Breda Ba.88 Lince: what went wrong?

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by tomo pauk, Apr 9, 2013.

  1. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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    Plane that is almost an epitome of an unsuccessful design. Why was that? What the management/designers/production lines got wrong?
     
  2. Elmas

    Elmas Active Member

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    #2 Elmas, Apr 9, 2013
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2013
    Briefly, it was by far too heavy and underpowered. The specifications issued by the Genio Aeronautico required a design strenght of 12 G, well over the strenght of the Pilot inside....
     
  3. Capt. Vick

    Capt. Vick Well-Known Member

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    Looks cool though!
     
  4. GregP

    GregP Well-Known Member

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    #4 GregP, Apr 9, 2013
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2013
    Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I have never thought it looked good, but have wondered why it was so bad.

    Designing a bomber to 12 g makes no sense unless it is going to be a dive bomber. And it STILL makes no sense if you don't have the power required to fly it.
     
  5. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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    Thanks for the feedback, people.
    Quick look at Wikipedia reveals the wing loading (on empty weight) being bigger than for the Bf-110C-4 for almost 20%. The power loading was also some 10% worse, and it's not hard to imagine that drag was also greater. The three factors combined should indeed make a mess from operational use of the airplane.
    The 'military load' (crew of 2, MGs + ammo, fuel...; no bombs) increase the weight to 6750 kg, vs. 6700 kg ('loaded weight', per Wikipedia) for the 110C-4?
     
  6. GregP

    GregP Well-Known Member

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    Al least it was better than the PZL Zubr, widely regarded as the worst "modern" aircrft design ever ... and right behind such notables as the Langley Aerodrome (you might say it got airborne or you might say it fell to the water) and Chritmas Bullet (got airborne, but not for long, one flight ... one fataility) in utility.
     
  7. Elmas

    Elmas Active Member

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    In those days the stressed skin construction was at the outset, and the Air Forces, in the world over, tend to be very conservative and rather careful about the Pilots necks.
    Briefly, it was not completely clear why a stressed skin construction was so strong.....
    So the Breda 88 had a main structure made of steel tubes, like the structure needed for a canvas covered airplane, PLUS a stressed skin covering, like that of a monocoque structure: of course by far exceeding the strenght needed and then adding quite unnecessary weight.
     
  8. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    We have to be careful when looking at how many "G"s a plane was stressed for as there is service stress and ultimate stress. Most American fighters were required to meet a 12"G" ultimate stress which was considered a 50% overload or safety margin over the expected 8 "G" service load. How a manufacturer figured in airframe fatigue I don't know. AS in stressing a fighter for an occasional8 "G" service turn or pull out with a 12 "G" ultimate stress level vs a dive bomber which was EXPECTED to pull 5-6 "G"s on each and EVERY combat or bomb training mission. It might still have a 12 "G" ultimate load factor but be built heavier to handle the fatigue of day in, day out high "G" pull outs.
     
  9. razor1uk

    razor1uk Well-Known Member

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    It was a dive bomber in concept, but lack of power, and its high weight meant that dive bombing with it was quickly changed in pilot force moral to glide/shallow bombing, as it was apparently a pig to pull out, even with its 'dropped' its landing gear as dive (and hence speed/energy) brakes.
     
  10. Bob_Semple_Airplane

    Bob_Semple_Airplane New Member

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    It worked fine during initial trials, even setting speed records, but adding military equipment made it too heavy. So it was good if it was flying in a straight line with equipment removed, but real operations are entirely different.

    They ended up using the airframes as ground target decoys.
     
  11. buffnut453

    buffnut453 Well-Known Member

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    Ba.88 - the exception to prove the rule that if it looks right, it flies right! :D

    Seriously, given its looks it should have been feted as the Italian Mosquito. Instead its fetid performance (did you see how I did that? What a wit!! :p) fated it (oops...there I go again! :oops:) it to become a mockery of a combat aircraft, more dangerous to its own crew than it was to the enemy.
     
  12. GregP

    GregP Well-Known Member

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    Molre dangerous to its own crew than the enemy?

    Breda B.88 Lince
    Bachem Natter
    Yokosuka MXY7 Ohka

    There are others ... but 3 is 3 too many. The Christmas Bullet comes to mind ... so maybe 4 is 4 too many.
     
  13. razor1uk

    razor1uk Well-Known Member

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    #13 razor1uk, Apr 9, 2013
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2013
    If it had say a 1500hp or more engine it would've been better ...if they could have put a 801/802 on it...
    From what pics of seen, it was fairly elegant in its lines, but that pit framing, made the 109's look light and airey like bubbletop.
    But apart from its difficulty in taking off in the hotter weathered days in the Med, it was supposedly an fairly accurate bombing platform whence it got up, through to its target, and wiht that structural weight, a stable diver with possible dartlike fondness for the ground in lesser trained pilots hands.
     
  14. Bob_Semple_Airplane

    Bob_Semple_Airplane New Member

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    What about the Blackburn Botha? I think that was a very special type of plane (not in a good way).
     
  15. GregP

    GregP Well-Known Member

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    If we want athread on dangerous airplanes, we can start one. I will ...

