by Giovanni Giorgetti
The Gruppo Amici Velivoli Storici is a cultural, non-political and non-profit association established in 1983. Its statutory activities are to
seek, catalogue, recover and preserve any material related to Italian Aviation history. G.A.V.S. presently counts nearly five hundred
members in Italy and abroad: foreign memberships include both individuals and associations in Austria, Finland, France, Germany,
Romania, Switzerland, UK and USA. This network contributes to G.A.V.S. activity by reporting findings of aircraft, of aircraft parts and
documentation. The G.A.V.S. has been awarded with the Special Merit Diploma by the FAI-Fédération Aéronautique Internationale and
is a member of the British Aviation Preservation Council and the European Aviation Preservation Council.
The most significant restoration projects completed so far include a Spad VII, Stinson L-5, FIAT G.55, Nardi FN.305, Spitfire IX and
parts of a Reggiane 2005. Less extensive work has been performed on the Ansaldo SVA-5 and -10, Ansaldo AC-2, Blériot XI-2,
Fairchild "Forwarder", Hanriot HD.1, North American F-86E "Sabre", P-51D "Mustang" and T-6H "Texan". In 1991a complete Italian
Reggiane Re.2001 fighter of WW2 was recovered from the Tyrrhenian Sea and handed-over to the Italian Air Force for restoration to
museum conditions. This complex operation will make it the only survivor of the type. Cooperation between G.A.V.S. and the Italian Air
Force has also led to the recovery of historically significant aircraft such as a FIAT CR.42 in Sweden, a Fieseler Fi.156 "Storch" in
England, a Lockeed PV-2 "Harpoon" from the USA and a SIAI S.79 from Lebanon. Historical and technical advice was recently given
to an Italian private museum for the recovery of a US Army Curtiss P-40L from the waters that were part of the Anzio landing theatre.
G.A.V.S. owns a 200-title library of technical aviation books, a vast photographic archive, and produces historical and technical
G.A.V.S. publishes "ALI ANTICHE", a quarterly periodical regularly mailed to its members which is the only Italian magazine entirely
dedicated to historical aircraft. Professionally printed, and enriched with a complete coverage of the preservation and restoration of
old aircraft, "ALI ANTICHE" also serves to keep members in touch with one another, giving them the opportunity to share their own
experiences and skills, and to report the status of current projects and of ancient aircraft.
I hope to have been explicative.