The first fighter monoplane of canard or tail-first configuration
and one of the first with a retractable nosewheel
undercarriage, the single-seat S.S.4 designed by
Ing Sergio Stefanutti and built by the Societa Aeronautica
Italiana Ing A Ambrosini was among the most
innovative warplanes of its time. Of all-metal construction
and powered by a 960hp liquid-cooled 12-cylinder
Isotta-Fraschini Asso XI R.C.40 engine driving a threebladed
variable-pitch pusher propeller, the S.S.4 had a
proposed armament of one 30mm and twin 20mm
cannon. The sole prototype was flown for the first time on 7 March 1939, but was destroyed during its second
flight on the following day, when, after the starboard
aileron separated, the wing developed a high amplitude
oscillation and the aircraft entered a dive and
crashed. No further development was undertaken. The
following data are based on manufacturer's estimates.
| Take-off weight||2446 kg||5393 lb|
| Empty weight||1800 kg||3968 lb|
| Wingspan||12.32 m||40 ft 5 in|
| Length||6.74 m||22 ft 1 in|
| Height||2.48 m||8 ft 2 in|
| Wing area||17.50 m2||188.37 sq ft|
| Max. speed||540 km/h||336 mph|
|A three-view drawing (1663 x 1223)|
|Dennis Karoleski, 27.07.2012|
The ejected shell casings would have been a serious problem for the propeller if tests had been taken that far. Or were they kept on board?
|Howard Littman, 17.01.2012|
The pusher propeller fighter designs at this time all had the same escape system. There was a small explosive charge in the propeller hub to blow the propeller off if the pilot had to bail out.
One major flaw in this design: How was the pilot supposed to get out in case of emergency? Ejection seats hadn't been invented yet. Same objection applies to Japan's Kyushu J7W1 Shinden. Of course, Japanese pilots considered themselves to be expendable, but I don't imagine the Italians would have felt quite the same way about it!
It looks like starship from the "Star wars" very ahead on time like the Shiden jap.
|Howard LIttman, 29.08.2007|
The most innovative thing about this aircraft is the double canard surfaces, one fixed and one movable. For propeller driven aircraft, without power boosted controls, Stefanutti may have been on to something, It's unfortunate (or possibly fortunate for the Allies at the time) that the aileron hinges were not made stronger. This looks like a very promising design.
|Jon McLaren, 31.03.2007|
Refer to Kyushu J7W1 Shinden...same thoughts re canard mounted fixed gear and seating / fuselage; with high wing above eng cowl for gravity fuel flow; and vert fins ext downward with fixed gear.
|Jon McLaren, 31.03.2007|
Re: Amrosini SS.4 If big gen av makers could design this with raked faired gear on tips of canard (Quickie Q2) and mount all of the vertical stabilators down from wing with fixed gear(= 4 wheel.) Move pilot closer to nose, with side x side seats aft, within an airfoil shape fuselage..?
|Stefano G DE FILIPPIS, 29.12.2006|
HY I'M VERY INTERESTED ON ALL THE MATERIAL ABOUT THIS SPECIFIC AIRCRAFT. I'M WORKING ON A FLYING REPLICA 1:1 OF THE PLANE BUT IT'S VERY DIFFICULT TO FIND ANY BLUEPRINTS OR SKETCHES. SO IF SOME ONE CAN HELP....IT'S HIGHLY APPRECIATED.
BEST WISHES FOR THE NEW YEAR INCOMING. S.G. DE FILIPPIS
Do you have any comments about this aircraft ?