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Breda-Zappata BZ.308

The B.Z.308 was a four-engine civil transport developed in the late 1940s for operation over both European and transatlantic routes.

The prototype B.Z.308 was acquired by the Italian Air Force in 1949 as a transport aircraft (MM61802).

A large low-wing monoplane of all-metal construction, it was powered by four Bristol Centaurus radial engines driving five-bladed propellers.

It had a large tail plane with endplate fins and rudders, and had retractable landing gear.

The fuselage, oval in cross-section, accommodated a flight crew of five and 55 passengers in two cabins; a high-density model was planned with seats for 80.

Construction began during 1946, under aircraft designer Filippo Zappata at Breda’s Sesto San Giovanni works.

The Allied Commission halted the work, which was not resumed until January 1947.

Further delays in the delivery of Bristol Centaurus engines delayed the first flight, which was on 27 August 1948, piloted by Mario Stoppani.

Although flight testing went well, the project was abandoned as a result of financial problems, anticipated competition from American airliners in the post-war market, and pressure to close down Breda’s aeronautical section.

Breda subsequently stopped producing aircraft entirely.

Despite orders in 1950 from India, Argentina and Persia, only the prototype was built, allegedly also due to pressure from the Allies for Italy to refrain from competing in civilian aircraft manufacture after the war.





54 passengers


33.52 m (110 ft 0 in)


42.1 m (138 ft 1 in)


7.15 m (23 ft 5 in)

Wing area

208 m2 (2,240 sq ft)

Aspect ratio


Empty weight

27,500 kg (60,627 lb)

Max take-off weight

46,500 kg (102,515 lb)

Fuel capacity

18,000 L (4,800 US gal; 4,000 imp gal)


4 × Bristol Centaurus 568 18-cylinder air-cooled radial engines,

1,900 kW (2,500 hp) each


Maximum speed

573 km/h (356 mph, 309 kn)

Cruise speed

441 km/h (274 mph, 238 kn) at 4,300 m (14,100 ft)

Stall speed

135 km/h (84 mph, 73 kn)


7,700 km (4,800 mi, 4,200 nmi)

Service ceiling

8,000 m (26,000 ft).


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