Flight, May 1929
THE BREDA "15"
An Italian Light Monoplane with 85 H.P. Walter Engine
IN a previous issue of FLIGHT (March 15, 1928), we described the Breda A.7 monoplane, constructed by a well-known and old-established Italian engineering and aircraft
firm - Societa Italiana Ernesto Breda, of Milan - which was a successful high-wing reconnaissance machine with a 500-h.p. engine. Since then this firm has continued its development of other types of aircraft, and we are able this week to give a description of one of its latest products.
Just recently the Italian Air Ministry put forward a programme for the encouragement of Civil Aviation, with the result that the "light 'plane" - or medium-powered touring aeroplane, as it is classed in Italy - received a large share of attention from aircraft designers. Several of these have been produced by various firms in Italy, among them the Breda Co., mentioned above, and it is to this machine our description refers.
The Breda "15" - the machine in question - also is a high wing monoplane, equipped with an 85 h.p. Walter air-cooled radial engine, although we understand that other power plants of similar horse-power can, if desired, be installed. With a view to providing the utmost possible comfort for the pilot and passenger - it is a two-seater machine - considerable attention has been devoted to the accommodation and the controls. As regards the former, the two seats, which are arranged in tandem, are enclosed in a roomy cabin, formed by extending the top of the fuselage from the tail up to the level of the wings, the roof, front and sides, in the vicinity of the seats being composed of windows of non-flam material, thus providing an excellent range of vision. The windows can easily be opened at will, so as to ensure proper ventilation.
The seats are well upholstered, and are so designed that parachutes can be carried without discomfort. Access to the cabin, which is 2 ft 3 in. wide, and 4 ft. high, is by way of two doors of ample proportions in the side of the fuselage. The Breda patent dual control is fitted, in which the pilot, who normally occupies the rear seat, can disconnect the front controls during flight.
The cabin is well equipped with instruments, which include air speed indicator, revolution counter, compasses, altimeter, petrol and oil gauges, fire extinguishers, etc. Complete equipment for night flying is also fitted, including the regular four navigation lights, landing head light and cabin lighting, all supplied by a dynamo with "buffer" battery. Provision is, of course, made for carrying a normal amount of luggage.
As regards the construction - which is a combination of wood and steel tubing - of the Breda "15," this, we believe embodies several features of previous Breda practice, and special attention has been paid with regard to incorporating many interchangeable parts, thus ensuring the supply from stock of any spare part.
Although this machine has a comparatively low empty weight (926 lbs.) it is particularly robust, in fact we understand that every part in the construction has been tested under the same conditions and requirements which apply in the construction of the service machines produced by this firm. The wing has a factor of safety of 7.
The wings which are of fairly thick section, are of special design, giving a very good high/low speed ratio, and this is further improved by an arrangement whereby the incidence of the ailerons may be varied independent of and without interfering with their normal duties of lateral control. Ease and sensitiveness of control are characteristic features of the Breda "15" and a device has been provided which makes it possible for the pilot to set his controls in a given position and fly for long periods without further attention.
Another important feature is that the wings are made to fold back along the fuselage - an operation easily accomplished without any special tools in a few seconds. It can also easily be converted from a land plane to a seaplane.
The Breda "15," in spite of its comparatively low power, has a very good performance, and excellent climbing qualities, it can carry out all aerobatic manoeuvres with full load. During the recent Italian Government Competition for light 'planes this machine put up an exceptionally fine performance.
The principal characteristics, with 85 h.p. Walter engine are:
Span 36 ft. 6 in. (11-18m.).
Overall length 22 ft. (6-75 m.).
,, height 8 ft. 3 in. (2-525 m.).
Width folded 11 ft. 6 in. (3-50 m.).
Wing area 214-3 sq. ft. (20 sq. m.).
Weight empty 926 lbs. (420 kg.).
Useful load 617-5 lbs. (280 kg.).
Total weight 1,543-5 lbs. (700 kg.).
Power loading 18-1 lbs./h.p. (8-22kg./h.p.).
Wing loading 7-2 lbs./sq.ft. (35kg./sq.m).
Speed range 37-112 m.p.h. (60-180 k.p.h.).
Cruising speed 87 m.p.h. (140 k.p.h.).
Climb to 2,280 ft. (1,000 m.) 8 seconds.
