The Societa Aeronautica Italiana was founded in 1922 at Passignano sul Trasimeno. It was renamed SAI Ambrosini when the Ambrosini group took it over in 1934. Known principally for the light fighter designs of ing. Sergio Stefanutti, whose S.7 formed the basis of the 107, 207 & 403 series that followed. SAI Ambrosini were unable to get any of their aircraft into full scale production.
SAI Ambrosini S.7. This sports plane was the start of a series of innovative light aircraft designed by Sergio Stefanutti. Its sleek appearance was accentuated by the long canopy fairing that almost reached the spinner. Powered by a Hirth engine, it attained a 100km closed circuit record with an average speed of 251mph. Realising it could have military potential, Stefanutti developed a two-seat trainer powered by an Isotta Fraschini Beta engine. An order was placed by the Regia Aeronautica in 1943 but production issues halted the project with only 10 airframes built.
SAI Ambrosini SS4. Another advanced design by S. Stefanutti, this canard aircraft first flew in 1939. Extensive tests with the sole prototype proved promising but the project was abandoned after the prototype was lost during its second test flight due to engine failure. Cunarmodel released a very nice 1/72 resin kit of this aircraft, which has been re-issued by ItalianKits. Italiankits also have details of a possible future 1/48 and 1/32 kit on their website.
SAI Ambrosini 107. This aircraft was a single seater version of the S.7 trainer, powered by an Isotta Fraschini Gamma engine. First flown in 1940, it reached speeds if 350mph during testing but was lost in an accident in 1941.
SAI Ambrosini 207. This aircraft, also developed from the S.7, first flew in 1941. It was fitted out with armament and powered by an Isotta Fraschini Delta engine. With Stefanutti's combination of lightweight all-wood construction and efficient aerodynamics with a relatively low powered engine, this aircraft was capable of nearly 400mph in level flight and 600mph in a dive. Despite a large order, only twelve airframes were completed when the air ministry halted production. Both Dujin and LF Models released 1/72 resin kits. LF Models also released a 1/48 resin kit, being the only one in this scale. The most accurate kit is RS Models 1/72 limited run injection release, which has captured its elegant lines really well.
SAI Ambrosini 403. This aircraft had many detail changes over the 207, an enlarged tail,]retractable tailwheel and an increased wing area to compensate for the increased fuel capacity and additional armament. Although top speed was only marginally better than the 207, it was ordered into full scale production. The Armistice, however, brought the entire project to a halt with only one airframe completed. The Germans captured the prototype for further evaluation tests. A useful ‘mini Ai d'Italia’ was published by GAE. Airmodels released a 1/72 vacuform kit and RS Models released a 1/72 403 kit to accompany their 207. The RS Models kit is the best rendition of this aircraft but with good references, it is possible to convert LF Models 1/48 207 kit into a 403.
Aeronautica Lombarda S.A.
Lombarda A.R. (Assalto Radioguidato). This was a large radio-controlled flying bomb concept proposed by S.Stefanutti in cooperation with Lombarda engineers E. Preti and S. Frati. It was a simple design, built cheaply with non-strategic materials and powered by a surplus FIAT A.80 engine. The prototype first flew in 1943 and got a positive response from the test pilot. The remaining four airframes under construction at the time were subsequently dismantled. Kora released a decent 1/72 resin kit and Planet Models 1/48 resin kit will give the modeller an idea just how big this aircraft was.
Lombarda AL.12P. This was an elegant glider designed by E. Preti (of Aeronautica Lombarda S.A.) and built by Ambrosini. Built entirely out of wood, it first flew in 1943. 16 were built and they could carry 12 fully equipped soldiers. Post WWII, an AL.12P was fitted with 2 Alfa Romeo air cooled engines. There are no known kits of this aircraft.
After the war, SAI Ambrosini was renamed Ambrosini and production of the S.7 trainer that was halted during wartime was resumed. A small number of other aircraft were also developed during the 1950's, after which it diversified into the marine industry. It closed down in 1992.
Ambrosini S.7. Production of the S.7 trainer, in both single & two-seat configuration, was resumed after the war with a total of 145 built. They were all powered by Alfa Romeo 115 engines and used principally as trainers. Two Super 7 (supersettes) were built which are preserved in museums. There are no known kits of this aircraft.
Ambrosini Sagittario. In 1953, Ambrosini developed one more research aircraft based on the S.7. It had swept wings & tail surfaces and after a few test flights, its piston engine was replaced by a Turbomeca jet engine. It had a unique four-piece petal style engine cover, as seen in the photo to the right and was used as a test bed for Stefanutti's Aerfer Sagittario II and Ariete prototype jet aircraft, which were Italy's first to go supersonic. 1/72 resins kits of these aircraft were available from both Dujin and SEM Models but are now discontinued.
Model images are links to a build article
Ambrosini Sagittario (with jet engine)
Ambrosini Super 7 (supersette)