Societa Italiano Ernesto Breda
The Societa Italiana Ernesto Breda was one of the largest members of Italy’s wartime aircraft industry, having plants at Sesto S. Giovanni (Milan), Torre Gaia (Rome), Apaulia and Brescia. Breda began the construction of aircraft in 1917. In the immediate post First World War years, when no production aircraft were being built, Breda concentrated on research and constructed a number of experimental aircraft, and began the construction of all-metal aircraft in 1922. Production aircraft have included Breda 15 two-seat lightweight sporting aircraft of 1930, Breda 25 and 28 training biplanes, and the Breda 33 two-seat sports monoplane of 1932, from which time production concentrated mainly on military aircraft. From the early 'thirties this company was preoccupied with the development of ground attack aircraft, and two types were in production when ltaly entered the war, the Breda Ba 88 and the more elderly Ba 65.
Production orders far the Ba 88 were placed for the Regia Aeronautica and assembly lines were established by both Breda and 1.M.A.M. (Meridionali) with deliveries commencing late in 1938. Relatively poor performance and inadequate defensive armament resulted in the Ba 88 being taken out of production after only 105 aircraft had been built. In 1941 the Agusta concern substituted two 840-h.p. Fiat A.74 R.C.38 radials for the Piaggios, increased wing span and fuselage length, and began the construction of a small series under the designation Ba 88M. Only about three aircraft of this type were completed.
Filippo Zappata, responsible far the C.R.D.A. Cant series of bombers, joined the Breda design staff in 1941, and was subsequently responsible far several projects, few of which were actually built. His first design under Breda auspices was the Bz 301 long-range, all-metal medium bomber derived from the Cant Z.1018 but not built. The Bz 302 was a projected twin-engined heavy fighter of all-metal construction abandoned in favour of the Bz 303 night fighter. The Bz 303 was a sleek two-seat, low-wing monoplane of mixed construction with twin fins and rudders. The sole prototype was destroyed by the Germans.
Early Breda designations used prefix letters followed by numbers. But those numbers were duplicated and, in the case of the B.x series and M.1, do not appear to be consecutive with later Breda type numbers. Further duplication occurred when the designation B.1 was applied to an airliner conversion of a Breda-built Caproni Ca.5 bomber, B.1 having been previously applied to the Breda-Pensuit triplane.
Breda, itself, did not apply Ba. abbreviation to its designations, preferring the simpler Breda xx form (the familiar Ba. prefix was applied to Breda designations by the Ministero dell'Aeronautica and Regia Aeronautica). The Breda A.x numbers seem to be consecutive with later designations.
When Breda licenced-built aircraft, these usually retained their original designations. Examples are: the Caproni Ca.5 and Ca.44 bombers; the CAB C.1, C.2, SC.4, SC.5 light aircraft, etc. In other cases, where Breda modified an existing type, the designer's name was simply added - as with the Breda Tebaldi-Zari fighter.