Czechoslovakia Air Force

Discussion in 'Aircraft Pictures' started by gekho, Jan 25, 2011.

  1. gekho

    gekho Active Member

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    The Czech Air Force, ICAO code CEF, is the air force branch of the Armed Forces of the Czech Republic. The Air Force, with the Ground Forces, comprises the main combat power of the Armed Forces of the Czech Republic. It is a successor of the Czechoslovak Air Force (up to 1992). During the inter-war period a modern nation surrounded by potentially hostile neighbors, without access to the ocean, the Czechoslovak leadership needed to build a capable air force. So was born the motto "Air is our sea". The Czechoslovak government between the wars balanced a home-grown aviation industry with licensing engine and aircraft designs from allied nations. Several major aircraft companies, and a few engine companies, thrived in Czechoslovakia during the 1930s. One well-known engine manufacturer was A. S. Walter located in Prague.

    The Aero Company (Aero továrna letadel), was located in the Vysočany quarter of Prague. Its mixed construction (wood, metal and fabric covering) and all-metal aircraft were competitive in the early 1930s; however, by 1938, only its MB.200 (a licensed Bloch design) was not totally obsolete. Aero A-30The Avia Company (Avia akciová společnost pro průmysl letecký Škoda), a branch of the enormous Škoda Works (Škodovy závody) for heavy machinery and defence industrial organization, was different. Founded in 1919 in an old sugar factory in the eastern Prague suburbs of Letňany and Čakovice, Avia made entire airplanes, including motors, which were usually licensed Hispano-Suiza designs. The standard Czechoslovak pursuit plane of the late 1930s, the B-534 reached a total production of 514 units. It was one of the last biplane fighters in operational use, and also one of the best ever produced. The state-controlled Letov (Vojenská továrna na letadla Letov) was also situated in Letňany. It employed about 1,200 workers in the late 1930s, and it manufactured the Š-328 biplane, of which over 450 were produced. The entire airframe was welded together, not bolted or riveted. The Letov factory was the only Czechoslovak plant that manufactured metal propellers.

    Shortly after the German occupation on 15th March 1939, the Czechoslovak Air Force disbanded. A lot of pilots decided to leave the republic and fight against the enemy abroad. The first country where they tried to fight was Poland. Some were accepted into the Polish Air Force while the rest of the airmen sailed to France. The short Polish war gave us the most famous four pilots Balejka, Frantisek, Kosar and Pavlovic. The next country where Czechoslovak airmen fought was France. There were tens of airmen posted to French air units, mainly fighter pilots. Two Czech fighters - Vasatko (15 victories) and Perina (14 victories) became famous in "The Battle of France". Twenty Five Czechoslovaks we killed during dogfights over France. After the fall of France, airmen evacuated to the last country which was still fighting against Germany - Great Britain.

    Czechoslovak airmen joined The Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve and they created two Czechoslovak air units in 1940 - Nos. 310 and 311. No 310 was a Czechoslovak Fighter Squadrons and No. 311 was a Czechoslovak Bomber Squadron. At all 88 Czechoslovak fighters took part in the "Battle of Britain" and Sgt Josef Frantisek became very famous with 17 victories which were claimed during one month. The last Czechoslovak air unit, No. 313 Czechoslovak Fighter Squadron, was created in 1941 and one flight of No. 68 Night Fighter Squadron became Czechoslovak in 1942. Many of the Czechoslovak airmen had served during the entire war at many british squadrons and non-operational units. There were more than 2500 Czechoslovaks who joined the RAF and more then 500 of them were killed. All Czechoslovak squadrons returned to Czechoslovakia in August 1945 where they were transformed for peace time service.
     
