The Ambrosini group took over the Societa Aeronautica Italiana in 1934. The principal designer of their innovative aircraft was ing. Sergio Stefanutti. The S.A.I. 7 was an exceptional design and was the basis of the 107, 207 & 403 aircraft that followed. After the war he continued with the 'Super' S.7 and S.7 'Sagittario I'. His jet powered Aerfer 'Sagittario II' & Aerfer 'Ariete' designs were Italy’s first aircraft to go supersonic.
SAI Ambrosini 207/403: These are essentially one and the same, the 403 being a 207 with detail changes to the rear fuselage (including a retractable tailwheel), improved engine performance and extended wings with additional wing armament. Their lightweight construction, combined with very efficient aerodynamics, returned exceptional performance figures despite using a relatively low powered engine. However their fragility and low numbers, with twelve 207 & two 403 built, meant they had negligible use during the war. Dujin produced a 1/72 resin 207 kit and LF Models released resin 1/72 and 1/48 scale models, the 1/48 kit being the only one in this scale. The side profile of the fuselage is fairly accurate but has sectional errors to the nose and rear fuselage areas. The top image is my modified kit. By altering the rudder profile, extending the wings and adding the wing cannon details, it is quite possible to build an 403 from this kit, as seen in the second image. Airmodel produced a rather basic 1/72 vacform model of the 403 and is reasonably accurate and can be seen in the third image. Extra detailing with spares will be necessary though. The 403 was also available in 1/72 scale from Old Wings and issues 72 & 73 of Aerofan has a lot of detail on these aircraft. A useful ‘mini Ai d'Italia’ was also published. RS Models probably used these as reference material for their 1/72 207 & 403 kits. Both, by far, are the most faithful models of these elegant airframes in any scale. The fourth image shows their 207 built for a SAMI review.
SAI Ambrosini SS4: Another advanced design, this canard aircraft first flew in 1939. Extensive tests with the sole prototype showed good promise but the project was abandoned after the aircraft was destroyed by engine failure during its second test flight. Cunarmodel made a very nice 1/72 resin kit of this aircraft, which was re-issued by ItalianKits. Italiankits have announced details of a possible future 1/48 kit and maybe a 1/32 kit as well!
Lombarda A.R (Assalto Radioguidato). This large, basic aircraft aircraft design was an unproven radio-controlled flying-bomb concept. A pilot was needed to get the aircraft airborne and bale out as soon as radio control was established. 5 were built, 4 of which were destroyed before testing could commence. Kora have produced a pretty good 1/72 resin kit and the Planet Models 1/48 resin kit gives the modeller some idea just how big this aircraft was. The image on the right is the KORA kit which is also available from LF Models.
Aeronautica Umbra S.A.
This company was established in Foligno in 1935 as a sub-contractor, before its designer ing. Felice Trojani initiated the T.18 project in 1937.
T.18: A prototype built in competition with, and sharing the same FIAT A.74 engine, as the Macchi C.200, Caproni Vizzola F.5 and FIAT G.50. It was not a great success, despite appearances, and never won a production order. Broplan released a 1/72 vacform kit of both the early and late versions of the prototype. It is an ideal introduction to those that have yet to venture into this medium. Although it is not the best quality moulding, with time spent cleaning up the various parts, a neat model can be made from either one of these kits. Those not keen on NMF would probably prefer to build the late camouflaged version. The last two images are the two variants I built for SAMI review articles.
MB.902. Only one other known Umbra project was ing. Bellomo's MB.902, a large twin-engined heavy fighter prototype featuring a tri-cycle undercarriage, contra rotating propellors powered by license-built DB605 engines buried inside each wing. It was destroyed in Sept 1943 just about the time consturction had finished. No models are known but would make a good subject nonetheless.