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Breda Ba.88 (Lince)

Kingdom of Italy (1938)
Picture of Breda Ba.88 (Lince) Heavy Fighter / Light Bomber / Ground Attack Aircraft

The Breda Ba.88 Lince arrived in pre-war Italy during 1938 and was quickly retired in 1941 once the fighting started.


Detailing the development and operational history of the Breda Ba.88 (Lince) Heavy Fighter / Light Bomber / Ground Attack Aircraft.  Entry last updated on 6/12/2017. Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com

Following the failure of the proposed Breda Ba.75 product (just one example was completed), intended to fulfill a reconnaissance / ground attack role for the Regia Aeronautica (Italian Air Force), the service passed along a new requirement in 1936 calling for a heavy fighter aircraft with a maximum speed of 329 miles per hour, a range out to 1,240 miles and standardized armament consisting of 20mm automatic cannons. This was to become a powerful, high-speed, heavy gun platform to outmatch all others of its kind and provide a true "bomber killer" for the Italian air service. To fall in line with heavy fighters of the day, a two-seat, twin-engined monoplane wing arrangement with all-metal skinning was envisioned.

The resultant design became the Breda Ba.88 which was debuted in 1937 and proved a promising venture in the early going. The aircraft was well-streamlined and carried its engines in nacelles along the wing leading edges. The cockpit was situated along the fuselage and aft of a nose cone assembly. The fuselage then tapered towards the tail to which a pair of rounded vertical fins was fitted. A conventional tail-dragger undercarriage arrangement was used with all legs wholly retractable into the design. Internally the aircraft was given a load-bearing structure which dated its otherwise advanced form. Self-sealing fuel tanks were standard within though internal space was such that a modest bombload was forced to be carried externally. Standard armament was 3 x 12.7mm heavy machine guns in the nose while the second crewmember managed a trainable 7.7mm installation at the rear cockpit. Provision was made to install a 20mm automatic cannon in place of one of the nose-mounted 12.7mm fits.

Power for the prototype was served from 2 x Isotta-Fraschini K14 series engines but production forms carried 2 x Piaggio P.XI RC.40 "Stella" 14-cylinder air-cooled radial piston engines of 1,000 horsepower each. These drove three-bladed propelled units. Maximum speed for the mark reached 304 miles per hour with a range out to 1,019 miles and a service ceiling of 26,250 feet. 10,000 feet could be reached in about 7.5 minutes.
In testing, the stripped, baseline aircraft proved a speedy mount and went on to set several international speed records for its class. However, its fortunes changed when the airframe was saddled with the requisite military equipment as performance began to suffer notably. Despite this, serial manufacture of the design went ahead and service entry came in 1938 with the first Italian units equipped with the type in June of 1940. Production ran from 1936 until 1940 and 149 units were completed.

In practical service, the Ba.88 was not viewed fondly by Italian aviators for it was underpowered and overweight, leading to reduced handling and agility - and combat exposure showcased these weaknesses through mounting losses. By mid-1940, the aircraft was already being replaced in frontline service which forced the Regia Aeronautica to rely on more antiquated mounts for the fighter-bomber role. The Ba.88 was retired in full by 1941 - a rather short service record for such a highly-touted aeroplane.

Original production forms, known as "Lince" ("Lynx") were designated simply as "Ba.88" and adopted for both ground attack and reconnaissance roles. The "Ba 88M" designation was given to three aircraft appearing in late-1942 and modified with Fiat A.74 RC.38 series engines as well as 4 x 127mm heavy machine guns for the ground attack role. These also included increased wing surface areas and dive brakes for the stressed involved in diving attacks. The trio arrived too late in the war to fulfill any need for the Italian surrender came in September of 1943.






Our Data Modules allow for quick visual reference when comparing a single entry against contemporary designs. Areas covered include general ratings, speed assessments, and relative ranges based on distances between major cities.

Image of collection of graph types

Relative Maximum Speed Rating
Hi: 400mph
Lo: 200mph
    This entry's maximum listed speed (304mph).

