Info: Breda Ba.88 Lince (Lynx)

Discussions on all aspects of Italy under Fascism from the March on Rome to the end of the war.
User avatar
Robert Hurst
Member
Posts: 1192
Joined: 04 Oct 2002 15:11
Location: Worksop, Notts, UK

Info: Breda Ba.88 Lince (Lynx)

Post by Robert Hurst » 30 May 2003 15:18

Hi

A propaganda triumph when its appearance was trumpeted by Mussolini's Fascist regime in 1936, the Breda Ba.88 Lince (Lynx), designed by Antonio Parano and Guiseppe Panzeri, was a sleek all-metal shoulder-wing monoplane with twin-engine powerplant. The prototype (MM302), which had a single-fin and rudder tail assembly, made its maiden flight during October 1936 flown by Furio Niclot, Breda's chief test pilot. In April 1937 Niclot established two world speed-over-distance records, averaging 517 km/h (321.25 mph) over a 100 km (62 mile) distance and 475 km/h (295.15 mph) over 1,000 km (621 mile) circuit. In December of that year he raised these speeds to 554 km/h (344.24 mph) and 524 km/h (325.6 mph) respectively.

The prototype, which had a retractable landing gear, the mainwheel units retracting completely into the engine nacelles, was powered by two 900 hp Gnome-Rhone K-14 radials, built under licence by Isotta-Fraschini. Although take-off control was poor, climb rate slow and maximum speed not quite up to expectations the Ba.88 was ordered into production with two major modifications: the installation of 1,000 hp Piaggio P.XI RC.40 radials, and a modified tail unit with twin fins and rudders.

Regarded as an Aeroplano Combattimento, suitable for attack, long-range reconnaissance or bombing operations, the Ba.88 then had its military equipment and weapons installed. Armament on early models was one flexibly mounted 7.7 mm (0.303 in) Breda-Safat machine-gun in rear cockpit, but was later increased by installing three 12.7 mm (0.5 in) Breda-Safat Machine-guns in the nose. A maximum bombload of 1,000 kg (2,204 lb) could be carried externally. Immediately, performance and flight characteristics fell of dramatically, but by then production orders were already being executed. The first batch of 80, plus eight dual-control trainers, was built by Breda between May and October 1939.

On 16 June 1940, just after Italy's declaration of war on France and her allies, the Ba.88 had its first taste of action. Twelve aircraft from the Regio Aeronautica's 19o Gruppo Autonomo made bombing and machine-gun attacks on the principal airfields of Corsica; three days later nine Ba.88s made a repeat attack. Analysis of these operations showed that the Ba.88 had only limited value, and any remaining doubts were settled when Ba.88s of the 7o Gruppo Autonomo joined action in Libya against the British. Fitted with sand filters the engines overheated and failed to deliver their designed power. Attacks on targets at Sidi Barrani had to be aborted in September 1940, the aircraft failing to gain sufficient altitude or maintain formation, and reaching a speed less than half that claimed by the manufacturers.

By mid-November 1940 most surviving Ba.88s had been stripped of useful equipment and were scattered around operational airfields as decoys for attacking British aircraft. During this time, however, further batches of Ba.88s were being delivered, comprising 19 built by Breda and 48 by I M A M (Meridionali). Most went straight to the scrapyard.

Three Ba.88s were modified by the Agusta plant in 1942 to serve as ground-attack aircraft. Wing span was increased by 2.00 m (6 ft 6 3/4 in) to alleviate wing loading problems, their engines were replaced by 840 hp Fiat A.74 RC.38, nose armament was increased to four 12.7 mm (0.5 in) machine-guns, and dive-brakes were installed. These Breda Ba.88Ms were delivered to the 103o Gruppo Autonomo Tuffatori (independent dive-bombing group) at Lonate Pozzolo on 7 September 1943. They were flight-tested by Luftwaffe pilots, but that was the last to be heard of the Ba.88s, which represented, perhaps, the most remarkable failure of any operational aircraft to see service in World War II.

