Azionara Vercellese Industrie Aeronautiche

The Azionara Vercellese Industrie Aeronautiche was based in Vercelli and built aircraft designed by former WWI fighter ace Carlo Francesco 'Francis' Lombardi.

AVIA FL.3 This aircraft was designed before WWII and was used for training purposes by the Regia Aeronautica. Thanks to it's large wing area it was also used for glider training. FL.3 production was paused during the war but was resumed afterwards with a total of 335 built. AVIA was renamed Lombardi in 1947 and their FL.3 were very popular in private hands and were still being flown in the 1960's. Although it is now discontinued, the RS Models trio of very high quality 1/72 injection kits of this lightweight trainer was a delightful little kit, with fine detail and lovely crisp moulding. Italiankits have also produced a decent looking 1/48th resin kit but modellers will need good reference material, such as the Ali d'Italia mini-reference guide, to get the best out of it.

AVIA LM.02 This was an assault bomber glider prototype. Gibraltar was proving to be a difficult campaign so the concept behind its design was to approach the target exploiting the silence of a glider under cover of darkness. The fuselage was made watertight to enable ditching in the sea after releasing the bombs. Two prototypes were built and test flown in 1942 but the discovery of newly installed radar effectively killed the project. The SEM Models 1/72 kit is almost certainly a copy of the A&V Models kit I reviewed for SAMI. Both kits are now discontinued.

Compagnia Nazionale Aeronautica

The Compagnia Nazionale Aeronautica was founded in 1920 by Count G. Bonmarche. Its sole aircraft design was the PM.1, a high wing monoplane trainer aircraft powered by a CNA D-4 flat engine engine. It was designed by students of the Instituto di Construzioni Aeronautische del Regio Politecnico di Milano in 1938. An order for 10 aircraft was placed in 1942 but the airframes were destroyed by Allied bombing during construction. Post war the design was revived as the Macchi MB.308, with a revised tricycle undercarriage and an enlarged tailplane. Now discontinued, the SEM Models 1/72 resin model was perhaps the best kit in their range. Italiankits also released a 1/72 resin kit of the Macchi MB.308 and it is interesting to compare the two side by side.

Societa Anonima Industrie Meccaniche

Aeronautiche Navali

The Societa Anonima Industrie Meccaniche Aeronautiche Navali was established in 1934 in Lido di Roma and was a member of the Caproni group of companies. They only made a small number of aircraft. The 200 and 202 designs are the most well known.

SAIMAN 200 was a small biplane trainer that first flew in 1938. SAIMAN built 25 airframes but the bulk of the production was carried out by Caproni Vizzola who built 115. As well as training it was also used for liaison. The apparent fragility of the airframe required strengthening during the initial stages of production. Choroszy Modelbud released a delicate 1/72 resin kit and JACH Models released a good quality 1/72 injection moulded kit that was also appeared in a AZ Models boxing with more decal options. It is now discontinued.

SAIMAN 202. This was a side by side two-seat low wing monoplane design with an enclosed cabin that first flew in 1938. Its similarity to the Percival Proctor trainer aircraft is worth noting. It was used mainly for liaison during WWII and production continued after the war with a total of 390 built. The 204 was a four seater version with a larger canopy and long engine cowl to fit the larger six cylinder engine. Kora are the only company to release a 202 kit. It comes in a multiple series of 1/72 boxings. Subjects covered are Italian civil & military options as well as German, Hungarian and Croatian aircraft. It has also been doubled up with the 1/72 AZ Models Bf109 G-6 kit in Swiss, ANR and captured RAF themed boxings. The model is rather crude, with most parts requiring refinement. Italiankits have had a 1/48 resin kit in the works for a while now.

Aeronautica Umbra Societa Anonima

This company was established in Foligno in 1935 by Muzio Macchi to build SM.79s as a sub-contractor before initiating their own projects with their designer Felice Trajani.

T.18. A prototype design by ing. Trajani built to the same requirement as the Macchi C.200, Caproni Vizzola F.5, Reggiane RE.2000, IMAM Ro.51 and FIAT G.50. Powered by the FIAT A80 engine, it did not perform well in tests and, even with aerodynamic modifications, it never won a production order. The project was terminated in 1939. Broplan released a 1/72 vacuform kit of both the early and late versions of the sole prototype.

MB.902. One other known Umbra project was ing. Bellomo's MB.902, a large twin-engined heavy fighter prototype featuring a tri-cycle undercarriage. It  had contra-rotating props on each wing powered by extension shafts connected to two Alfa Romeo Tifone licence-built DB605 engines buried inside the fuselage. It was destroyed in Sept 1943 just when construction had been completed. A google search will show all manner of conflicting images of the design, making it almost impossible to come up with a definitive look.

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Model images are links to a build article