|Flown for the first time in February 1935, the FN.305 was an outstanding two seat light training monoplane. The FN.305 was also one of the first Italian aircraft with retractable landing gear. In an attempt to demonstrate the ruggedness of this aircraft, the pilot made a deliberate wheels-up landing at Guidonia in 1935 sustaining only slight damage to the airscrew. The entire design of this aircraft was extremely neat and efficient. On July 17, 1936 Capt. Giovanni Zappetta and Guido Stellingwerf set the light aircraft speed record of 193.1 mph over 631 miles from Fiumicino-Ortobello-Livorno-Fiumicino. In 1937 a FN.305D won the speed record category of the Circuito Internazionale delle Oasi held in Cairo. The type also completed a record flight in March 1939 from Rome to Addis Ababa AOI at an average speed of 149 mph gaining the distance record for two seat light aircraft at 2773.7 miles. The same year the FN.305 won the endurance competition of the Raduno Internazaionale del Littorio. The FN.305 was immediately successful as a military trainer securing orders from foreign airforces that included Belgium, Chile, France, Hungary, Portugal, Rumania, Switzerland and Yugoslavia. Piaggio also built a large number of these aicraft under license for the Regia Aeronautica.
Once again we must salute Special Hobby's initiative. A Nardi in 1/48th, who could have dreamt of that?
A good base of model indeed, and if you take time to use the Mini Serie from Ali d'Italia you will be able to rectify the small mistakes of this model. I have built this model some time ago and as far as I remember I had to work on the cockpit to upgrade the level of detail which is poor. I drilled the back side instruments on the rear panel and I equiped those with fuse wire to simulate the actual wiring of the instrument panel; some louvres and openings are missing on the front engine cover and I rescribed those using the very good plan. Small copper tubes were used for the undeside exhausts, a new blade for the propeller was made from scratch and then two were duplicated in resin as the one of the kit is too large and too short. The vac canopy is not easy to place, and opening it makes the task more difficult. Nevertheless after many trials I did get a satisfactory result. The insides were painted grey, the outside is the usual combinaison of Giallo 3 Verde 2 and Marrone mimetico. The white bands of the flying school were painted afterwards, and it really stands out! For the scheme I refered to the sampler in Vigna di Valle, quite a good free hand exercise!
Aircraft: Nardi FN.305
Manufacturer: Ing. Fratelli Nardi
Type: Military Training
Engine: Alfa Romeo 115-I, 6-cyclinder inverted in-line, liquid cooled, 185hp
Wingspan: 27 ft 9 in (8.458 m)
Length: 22 ft 11 1/2 in (6.998 m)
Height: 6 ft 10 2/3 in (2.10 m)
Weight: 1,474 lb empty (668 kg); 2,090 loaded (948 kg)
Maximum Speed: 193 mph (310.6 km/h)
Ceiling: 21,320 ft (6,498 m)
Range: 500 miles (804.7 km)
Armament: 2 machine guns
|Special Hobby 1/48 Nardi FN.305
RA Training Aircraft
by Jean Barby
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