Modelling > 1920s/1930s GB or Between the Wars GB

Chinese Breda 65s

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This one was prompted by a post by Sport25ing which mentioned, in passing, that RW plans were for SINAW to produce 30 x Breda Ba.65s (along with 6 x Savoia-Marchetti SM.81Bs and 50 x Fiat G.50s).

Missione Aeronautica in Cina and the Generalissimo's Bredas

One of several casualties of the breakdown of relations between Fascist Italy and Nationalist China was the local assembly of Breda 65 attack aircraft. The recall of BGen Roberto Lordi in August 1935 worsed matters. As Lordi went through trumped-up charges, Chiang kai-shek grew weary of repeated appeals for the return of his erstwhile ROCAF Chief of Staff. The final straw was the late 1937 Italian recognition of the Japanese puppet-state of Manchukuo.

There were also problems with the locally-assembled aircraft. While the demonstration Ba.65 had been powered by a 700 hp Isotta Fraschini K.14 radial, the Chinese had selected the more powerful Piaggio P.XI to equip its Ba.65 Ci (for Cina). In practice, the Piaggio radial proved incapable of reaching its rated power of 980 hp. Worse, only half of the required engines had been delivered when supplies (along with spares) dried up in December 1937.

Shortly after, the Sino-Italian National Aircraft Works (SINAW) at Sanjiadian, Nanchang, was bombed by the Japanese. SINAW's tools and equipment were evacuated to Nanchuan, Chungking, where it became No. 2 Aircraft Manufacturing Factory. However, enroute, the incomplete Breda airframes were dropped off at the CAMCO plant at Hankow (now Wuhan). There, CAMCO undertook conversion work to fit the Italian airframes with American engines. Based on engine diameter and dry weight, it was decided to power the Ba.65 with available 850 hp Wright R-1820-G2 Cyclones. [1] Fitted with extended engine bearers and new cowlings, a dozen Bredas were ready for delivery just before Nanchuan fell in October 1938.

Bottom '202' is a newly-delivered CAMCO/Breda Ba.65 (Wright) turned over to the ROCAF at Hengyang airfield. Note that CAMCO has devised a new windscreen (along with replacing all Italian-model Perspex) and installed ring-and-bead sights to make up for missing San Giorgio reflector gun sights.

Top '203' is a well-worn CAMCO/Breda is ROCAF squadron service. Paint applied to poor-quality Italian aluminum was prone to peeling - hence the patchwork appearance of this aging airframe. '203' retains the full four-gun armament as well as underwing bomb racks (many in-service ROCAF Ba.65s had two of their 7.9 mm guns removed to save weight).


[1] The original Piaggio P.XI powerplant had a diameter of 52.28 inches and a dry weight of 1,435 lbs. The R-1820 Cyclone had a diameter of 54.25 inches and weighed 1,185 lbs.

Very nice and very plausible.  It would be interesting to see what they might do with the tooling for the Fiat G.50 but no equipment nor material.


They look great! will not buy another Breda kit... will not buy another Breda kit...


--- Quote from: elmayerle on June 18, 2021, 10:17:40 AM ---Very nice and very plausible.  It would be interesting to see what they might do with the tooling for the Fiat G.50 but no equipment nor material.

--- End quote ---

Well, I wasn't going to do the Chinese G.50 but Evan has drawn me in (see, Frank succumbing to temptation is sooo easy!)

Top The first SINAW-assembled Fiat G.50 serie I complete with sliding canopy and synchronized twin Breda-SAFAT armament. G.50 '1001' is in the supplied Italian-supplied Verde Mimetico upper surfaces and Azzurro 11 undersides (interior fittings being sprayed with Verde Anticorrosione. Beyond roundels and individual aircraft code, the only markings are the FIAT-SINAW logo on the tail fin.

Bottom The last CAMCO-completed Fiat G.50, '1020'. Obvious differences from the G.50 serie I are the open cockpit and Pratt & Whitney R-1830-S1C-G Twin Wasp engine. [1] Less obvious is the armament change. The light bomb bays have been sealed off and defensive armament is now four 7.9 mm Brownings - 2 x synchronized cowl guns (mounted higher than the original Breda-SAFATs) and 2 x wing guns. This aircraft is finished in the standard ROCAF scheme of dark green with medium grey undersides. The CAMCO logo has been applied to the tail fin. Notice the revised antenna arrangement for the US-supplied ARC Model GF/RU radio set.


[1] The new cowling was based upon those CAMCO was installing on Vultee Vanguard assemblies.


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