Specification

Type: Fighter-bomber/reconnaissance aircraft
Powerplant: Two 1,000 hp Piaggio P.XI RC.40 14-cylinder air-cooled radial engines.
Performance: Maximum speed 490 km/h (304 mph; service ceiling 8,000 m (26,245 mph); range 1,640 km (1,019 miles).
Armament: Three fixed forward-firing 12.7 mm (0.5 in) Breda-Safat machine-guns in nose and one flexible 7.7 mm (0.303 in) Breda-Safat machine-gun in rear cockpit; plus up to 1,000 kg (2,204 lb) of bombs in fuselage bomb-bay or, alternatively, three 200 kg ( 441 lb) bombs carried semi-exposed in individual recesses in the fuselage belly.
Weights: Empty equipped 4,650 kg (10,251 lb); maximum take-off 6,750 kg ( 14,881 lb).
Dimensions: Span 15.60 m (51 ft 2 1/4 in); length 10.79 m (35 ft 4 3/4 in); height 3.10 m (10 ft 2 in); wing area 33.34 sq m (358.88 sq ft).

Source of photo and coloured drawing: The Concise Guide to Axis Aircraft of World War II, by David Money.

Regards

Bob
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
Last edited by Robert Hurst on 31 May 2003 10:09, edited 3 times in total.

User avatar
SM79Sparviero
Member
Posts: 136
Joined: 18 Oct 2002 09:01
Location: Culqualber

Breda-88

Post by SM79Sparviero » 30 May 2003 20:19

A heavy fighter should be projected as an heavy fighter. If you try to create a multirole heavy fighter or an assault aircraft from a record aircraft as Breda -88 you will meet a failure, as if you try to create an air-superiority fighter from a Supermarine S-6b or from a Macchi Mc-72.

Nobody could project a good armoured car starting from the project of a Lamborghini Murcielago or a Subaru Impreza even if they are 4x4 vehicles .

i think, howewer, that the breda-88 would have been a good aircraft if employed as fast light bomber as the excellent De Havilland Mosquito but italian pilots were not trained enough for high-speed highly wing-charged aircrafts , the high officers of the headquarter were too old to understand this good idea and the engines could not work a long time without failures because of the poor quality of the "autarchic" materials.....

User avatar
Juha Tompuri
Forum Staff
Posts: 11550
Joined: 11 Sep 2002 20:02
Location: Mylsä

Post by Juha Tompuri » 31 May 2003 08:33

:) Robert

Nice, but a sad story

Regards, Juha

varjag
Financial supporter
Posts: 4431
Joined: 01 May 2002 01:44
Location: Australia

Post by varjag » 31 May 2003 12:51

Italian propaganda at the time attempted - and succeeded (!) in convincing 'foreign observers' that the Breda 88 was a superweapon soon the be deployed for the Greater Glory of Italy and the defeat of The Enemy. Unfortunately, for both Italy and those 'observers' it proved to be just another of the Italian aircraft-industry's total failures. But - it and many of it's sisters and brothers deserve to be highlighted on the forum and Bob - u are doing a great job of it. What about that flight to Manchuria & Japan? ,Varjag

gabriel pagliarani
Member
Posts: 1583
Joined: 01 Aug 2002 03:11
Location: ITALY

Re: Breda-88

Post by gabriel pagliarani » 31 May 2003 19:10

SM79Sparviero wrote:A heavy fighter should be projected as an heavy fighter. If you try to create a multirole heavy fighter or an assault aircraft from a record aircraft as Breda -88 you will meet a failure, as if you try to create an air-superiority fighter from a Supermarine S-6b or from a Macchi Mc-72.

Nobody could project a good armoured car starting from the project of a Lamborghini Murcielago or a Subaru Impreza even if they are 4x4 vehicles .

