The Breguet 19 (Breguet XIX, Br.19 or Bre.19) was a sesquiplane bomber and reconnaissance aircraft which was also used for long-distance flights and was designed by the French Breguet company and produced from 1924.
The Breguet 19 was a sesquiplane in which the lower wing was substantially smaller than the upper wing, with a conventional layout and braced wings.
The fuselage was ellipsoid in cross-section and built up from a frame of duralumin pipes.
Breguet made extensive use of duralumin as a construction material which resulted in an unusually light structure for its size, instead of steel or wood.
It was faster than other bombers, and even many fighter aircraft which resulted in widespread interest which was further increased by successful record flights.
The forward fuselage was covered with duralumin sheets, while the tail, rear fuselage and wings were covered with linen.
It had a conventional fixed landing gear with a tail skid.
The crew of two, pilot and observer/bombardier, sat in tandem in open cockpits and were provided with dual controls.
A wide variety of engine types were fitted, mostly water-cooled V-12 or W-12 inline engines, including the following:
370 kW (500 hp) – used on Br 19 and Br 23
370 kW (500 hp) – used on Br 19-5
Gnome & Rhône 9Ab Jupiter
310 kW (420 hp) used on Br 19 for Yugoslavia
Gnome & Rhône 9C Jupiter
310 kW (420 hp) – used on Br 19-4
Gnome & Rhône 14Kbrs
520 kW (700 hp) – used on Br 19-8
340 kW (450 hp) – used on Br 19
370 kW (500 hp) – used on Br 19-6, Br 19 B2 and Br 19 CN2
450 kW (600 hp) – used on Br 19ter
480 kW (650 hp) – used on Br 19-7
640 kW (860 hp) – used on Br 19-9
340 kW (450 hp) – used on Br 19
360 kW (480 hp) – used on Br 19
340 kW (450 hp) – used on Br 19bis
280 kW (370 hp) – used on Br 19
Lorraine-Dietrich 12Db V12
300 kW (400 hp) – used on Br 19
340 kW (450 hp) – used on Br 19
W12 with reduction gear: – used on Br 19
540 kW (720 hp) – used on Br 19-10 and Br 230
370 kW (500 hp) – used on Br 19-3
A fixed 7.7 mm (0.303 in) Vickers machine gun with an interrupter gear was operated by the pilot, while the observer had twin 7.7 mm (0.303 in) Lewis Guns on a gun ring.
There was also a fourth machine gun, which could be fired by the observer downwards through an opening in the floor.
The Br.19CN2 night fighter variant was fitted with two fixed forward-firing machine guns.
The bomber could carry up to 472 kg (1,041 lb) of bombs under the fuselage, or small bombs up to 50 kg (110 lb) vertically in an internal bomb bay.
The reconnaissance variant could carry 12 x 10 kg (22 lb) bombs.
The reconnaissance variant had a camera mounting, which was optional on the bomber variant.
All variants were equipped radio.
The first Breguet 19 prototype, which first flew in March 1922 which was later bought by the Spanish government.
Br.19.02 to Br.19.02.011
Pre-production aircraft, whose fuselage was lengthened by 600 mm (24 in). Br.19.02 was evaluated by Yugoslavia in 1923.
Two-seat reconnaissance aircraft.
Two-seat light bomber biplane.
These first two variants were the most numerous and were practically identical.
They used a variety of engines, the most popular being the 300 kW (400 hp) Lorraine-Dietrich 12Db, the 340 kW (450 hp) Lorraine-Dietrich 12Eb, the Renault 12K, the Hispano-Suiza 12H and the Farman 12We.
Night fighter version, almost identical to the B2 reconnaissance variant with two additional forward-firing machine guns.
A variant specially modified for long-distance flights, after early long-range attempts were made with the regular Br.19 A2 no.23 fitted with additional fuel tanks.
The first Br.19 GR (no.64) had a fuel tank of about 2,000 l (440 imp gal; 530 US gal) and captured the world distance record in 1925.