  2. gekho

    gekho Active Member

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    The Letov Š-31 was a fighter aircraft produced in Czechoslovakia in the early 1930s in a number of variants. All of the aircraft had metal tubular framing and fabric covering with a metal engine cowling. The first flight of the definitive Š.231 version was on March 17, 1933. After testing at the Czech flight facility at Prague-Lethany, modifications were undertaken to improve the machine’s performance. It entered production the following year and began equipping Czech fighter units in June 1936. The machines remained in front line fighter status with the Czechoslovak Air Force until the German occupation of Czechoslovakia in 1939. Historical records are very vague, but apparently none of these machines were ever in combat with the far superior German aircraft during the German invasion or with any Allied aircraft during World War II when the Germans occupied Czechoslovakia and controlled of the Czech Air Force. A few of these hopelessly obsolete Letov Š.231s were still serving as trainers and as secondary fighters for the small Czech Air Force during the early months of World War II. The only recorded combat seen by any Letov Š.231 fighter was in the service of the Republicans during the Spanish Civil War.

    While the Š.31, Š.131, Š.231, and Š.431 had engines of 480 to 680 hp, the Š.331 had a Walter K14 engine with 900 hp. This powerful engine gave it extremely high speed and outstanding performance for an aircraft of the early 1930s. In May 1935, the aircraft established a new Czechoslovak altitude record of 34,941 feet (10,650 m). The sole Š.331 and almost all of the Š.231s were sold to representatives of the Spanish Republican government. The Š.231s fared poorly in the Spanish Civil War. The operational performance and ultimate fate of the Š.331 is unrecorded
     

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  3. Wurger

    Wurger Siggy Master
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    Nice stuff here. THX for sharing. :)

    But I would like to remind that images that are larger than 800 pixels in their width should be resized down to 800-820 pixels before uploading here. It will allow to watch any of them without the horizontal scrolling from right to left and back.
     
  4. gekho

    gekho Active Member

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    #4 gekho, Jan 26, 2011
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2011
    The Aero A.300 was a Czechoslovakian bomber aircraft that first flew in 1938 as a much refined development of the A.304 (despite what the numbering would suggest). Despite showing much promise, development and production of the aircraft was interrupted by the outbreak of World War II.
     

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  5. Gnomey

    Gnomey World Travelling Doctor
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  6. gekho

    gekho Active Member

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    This early post-war utility light aircraft design proved a great export earner for Czechoslovakia; over 700 were built, of which more than 600 were exported. A good start was made with the Aero 45 's first public appearance, when an early model won the Norton- Griffiths Trophy in the National Air Races held at Coventry in 1949. Underlying the type's popularity and success was the design - the Aero 45 was an all-metal design, the cockpit had single or dual controls (in versions), and the rear bench carried up to three passengers or could be folded away to stow freight or luggage. The Aero 45 was progressively updated to Super 45 standard; the last version (the 145) had a larger powerplant, but retained the tail wheel. Production ended in 1963.
     

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  7. gekho

    gekho Active Member

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    Adaptation of the basic LaGG-3 airframe for a 14- cylinder two-row radial Shvetsov M-82 engine without major redesign of fundamental components resulted in the La-5 (examples converted from existing LaGG-3 airframes on the production line sometimes being referred to as LaG-5s). The prototype conversion was first flown in March 1942 with an M-82 rated at 1700hp for take-off, and the La-5 was cleared for service testing in the following September with an armament of two 20mm cannon. With completion of the conversion of existing LaGG-3 airframes, minor changes were introduced in new production aircraft, the principal of these being the cutting down of the aft fuselage decking and the introduction of a 360°-vision canopy. Late in 1942, the improved M-82F engine became available, producing 1650hp at 1650m, aircraft fitted with this engine being designated La-5F, and, from early 1943, fuel tankage was revised. From late March 1943, the fuel injection M-82FN engine offering 1850hp for take-off replaced the carburettor-equipped M-82F, and with this power plant the fighter became the La-5FN. When the La-5 was withdrawn from production late in 1944, a total of 9,920 aircraft of this type (including La-5UTI two-seat trainers) had been built.
     

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  8. gekho

    gekho Active Member

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    The Letov Š-4 was a Czechoslovak single-bay unstaggared biplane fighter and trainer in the 1920s. The Š-4 was first created in 1922 as an intended successor to the SPAD S.VII and S.XIII in service with the newly-created Czechoslovak Air Force. It first flew in 1922, with fabric-covered wooden wings and a metal fuselage and tail. The Czechoslovak Air Force ordered 20 Š-4s in 1922 and these were delivered in early 1923. The plane lived out the 1920s as a fighter and trainer, but by 1927 difficulties were being experienced due to the low manufacturing quality of the Š-4. As a result all remaining Š-4s were upgraded to Š-4a trainer aircraft in 1928.
     

