Italy won the Schneider Trophy in 1920 and 1921 before the Regia Aeronautica was formed. Perceived as an attempt to boost the image of Mussolini’s Fascist regime, though not as successfully as they had hoped, the Italians proved worthy competitors. They were, however, let down by either unreliability or insufficient development time and their one other success was in 1926 with the M.39 flown by Mario de Bernardi. After failing to attend a Schneider Trophy race in time, the mighty twin-engined 24-cylinder MC.72, with its contra rotating props, went on to establish the World Speed Record for floatplanes that still stands to this day, reaching 423.8 mph on Lake Garda in 1928. Happily, most of the Macchi machines have been preserved for prosperity and can be seen at the Vigna di Valle museum near Rome.

Macchi M.33, M.39, M.52, M.67, M.72. Marsh Models released a 1/32 resin kit of the MC.72, as well as the M.39. There is a possible future release of the M.52. In the same scale, the Brach Models MC.72 resin kit had a fantastic level of detail, particularly in its double-engine, which was released as a separate kit but it is a difficult build. Brach Models also released a good looking 1/32 Macchi M.33. Vintage Models produced a series of Macchi seaplanes in 1/72 scale, supplied with over-scale etch sheets for the large surface area radiators. A more realistic way to represent these areas was to just paint them. Noix Models of Japan produced top quality 1/48 resin kits of nearly all of the above and it's worth noting that they suggested painting these brass radiator panels on their kits. Unfortunately, getting any of the NOIX kits will be very difficult now as all production has stopped, which is a great pity. The 1/48 Vintage Models MC.72 was also very good, so much so, it could well have been a copy of the NOIX model. Alitaliane also produced resin kits of some of the above in 1/72 scale. Both SMER and Delta released MC.72 kits but neither are good models. SBS Models have released a high quality 1/72 resin kit and is worth a look.

Piaggio Pegna PC.7. This extraordinary aircraft explored the hydrofoil concept to help save weight and gain extra speed but, despite early promise, the programme was cut short due to budget overruns and difficulties encountered in controlling the machine during the takeoff stage. No thoughts were given to how it could be landed safely either. Italiankits released a 1/48 resin kit which was previously available from NOIX Models. Marsh Models have produced a very well cast 1/32 resin kit but in very limited numbers. AMP have announced a 1/48 injection moulded kit for future release.

Fiat C.29. This sole FIAT Schneider entry was available in 1/48 resin by NOIX.

"Savoia S.21." Fine Models has produced both 1/72 and 1/48th scale models of the aircraft featured in Miyazaki’s 'Porco Rosso' anime. Seemingly inspired by the Macchi M.33, as it looks nothing like the actual SIAI S.21 built for the 1921 race, the model’s quality is of a very high order with terrific levels of internal detail. Various versions of the model were released representing upgrades made to the aircraft during the movie.

Savoia S.65. One-off prototype with a unique tandem push-pull engine layout, with the cockpit nestled in-between. The stabiliser was supported by twin booms, with a single rudder in the middle. The pilot dal Molin was killed in this aircraft during a speed attempt. Karaya have released a very nicely moulded resin 1/72 resin kit of this extraordinary looking aircraft, although the strut assembly is rather fragile and the canopy framework is much too big. Marsh Models have pegged a possible future release in 1/32 scale.