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Breda 201




Societá Italiana Ernesto Breda

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 Ferrovaiare Meridionali company and its aircraft division soon after. The company continued post war back in its original role and is now part of Hitachi Rail Italy.

Breda 19. A 1932 biplane whose aerobatic excellence made it a popular display aircraft on the airshow circuit for the Regia Aeronautica as demonstrated by its Squadriglia da Alta Acrobazia Aerea. A sole extant Breda 19 is currently preserved at the Caproni Museum in Trento. Choroszy has produced a neat 1/72 resin kit this type.

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

Breda 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. There are two AZ Models 1/72 injection moulded kits which cover the prototype and Chinese variants but the prototype 'Metallico' kit has massively undersized undercarriage parts and does not match the Choroszy Kit for quality.

Breda 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 Aeronautia 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 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. Dujin released 1/72 resin kit of both versions. A third single seater type was built with an uprated Colombo engine.

Breda 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. Both Dujin and Choroszy released 1/72 resin kits of this aircraft.

Breda 44. Breda had purchased a license to build the Dragon Rapide, hence the similarity in appearance, but decided to tweak the design. 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 comandeered the rest from the Ala Littoria fleet. Planet Models released a neat 1/72 resin kit that could be made into a nice model, despite a lack of good internal detail.

Breda 64. This multi-role aircraft 1933 design was the precursor to the more widely known Ba 65 design that followed, hence the same forward cockpit location just ahead of the wing leading edge. It was not a great success, being underpowered, suffering heavy controls and having unpleasant stall characteristics. All aircraft were withdrawn from frontline service by 1939. Choroszys fascination with Breda aircraft continues as they have produced two versions of the Ba 64. They are very detailed 1/72 resin kits but some parts need careful preparation. Click on the fifth image from the bottom to see more.

Breda 65. This aircraft is an upgraded version of the Ba 64 with ‘increased’ performance. However, the K14 variant still suffered the same faults, with heavy controls and slow speed thanks to its underpowered Piaggio K14 radial engine. The A80 had more power thanks to its FIAT A80 radial and in spite of the hot & dusty conditions of the North African desert campaign, it proved to be an effective ground attack aircraft. Probably due to its distinctive appearance, it has been a relatively popular modelling subject. The best example is the 1/48 Special Hobby kit that came in two boxings, covering the original two-seater, the single seater and the turreted export version. They do have missing or incorrect detail, such as the fuselage insert for the ‘monoposto’ version not having any panel line detail and the distinctive carb intakes that should sit over the cowling. Earlier A80 kits in this scale were the RCR and Warrior resin kits, which are for collectors only. No 1/48 K14 types are known and to convert an A80 to K14 would require too much work. In 1/72, the AZ Models A80 injection moulded kit is the best choice. Other kits in this scale are the Azur K14 and RCR A80.

Breda 88 Lince. First flown in 1936, this relatively advanced aircraft showed early promise during testing but, being such a heavy aircraft, its performance was severely compromised once kitted out for its military role as a fighter bomber. They were stripped of all useful armament & spare parts and reduced to the role of airfield decoys! Both Czech Models and Planet Models released 1/72 resin kits in the past but current availability is not known. The best kit is the MPM 1/72 injection moulded kit which has since been re-released under the Special Hobby brand. The 1/48 Warrior resin kit is worth tracking down for being the sole model in this scale.  A further development was the B88M 'tipo definitivo', which had extended wings and Fiat A74 engines in place of the Piaggios.

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 initiated 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'. Because of the war and its aftermath, 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 linked to detailed write ups and, in most cases, are archived SAMI reviews.