Breda Ba-201

1st Flight 1941

Military Users-Prototype Only.

The Breda Ba.201 was an Italian dive bomber designed during World War II, that never entered production.

The Ba.201 was a single-engined cantilever monoplane of all-metal construction.

Breda Ba.201

It had inverted gull wings with split flaps that doubled as dive-brakes, and was fitted with a retractable tail wheel undercarriage.

It had a long slim fuselage, with a low mounted tailplane. The cockpit was set as far forward as possible to give a good view for the pilot.

Breda Ba.201

The dive capabilities were found to be satisfactory, and the air brakes were highly effective, perhaps too effective with the risk of slowing the aircraft down so much it became too easy a target.

It was capable of carrying a single 500 kg (1,100 lb) bomb and was armed with two 12.7 mm (.5 in) Breda-SAFAT machine guns fixed in the wings.

Breda Ba.201

After such engines as the 895 kW (1,200 hp) Fiat A.38, the 716 kW (960 hp) Isotta-Fraschini IF L.121, and the powerful 839 kW (1,125 hp) Isotta-Fraschini Zeta, were evaluated, the Daimler-Benz DB 601 engine was chosen, because it was compact, and allowed free dives thanks to its direct injection system.

Breda Ba.201

The prototype first flew on 3 July 1941, and was then sent to Guidonia for official testing.

The aircraft showed that it had enough agility, once freed of its bombload, to hold its own against other Italian fighters.

However speed was disappointing, only 460 km/h (290 mph) – slower than the requested for 500 km/h (310 mph) – and slightly slower than older front-line fighters.

Breda Ba.201

The aircraft was barely capable of defending itself against enemy fighters, and then only after releasing its bomb.

 It had very good forward visibility, but rear visibility was poor.

Breda Ba.201

In comparison, the Junkers Ju 87D had a top speed of only 410 km/h (260 mph), but was armed with two new 7.92 mm (.312 in) MG 81z machine guns, with 3,200 rounds per gun instead of 1,050.

The Junkers rear-gunner gave it a greater defensive capability, while the Ba.201 pilot relied on himself alone.

Breda Ba.201

The Reggiane Re.2001 fighter bomber fitted with the same DB 601 engine was able to reach almost 550 km/h (342 mph), and carry 640 kg (1,411 lb) bombs.

The first prototype MM.451 was followed by only one other before the programme was cancelled.

Breda Ba.201


Crew: 1

Length: 11.09 m (36 ft 5 in)

Wingspan: 13 m (42 ft 8 in)

Height: 3.1 m (10 ft 2 in)

Wing area: 24.84 m2 (267.4 sq ft)

Empty weight: 2,380 kg (5,247 lb)

Max takeoff weight: 3,650 kg (8,047 lb)

Power plant: 1 × Daimler-Benz DB 601A V-12 inverted liquid-cooled piston engine, 867 kW (1,163 hp)

Propellers: 3-bladed constant-speed propeller


Maximum speed: 460 km/h (290 mph, 250 kn) at 4,000 m (13,123 ft)

Range: 1,200 km (750 mi, 650 nmi)

Time to altitude: 4,000 m (13,123 ft) in 7 min 50 s


Guns: 2 × 12.7 mm (.5 in) Breda-SAFAT machine guns

Bombs: 1 × 500 kg (1,102 lb) bomb

Breda Ba.201


Breda Ba.201–Emory Christer



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