    The Botha is special ...
     
  16. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

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    The Ba88 was a victim of its own propaganda, and a classic case of "you can fool some of the people some of the time"......

    One of the Italian ground-attack planes used during World War II that was a complete failure – the Breda Ba. 88 Lince. It was used as propaganda when the Mussolini’s regime of Fascists trumpeted the plane in 1936.

    It was a sleek, all-metal monoplane with shoulder wings that featured twin-engine. Its prototype, which made its flight in October of 1936, had a rudder style assembly and single fin.

    In April of 1937, the plane established two world records for speed-over-distance having averaged 321.24 miles per hour when traveling 62 miles and 295.15 miles per hour when traveling 621 miles.

    In December of that same year, it increased speeds at those distances to 344.24 miles per hour and 325.6 miles per hour respectively. Upon the installation of military equipment on the production models instability issues developed and the airplane saw a significant deterioration in its general performance levels.

    Shortly after Italy declared war on France on June 16, 1940, the plane found itself in combat for the first time. A dozen planes from Regia Aeronautica’s 19 Gruppo Autonomo made strafing and bombing advances on airfields on Corsica. Then after three days, nine more planes attacked again.

    These operations showed that the planes had limited value and any doubts were eliminated when the planes from the 7 Gruppo Autonomo were put into action in Lybia against the British. When these planes had sand filters added, the engines overheated quickly and failed to deliver the power that they were designed to produce.

    The planes attacked Sidi Barram in September 1940 and had to abort their assignment because they couldn’t gain enough altitude or keep formation.

    They also could only reach speeds at half those that the manufacturer had claimed. By the middle of November 1940, the remaining Ba. 88s were stripped from their equipment that was useful, and they were scattered across operational airfields to be used as decoys for the British aircraft that were attacking.

    Despite this, additional shipments of Ba. 88s were delivered, compromising of 48 made by Meriodionali and 19 made by Breda. Most of these planes were immediately sent to the scrapyard.

    This was the most significant failure of any aircraft used in service during WWII.
     
  17. swampyankee

    swampyankee Active Member

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    You just have to know when to stop trusting the manufacturer, and the Italian Royal Air Force didn't. Either the maker said " it's all good" and were believed or they said "add all this crap, and it will fly like a brick" and weren't.
     
  18. ChrisMcD

    ChrisMcD Member

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    Both the Breda and the Botha were condemned by underpowered engines.

    The Botha had to make do with the Perseus, because Bristol - hardly surprisingly - allocated the Taurus to their own competitive aircraft; the Beaufort. And that was still underpowered till it was reworked as the Beaufighter with the Hercules - effectively a twin row Perseus.

    The point being that Bristol developed a twin row radial that was powerful enough to do the job - even if it took them about two years longer than was ideal to reach full production.

    I do not know the full story behind the the Italian's problems. AFAIK the Italian government took a decision to switch from inline water cooled engines to radials and the Italian manufacturers had to buy licenses to try and play catch up.

    The Breda Ba88 had the Piaggio PXI which was a licensed version of the Gnome Rhone Mistral Major - derived from an earlier Bristol engine (the Jupiter) turned into a twin row radial. But heavy, with a big frontal area and not capable of being developed much beyond 1,000 hp despite having 38 litres
    Piaggio P.XI - Wikipedia
    Look at those push rods reaching all the way back to the second row of cylinders.

    then compare it with the Twin Wasp
    Pratt & Whitney R-1830 Twin Wasp - Wikipedia

    more compact, 30 litres, and more power.

    And yet Fiat was developing 1,000 hp V12's in 1930!

    Fiat AS.5 - Wikipedia

    Go figure!
     
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  19. Denniss

    Denniss Active Member

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    The Fiat engine was a race engine so not comparable at all nor usable in anything else but racing
     
  20. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    A rather unfair comparison. A better comparison is finding a R-1830 running on 87 octane fuel, not 95-100 or 100/130 and THEN compare the power at altitude. The Piagio P.XI made 1000hp at 4000 meters. An R-1830 even with 100 octane made about 1050-1100 hp at similar altitudes. On 87 octane they made about 1050hp 500 meters lower than the Piaggio engine.

    BTW there was a version of the Piaggio engine with a lower supercharger gear (All production Piaggios were single speed engines) and it made 1200hp for take-off and 1200hp at 1500 meters on 87 octane fuel.

    legend has it that P&W designed the R-2000 engine (32.8 liters) to make 1200hp for take-off on 87 octane fuel. The R-2000 is about 140lbs heavier than the Piaggio.

    Main failing of the Piaggio (and ALL licenced Gnome-Rhone engines) is the lack of a center bearing between the rows of cylinders on the crankshaft which limited both rpm and allowable boost. The R-1830 could run at 2700rpm for take-off/low altitude and 2550rpm in high gear of the two speed supercharger after several years of development.

    I am not sure when the Italians got even 87 octane fuel and available fuel certainly affects engine development.

    The last mass produced Fiat V-12 was a 24 liter engine of about the same power output as a Kestrel.
     
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