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  9. gekho

    gekho Active Member

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    The Fieseler Fi 156 Storch (stork) was a small German liaison aircraft built by Fieseler before and during World War II, and production continued in other countries into the 1950s for the private market. It remains famous to this day for its excellent STOL performance, and French-built later variants often appear at air shows. In 1944 the production was moved from the Leichtbau Budweis to the Mráz factory in Chocen which produced 138 examples of Fi 156, locally designated as K-65 Čáp. Production ended in 1949.
     

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  10. seesul

    seesul Active Member

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    Why are you interested in Czech Air Force?
    I´m just curious as I´m Czech...
     
  11. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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    Very cool posts.
     
  12. imalko

    imalko Well-Known Member

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    #12 imalko, Jan 29, 2011
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2011
    Czechoslovak pilots encountered Lavochkin La-5FN for the first time in April 1944, when a group of some 20 airmen (previously flying in RAF on Spitfires and Hurricanes) started retraining on Soviet aircraft at Ivanovo airfield some 350km north of Moscow. These airmen made the core of the 1st Czechoslovak Fighter Aviation Regiment (1. ČSSLP) formed in June 1944. Two pilots of Slovak nationality (A.Matušek and L.Dobrovodský), formerly members of Slovak Air Arms, who defected to the Soviets a year before also joined the new unit.

    Upon the outbreak of Slovak National Uprising in August 1944 the Regiment was deployed in support of the insurgents operating from airfields Zolná and Try Duby in insurgent territory. During the 40 days of fighting pilots of 1. ČSSLP shot down 9 confirmed and 3 unconfirmed enemy aircraft and damaged further 7 enemy aircraft, six German aircraft were destroyed on the ground. Significant success was achieved in ground attack missions against advancing German forces. During this time the regiment suffered three fatal casualties. After the suppression of the uprising 1. ČSSLP was withdrawn from Slovakia.

    During the fallowing winter new Czechoslovak fighter and ground attack aviation units were formed with Soviet help, including 2nd Czechoslovak Fighter Aviation Regiment also equipped with La-5FN fighters. All these units were gathered into 1st Czechoslovak Mixed Aviation Division under Soviet 8th Air Army and took part in final Soviet push through Czechoslovakia, distinguishing themselves especially in attacks on heavily defended Moravian Gate near Ostrava.

    During their wartime service all Czechoslovak La-5FN fighters wore Soviet national insignia and standard Soviet late war camouflage colors and tactical markings (large white numbers on aft fuselage). Only after the war red stars were over painted with Czechoslovak roundels.

    Note: Source of some pictures in the attachment "Slovenske letectvo 1939-1945" Volume 3, others found on the internet (exact source unknown).
     

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  13. gekho

    gekho Active Member

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    #13 gekho, Jan 31, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 4, 2011
    I am interesting in all Air Forces, not only yours, my friend. And I also think Czech aircrafts are very interesting.
     
  14. gekho

    gekho Active Member

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    The Avia 51 was a 1930s Czechoslovakian 6-passenger commercial transport designed by Robert Nebasá and built by Avia. The type was uneconomical in use and only three were built. The Avia 51 was a three-engined high-wing cantilever monoplane designed for the Czech national airlines CLS. It was built with a duraluminium monocoque fuselage and a fixed tailwheel landing gear. Powered by three Avia R-12 radial engine, two fitted into the leading edges of the wing and one nose-mounted. It had a two-man flightdeck and an enclosed luxury cabin for five or six passengers, it was not large enough to stand up (5ft 1in) but did have a separate lavatory compartment, it also had three luggage and mail compartments. The Avia 51 entered service on the Berlin-Prague-Vienna route but with only a small passenger capacity it proved uneconomical to operate. In 1937 the aircraft were sold to the Estonian government, one appeared operating for the Republican forces in the Spanish Civil War and it was reported the other two were lost at sea when the freighter carrying them to Bilbao was sunk.
     

