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Breda 201




Founded in 1886 by Ernesto Breda, this Milan based company originally manufactured railway machinery. It started aircraft production in 1921 with the Breda A.2. In 1935 it took control of the Officine Ferroviarie Meridionali company and its aircraft division soon after. The company continued post war in the railway industry and is now part of Hitachi Rail Italy.

Breda Ba.19. A 1932 biplane whose aerobatic excellence made it a popular display aircraft on the airshow circuit as demonstrated by the 'Squadriglia da Alta Acrobazia Aerea'. The sole surviving Breda 19 is currently preserved at the Caproni Museum in Trento and is displayed inverted as if to emphasise its aerobatic qualities. Choroszy has produced a neat 1/72 resin kit of this aircraft.

Breda Ba.25. This 1930s biplane trainer was widely used by the Regia Aeronautica. Powered by an Alfa Romeo radial engine, numerous versions were built. Choroszy have produced 1/72 resin kits of three variants, a two seat, a floatplane and an inline engine. They are better quality compared to the Aerodim 1/72 resin kit, which is discontinued.

Breda Ba.27. An early example of a braced low-winged monoplane, this 1934 fighter design was destined for export only as the Regia Aeronautica did not like the design at all. Only China ever placed an order. The Choroszy 1/72 resin kit is one of their first products but is still worth a look. The  AZ Models 1/72 injection moulded kit, which covered the prototype and Chinese variants, is discontinued. The prototype 'Metallico' kit had massively undersized undercarriage parts and did not match the Choroszy kit for quality.

Breda Ba.28. This 1936 aircraft was a Breda 25 equipped with a more powerful Piaggio Stella radial engine. It was not a great success as a trainer for the Regia Aeronautica but many export orders were placed. Choroszy has both a single and two seat 1/72 resin kit of this aircraft in their catalogue.

Breda Ba.33. A very popular braced monoplane light sport/touring design of the 1930’s. The Serie I had a Gypsy engine and the Serie II was powered by either a Gypsy or Colombo engine. A third single seater type was built with an uprated Colombo engine. The discontinued Dujin 1/72 resin kit covered the I and II series.

Breda Ba.39. A variant of the Ba.33 sport/tourer aircraft with increased performance and dimensions. They were used for liaison purposes by the Regia Aeronautica. Choroszy released a decent 1/72 resin kit of this aircraft. The 1/72 Dujin is discontinued.

Breda Ba.44. Breda had purchased a license to build the Dragon Rapide but decided to tweak the design which gave it a slightly different appearance. 4 were built for commercial use and the prototype was used as a VIP transport for the Regia Aeronautica, where its excellent flight qualities were much appreciated. So much so they commandeered the rest from the Ala Littoria airline! Although it is discontinued, the Planet Models 1/72 resin kit could be made into a nice model despite lacking good internal detail.

Breda Ba.64. The Ba.64 was designed by A.Parano and G.Panzeri in response to a requirement for a multi-role aircraft. The forward cockpit location allowed the pilot the best possible view. 42 aircraft were built, but pilots found the aircraft to be unpowered, with heavy controls and even dangerous for inexperienced pilots as it had high-speed stall tendencies. It was withdrawn from frontline service by 1939. Choroszy's fascination with Breda aircraft continues as they have released two versions of the Ba 64. They are very detailed 1/72 resin kits but some parts need careful preparation.

Breda Ba.65. This aircraft was an evolutionary development of the Ba.64. First flown in 1935, its licensed built Gnome-Rhone K14 engine proved unsatisfactory, so the more powerful FIAT A80 engine was fitted from the 82 airframe onwards during production, which ceased in 1939 with 218 built. 55 of these were exported to Iraq, Chile and Portugal. The Breda Ba.65 first saw action in Spain where it proved to be a very effective ground strafer and dive bomber. The 11 surviving aircraft were handed to the Spanish Air Force. The Ba.65 was facing early retirement but with the Ba.88 and Ca.310 proving to be ineffective, they were put into action in the North African Desert campaign. Despite the hot dusty conditions, it proved to be Italy's best (and only) ground attack aircraft when flown by skilled pilots. It saw the heaviest action in the second half of 1940 and by 1942 all were either lost in action or rendered unserviceable.

Probably due to its distinctive appearance, it has been a popular modelling subject but most kits are now discontinued. This includes the 1/72 AZ Models, Azur & RCR/Sign kits and the 1/48 RCR & Warrior resin kits. Still available though are the two 1/48 Special Hobby boxings covering the biposto, monoposto and export variants.

Breda Ba.88 Lince. Another Panzeri & Parano creation, this heavy fighter design was first flown in 1936 and with its advanced sleek look, it displayed much promise during testing by breaking several speed records. The Regia Aeronautica gave it a lot of publicity. However its extremely rugged over-engineered construction proved to be its downfall as its performance was severely compromised once fitted out with military equipment. Although 149 aircraft were built, most were stripped of all useful armament & spare parts and used as airfield decoys or sent straight to the scrapyard from the factory. 3 B88M 'tipo definitivo', with extended wings and Fiat A74 engines, were delivered just before the Armistice but never used. Nearly all Breda Ba.88 kits are now discontinued. This includes the 1/72 KPL vacuform, Czech Models & Planet Models resin kits and the sole 1/48 Ba.88 kit from Warrior Models. Only the Special Hobby reissue of MPM 1/72 injection mould kit is current. Fortunately it is an accurate kit but it does require care during assembly and a steady hand to airbrush the dense mottle scheme!

Breda 201. This 1941 prototype was a last ditch attempt to provide the Regia Aeronautica with a worthy dive bomber, having repeatedly failed to do so in the years leading up to WWII. Despite showing some promise during development, the project was abandoned as it did not perform sufficiently better than the Ju.87 Stuka. The Cunarmodels 1/72 resin kit is worth tracking down, being a faithful model. Italiankits sometimes have it in their catalogue.

Breda Zappata BZ.308. This elegant aircraft gets a mention because its design was started by ing. Fillipo Zappata not long after he joined them from CANT in 1942. Having already designed a 4-engined commercial aircraft for CANT (the Z.511) this was another four-engined civilian airliner, affectionally known as the 'Connie Italiano'. Due to the ongoing war conditions, its first flight did not take place until 1947. The sole prototype was used for a while by the Aeronautica Militare from 1950 until 1954, flying between Rome and Mogadishu until it was written off and abandoned in Somalia. A sad end to a fine looking aircraft. Would make an ideal companion kit to the Lockheed Constellation!

Model images are links to a build article