Military Users – Paraguayan Air Arm, Regia Aeronautica.
The Breda Ba.44 was a biplane airliner developed in Italy in the mid-1930s and which saw limited military service when impressed into the Regia Aeronautica as transports.
The design of the Ba.44 was developed from that of the de Havilland Dragon Rapide, for which Breda had purchased a manufacturing licence.
Breda engineers believed that making some changes would better suit the aircraft to the company’s manufacturing techniques, the biggest differences in the prototype Ba.44 being the design of the cockpit and empennage, and the change to locally produced Colombo S.63 engines.
In production, however, these were changed back to the same de Havilland Gipsy Six engines as the Dragon Rapide.
Four examples were purchased by Ala Littoria, which utilized it on its Albanian routes, while the prototype was sold to the Regia Aeronautica, which deployed it as a VIP transport and air ambulance in Libya.
The pleasing performance of the aircraft in this role led to the air force impressing the civil Ba.44s in 1936.
The government of Paraguay purchased one Ba.44 for its Military Aviation in 1933 and it was used as an air ambulance/transport in the Chaco War.
Besides North Africa, the Ba.44s saw service in the Italian campaigns in Albania, Greece, and Yugoslavia.
Crew: 1, pilot
Capacity: 9 passengers
Length: 10.50 m (34 ft 5 in)
Wingspan: 14.65 m (48 ft 1 in)
Height: 3.20 m (10 ft 6 in)
Wing area: 31.2 m2 (336 sq ft)
Empty weight: 1,520 kg (3,350 lb)
Gross weight: 2,820 kg (6,220 lb)
Power plant: 2 × de Havilland Gipsy Six inverted inlines , 138 kW (185 hp) each