Service ceiling 14,100 ft. (4,300 m.).
Endurance with full load 6 hours.
,, with pilot only 12 hours.
Flight, June 1929
OLYMPIA AERO SHOW 1929
The Breda 15 Monoplane
Owing to the fact that the Olympia Show did not open until Tuesday of this week, and that these articles had to be prepared in advance, it has not, unfortunately, been possible to obtain very much information concerning some of the foreign machines exhibited. Among the machines to which this applies is the little Breda 15, exhibited in the annexe. The machine was on the stand when our representatives paid a visit, but there was no one present who could give detailed figures relating to the machine, and we have, therefore, to confine ourselves to giving the results of an external inspection.
The Breda 15 is a high-wing monoplane two-seater, in which the occupants are accommodated in a small cabin under the wing. The fuselage is a plywood-covered structure, and there are two doors leading to the cabin. The pilot occupies the rear seat, and enters the cabin through a door on the port side. The passenger or pupil (the machine has dual controls) is provided with a door in the starboard side. As the deck fairing of the fuselage drops away in front of the windscreen, the view from the front cockpit is very good, although one would imagine that the, view from the rear seat is somewhat obscured by the passenger in front.
The monoplane wings are attached to the top corners of the fuselage, and are arranged to be folded back. An undercarriage of the split type is fitted. The engine is a four-cylinder-in-line air-cooled. We hope to give weight and performance figures of the Breda 15 in next week's issue.
Flight, April 1930
AIRCRAFT FOR THE PRIVATE OWNER
INTERNATIONAL AIRCRAFT, LTD., of New Bond Street, London, W.I, are the sole concessionnaires for the Breda in this country, and they have recently imported two machines of this type from the Italian factory.
The Breda is in its way a very interesting little machine. Its stalling speed is phenomenally low, even though its top speed is high and it is practically impossible to spin it.
The cabin is arranged with the two seats in tandem, and although the pilot's cockpit has no windows at the sides - that is, no glass windows - pilots say that there is a complete absence of draught, making the machine particularly comfortable to fly.
The machines over here have "Gipsy" engines fitted, which would appear to blanket the forward view somewhat owing to the high mounting, but apart from this the pilot should have no great difficulty over the view. In the front cockpit the windows may be slid aside as required. Access to the cabins is by doors, that to the front seat being on the starboard side, while that to the pilot's seat is on the port side.
The wings are arranged to fold, it being only necessary to use a jury strut for the front bracing strut on each side and to fold up a small flap at the wing root to clear the cabin top.
The equipment is exceptionally complete. Wheel brakes are fitted as standard, as are a dual set of instruments and controls, a centralised fire extinguisher system, and a compass.
There is a large luggage compartment behind the pilot's cockpit with its own door opening on the port side of the fuselage.
Wood is largely used for the construction, though steel tubes play an important part in the front fuselage. The rear fuselage is plywood covered, as are the wings and tail units.
The Breda now has a divided axle undercarriage with rubber blocks of very large size in compression for the telescopic leg.
The fuel is carried in two tanks, one in either wing root, a design which leaves the cabin roof clear, so that it can be glazed and allow the pilot an upward view.
Flight, October 1933
THE UGO ANTONI WING
AMONG the many problems which face the aircraft designer, few are more important than speed range. A high operational speed is necessary if the aeroplane is to compete successfully with ground transport, and one way in which cruising speed can be raised is by cutting down wing area. Practical considerations soon place a limit on the degree to which wing loading, and consequently landing speed, can be increased. From several points of view a high wing loading is an advantage, and the problem then becomes one of finding means of raising the unit lift of the wing. One way of doing this is by using a hinged trailing-edge flap arranged so that it can be raised and lowered by the pilot. This system has been used by the Fairey Aviation Co. for many years with good results. Another way is to delay the breaking away from the wing of the air flowing over it until a larger angle has been reached. This is the object of the Handley Page lift slot. More recently researches have been carried out in the United States on "split" trailing-edge flaps, in which the upper half remains in line with the wing contour, while the lower half is hinged downwards.
All these methods have advantages and disadvantages, but as the aerodynamic refinement of aeroplanes is increased, the need for devices which will not only increase the lift but also the drag, in order to provide a steeper gliding angle, becomes more urgent, and it is likely that in the near future aircraft with variable wings of some form or other will become a good deal more common than they are at present.