    Graph average of 300 miles-per-hour.
City-to-City Ranges
NYC
 
  LON
LON
 
  PAR
PAR
 
  BER
BER
 
  MOS
MOS
 
  TOK
TOK
 
  SYD
SYD
 
  LAX
LAX
 
  NYC
Graph showcases the Breda Ba.88 (Lince)'s operational range (on internal fuel) when compared to distances between major cities.
Aviation Era
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Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Useful in showcasing the era cross-over of particular aircraft/aerospace designs.
Unit Production Comparison
Comm. Market HI*: 44,000 units
Military Market HI**: 36,183 units
149
149


  * Commercial Market High belongs to Cessna 172.

  ** Military Market High belongs to Ilyushin Il-2.


Altitude Visualization
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National Flag Graphic
Origin: Kingdom of Italy
Year: 1938
Type: Heavy Fighter / Light Bomber / Ground Attack Aircraft
Manufacturer(s): Ernesto Breda - Italy
Production: 149
Global Operators:
Kingdom of Italy
Historical Commitments / Honors:

Military lapel ribbon for Operation Allied Force
Military lapel ribbon for the Arab-Israeli War
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Britain
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Midway
Military lapel ribbon for the Berlin Airlift
Military lapel ribbon for the Chaco War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cold War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cuban Missile Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for the Falklands War
Military lapel ribbon for the French-Indochina War
Military lapel ribbon for the Golden Age of Flight
Military lapel ribbon for the 1991 Gulf War
Military lapel ribbon for the Indo-Pak Wars
Military lapel ribbon for the Iran-Iraq War
Military lapel ribbon for the Korean War
Military lapel ribbon for the 1982 Lebanon War
Military lapel ribbon for the Malayan Emergency
Military lapel ribbon for the attack on Pearl Harbor
Military lapel ribbon for the Six Day War
Military lapel ribbon for the Soviet-Afghan War
Military lapel ribbon for the Spanish Civil War
Military lapel ribbon for the Suez Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for the Vietnam War
Military lapel ribbon for Warsaw Pact of the Cold War-era
Military lapel ribbon for the WASP (WW2)
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 1
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 2
Military lapel ribbon for the Yom Kippur
* Ribbons not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective campaigns/operations.
Measurements and Weights icon
Structural - Crew, Dimensions, and Weights:
Unless otherwise noted the presented statistics below pertain to the Breda Ba.88 (Lince) model. Common measurements, and their respective conversions, are shown when possible.

Operational
CREW


Personnel
2


Dimension
LENGTH


Feet
35.43 ft


Meters
10.8 m


Dimension
WIDTH


Feet
51.18 ft


Meters
15.6 m


Dimension
HEIGHT


Feet
10.17 ft


Meters
3.1 m


Weight
EMPTY


Pounds
10,251 lb


Kilograms
4,650 kg


Weight
LOADED


Pounds
14,881 lb


Kilograms
6,750 kg

Engine icon
Installed Power - Standard Day Performance:
2 x Piaggio P.XI RC.40 Stella 14-cylinder air-cooled radial piston engines developing 1,000 horsepower each.

Performance
SPEED


Miles-per-Hour
304 mph


Kilometers-per-Hour
490 kph


Knots
265 kts


Performance
RANGE


Miles
1,019 mi


Kilometers
1,640 km


Nautical Miles
886 nm


Performance
CEILING


Feet
26,247 ft


Meters
8,000 m


Miles
4.97 mi


Performance
CLIMB RATE


Feet-per-Minute
1,315 ft/min


Meters-per-Minute
401 m/min

Supported Weapon Systems:

Graphical image of an aircraft medium machine gun
Graphical image of an aircraft heavy machine gun
Graphical image of an aircraft conventional drop bomb munition
Armament - Hardpoints (3):

STANDARD:
3 x 12.7mm Breda-SAFAT heavy machine guns in nose
1 x 7.7mm Breda-SAFAT medium machine gun in rear cockpit.

OPTIONAL:
Up to 2,205 lb of conventional drop stores as well as 440 lb under the fuselage in a semi-recessed position.
Variants: Series Model Variants
• Ba.88 "Lince" - Base Series Designation
• Ba.88M - Dedicated ground attack model; three examples.