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  15. gekho

    gekho Active Member

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    The Letov Kbely Š-50 is a twin-engined bomber/reconnaissance aircraft. Czech Ministry of Defense wrote out a requirement in 1936 for a reconnaissance and light bomber. This aircraft was manufactured in the Letov Kbely plant in Letnany a suburb of Prague in Czechoslovakia. The construction and design was led Alois Šmolík. The machine had a glazed area for the observer in the nose and the fuselage MG-turret. Each of the three man crew could control a machine-gun vz. 30. The bomber was also equipped with cameras, radio and had a bomb load up to 600 kg. The fuselage was space for extensive photo equipment. The machine used radial engines Avia Rk.17 which delivered 309 kW power.

    The prototype of the engine used in 1937 at the national aviation exhibition in Prague and attracted great attention. This aircraft was the first truly modern aircraft which works of Letov Kbely had developed. The machine was aerodynamically competitive and stimulated much interest abroad. Test pilot Kovanda began with the Š-50 with the first test flights in November, 1938. Due to the German invasion and occupation, however, no further testing and production occurred. The prototype of the Letov Kbely Š-50 in 1938, with German civil flag was exhibited in Brussels. The German Air Force took over the machine and took it Rechlin Test Airfield north of Berlin. It was subsequently damaged and return to the original factory where it was destroyed in an accident.
     

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  16. gekho

    gekho Active Member

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    Senor Juan de la Cierva, a Spanish gentleman from Getafe invented, and patented, the autogyro, he preferred to spell it "Autogiro" - always with a capital "A", shortly after WWI. In the mid 1920s he moved to the UK where funding for his work was more readily obtainable. In the UK his designs progressed from the, Avro 504K based model C.6 to the model C.40. The C.30 and C.40 were designed, in the mid '30s, to Air Ministry Specifications 16/35 and 2/36 respectively. The C.30, intended to be a civil machine, was licensed by Cierva to Avro in the UK, Kellett in the US, Leo et Olivier (LeO) in France and Kayaba in Japan. There is an immediately recognizable similarity amongst all these different interpretations of Cierva's design. The kit subject, the Avro Rota I, was powered by an Armstrong-Siddeley 135 HP Genet Major seven cylinder radial engine, which has its "horse-collar" exhaust collector at the rear..
    The lift producing rotor, or rotary wing, of an autogyro is unpowered. It is rotated only by propwash from the conventionally mounted engine and propeller when the aircraft is stationary. An autogyro must make a ground run to accelerate the rotor to flying RPM for takeoff. In flight the rotor is spun by the slipstream produced by movement through the air. The C.30, and many other autogyros, had a drive shaft from a gearbox below the rotor head connected to a power takeoff in the accessories section of the engine by a clutch. This permitted the pilot to engage the clutch and "pre-rotate" the rotor to flying RPM so that the autogyro could make a full power "jump" takeoff. The clutch had to be immediately disengaged after takeoff to avoid a, potentially uncontrollable, torque reaction yawing of the aircraft. As the rotor is unpowered in normal operations, there is no yawing torque reaction and thus no anti-torque tail rotor is required as on a helicopter with its powered rotor. Autogyros can glide, or "auto-rotate", with the engine shut off. The Germans used autogyro kites (actually gliders) towed by submarines to extend their observable horizon for scouting. In an emergency they could be released with the pilot gliding safely to a gentle water landing to be picked up later.
     

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  17. Gnomey

    Gnomey World Travelling Doctor
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  18. gekho

    gekho Active Member

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    #18 gekho, Feb 1, 2011
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2012
    The Tupolev ANT-40, also known by its service name Tupolev SB (Russian: Скоростной бомбардировщик - Skorostnoi Bombardirovschik - "high speed bomber"), and development co-name TsAGI-40, was a high speed twin-engined three-seat monoplane bomber, first flown in 1934. The design was very advanced, but lacked refinement, much to the dismay of crews and maintenance personnel - and of Stalin, who pointed out that "there are no trivialities in aviation". Numerically the most important bomber in the world in the late 1930s, the SB was the first modern stressed-skin aircraft produced in quantity in the Soviet Union and probably the most formidable bomber of the mid-1930s. Many versions saw extensive action in Spain, the Republic of China, Mongolia, Finland and at the beginning of the War against Germany in 1941. It was also used in various duties in civil variants, as trainers and in many secondary roles.