As long ago as May, 27, 1932, we described and illustrated in FLIGHT a variable camber wing patented by the Italian engineer, Ugo Antoni. After failing to get the necessary support in Italy, Mr. Antoni came to England, where he has succeeded in obtaining financial assistance to continue the work which he started in Italy in 1907. He and his friends have established a company under the title Ugo Antoni Safety Aircraft, Ltd., with offices at 17, Thavis Inn, Holborn Circus. The Gloster Aircraft Co., Ltd., was, as mentioned in our article last year, entrusted with the construction of the first Ugo Antoni variable camber wing in this country, and as we recorded in FLIGHT a couple of weeks ago, the machine made its first test flights recently. With the exception that the existing rudder on the Breda monoplane on which the new wing has been mounted was found to be rather inadequate, the test flights were very successful, and a larger rudder has now been built and the flights are to be continued.
The external appearance of the Ugo Antoni variable camber wing, as mounted on the Breda monoplane, is shown in our photographs, and most of the relevant details are illustrated by sketches. It will be seen that the camber mechanism does not extend over the entire wing span. At the tips the wing is of normal construction to allow of the use of the usual horn-balanced aileron. At the root there is also a fixed wing portion, but this has an upturned flexible trailing edge, the purpose of which is to give fore-and-aft stability. Between fixed and movable wing portions baffle plates are fitted in order to reduce the "spilling" of air over the ends of the movable wing when the camber is set at its maximum.
The general principle of the camber gear is indicated by the diagrams at top and bottom of the previous page. The lower rib flanges are hinged to the bottom of the main spars, and cranks extend towards the centre of the wing chord, where they are joined together and to ties operated by cranks on the torque tube which operates the camber gear. The mechanism has a toggle action, and it will be seen that the toggle arm of the trailing edge portion is shorter than that of the leading edge. This results in a greater angular movement of the trailing than of the leading edge.
The mechanical details of the camber gear are well shown in the sketches on the previous page. The ribs are of metal construction, while the main spars are of wood. The arrangement of the wing fabric has called for a good deal of thought, as it will be obvious that the covering on top of the wing must contract and expand as the camber is altered. The lower surface changes as much in camber as the top, but does not contract and expand to anything like the same extent, and the amount of contraction and expansion is taken care of by the small offset at A on the front spar.
The arrangement of the fabric on the upper surface is ingenious. The main wing top fabric extends from the leading edge to just behind the rear spar, where it is attached to a wire running parallel with the spar. The top fabric covering of the trailing edge passes under the wire, and is attached to and moves with the trailing edge lower rib flange. The overlap of the two pieces of fabric is such that even at maximum camber no opening is left which might interfere with the airflow.
In this first variable camber wing the designer has had to play for safety, and the result is that the wing is, perhaps, a little heavier than it need be. Thorough test flights will be made to decide this and other points, and there is little doubt that, in the next wing, detail structural improvements could be made. In the meantime, a wing has been produced which should serve to settle fairly definitely to what extent the variable camber wing is worth while, and if the advantages claimed by the designer are found to be realised or realisable, an excellent foundation has been laid upon which to base future development work.
The fact that the wing has been built by the Gloster Company is sufficient guarantee that the workmanship is of a high order.
THE BREDA 15: View of the new Italian light 'plane.
AN ITALIAN CONTRIBUTION: The Breda 15 is a cabin two-seater light 'plane with Colombo S.53 engine.
THE FOLDING TEST AT ORLY: (4) One of the Breda 15 monoplanes with Cirrus engine.
A further selection of small cabin aircraft: the Breda (Gipsy I);
THE BREDA-GIPSY LANDPLANE: A very low stalling speed of below 30 m.p.h. is claimed for this version of the Breda, together with a top speed of 105 m.p.h. when fitted with the Gipsy engine.
BREDA DEVELOPMENTS: Our illustration shows view of the new Breda "15" light monoplane, fitted with a 110 h.p. "Argus A.S.8" inverted engine.
A FAIR ITALIAN VISITOR: Miss Gaby Angelini, an Italian pilot, who is making a solo flight to the principal towns of Europe in her Breda 15, at Heston, where she arrived last week. She has already visited Prague, Berlin, Stockholm, Copenhagen and Amsterdam, and next she will fly to Paris, Lyons, Cannes, Geneva and home to Milan.
