Restoring the Ansaldo A-1 "Balilla" serial n. 16553The Team

The Sponsor of the ProjectBy Alberto Casirati



Index The Ansaldo A1 Antonio Locatelli  The "San Giorgio" Project Technique Modelling Album Links


Thanks to the agreement signed between the authorities in charge and the FONDAZIONE FAMIGLIA LEGLER, the project sponsor, restoration of the Ansaldo A-1 "Balilla" currently held by the Museo Storico della Cittą di Bergamo can at last take place. The A-1 is a very important historic aeroplane: it was flown at the front in 1918 by such pilots as Antonio Locatelli
and Francesco Ferrarin and only two aircraft of this type survive in the world. Moreover, this isone of the very few aeroplanes of that period still in its original conditions.

Restoration work will be carried out by the Turin chapter of the Gruppo Amici Velivoli Storici (G.A.V.S.). This efficient team of knowledgeable enthusiasts have gained considerable
experience in the field of vintage aeroplane restoration, as they
completed three similar projects, dealing with the Ansaldo
SVA-10 flown by Gabriele D'Annunzio and Natale Palli in the
epic Vienna raid of 9th August 1918 (currently held by the
Vittoriale degli Italiani), with the Ansaldo SVA - 9 now owned
by Alenia SpA and with the Spad S.VII flown by Francesco
Baracca during WW1 (currently held by the Museum devoted
to the latter, the Italian WW1 ace of aces)

Dr. Mauro Gelfi, the Keeper of the Museo
Storico and an enthusiastic supporter of the restoration for many years, is answerable for the project, while Dr. Alberto Casirati was appointed as the restoration technical coordinator. 
The project has two main aims:

- to restore the aeroplane to its original
  conditions by means of a truly preserving
  work, thus limiting replacing of parts to 
  the minimum;

- to guarantee a long lasting life to the airframe,
also by means of a more suitable location.

The A-1 current conditions seem good, the long years of heedlessness notwithstanding, so it is reasonably assumed that the final result will be a very good one.

Thanks to the excellent analisys carried out by G.A.V.S., initial steps have been
already identified as follows:
- moving the airframe from its present location to the G.A.V.S. workshops: in progress!
- cleaning up of the airframe and removing of covering, to determine true present status;
- deciding upon following steps and their schedule.

The project should be completed by the end of year 2001.


Calderara Museum  
Eagle Press Modelling Site
Gruppo Amici Velivoli Storici (GAVS)
Museo Francesco Baracca
Over the front
Politecnico di Torino
The Aerodrom
WW1 Aeroplanes Inc.
WW1 Aviation
WW1 Modeling Page

Index The Ansaldo A1 Antonio Locatelli  The "San Giorgio" Project Technique Modelling Album Links