Aviation of World War II

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Attack aircraft


At the beginning of the 30s of the last century, requirements for an attack aircraft were developed. The requirements provided for the creation of a two-seater combat aircraft with a stationary offensive small arms and a defensive turret.

The first prototype Ba.65 took off in September 1935, and on October 27, after a short program of factory tests, the aircraft was handed over to the military. During the test, the aircraft showed good speed qualities, but the tests also showed a negative feature of the Breda - its poor controllability.

Interestingly, Italian sources point out another characteristic reason for the high accident rate of the Ba.65 (in addition to poor controllability): the personnel of the assault air units were largely composed of young self-confident pilots who imagined themselves to be "aces", by no means inclined to listen carefully to the advice of instructors and senior colleagues.

In a word, only a very low production rate allowed to avoid even more severe losses in materiel and among flight personnel. By the end of 1937, that is, after a year and a half after being put into service in assault aviation, there were only two dozen Va.65.

The combat value of the Ba.65 remained low, and the accident rate remained high. After eight pilots died in accidents on these machines for six months, in October 1938 all flights on the Ba.65 were banned. The ban was lifted only at the end of January 1939.

The total volume of Ba.65 deliveries for Regia Aeronautics amounted to 218 attack aircraft, including 81 aircraft with K14 engines (numbers MM.75081 -75161) and 137 with A 80 engines. Out of the last 80 aircraft, Breda supplied "(MM.75163-75242), and another 57 were collected under license by the Caproni-Vizzola company (MM.75243-75299). The last aircraft of the aircraft were produced in July 1939.

Specification Ba.65 with A 80 engine
Crew 2
Wing span, m 11.90
Wing area, m² 23.50
Length, m 9.89
Height, m 3.20
Piston radial engine FIAT A / 80 R.C. 41 power, hp 1000
Weight, kg:
Empty 2500
Loaded weight 3,150
Maximum speed, km/h 352
Cruising speed, km/h 305
Service range, km 544
Service ceiling, m 6,300
4 × Breda-SAFAT machine guns in the wing: two 12.7 mm and two 7.7 mm, bombs, kg 200

Technical description. "Breda" Va.65 - single-engine cantilever monoplane of all-metal construction with retractable landing gear, one or two-seat multipurpose combat aircraft.

Power plant, two-row air-cooled radial engines of three types: 14-cylinder Isotta-Fraschini K14 with a capacity of 880 hp. - on the early series of aircraft for the Italian Air Force; 18-cylinder Fiat A80 RC41 1000 hp - on most Italian Ba.65, as well as on export vehicles for Iraq and Portugal; 14-cylinder Piaggio P.XI RC40 1000 hp - on Chilean aircraft.

The fuel system consisted of two main gas tanks with a total capacity of 650 liters, installed in the fuselage, behind the cockpit. If necessary, an additional 370 liter tank could be mounted in the bomb bay. All three tanks are sealed.

Armament: four Breda-SAFAT machine guns in the wing: two 12.7 mm and two 7.7 mm, in the bomb compartment up to 100 kg of bombs, on underwing bomb racks up to 200 kg, usually 4x50 kg. The letnab's cockpit was equipped with a 7.7 mm defensive machine gun mounted on a compact retractable turret or on a Breda type M shielded turret.

Almost immediately they abandoned the standard placement of large-caliber bombs on the internal suspension, since this made it impossible to dive. In the standard version, the aircraft carried a pair of 100-kg bombs on underwing holders, dropping them from a dive at an angle of 30-35 degrees.

Another common bomb load was 2 kg fragmentation bombs. The aircraft took up to 168 of these ammunition in four cassettes installed in the bomb bay. In this case, "peas" were poured at the exit from the dive when climbing, see the photo below, the control circuit was triggered by a trigger on the pilot's control stick. On the second approach, the pilot "processed" the target with the fire of four wing-mounted machine guns.

Photo Description

Drawing Breda Ba.65 with K14 engine

Breda Ba.65 side and front view with FIAT A / 80 R.C. 41 engine.

Breda Ba.65 A/80 R.C. 41, cockpit.

Breda Ba.65/K14, cockpit.

Breda Ba.65, aircraft on the Jacks.

