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Piaggio P.32


The prototype of the Piaggio P.32 twin-engine bomber flew in early 1936 powered by two Isotta Fraschini Asso XI V-12 engines. Of mixed construction, the P.32 had a stubby fuselage with a low/ mid-set wing incorporating Handley-Page leading-edge slats and double trail-ing-edge flaps, and a tail unit with twin fins and rudders. The V-12 engines were later replaced by 746kW Piaggio P.XI RC.40 radials. Armament comprised a single 7.7mm Breda machine-gun in a nose turret, and twin guns of the same type and calibre in retractable dorsal and ventral turrets.

A production series of 16 P.32s with Isotta Fraschini engines went into service with the 47a and 48a Squadriglie B.T. of the Regia Aeronautica during 1937, only to be withdrawn and scrapped the following year after a crash which indicated irremediable control problems. Twelve radial-engined aircraft under construction were never completed.

Used in the disasterous attempt by the Italians to bomb London on 11 November 1940.



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