MONOPLANE WITH WALTER ENGINE: The Breda 15 entered by Broccard and Pierroz, and piloted by Pierroz. This machine is a Swiss entry.
AN ECHO OF THE "CIRCUIT OF ITALY": Our picture shows Col. Sacchi in the Breda 15-S (120-h.p. Walter) landing at Rome during the Circuit of Italy competition, held last August. Col. Sacchi, it will be remembered, was declared the winner of this contest.
THE BREDA 15: View of the new Italian light 'plane as a seaplane.
An Anglo-Italian Alliance: A Breda 15 light seaplane equipped with a "Cirrus" engine. This particular seaplane has taken up over 2,000 passengers at Viareggio within a period of three months without any trouble from either machine or engine.
THE BREDA-CIRRUS SEAPLANE: The Breda 15 is another of many machines fitted with the Cirrus engine. It is very fully equipped and agencies are now being appointed in this country.
A NEW BREDA DEVELOPMENT: In our issue for June 12 last we published illustrations of a Breda "15" light plane fitted with an inverted engine, which provided greatly improved vision. Above we show another development, a Breda "15" seaplane fitted with an 105 h.p. Isotta-Fraschini Asso 80 Ri. 6-cyI. engine. This is an upright in line engine, but fitted with reduction gear which enables the engine to be placed low down in the fuselage, thus retaining the features of the upright type with the advantages of the inverted engine. The main characteristics of this machine - which has wooden wings and welded steel tube fuselage - are: span, 38 ft. 9 in.; wing area, 236-7 sq. ft.; weight empty, 1,279 lbs.; useful load, 617-4 lbs.; total weight, 1,896-4 lbs.; speed range, 43 - 105 m.p.h.; climb, 8,200 ft. in 21 min.; duration (cruising speed), 5 hrs. The Breda Company are delivering 100 of these seaplanes to civilian aero clubs in different parts of Italy.
AT MILAN AERO SHOW: The Breda stand. Here was the very neat "Breda 15" light seaplane.
FOREIGN COMPETITORS: The Breda and Klemm at the flying meeting.
SOME OF THE FOREIGN COMPETITORS: In the foreground the French machines, Guerchais, Potez, Farman and Caudron.
T1 OK-WAL - Breda Ba-15S, pilot Jan Anderle (Czechoslovak team)
The "Breda," from Italy, makes a first appearance at a British flying meeting, piloted by Mr. Store.
AT ORLY: Two of the Breda 15 monoplanes starting on their second lap in the consumption test.
PETROL TEST AT THE ORLY MEETING: (1) Cant.26, an Italian machine with Isotta Fraschini 80 h.p. engine, and a Breda monoplane (Cirrus)
THE ANTONI VARIABLE CAMBER WING: As reported in our last issue a successful test was made at Brockworth on September 8 with a Breda fitted with this wing. Our picture shows the machine in flight.
ON TEST AT BROCKWORTH AERODROME: The Breda monoplane on which the Antoni variable camber wing has been mounted.
IN THE TWO EXTREME POSITIONS: On the left, the wing is shown flat, while on the right it is shown in maximum camber position.
THE STABILISERS: Near the wing roots the trailing edge is reflexed and flexible, and serves to give longitudinal stability.
Mr. Ugo Antoni, the designer of the variable camber wing.
MEASURING PETROL AT ORLY: One of the Breda 15 monoplanes after the test.
The Breda 15: Two views of the interior of the cabin, showing on the right the pilot's or rear seat, and on the left the passenger's, which is in front.
BREDA DEVELOPMENTS: Our illustration shows view of the new Breda "15" light monoplane, fitted with a 110 h.p. "Argus A.S.8" inverted engine. The installation of an inverted engine in this machine has been the means of considerably improving the view forward from the cabin - as may be gathered from the illustration, showing an interior view from the rear seat. We understand that the inverted D.H. "Gipsy" and "Cirrus Hermes" engines will also be fitted in the "15-S" machines.
View of Dashboard on "Breda"
ON THE BREDA 15: On the right the split undercarriage, and on the left the tail skid.
THE ANTONI VARIABLE CAMBER SYSTEM: The upper and lower diagrams indicate the action of the wing, while the numbered sketches show the structural details at various points.
Breda "15" Lightplane 85 hp. Walter Engine