Br.19 GR 3000 litres
In 1926, three additional aircraft were modified to Br.19 GR 3000 litre specifications.
They had larger fuel tanks fitted in the fuselage, with a total capacity between 2,900 and 3,000 l (640 and 660 imp gal; 770 and 790 US gal).
The cockpit was moved slightly aft, and the wingspan was increased to 14.83 m (48.7 ft).
The three aircraft were fitted with different engines: the first one had a 370 kW (500 hp) Hispano-Suiza 12Hb, the others had 410 kW (550 hp) Renault 12K and 390 kW (520 hp) Farman 12Wers engines.
In 1927, one aircraft received a new 450 kW (600 hp) Hispano 12Lb engine, its fuel capacity was extended to 3,500 l (770 imp gal; 920 US gal) and its wingspan was further increased by 1 m (3 ft 3 in).
It was christened Nungesser et Coli after the two airmen who disappeared in a transatlantic flight attempt in May 1927.
A fifth aircraft was built for Greece, called Hellas, with a 410 kW (550 hp) Hispano 12Hb.
(Other Br.19 aircraft may have received additional fuel tanks for long distance flights, but these were not officially called Br.19 GR.
Br.19 TR Bidon
Built in 1927 with various aerodynamic refinements and 3,735 l (822 imp gal; 987 US gal) of fuel in the fuselage.
With an additional fuel tank in the wing, the total fuel capacity was 4,125 l (907 imp gal; 1,090 US gal).
Five were built by Breguet and two by the Spanish company CASA.
Three of the French aircraft had a 450 kW (600 hp) Hispano-Suiza 12Lb, one had a 410 kW (550 hp) Renault 12K, and one had a 340 kW (450 hp) Lorraine 12Eb.
The first Bidon Hispano was sold to Belgium, and the Bidon Renault was sold to China after a Paris–Beijing flight.
The third Bidon Hispano became the French Br.19 TF.
The second Spanish Bidon was christened Jesús del Gran Poder and flew from Sevilla to Bahia (Brazil).
Br.19 TF Super Bidon
The last and most advanced long-distance variant, built in 1929, and designed for transatlantic flight.
The French Super Bidon was the third Br.19 TR Hispano, named Point d’Interrogation, with a modified fuselage, a wingspan of 18.3 m (60 ft), and 5,370 l (1,180 imp gal; 1,420 US gal) total fuel capacity.
It was powered by a 450 kW (600 hp) Hispano-Suiza 12Lb engine, later replaced by a 480 kW (650 hp) Hispano-Suiza 12NLb.
Another aircraft, with a closed canopy, was built in Spain in 1933.
Christened Cuatro Vientos, it flew from Sevilla to Cuba, and disappeared while attempting to reach Mexico.
Utilizing the experience with long-distance variants, this improved reconnaissance variant was developed in 1928, maybe for export purposes.
It remained a prototype only (with civilian register F-AIXP).
The most popular of the late variants developed in 1930 with a 450 kW (600 hp) Hispano-Suiza 12Nb engine, giving a maximum speed of 242 km/h (150 mph).
The first five machines were converted in France for Yugoslavia, then a number were built in Yugoslavia, and a further 50 built in France for export to Turkey.
With a 580 kW (780 hp) Wright GR-1820-F-56 Cyclone radial engine, 48 Br.19.7 airframes were eventually completed as Br.19.8’s in Yugoslavia. Maximum speed was 279 km/h (173 mph).
A single prototype developed in Yugoslavia with a 640 kW (860 hp) Hispano-Suiza 12Ybrs engine.
A single prototype developed in Yugoslavia with a 540 kW (720 hp) Lorraine-Dietrich 12Hfrs Petrel engine.
(Breguet 19 seaplane)
Fitted with twin floats as a seaplane, a single prototype (no.1132) was produced for France.
Another aircraft sold to Japan was fitted with floats built there by Nakajima.