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SAI. 207 Wooden Wonder

Discussion in 'Aircraft' started by Hobilar, May 6, 2008.

  1. Hobilar

    Hobilar Senior Member

    Nov 25, 2007
    Likes Received:
    The concept of a lightweight wooden single seat fighter had been investigated by several nations during the 1930. One of the most interesting fighter aircraft to be developed from these researches was perhaps the little known Italian S.A.I.(Ambrosini) S.207. Developed from the earlier S.107 design, the all wood S.207 was found to have an extremely strong monocoque fuselage and was soon demonstrated to have excellent handling and manoeuvrability too.

    A number of well publicised bombing raids by the Royal Air Force on factory targets in Italy during the summer of 1940 was to emphasise the need for a easily built 'zone' fighter with which to protect sensitive industial locations. Twelve S.207s were built between March 1943 and July 1943, some being assigned to 83 Squadriglia for evaluation. It was not however until August 1943 that the Ministero dell' Aeronautica placed an order for some 2,000 S.207s to be built. Six aircraft were actually delivered to 162 and 163 Squiadriglie (161 Gruppo) before the contract was cancelled following the Italian armistice.

    Had the S.207 been available in 1940 it would have been well able to outclimb a Hurricane 1 and would have been able also to attain a greater ceiling than the British fighter. Later, had they been available in sufficiently large numbers it might well have had a telling effect on Allied bombing raids over Italy and the Balkans. Thankfully it arrived far too late to have any effect on the course of the War.

    One final point. The S.207 was powered by probably one of the lowest powered engines installed in any combat aircraft during the Second World War. Just a mere 750 h.p.

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