In 1937 the engineer Sergio Stefanutti, after many studies and various prototypes of airplanes and gliders with canard flaps, decided to create his own plane with canard flaps at the top of its possibilities. The aircraft was well armed for its time, very fast and did not have many of the problems common to front engined aircraft (the S.S.4 had the engine in a pusher configuration placed at the rear) such as synchronization of the weapons with the propeller. The vehicle was also flown on March 7, 1939, but on its second flight the day after the vehicle crashed due to a construction defect and the pilot died in the crash, decreeing the end of the vehicle and its similars for a long time.
Armament and propulsion.
The most possible and even most said armament of this aircraft is a 30mm cannon and two 20mm cannons, although some speak of a 20mm cannon and two 12.7mm heavy machine guns.
As for the plane’s engine, it was an Isotta-Fraschini Asso XI engine which delivered a power of 960 HP, which allowed the vehicle to reach a speed of 540 km/h.
Maximum weight: 2446 kg
Apertura alare: 12,32 m
Lunghezza: 6,74 m
Altezza: 2,48 m
Zona alare: 17,5 m²
I think 2 12.7 mm and 1 20 mm complements the performance it would have better, so I definitely think I would prefer this armament on it.
If we give it guns that are too powerful, such as 2 20 mm and 1 30 mm, then it will just end up even more overtiered due to the two factors of being in a minor nation and having armament that is very powerful.
I’ve looked into this plane a little bit in the past and I’d say the latter is far more likely. The time frame of its development (late 30’s) puts a 30mm cannon out of the picture unless the Italians had a secret project that no one knows about. Even a 20mm cannon for that time would be a tenuous subject, it most likely would have had to have been a Hispano or Scotti gun (and to my knowledge the latter was not installed in any aircraft.)
Looking at these photos, there does seem to be armament installed, though. It wouldn’t really make sense to fabricate gun barrels and breeches just for an unarmed prototype. I’d put forward the theory that it was, in fact, armed with three 12.7mm Breda machine guns, as I don’t know of any Italian projects to fit an aircraft with a Scotti gun and it’s certainly not a Hispano cannon. I’m hardly a scholar on the subject so feel free to correct me if I am missing information.
I’d like to mention that it seems the middle gun port is lacking it’s gun. It’s possible that the 2nd image you provided shows 3 12.7 mm Breda machineguns, but then it were planned to equip a 20 mm cannon in the middle.
Either way, big ups for this, I’d love to see this plane no matter what the armament actually was. If it really was a 20mm cannon in the middle, I’d hope it was a Scotti gun, as it would provide an opportunity for a unique armament to be added to an aircraft.
Looking at this picture, it definitely doesn’t seem impossible to fit such a gun in the SS.4, maybe with a shorter barrel, though I’ll admit I’m no professor on aviation design. It has good velocity but the rate of fire is quite poor at 250 rounds/minute.
The 20mm Breda cannon (seen above) has very similar characteristics, so it’s another potential choice. Again, I invite anyone with more information on this subject to share a little knowledge if you have it.
Apparently the Piaggio P.119 (another Italian prototype) mounted a Breda 20 mm cannon, although very, very little is known about it. It’s possible that it was a modified Breda 20 mm you’ve shown.
I feel like 3×12.7 mm Breda-SAFAT machineguns would be the safest option for this aircraft if it ever gets added to WarThunder. Not only do we not have to speculate about possible ammunition and performance of the guns, but it’s also the only armament that is seemingly proven given the first image you’ve provided (3 identical guns and the general shape, specifically the barrels, match the shape of the Breda-SAFAT 12.7 mm).
It’s not much, but there’s a lead from a dead link on the Italian Wikipedia page for this aircraft. 20 x 80 mm RB is the caliber for the MG FF and MG FF/M which certainly fits the time period of the plane and, considering these guns were already in use on other aircraft, is far more likely than a modified Scotti or Breda cannon.
I also looked at the Italian Wikipedia page for the Piaggio P.119, but that page actually claims it was using a 20mm MG 151. Unfortunately it’s also a blow to my theory as that page has the same 20 x 80 mm link, so maybe it’s a default or something… in any case, I agree with what you say about the armament - while it would be slightly disappointing to lose out on a 20mm, it’s definitely the safer play to go with three Breda machine guns instead.
Well it might as well have been a 30mm cannon imported from Germany. If I’m not mistaken the first German 30mm gun was made in the mid-1930s, so it could be that it was actually installed (or designed to be installed).