In the Golden Age of flight preceding the fighting of World War 2 (1939-1945), commercial aviation literally "took off", offering millions of civilian and business market travels the ability to reach far-off places of the world. In the Kingdom of Italy, Breda attempted to provide the market with a new passenger hauler in the form of their "Ba.32". This modest airliner utilized a straight-wing planform, fixed landing gear, and triple-engine arrangement for the role. Despite the attempt, only two prototypes were ever produced with a first-flight was had sometime in 1931 - the design eventually falling away to history.
The aircraft was reminiscent of other Italian types of the period, with its three-engine layout offering the needed power, performance, and range. One engine was buried in the nose assembly while the other two were at leading edge nacelles at the wing mainplanes. The low-wing mainplanes were broad, long-spanning members fitted well-ahead of midships for balance and were given rounded tips. Each also mounted a fixed, spatted main landing gear leg for ground-running. The pilots were seated in side-by-side arrangement just aft of the nose engine and the passenger cabin (up to ten passengers could be carried) made up nearly the whole of the available space middle-aft. The fuselage tapered to the empennage to which a small-area rudder was fitted (with cut-off top). The horizontal tailplanes were low-mounted on this plane and of straight design with rounded tips (as in the mainplanes). A tailwheel was fitted well-aft for supporting the empennage during ground-running.
Structurally, the aircraft was given a running length of 54.11 feet, a wingspan of 87.5 feet, and a height of 13.7 feet. Empty weight was 8,360lb and gross weight reached up to 14,200lb.
The original model carried 3 x Pratt & Whitney "Wasp Junior" 9-cylinder air-cooled radial piston engines offering 320 horsepower each. These systems each drove two-bladed propeller blades in puller fashion, giving the aircraft a maximum speed of 147 miles-per-hour, a cruising speed of 131 mph, a range out to 840 miles, a service ceiling of 17,400 feet, and a rate-of-climb of 310 feet-per-minute.
In testing, the overall design proved rather sound. However, there also proved little interest in the all-new attempt and no serial orders from customers followed thereafter, leading just the prototype show for the investment. At least two Ba.32 aircraft are thought to have been developed - the original and a slightly modified second follow-up. It is unknown whether the latter aircraft was the same original airframe simply refit with local FIAT engines (as opposed to the American Pratt & Whitney models) or an altogether new attempt.
(OPERATORS list includes past, present, and future operators when applicable)
Used in roles serving the commercial aviation market, ferrying both passengers and goods over range.
✓X-Plane (Developmental, Prototype, Technology Demonstrator)
Aircraft developed for the role of prototyping, technology demonstration, or research / data collection.
Inherent ability of airframe to take considerable damage.
Can reach and operate at higher altitudes than average aircraft of its time.
EXTENDED RANGE PERFORMANCE
Capability to travel considerable distances through onboard fuel stores.
Ability to operate over ocean in addition to surviving the special rigors of the maritime environment.
Supports pressurization required at higher operating altitudes for crew survival.
Beyond a pilot, the aircraft takes advantage of additional crew specialized in specific functions aboard the aircraft.
Features partially- or wholly-enclosed crew workspaces.
55.0 ft (16.75 m)
87.6 ft (26.70 m)
13.6 ft (4.15 m)
8,378 lb (3,800 kg)
14,198 lb (6,440 kg)
+5,820 lb (+2,640 kg)
(Showcased structural values pertain to the base Breda Ba.32 production variant)
monoplane / low-mounted / straight
Design utilizes a single primary wing mainplane; this represent the most popular mainplane arrangement.
Mainplanes are low-mounted along the sides of the fuselage.
The planform involves use of basic, straight mainplane members.
(Structural descriptors pertain to the base Breda Ba.32 production variant)
3 x Pratt & Whitney "Wasp Junior" 9-cylinder air-cooled radial piston engines developing 320 horsepower each driving two-bladed propeller units in puller arrangement.
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