed photo-recon aircraft.

    One more thing on the armament. The SAI's carried Italian Breda-SAFAT MGs which were heavier than the German MG 131. In fact it almost weight as much as the 20mm MG 151 cannon. As such it might have been possible to either install 2 MG 151s in the wings (with a bulge for the ammo) or to have 4 MG 131s in the cowling and the wings. The latter would give it the same armament as the P-51B/C at that time.

    Kris
     
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