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Ansaldo SVA-5 Primo

In the summer of 1916, the Italian ministry of war contracted with Giovanni Ansaldo and Company to build a fighter superior to the warplanes of the day. The result was the SVA (Savoia-Verduzio-Ansaldo, the surnames of the designers and manufacturer). The plane featured a plywood body and cloth wings, with a notable W-form Warren truss. The plane's performance was good, but was deemed to lack the agility necessary in a fighter aircraft. However, its flying stability made it ideal as a reconnaissance plane, and was even used as a light bomber. Cameras or bombs were attached to the plane on fuselage clips within reach of the pilot.

The plane has an endurance of 3 hours. It burns 7.65 gallons of aviation fuel per hour at routine usage. A full load of fuel and machine gun ammo costs $25.


Ansaldo SVA-5 Primo

Subassemblies: Recon Fighter chassis +2; Recon Fighter wings with Biplane option +2; 2 fixed wheels +0.

Powertrain: 153-kW HP gasoline engine with 153-kW old prop and 75-gallon fuel tank [Body].

Occ.: 1 XCS Body

Cargo: 5 Body


Armor F RL B T U

Body: 2/2W 2/2W 2/2W 2/2W 2/2W

Wings: 1/2C 1/2C 1/2C 1/2C 1/2C

Wheels: 2/3 2/3 2/3 2/3 2/3



2xAircraft LMG/.303 Vickers [Body:F] (500 rounds each).



Size: 26'x29'x8' Payload: 0.41 tons Lwt.: 1.16 tons

Volume: 96 Maint.: 122 hours Cost: $2,684

HT: 6. HPs: 15 Body, 50 each Wing, 3 each Wheel.

aSpeed: 143 aAccel: 3 aDecel: 16 aMR: 4 aSR: 1

Stall Speed: 41 mph. Take-Off Run 187 yards. Landing Run 168 yards.

gSpeed: 184 gAccel: 9 gDecel: 10 gMR: 1.25 gSR: 2

Ground Pressure: Very High. 1/8 Off-Road Speed.


Design Notes:

Historical wing area was 260 sf. MG load outs are a guess. Design payload was 737.5 lbs; the historical value has been substituted. Design aSpeed was 120 mph. Performance calculations were based on historical values for wing area and loaded weight. The Body MGs are synchronized, lowering RoF by 10% (see p. W:MP8). While the fuselage clips should be considered a hardpoint, no specific bomb load for the plane was found, so the clips were hand-waved as trivial. (One source did indicate the need to sacrifice fuel for bombs; still, the individual bombs would have to be light enough for the pilot to hand-drop like grenades given their location.)



The SVA (1917) was the prototype with a top speed of 137 mph.

The SVA-2 (1917) was the initial production aircraft. 65 were built, and were mostly used for training.

The ISVA (1918) was a floatplane version of the SVA-2 with a top speed of 112 mph.

The SVA-3 Ridotto (1918) was a fast-climbing plane optimized for interception duties. It featured a 164-kW engine.

The SVA-4 (1918) was the first model of the SVA line to be produced in large numbers. Although meant to be a fighter, Italian pilots preferred their faster French-built planes, relegating the SVA-4 to reconnaissance duties. This plane did well in this role, however, as its range and agility allowed it to perform recon patrols deep into Austro-Hungarian territory without escort.

The SVA-9 (1918) was an unarmed version with a second seat installed in front of the pilot. This version was intended to be a mount for the commanding officer of SVA-5 squadrons, but suffered from poor performance and was not built in large numbers.

The SVA-10 (1918) was a revision of the SVA-9. It reversed the position of the pilot and observer, and was armed--one fixed LMG in the forward position and one trainable LMG for the observer/commander. The engine was increased to 186-kW.


From the Aerodrome for GURPS

2008 by Jim Antonicic