In 1921, the Bre.19 was conceived as a replacement for the successful WWI Bre.14 light bomber. The framework of the plane was built of "duralumin," rather than steel or wood, making the plane both light and fast. In 1924, the Armee de l'Air began receiving the Bre.19 in two versions: the A.2 (as a reconnaissance plane) and the B.2 (as a light bomber). They became the mainstay of the French air force in the early 1930s, and remained in use in colonies in the Middle East until 1938.
The Bre.19 was also aggressively exported. Poland purchased 250 A.2s and B.2s, most being delivered in 1929-30. They were mostly withdrawn from Polish combat units by 1937, and what few remained were lost on the ground in 1939. In the Spanish Civil war, the plane was used by both the Republicans and the Nationalists, but by 1937 they were rendered obsolete by more modern fighters, and were withdrawn from frontline service. Yugoslavia purchased 100 A.2s in 1924, and nearly 300 more were assembled or built in that country. They were used in 1941 against the German invasion, with 46 craft being captured and transferred to Croatia, where they were used until the end of WWII for anti-partisan missions. Romania purchased 50 A.2s and B.2s in 1927, and 108 B.2s in 1930. They were used until 1938. Greece purchased 30 A.2s and used them for reconnaissance missions against the Italians when they invaded in 1940. Other countries that purchased Bre.19s from France included Belgium (6, plus 146 license built), Turkey (20, plus 50 Polish built), China (74), Argentina (25), Bolivia (15), Venezuela (12), Brazil (5), Britain (2), Iran (2), Italy (2), and Japan (2). The latter four nations purchased them for evaluation purposes, and those planes never saw military use.
The Breguet company made sure the Bre.19 remained in the public eye during the 1920s by building several variants for use in record-setting events. The initial prototype won a military aircraft contest in Madrid in 1923 for highest speed. The next month it set a new altitude record. From 1924 to 1927, the plane continued to make headlines for long-distance flying, including a trip around the world (which the exception of being carry by ship from San Francisco to Tokyo). In 1929 it established a speed-over-distance record of 3,107 miles at an average speed of 117 mph. And finally, in 1930 it achieved the first non-stop flight from New York to Paris (with two pilots, Costes and Bellonte, leaving an opportunity for Charles Lindberg to do it alone).
The Bre.19 uses 19 gallon of fuel per hour at routine usage. A full load of fuel and ammo for the A.2 costs $40.
Subassemblies: Medium Fighter chassis +3; Heavy Fighter wings Biplane option +2; 2 fixed wheels +0.
Powertrain: 383-kW aerial supercharged HP gasoline engine with 383-kW prop and 96-gallon fuel tank [Body].
Occ.: 2 XCS Body
Cargo: 12 Body
Armor F RL B T U
Body: 2/2 2/2 2/2 2/2 2/2
Wings: 1/2C 1/2C 1/2C 1/2C 1/2C
Wheels: 2/3 2/3 2/3 2/3 2/3
Aircraft LMG/.303 Vickers LMG [Body:F] (500 rounds).
2xAircraft LMG/.303 Lewis LMG [OM:F] (500 rounds each).*
Aircraft LMG/.303 Lewis LMG [Body:U] (500 rounds).
Size: 48½'x31'x12' Payload: 0.69 tons Lwt.: 2.8 tons
Volume: 200 Maint.: 62 hours Cost: $10,340
HT: 9. HPs: 120 Body, 180 each Wing, 36 each Wheel.
aSpeed: 148 aAccel: 4 aDecel: 24 aMR: 6 aSR: 1
Stall Speed: 44 mph.
gSpeed: 191 gAccel: 9 gDecel: 10 gMR: 2 gSR: 0.5
Ground Pressure: Very High. 1/8 Off-Road Speed.
The airframe is covered with aluminum in the front and cloth in the back. For simplicity, the entire structure is given PD 2, DR 2 with an extra 1 DR of "armored crew stations" provided for the pilot and observer, who would have been seated in the metal-covered half of the plane. Wing weight, HPs and cost were reduced by 50%. Some sources credit the A.2 with a bomb load in hardpoints on the wings; one such source states that the load was 10 12 kg bombs (as is represented here). Sources differ whether the B.2's bomb load was carried entirely externally on the wings or split into half internally and half externally. In this case, provision was made in the bomber variant for an internal bomb bay. However, this plane was built in many variations by many countries, and any of the above possibilities could be accomplished with minimal adjustments on the part of the manufacturer. The forward Vickers LMG is synchronized to fire through the propeller arc (-10% to RoF).
The B.2 is the light bomber version. It carried a payload of 1,764 lbs. in light bombs, divided equally between two internal lower-fuselage bomb bays and two hardpoints on the lower wing. With a full bomb payload: Lwt. 3.64 tons, Stall Speed 51 mph; aAccel 3, aSpeed 140; aMR 4; aDecel 16. Otherwise, use the A.2 stats.
The Cn.2 was a night fighter conversion (of 40 planes). They faired poorly in this role, and were retired to secondary duties in 1934.
The Bre.19 GR ("Grand Raid") was a series of variants created for the various long-range record-setting attempts. The plane's fuel capacity was increased to 641 gallons, aSpeed 146, aAccel 2, aDecel 13, aMR 3.5, and Stall Speed 58 mph.
The Bre.19 Bidon ("Petrol Can") was a development of the GR concept, including more integral fuel tankage, rounded wingtips, a redesigned fin and rudder, and fairings for the main wheels.
The Bre.19 Super Bidon was the final design to coax the maximum possible range out of the design. Extra tankage (1,137 gallons total) was provided in the upper wing and lengthened fuselage. This is the craft that succeeded in the trans-Atlantic crossing after one failed attempt. Spain built a similar plane, but with enclosed crew cockpits. The Spanish version was lost in the Caribbean between Cuba and Mexico.
Both Breguet built and the Japanese Imperial navy converted a single example as a seaplane.
The Bre.19ter was a military prototype of the Bidon with a 447-kW powerplant.
The Bre.19.7 was a modification of 5 Bre.19 performed by Breguet at the request of Yugoslavia in 1930. The plane had elongated semi-elliptical wingtips, four additional support struts for the wings, a wing area of 530 sf, and a 447-kW engine. Five similar planes with the same designation were completed for Romania. The craft performed well in competition, resulting in 125 being produced under license in Yugoslavia. A number of these were employed against the Germans in 1941, and subsequently given to the Croatians. In 1933, Turkey ordered 50 Bre.19.7s, and these were the last of the model series to be built by Breguet.
The Bre.19.8 (1937) was a Bre.19.7 fitted with a 582-kW engine.
The Bre.19.9 was a single Bre.19.7 fitted with a 641-kW engine.
The Bre.19.10 (1935) was a single Bre.19.7 fitted with a 537-kW engine.
From the Aerodrome for GURPS
© 2008 by Jim Antonicic