Paper model fighter SAI-403 "Dardo"

The paper model of the fighter SAI-403 "Dardo"- (dart) an Italian fighter of the Second World War.

Materials and tools:

  1. scissors, paper knife, drawing ruler
  2. tweezers;
  3. glue brushes and paint;
  4. watercolors (or pencils), toothpicks;
  5. clear acrylic glue ("Moment", etc.);
  6. to print the model matte photo paper with a density of 170-180 g / m2; for small parts - 70-80 g / m2.

Build Tips:

  1. Before you assemble the part, read the drawings and instructions. Determine the place of each part and imagine its assembly;
  2. Make holes in details before cutting out the part;
  3. Cut only the part (s) you need right now. Unpacked items in a box, and unused sheets in a closed folder (as an option). Throwing out trash after work, carefully inspect the scrap paper;
  4. for a better bending of the part it is necessary to hold a ruler along the bend line, pressing lightly, with the blunt side of a knife or a toothpick soTo avoid damaging the surface of the paper. Better to do it from the wrong side of the part;
  5. Keep your fingers clean and be sure to use wipes to wipe your hands, because hands may get dirty in the process;
  6. wind up cylindrical parts before gluing onto a round object of a suitable diameter, this will give them shape;
  7. Before gluing it is necessary to paint the ends of the part. White crop lines spoil the overall look of the model. To paint the ends, use watercolors or gouache paints. After selecting the desired color, apply them in a thin layer, then allow the paint to dry. About markers better to forget;
  8. Take your time with gluing. First, cut out the part, paint it from the end, wait for the paint to dry, assemble the part. Attach it to the place where it should be to make sure everything is done correctly. And only then stick. Do not forget to let the glue dry.

A bit of history

SAI-403 "Dardo" Fighter

Fighter SAI-403 "Dardo"- (dart) Italian fighter from the Second World War. The project SAI 403 was introduced in early 1942.The difference from the SAI 207 was a slightly modified fuselage and tail fin, a larger wing, as well as a new Isotta-Fraschini "Delta" RC.21 / 60 engine with a 3-blade propeller from Piaggio constant-pitch. The design of the aircraft was the most adapted for serial production. As for the TTX, SAI-Ambrosini promised even more speed increase while retaining the previous flight qualities, which was subsequently confirmed by prototype tests. Initially, the Italian Ministry of Aviation ordered 2,000 serial copies of the SAI 207, but in January 1943 the plans changed to setting up the production of 3000 SAI 403. The orders were distributed as follows: SAI-Ambrosini - 800, Caproni - 1000, SIAI - 1200 aircraft.

Several variants of the fighter were developed:

"Dardo" A - fighter-interceptor armed with two synchronized 12.7-mm Breda-SAFAT machine guns with 350 cartridges per barrel and take-off weight of 2478 kg.

"Dardo" B - a fighter with reinforced armament consisting of two 15-mm Mauser MG 151/15 machine guns in the fuselage and two 20-mm MG 151 \ 20 cannons in the wing, a suspension of two 150-liter PTBs was planned.


"Dardo" C is a light long-distance fighter; two machine guns in the wing with the ability to suspend two 150-liter PTBs under the wing could be included in the armament, the aircraft had a design range up to 2230 km.

These ambitious plans come true was not destined. The first prototype of SAI 403 (due to a big mess, he didn’t even get a registration number, although other sources claim that he had a number - MM.518), made in variant B, was built by the end of 1942 and flew around in January 1943. German representatives who were present at the tests, and several pilots Luftwaffe tested it in flight. On SAI 403, the Japanese pilot made several flights, who at the same time was in Germany.

The first flights showed that the new wings were unfinished - thanks to them the plane became more maneuverable, but they also created at high speeds an unpleasant vibration that caused the plane crash.

Despite this, as in the case of the SAI 207, the test pilots were almost unanimous in their opinion urgently - the fighter needed to be urgently launched into mass production. Especially the Italian allies liked the fact that the release of SAI 403 did not require the use of strategically important materials, since the design of the fighter was mostly wooden and could withstand significant overloads.

In the summer of 1943, SAI-Ambrosini practically formalized arrangements for the licensed release of SAI 403 at Heinkel plants in Germany and Mitsubishi in Japan, but in September everything went to pieces. By signing a truce with the allies, the new Italian government actually split the country in two. Having quickly mastered the situation, the German command disarmed the Italian army for several days and overtook absolutely most of the remaining aircraft in the occupied territory to Germany. SAI-403, who was on the airfield in Northern Italy, did not escape this fate. The Germans continued his tests, but already in his own testing center, where since 1944 the traces of a fighter have been lost. In all likelihood, it could be destroyed as a result of the next Allied raid.

With regard to mass production of SAI 403, then on this score there is no consensus. One can of course assume that before the surrender a small series of fighters was laid, and some Western historians are inclined to bring the number of assembled planes to 50 (as in the case of the German Ta-154 - its serial production was 21 specimens including prototypes, but there are allegations that their number was brought to 40-50).And yet, even if this is the case, there is no information confirming their use or, at least, testing.

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