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Italy's Breda Ba.65 ground attack, attack fighter

Photos

  • Breda Ba.65 ground-attack
  • Breda Ba.65 ground-attack

Design

The Breda Ba.65 was based on the Ba.64.1,2,4 The Ba.65 was the only Italian aircraft specifically designed for ground attack.2

Produced as a single and dual seater.1,2,4

The Ba.65 wasn't very maneuverable as it inhibited by its armament.2

The construction of the Ba.65 was all-metal.2

Armament

The Breda Ba.65 carried it's bombs internally in the fuselage.3

Cockpit

The pilot had a sliding canopy but most left it open.5

Prototype

Flew for the first time in September 19354 / 1935.1,5

Production

  • Breda Ba.65:
    • Manufacturer: Società Italiana Ernesto Breda2 , Breda (80)4, Caproni-Vizzola (57)4
    • Production: ? - July 19394

Variants

  • Breda Ba.65 A.80: Had Fiat A.80 engine.1
  • Breda Ba.65: Gnome-Rhône engine.1
  • Breda Ba.65: One was flown with a Pratt & Whitney R-1830 engine in June 1937.1
  • Breda Ba.65bis: Two seats.5 Rear of cockpit was open with a 7.7 mm MG.1

Usage

In 1937 Fiat powered models were supplied to the Iraqi air force.1,4

Countries

  • Chile (204)1
  • Hungary1,5
  • Iraq (254)1,5
  • Portugal (104)1,5
  • Paraguay1,5

Units

  • Stormo d'Assalto: 5°5
  • Gruppi Caccia: 7°5, 19°5
  • Squadriglie: 101a5, 102a5

Spain

Starting in August 1937 they were supplied to the Nationalists.1 It was only used in a reconnaissance role.1

The Ba.65s were used by the 65a Squadriglia d'Assalto.5

Italy

Were used in reconnaissance roles in the invasion of Abyssinia.1

~1502 / 154 were in service with the Italian Air Force in June 1940.1,5

Were used primarily in North Africa.1,2,4 It was found that they performed very poorly against Allied aircraft.5 The last were lost in Cyrenaica in early 1941.1,4

Specifications

  Breda Ba.65
Type Attack fighter2, Bomber3, Fighter3, Ground attack1,4, Reconnaissance3
Crew 12,4, 1 or 21,3
Engine (Type) Fiat A.80 RC411,2,3,4,5
OR Gnome-Rhône K.142,5 / Isotta-Fraschini K.145
OR Piaggio P. XI3
HP Fiat: 1,0001,2,3,4, 1,0305
Gnome-Rhône: 9005, 1,0002
Piaggio: 1,0003
Cylinders Fiat: Radial3,4,5, Radial 181,2
Gnome-Rhône: Radial5
Piaggio: Radial3
Cooling Fiat: Air1,2
Dimensions  
Span 36' 8"1, 39' 8"2,3,5, 39' 8.4"4
12.1 m1,4
Length 30' 6"1,2, 30' 6.1"4, 31' 6"3,5
9.3 m1,4
Height 10' 6"1,2,4,5, 10' 11"3
3.2 m1,4
Wing area 252.9 sq ft5, 252.96 sq ft4, 253 sq ft1
23.5 sq m1,4
Weight  
Empty 5,280 lb1, 5,291 lb4,5
2,400 kg1,4
Loaded 6,200 lb3, 6,490 lb1, 6,504 lb4, 7,695 lb2
2,950 kg1,4
Performance  
Speed 250 mph3, 267 mph1,2,4,5
430 kph1,4
Cruising Speed 230 mph5
Climb  
Service ceiling 20,660'1, 20,670'4, 27,230'2,5
6,300 m1,4
Range 340 miles1, 342 miles2,4,5, 680 miles3
550 km1,4
Armament 4: MG2
2: 12.7 mm MG1
2: 7.7 mm MG1
Wing 2: 7 mm MG3, 7.7 mm5, 7.7 mm / .303" Breda-SAFAT MG4
2: 12 mm3, 12.7 mm / 0.5" MG4,5
Rear cockpit turret 1: 7.7 mm MG1
Bombs - Bomb Bay and Under Wing 2,200 lb2
500 kg1
Bombs - Bomb Bay 661 lb4
300 kg4
Bombs - Under Wing 441 lb4
200 kg4
  Ba.65bis
Dimensions  
Span 39' 8"5
Length 31' 6"5
Height 10' 6"5
Wing area 252.9 sq ft5
Weight  
Empty 5,291 lb5
Performance  
Speed 255 mph4,5
410 kph4
Cruising Speed 227 mph5
Service ceiling 25,290'5

Sources:

  1. Aircraft of WWII, General Editor: Jim Winchester, 2004
  2. World War II Airplanes Volume 1, Enzo Angelucci, Paolo Matricardi, 1976
  3. Aeronautics Aircraft Spotters' Handbook, Ensign L. C. Guthman, 1943
  4. The Encyclopedia of Weapons of World War II, Chris Bishop, 1998
  5. Italian Civil and Military Aircraft 1930-1945, Jonathan Thompson, 1963
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site