The Breda Ba.27 is a typical case when I tried to make the GOT work easy for myself by linking to some URL I saw as sufficient, not regarding the link may disappear sooner or later. So, here I had to do what I tried to avoid. There is an English Wikipedia article about the plane, but also an Italian one. The later is longer, as the aircraft is of Italian origin. So I thought it would be fine if I translate the Italian article into English. I did this by Google translation, what generally worked very well. As usual, I still had to personally fix and polish many of the sentences. I hope you enjoy a bit to read about
The Breda Ba.27
The Ba.27 originated from an initiative of Breda chief engineer Cesare Pallavicino. In 1933 , following the trend in the thirties of dropping the biplane wing configuration of fighter aircraft in favour to the monoplane, he also wanted to try a similar project. At the initiative of Italo Balbo, the Regia Aeronautica had already bought two copies of the U.S. Travel Air Model R, a monoplane fighter (incorrect, the "Mytery Ship" was a racing aircraft, RT), for the sake of comparing its characteristics by confronting it to their biplanes. As a result of this initiative, Breda possibly was retained for to realize a similar proposal in case of the Regia Aeronautica had decided to orient to the new technical solution. The contract was entered, as usual, for the supply of two prototypes, and approved on 5 March 1933 .
Technical description (moved forward from the original sequence):
The first prototype of Ba.27 (military registration MM.217) was characterized by the construction of mixed-material. The fuselage was made of metal tubes and covered with panels of duralumin, equipped with a passenger compartment open at the height of the wing's trailing edge and ending in a traditional single-tailfin empennage with horizontal planes wire-braced in the center ("in semisbalzo", hard to translate, RT). The wooden wing was mounted in low position and also supported "in semisbalzo", connected to the fuselage by N-shaped struts on the upper side and several steel wires. The landing gear was a classic tricycle, fixed, front fairing, with the legs placed under the wings and connected to the wheels through large diameter shock absorbers, a tailskid being provided too. Propulsion was given by a radial engine Alfa Romeo Mercurius, the Italian version of the British Bristol Mercury IV produced under license by the Lombard (A.L.F.A., "Anonima Lombarda Fabbrica Automobili", RT) ), capable of 530 hp (390 kW), with Townend ring and initially connected to a two-blade propeller, then to a metal three-bladed with variable pitch.
The second prototype (MM.218) was renamed Ba.27 Metallico for replacement by an all-metal wing in place of the precedent one. In addition, the cockpit was moved forward also to find the necessary weight distribution that characterized the original. This was the the final production configuration.
The first prototype, serial MM.217, was completed in next July and flown for the first time by the engineer Ambrogio Colombo. The first tests were not found entirely satisfactory because the unit was burdened by excessive vibration, especially when turning. The reason for this was found being caused by the propeller, and by the intervention of the engineer Roy Fedden, designer of the motor, it was suggested to be replaced by the three-blade metal propeller with variable pitch. With this change, you got an aircraft with good features and that thanks to 340 km / h top speed and a range of 750 km, it could compete with the biplane Fiat CR.32 already in use in early versions by the Regia's pilots. Accustomed to handling biplanes, they did not consider it being necessary to have such an aircraft, so the Air Ministry declined to offer it.
The company, however, for the second prototype (registered MM.218), had launched a major development entrusted by Giuseppe Panzeri and Antonio Parano, on which the most notable change was moving the cockpit forward, but also replacing the original wooden wings with an all-metal construction. In this new configuration was named Ba.27 Metallico and flown for the first time in May 1934.
The aircraft got the same good results of the previous prototype and was registered by Breda under the civil code I-BAWA (21 June 1934). Unlike the first prototype, however, the director took charge in the second half of 1936 assigning it to 5 º Stormo Assault , more specifically the 86th Squadron of the 7th Group, which flew at that time with the military serial number 86-9. Its operational life, however, ended in January 1937 with its demolition.
The model, however, remained in production through the efforts of the Republic of China. In 1935, during a visit by a delegation from the Department of Defense of the country, they were favourably impressed and concluded a contract for the supply of 18 units Ba.27 Metallico. The 11 specimens which were actually delivered that same year equipped the 3rd Fighter Group of the Chinese Nationalist Air Force, who employed them in the second Sino-Japanese war until 1938 .
End of the Wikipedia article. It is hard to find any trace of Breda Ba.27's existence in China. I don't really remember what Amigojeff wrote years ago on airwarfareforum.com, but I think it was something anyone of us easily can imagine - the 11 delivered aircraft soon were grounded because of lack of spare parts and the general unability of the Chinese authorities to care for proper maintenance. Also, the period of the Italian military mission in China had ended. But there is still one thing. I got these informations from this forum in Spanish language.
On 12 October 1937 over Nanking, a Japanese formation encountered another one which they thought being own Mitsubishi A5M fighters. So the let them come nearer. What proved a mistake, when the Japanese saw the others opening fire. The Japanese suffered several losses, and recorded them due to the appearance of Breda Ba.27 fighters in Chinese hand. Well, probably the Ba.27 never saw any frontline action. This other source,
says, the Chinese used Boeing P.26 instead. But who knows? The Japanese papers still contain the statement about the Ba.27, and what if the Chinese ones are wrong?
There are lots of pictures od the Ba.27 to befound in the net, unfortunately the most are of lesser quality. I show you a little number of better ones.
From Forum Paradoxplaza:
In colours of the Chinese Nationalist Air Force (picture floating through the net):
Encountering Kawasaki Ki-32 (picture floating through the net):
Fictitiously duelling with the not less obscure Kawasaki Ki-28 over the snowy Chinese wall (found in karopka.ru):
Edited by Romantic Technofreak, 31 July 2013 - 05:15 PM.