i think, howewer, that the breda-88 would have been a good aircraft if employed as fast light bomber as the excellent De Havilland Mosquito but italian pilots were not trained enough for high-speed highly wing-charged aircrafts , the high officers of the headquarter were too old to understand this good idea and the engines could not work a long time without failures because of the poor quality of the "autarchic" materials.....
Totally off-road, Sparviero! Spitfire was a succesfull development of Supermarine S-6B.. all your statement therefore is a sillogism. The dirty truth was in ordinary lack of raw material. Italy in 1935-36 was embargoed but till not signed the Steel Pact. The consequence was absurd: EVERY EUROPEAN POWER HAD A GOOD CHANCE TO ATTACK SUCCESSFULLY ITALY IN 1936! Never heard about Mussolini -Laval posts? Mussolini was obliged to show capabilities not effective...a real dirty bluff! Those situations became to slowly change after Steel Pact. As example in 1938 Germany sold Tungsten electrodes necessary for TIG soldering to Italy: the last purchase of such strategical material necessary for soldering aluminum structures, was from Mexico in 1932! All steel structured BREDAs (..also Lince was full-steel cored!) were an attempt to solve these problems as nicely as it was possible...I think that the relationships betweeen new air-technologies and the development failed of Regia Aeronautica could be a valid thread on this forum. In 1936 Italy flew as 1st the jet CC-1, 4 years later entered in war with biplanes CR-42...evidentlly more than a gear didn't work as wished before (..if really wished by anyone) RC40 seemed to be a clone of the Wasp, but it was not because inside it there was not only a gram of STELLITE. Never heard before such an alloy now largely used to produce valves? It has its own story.
Furio Niclot Doglio was an Honour Gold Medal to the memory, his life left on the combat-flag of 51° Stormo Caccia: this man was an hero not a liar. Surely the prototype he flew so successfully had to be much better than the others, doubling responsabilities of PNF. Therefore the real Lince was a pure prototype not reproducible, exactly as a Formel 1 is at today.
Last edited by gabriel pagliarani on 02 Jun 2003 16:52, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
SM79Sparviero
Member
Posts: 136
Joined: 18 Oct 2002 09:01
Location: Culqualber

Gabriel

Post by SM79Sparviero » 31 May 2003 20:08

You are right. For the valves of an alternative engine or for the blades of a turbine you need a good quality steel . Ohain and Whittle themselves had serious problems with the first projects of their turbines because of the failures of the blades at high temperatures.
the most important sources of Nickel in the world were New Caledonia , that's FRANCE, and Canada.
Since 1935 because of Ethiopian war Commonwealth and France stopped their export of nickel to Italy.
Italy imported chrome from Turkey, but in 1938 The British Empire bought the whole production of chrome for the next two years even if they didn't really need this metal. Geological prospections in Albania found sources of chrome but in 1939 it was too late.

gabriel pagliarani
Member
Posts: 1583
Joined: 01 Aug 2002 03:11
Location: ITALY

Post by gabriel pagliarani » 31 May 2003 23:32

...and what about WIDIA tools? An uncle of mine was working as capo-reparto in Ducati Elettro-Meccanica of Bologna during 1938-39. When WIDIA (wie diamant= extra tough blades for turning machines) where finally released and adjusted in gun-smithing ( at that time Ducati was producing gun-barrels) the production was triced and the rejecteds were halved. A spectacular result in only a week, so he said! You can imagine in what conditions they worked before WIDIA....also Britishes before Dec 7 1941 had some problem with high-temp alloies. Tubular rotating valves adopted on Napier Sabre were a serious attempt to solve all the troubles they had from NiMoNic alloies. But they had the best gasoline available from Saudi , all the 5-covalent Lead tetraethylene to add to it, and all the rubber necessary to seal both..while waiting american NiMoNic keramiks known as "Stellite". It was considered so strategical that only during' 60s the US Department of Commerce gave the permission to sell Stellite for civil use in Italy: in fact Harley Davidson bought Aermacchi and the property asked the same level of quality also in Italy. Never heard this story before?

User avatar
Juha Tompuri
Forum Staff
Posts: 11550
Joined: 11 Sep 2002 20:02
Location: Mylsä

Re: Gabriel

Post by Juha Tompuri » 01 Jun 2003 00:44

SM79Sparviero wrote: the most important sources of Nickel in the world were New Caledonia , that's FRANCE, and Canada.
Since 1935 because of Ethiopian war Commonwealth and France stopped their export of nickel to Italy.
Italy imported chrome from Turkey, but in 1938 The British Empire bought the whole production of chrome for the next two years even if they didn't really need this metal. Geological prospections in Albania found sources of chrome but in 1939 it was too late.
That desperate situation is new to me. Finland had some nickel and other (molybdenium, copper, tungsten,chrome, vanadium etc) precious metal sources. For instance we provided up to 87% of German need (Oct 1944) of nickel.
Also that explains why in the arms deals from Italy to Finland during the Winter War our precious metals were very "hard currency".