Breda Ba.65, landing gear, aircraft on the Jacks.

Breda Ba.65, cassettes for 2 kg fragmentation bombs in the bomb bay.

Breda Ba.65, defensive 7.7 mm machine gun.


Breda Ba.75
  • Reconnaissance bomber
  • First flight: 1939
  • Breda

In 1937, the command of the Italian Royal Air Force (Regia Aeronautica), having analyzed the experience gained, put forward the requirement for Breda to create a specialized reconnaissance aircraft based on the Ba.65, capable of operating both at tactical depth and, as they said in those years, “together with the army.” ". When issuing the specifications, the Regia Aeronautica command believed that the new aircraft would operate in close contact with the Ba.65 or escort fighters during combat missions. The aircraft alone was supposed to perform only long-range reconnaissance flights.

The company's designer, engineer Giuseppe Panzeri, in the new aircraft used a power plant from the Ba.65, a modified wing and tail unit, and a semi-monocoque fuselage similar in design to the previous aircraft. In terms of dimensions, the new aircraft was approximately 20% larger. The design of the Ba.75 was all-metal, the only non-metallic element was to be the aileron skin (dural was to be used as the rudder skin).

However, conceptually the Ba.75 was different from its predecessor; it was a mid-wing (although more likely even a high-wing) with a well-glazed lower part of the fuselage in the area of the observer's cabin, in which it was possible to place not only a camera, but also another - third - crew member - a gunner, who could control a movable machine gun to protect the lower part rear hemisphere and for possible shelling of ground targets. The pilot's cabin was well glazed and its flattened shape resembled an iron. A movable machine gun was provided behind the cockpit to protect the upper part of the rear hemisphere; the observer had to fire from this machine gun.

The main landing gear was the only design element in which the Ba.75 was strikingly different from its predecessor. These were tall, non-retractable pyramidal supports rigidly attached to the fuselage with fairings mounted on wheels.

The fixed armament of the aircraft consisted of two 12.7-mm Breda-SAFAT machine guns with 200 rounds of ammunition per barrel located in the wing outside the propeller sweep zone. Under the wing there were holders for hanging up to 500 kg of bombs.

The power plant was a fourteen-cylinder two-row radial air-cooled Isotta-Fraschini K.14 engine (produced under license by the French Gnome-Rhône 14K), developing a power of 900 hp. (662 kW) and a rotating three-bladed metal propeller. The engine was covered with a typical “Italian” hood with teardrop-shaped protrusions over the cylinder heads.

Ba.75 Specification
Crew 3
Wing span, m 15,50
Wing area, m² 36.15
Length, m 11.20
Height, m 3.00
1 × ПД Isotta Fraschini K 14, power hp. 1 × 900
Weights, kg
Empty weight 2,600
Loaded weight 4,600
Maximum speed, km/h 375
Cruise speed km/h 300
Service range, km 1,700
Service ceiling, m 7000
One 12.7-mm machine gun, bombs, kg 500

The first flight of the Ba.75 prototype took place in the summer of 1939 under the control of factory test pilot A. Colombo. Although the tests were successful, the multi-role Ba.65 with which the new aircraft was supposed to interact was outdated. The ideas of the Regia Aeronautica command regarding the use of close support aircraft have also changed. Development of the aircraft was suspended, and at the beginning of 1940 the Ba.75 program was officially closed. The aircraft, which was assigned the military register number MM.301, never entered service with the Italian Air Force. Likewise, other aircraft created for these purposes, such as the American Curtiss O-52 and North American O-47, the German Arado Ar 198, etc., were not widely used. The designers of successful aircraft of the same class - the British Westland Lysander and the German Focke-Wulf Fw 189 - went to their goal in different ways, and, ultimately, the combat use of these vehicles was somewhat different.

Unfortunately, the Breda Ba.75 is one of the least known and least documented Italian aircraft of the Second World War and therefore its data is approximate and rounded.

Photo Description
Drawing Breda Ba.75 Drawing Breda Ba.75


  • Encyclopedia of Military Equipment / Aerospace Publising /
  • "BREDA/65" con motore FIAT A/80 R.C. 41 /Ministero dell' Aeronautica, Roma 1939/