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Breda Ba.65

Kingdom of Italy (1936)
Picture of Breda Ba.65 Ground Attack Aircraft
Picture of Breda Ba.65 Ground Attack Aircraft Picture of Breda Ba.65 Ground Attack Aircraft
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Experience in the Spanish Civil War forced the Breda Ba.65 to be used strictly in the attack role in World War 2 by the Italians.


Detailing the development and operational history of the Breda Ba.65 Ground Attack Aircraft.  Entry last updated on 5/31/2017. Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com

The Breda Ba.65 was a ground attack aircraft serving primarily with the Italian Air Force (Regia Aeronautica) in the years leading up to and into World War 2. The Ba.65 saw active combat service in the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939) which helped seal a Nationalist victory over the Republicans and led to the formation of the Spanish State. Continued use of the Ba.65 by the Regia Aeronautica led to further actions in the upcoming World War, particularly across the North Africa campaign. However, the Ba.65 proved all too vulnerable to the modern fighters of the time, restricting its use to that of a groudn attack aircraft until the end of its operational run. In all, some 218 Ba.65 aircraft were completed and delivered for use, production being handled by the Breda and Caproni firms of Italy.

Antonio Parano and Giuseppe Panzeri designed the Ba.64 - forerunner to the similar Ba.65 - in the early part of the 1930s. First flight was recorded in 1934 and the type was introduced into the Regia Aeronautica in 1937 as a primary ground attack aircraft system with fighter, bombing and reconnaissance duties as secondary. By the time the Ba.64 had entered service, work had already begun on a more powerful evolution of the system which delivered the prototype for the much improved Ba.65 fighter-bomber. The prototype first flew in September of 1935, went into series production that same year and were essentially copies of the prototype version. The Italians license-produced the French Gnome-Rhone K-14 engine of 700 horsepower under the Isotta-Fraschini banner and the early Ba.65 production forms all were fitted with the type. Production of the Ba.65 would last until 1939 to which all were officially retired from 1941 onwards, the aircraft now being wholly outclassed by newer and better breeds of aircraft and limited the Ba.65 to the ground attack role when possible. To help stem its inadequate performance in the growing war, the Fiat A.80 RC.41 18-cylinder, twin row, air-cooled engine was introduced from the 82nd production airframe onwards. The Fiat engine improved output to a relatively impressive 1,000 horsepower.


Picture of the Breda Ba.65 Ground Attack Aircraft
Picture of the Breda Ba.65 Ground Attack Aircraft


Design of the Breda Ba.65 was consistent with other Italian aircraft of the period. The engine was held in a forward compartment along the airframe with an identifiable oversized cowling. The cockpit was situated directly behind the engine and fitted well forward of the aircraft's center. Wings were of a low-set monoplane design and their bulk fitted ahead of amidships, each wing sporting well-rounded tips. The fuselage was stout in appearance and tapered off gently to become the empennage. The tail was topped with a single, rounded edge vertical tail fin and a pair of high-set horizontal planes, these also well-rounded at their tips. The undercarriage consisted of two main landing gear legs and a tail wheel. Each leg was affixed with a single wheel and the main legs recessed rearwards though only partly under each wing, the wheels half-exposed during flight. The tail wheel unit remained lowered at all times, even during flight.

Armament for the Ba.65 was all contained in the wings and was primarily a mix of machine gun systems. These consisted of 2 x 12.7mm Breda-SAFAT heavy machine guns joined by a pairing of 7.7mm Breda-SAFAT general purpose machine guns. For its intended ground attack role, the Ba.65 could be fitted with up to 1,102lbs of conventional drop ordnance. Categorized a ground attack aircraft, the Ba.65 was the only such Italian aircraft to serve in this role during World War 2.

The single-seat Ba.65 was powered by a single Fiat-brand A-80 RC-41 series radial piston engine delivering upwards of 1,000 horsepower driving a three-bladed propeller system. This arrangement supplied the airframe with a top speed of 270 miles per hour, a range of 342 miles and a service ceiling nearing 20,670 feet. Empty weight was in the vicinity of 5,300lbs while maximum take-off weight was rated at approximately 6,500lbs. Length of the airframe measured in at 30 feet, 6 inches while the aircraft held a wingspan of 39 feet, 8.4 inches. Height was 10 feet, 6 inches.

The Breda was produced in just three notable variants. The Ba.65 designation was used to signify the definitive single-seat production version while Ba.65bis marked both a two-seat bomber variant and its similar two-seat trainer derivative. Beyond the Italian Air Force, operators of the series included Iraq, Chile, Portugal, Spain and the Soviet Union. The numbers for Iraq, Chile and Portugal were made up from an export order totaling some 55 aircraft.






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.

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Relative Maximum Speed Rating
Hi: 300mph
Lo: 150mph
    This entry's maximum listed speed (267mph).

    Graph average of 225 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.65 (A.80)'s operational range (on internal fuel) when compared to distances between major cities.
Aviation Era
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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
218
218


  * 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: 1936
Type: Ground Attack Aircraft
Manufacturer(s): Breda - Italy
Production: 218
Global Operators:
Kingdom of Italy; Iraq; Chile; Portugal; Spain; Soviet Union
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.65 (A.80) model. Common measurements, and their respective conversions, are shown when possible.

Operational
CREW


Personnel
1


Dimension
LENGTH


Feet
30.51 ft


Meters
9.3 m


Dimension
WIDTH


Feet
39.70 ft


Meters
12.1 m


Dimension
HEIGHT


Feet
10.50 ft


Meters
3.2 m


Weight
EMPTY


Pounds
5,291 lb


Kilograms
2,400 kg


Weight
LOADED


Pounds
6,504 lb


Kilograms
2,950 kg

Engine icon
Installed Power - Standard Day Performance:
(EARLY): 1 x Gnome-Rhone K-14 radial piston engine developing 700 horsepower (LATER): 1 x Fiat A.80RC.41 radial piston engine developing 1,000 horsepower.

Performance
SPEED


Miles-per-Hour
267 mph


Kilometers-per-Hour
430 kph


Knots
232 kts


Performance
RANGE


Miles
342 mi


Kilometers
550 km


Nautical Miles
297 nm


Performance
CEILING


Feet
20,669 ft


Meters
6,300 m


Miles
3.91 mi

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 (2):

STANDARD:
2 x 12.7mm Breda-SAFAT heavy machine guns in wings.
2 x 7.7mm Breda-SAFAT machine guns in wings.

OPTIONAL:
Up to 661lbs of internal ordnance in bomb bay and 441lbs of external ordnance held underwing.
Variants: Series Model Variants
• Ba.65 - Base Single Seat Production Model Designation.
• Ba.65bis - Two-Seat Light Bomber Production Model Designation; also used as two-seat trainer.