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Breda Tebaldi Zari BT

Tebaldi, an engineer, was the mastermind behind the creation of the Tebaldi-Zari aircraft.

This remarkable aircraft was a sesquiplane constructed primarily from wood, featuring a single seat and uniquely staggered wings.

Powering this innovative design was a robust Isotta Fraschini V.6 engine, boasting an impressive 142 kW (190 hp) output.

The engine, a water-cooled 6-cylinder in-line configuration, efficiently propelled the aircraft forward by turning a two-bladed tractor propeller.

Notably, the Tebaldi-Zari possessed a fixed landing gear with a tailskid, showcasing an exceptionally unconventional layout.

The main gear, characterized by a wide track, incorporated oversized main wheels with their axle seamlessly integrated into the lower wing.

In 1919, the Tebaldi-Zari prototype was manufactured by the Zari brothers’ factory located in Bovisio Mombello, Milan.

However, Breda acquired both the prototype and the design rights to the aircraft from Zari shortly after.

Breda then replaced the engine of the prototype with a Hispano-Suiza HS-42 V-8 water-cooled engine that had a power output of 224 kW (300 hp).

Despite drafting an agreement with the Italian government to produce three additional aircraft in 1922, no production order was issued.

Unfazed by the challenges, Breda made alterations to the initial prototype by equipping it with two stationary, front-facing 7.7 mm (0.303 in) Vickers machine-guns.

Additionally, modifications were made to the upper wing, resulting in a longer span and narrower chord.

The wing stagger was reduced, creating a larger gap between the upper wing and fuselage.

Furthermore, the angle of the outer struts was increased, enabling them to attach to the axle of the main wheels.

This adjustment allowed for the removal of the outer wing panels whenever it was desired to evaluate the Tebaldi-Zari as a sesquiplane.

Following the completion of the aforementioned alterations, Breda commenced another overhaul of the airplane, which entailed enlarging the ailerons and the chord of the upper wing, as well as permanently eliminating the outer panels of the lower wing.

The modified Tebaldi-Zari prototype was subsequently submitted to the Italian 1923 fighter competition.

Despite this, the Regia Aeronautica displayed no inclination towards placing a production order, and no additional aircraft were constructed.





7.8 m (25 ft 7 in)


9 m (29 ft 6 in)


2 m (6 ft 7 in)

Wing area

22 m2 (240 sq ft)

Empty weight

825 kg (1,819 lb)

Gross weight

  1,100 kg (2,425 lb)


1 × Hispano-Suiza HS-42 V-8 water cooled piston engine,

220 kW (300 hp)


2-bladed fixed pitch propeller


Maximum speed

255 km/h (158 mph, 138 kn) at 2,000 m (6,600 ft)


3 hours

Time to altitude

5,000 m (16,000 ft) in 16 minutes



2 × fixed forward-firing 7.7 mm (0.303 in) machine-guns


The Complete Book of Fighters-W.Green, G.Swanborough.


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