Regards, Juha

P.S. Italian aero engines at Finnish service suffered from loss of power and outwearing. So was the grade of the steel the main reason for it?

gabriel pagliarani
Member
Posts: 1583
Joined: 01 Aug 2002 03:11
Location: ITALY

Post by gabriel pagliarani » 01 Jun 2003 07:30

Exactly, Juha. Finland was in the economical orbit of Germany and before 1935-36 Italy was not till allied of Germany, in the while was embargoed by SoN by mean of the war in Ethyopia. Your raw materials were out of any italian reach. In other posts I discussed about the poor quality of Carcano M91 also Finns experienced: the reason was always the same: no h.q. raw materials. Obviously the main responsability was of PNF and Mussolini: from 1922 to 1932 Italy was free to purchase any stock of raw material but "autharchy" and the fixed exchange 1gram of gold = 100 Lit. (Parità aurea) avoided such opportunity. The colonial wars in Africa then stopped totally this chance. Finallythe just shipwrecked italian industrial politics finally was "saved" by Adolf Hitler. But his goal was the war in Europe, not the peace necessary to Fascist Italy. A very poor country.

To Robert Hurst.
Or you are a Breda lover (..if it is possible :lol: ) or you really are attracted by ugly planes. This is your 2nd post about Bredas and I am asking myself if it is time to tell the story of this strange industrial group.
The only non former aeronautical airframe producer before fascism having in charge new models directly from Air Ministry...something was wrong in such a choice. What about Breda factories?

User avatar
SM79Sparviero
Member
Posts: 136
Joined: 18 Oct 2002 09:01
Location: Culqualber

Italian nepotism.

Post by SM79Sparviero » 01 Jun 2003 10:35

Nepotism has always been a "main frame" of Italian society, in 1920 as in 2003 (but also in the Roman Empire), not-italian people usually can't fully understand this pernicious kind of social relationship for wich the winner is not the best but the competitor with the most powerfulf friends!
Since 1920-22 The greatest Italian Industrial groups had financially supported the rise of the Fascist Party up to Government, dictature and, then, to East Africa Empire.Fiat , BREDA , Ansaldo ecc needed the help of the "squadristi" against the rising Socialist and Sindacal movements expecially in the period 1919-1922 .

An enourmous quantity of money was given by Agnelli family and others ( I don't remember the owners of Breda in those years maybe Savoia family but i'm not sure) to the fascist party.
The least important industrial groups as Piaggio, IMAM, Reggiane, Aeronautica Umbra and others were out of this relationship.

That support was not just a kind present from Agnelli family. At the moment of a public competition for a new monoplane fighter or bomber the winner HAD to be a Fiat aircraft that's the "sitting duck" G-50 or the "jurassic" CR-42 even if the competitor Reggiane Re-2000 was comparable, according to me, to a Mitsubishi Zero.The new bomber HAD to be a Fiat BR-20 ( not worse, however, than a Whitley) and not the new CANT Z-1018 whose performances were comparable to the future Ju-188 ( v. max 524 Km/h).
In the same way a kind thank of the Fascist party to Breda factories was the agreement for Ba-65 and Ba-88 , when in 1938 two unknown aircrafts, globally good aircrafts would have been ready for the role of close air support expecially the former: Aeronautica Umbra T-18 with one Fiat A-80 engine and IMAM Ro-57 with two A-74 engines .

gabriel pagliarani
Member
Posts: 1583
Joined: 01 Aug 2002 03:11
Location: ITALY

Post by gabriel pagliarani » 01 Jun 2003 11:59

Lethal and precise as per your name, Sparviero. BREDA was very close to be something similar to a "Fascist Kombinat" in the worst sense you can stick at this definition. Artificially planted in Rome (at very today still exhists a "Breda blockhouse") the main problem of this military warehouse producing trains, planes, guns, ammos but only if the worst you can think at obviously was the quality. The 2nd problem was the quality and training of the workers: while in Reggiane or in Macchi every worker was able to TIG soldering at his very best, in Rome during 1936 there were only 5 (REPEAT:FIVE ONLY) workers able to TIG soldering and only a few more in riveting. But BREDA planes were scheduled to be build in Rome only for propaganda internal use. Let me say that the training of such precise and polite workmanship is much more expensive and dangerous than an Army. Obviously PNF failed.

To Varjag
Sorry for delay. Ihave just heard about the Jap-Raid of 3 (..more than 1) SM81 starting from Ukraine, but I had got no further information till now.
Forgotten exploits as the bombing of Jeddah and Ryad.

Return to “Italy under Fascism 1922-1945”