Breda Ba.88 Lince


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  GROUND ATTACK AIRCRAFTVirtual Aircraft Museum / Italy / Breda  

Breda Ba.88 Lince

A propaganda triumph when its appearance was trumpeted by Mussolini's Facist regime in 1936, the Breda Ba.88 Lince (lynx) was a sleek all-metal shoulder-wing monoplane. In April 1937 it established two world speedover- distance records. Regarded as an aeroplano di combattimento, suitable for attack, long-range reconnaissance or bombing operations, the Ba.88 then had its military equipment and weapons installed. Immediately, performance and flight characteristics fell off dramatically, but by then production orders were already being executed.

On 16 June 1940, just after Italy's declaration of war on France and her allies, the Ba.88 had its first taste of action. Twelve aircraft from the Regia Aeronautica's 19 Gruppo Autonomo made bombing and machine-gun attacks on the principal airfields of Corsica; three days later nine Ba.88s made a repeat attack, Analysis of these operations showed that the Ba,88 had only limited value, and any remaining doubts were settled when Ba.88s of the 7 Gruppo Autonomo joined action in Libya against the British. Fitted with sand filters, the engines overheated and failed to deliver their designed power. Attacks on targets at Sidi Barram had to be aborted in September 1940, the aircraft failing to gain sufficient altitude or maintain formation, and reaching a speed less than half that claimed by the manufacturers.

By mid-November 1940 most surviving Ba.88s had been stripped of useful equipment and were scattered around operational airfields as decoys for attacking British aircraft.

Three Ba.88s were modified by the Agusta plant in 1942 to serve as ground-attack aircraft. Wing span was increased by 2.00m to alleviate wing loading problems, their engines were replaced by Fiat A.74s, nose armament was increased to four 12.7mm machine-guns, and dive brakes were installed. These Breda Ba.88Ms were delivered to the 103 Gruppo Autonomo Tuffatori (independent dive-bombing group) at Lonate Pozzolo on 7 September 1943. They were flight-tested by Luftwaffe pilots, but that was the last heard of the Breda Ba.88 which represented, perhaps, the most remarkable failure of any operational aircraft to see service in World War II.


The Ba.88 could carry a 1000kg bomb load and four machine guns, three firing forward and a flexible gun in the rear cockpit.

The modern-looking Lince in fact had a structure of steel tube with a light metal outer skin. Most contemporary light bombers were of monocoque construction in which the skin bore the load.

The Ba.88M was the modified version tested in 1943 with larger wings, dive brakes and Fiat A.74 engines of 840hp.

A window in the floor aided the pilot in aiming the bombs. Most other attack aircraft of this class had a dedicated bomb-aimer.

Bombs could be carried either in a bomb bay or semi-externally in recesses under the belly.

Breda Ba.88 Lince

Breda Ba.88 LinceA three-view drawing (886 x 492)

Klaatu83, e-mail, 22.01.2021 18:39

Prior to World War II the Breda 88 was widely touted by the Italian Fascist Government as the fastest attack bomber in the world. However, it subsequently gained a reputation as possibly the worst combat aircraft of World War II. Although the prototype did set speed records, once the aircraft was fully equipped with bombs, guns, armor, fuel and other military equipment, its' performance became so poor that it proved incapable of carrying out its' intended missions. These supposedly formidable attack bombers proved to be so inadequate that they ended up being parked on Italian airfields as decoys for attacking enemy aircraft.


Barry, 02.02.2016 16:01

Span 51'2 Length 35'5" Height 10'2" Wing area 359 Sq ft
Empty Weight 10,250 lb Max Take off Weight 14.880 lb
Max speed 304 mph at 13,120 ft Service ceiling 26,000 ft


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Naga, 03.09.2011 20:41

Unfortunatley these statistics could only be met in prototype form becuase test models lacked armament, desert modifications to the engines, a bomb bay, and accurate simulated weight for the demanded payload.


Ben Beekman, e-mail, 29.01.2011 02:03

According to David Mondey's book, "Axis Aircraft of World War II", the Breda Ba.88 Lince had some impressive performance statistics. Top speed is given as 304 mph, ceiling is 26,245 ft., range is 1,019 miles. This was using the later Piaggio P.XI, 1,000 hp engines at an empty weight of 10,251 lb. and loaded weight of 14,881 lb. Still later, these engines were replaced in three test planes by Fiat A.74's, the wingspan was increased and dive brakes were added for dive bombing. Luftwaffe pilots tested these three aircraft but nothing was ever heard from them. Apparently the manufacturer's performance statistics failed to be met when equipped for combat operations.


a.casais, e-mail, 10.12.2010 14:29

is a winged cow!!


Fred, e-mail, 29.11.2009 18:00

It Was a Miracle that it even flew ??


ZR, 05.12.2008 02:27

The fact section mistakenly states that the structure was a simple steel-tube framework covered with a light "shape" metal skin, actually that was an hybrid structure with stressed metal skin. The solution was one of the consequences of the very high (excessively)demanding 1936 Air Ministry specs, with respect to max speed (over 530km /h) and structural strength (12g ultimate loads). Those specs led to a very high plane weight and wingload, with all the inevitable negative effects on flight qualities with full wartime weapons and fuel loadings.


redopz, e-mail, 01.10.2008 18:26

wasnt it true that the Breda 88 couldnt get high enough to bank, so it had to be launched in the direction it was headed?


3VI, e-mail, 20.10.2007 23:30

It's funny to know that the first war flight of this plane had a tragicomic end. Immediately after the take off (with a small load of bombs) it was unable to climb and turn (!) due to the ridicolous power installed and high wing load. So the pilot was able to land only because the nearest airstrip was exactly disposed on the same line of the take-off airport!


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