    In 1937, negotiations were successfully concluded between the Soviet and Czechoslovak governments for the supply of SB bombers and a licence for local production in exchange for the right to produce the Skoda 75 mm Model 1936 mountain gun. The version of the SB to be supplied to , and subsequently license-built as the Avia B-71 was fundamentally the SB 2M-100A but fitted with the Avia-built Hispano-Suiza 12-Ydrs engine. A single 7.92 mm ZB-30 machine gun supplanted the twin ShKAS machine guns in the nose and similar weapons were provided for the dorsal and ventral stations. Sixty aircraft were to be flown to Czechoslovakia by mid-1938. The planned licensed production program took a decidedly leisurely course, despite the increasingly dangerous political situation. By 15 March 1939, when the German Wehrmacht occupied Bohemia and Moravia, not one Czech-built aircraft had been delivered.
     

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  19. gekho

    gekho Active Member

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    Designed by Frantisek Novotny as a successor to the Avia B.534 single-seat fighter biplane, the Avia B.35-3 single-seat fighter monoplane, which formed a part of the exhibit of the "German Protectorate"at the Salon de l’Aéronotique held in the Palais du Centenaire, Brussels, in July 1939. was the third and definitive prototype for the Avia B.135 fighter, and had not flown when exhibited at the Salon. Ing Novotny had initiated design of the B.35 in 1937. at which time it was envisaged that the fighter would be powered by an Avia licence-built version of the Hispano-Suiza 12Y-37 with an anticipated international rating of 1,000 hp. When the development contract for the fighter was placed with the Cakovice factory early in 1938, it was obvious that this power plant would not be available for installation until mid-1939, and it was decided to instal a standard B.534 engine in the first prototype, the B.35-l, this being a supercharged Hispano-Suiza I 2Ydrs 12-cylinder liquid-cooled engine with a normal sea level rating of 650 hp and 850 hp available for 30 min at 3 lOOm. From the outset it had been planned to incorporate fully-retractable main undercarriage members, but in order to hasten flight testing. this feature was relinquished for the prototype which, when flown for the first time in the late summer of 1938, was fitted with close-cowled fixed cantilever main undercarriage members.

    The B.35-l had provision for two 7.72-mm Type 30 machine guns in the upper decking of the nose, and was of mixed construction, the elliptical wing having a wooden structure with plywood skinning and an outer covering of light alloy, and the fuselage being a welded steel-tube structure with light alloy panneling forward and fabric covering aft. All movable surfaces were fabric-covered, and the airscrew was of two-bladed, fixed-pitch type. Wing span and overall length were l0.25m and 8,5 m respectively, empty and loaded weights being 1 690 kg and 2 200 kg. and performance including maximum and cruising speeds of 495 km/h and 435 km/h, initial climb rate being 13 m/sec and service ceiling being 8 500 m. During a high-speed run over a measured 3-km course in November 1938, the B.35-l exceeded estimated maximum speed, but its pilot, Kovale, unused to flying a relatively highly loaded monoplane, put the prototype into a steep turn at low altitude at the end of the high speed run, lost lift and crashed, losing his life.

    Work had begun on two further prototypes in the meantime and the first of these, the B.35-2, incorporating modifications resulting from experience with the first prototype, flew in February 1939. Retaining the fixed undercarriage of its predecessor, the B.35-2 differed primarily in having larger flaps and smaller ailerons. overall wing span being increased to 10.85 m The third prototype, the B.35-3. was the first aircraft to incorporate a retractable undercarriage, the main members folding outward into wing wells. Apart from the changes to the wing structure dictated by the well cut-outs, the B.35-3 was similar to the earlier prototypes but had provision for an engine-mounted 20-mm Hispano cannon. In March 1939, while the B.35-3 was still under construction, the Republic of Czechoslovakia had been dissolved by Germany, Slovakia declared an independent State. Bohemia and Moravia becoming protectorates. Nevertheless, earlier plans to exhibit the fighter at the Brussels Salon were fulfilled, and after its return to Cakovice, the B.35-3 began its flight test programme in August1939.
     

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