Yugoslav Air Force

Discussion in 'Aircraft Pictures' started by gekho, Apr 5, 2011.

  1. gekho

    gekho Active Member

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    A small Serbian Military Aviation unit was first formed in December 1912, with French-trained Army officers. The unit saw active service in the Second Balkan War, flying reconnaissance operations. On 29 July 1914, Serbia joined the First World War against Austro-Hungary. Serbian aviators soon undertook artillery spotting missions over the front line. Although supported by French aircraft and pilots, in late 1915 a new offensive by Austrian and Bulgarian forces quickly overwhelmed the country. A new Serbian Military Air Service was formed in Greece, with French training and equipment. In early 1918 the first French-Serb units were transferred to Serbian control. These units operated successfully until the liberation of Serbia in late Autumn 1918.

    With the establishment of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes (Kingdom of SHS), an Army Aviation Department was formed with Serbian and ex-Austro-Hungarian (Croatian and Slovenian) personnel. In 1923 a major initiative was launched to replace the WW1 era aircraft still in service with more modern designs. Contracts were placed abroad and with newly established local factories. Later in 1923 the Aviation Department was renamed Aviation Command and placed directly under the control of the Ministartstvo vojske i mornarice (Ministry of War and Marine). In 1930, the Aviation Command was renamed the Jugoslovensko Ratno Vazduhoplovsto (JKRV). The air arm was also known as the Vazduhoplovsto vojske kraljevine Jugoslavije (Air Force of the Army of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia) - VVKJ.

    During 1940 Britain supplied significant military aid to the JKRV, to strengthen its forces against the increasing German threat. In early March 1941 Luftwaffe forces started arriving in neighbouring Bulgaria. On 12 March 1941 JKRV units began to deploy to their wartime airfields. The overthrow of the pro-German government in Belgrade on 27 March brought an end to hopes of a settlement with Germany. On 6 April 1941 Luftwaffe units in Bulgaria and Romania attacked Yugoslavia. Equipped with a combination of obsolete equipment and new aircraft still being introduced into service, the JKRV was forced to defend the country's long borders against multiple attacks from many directions. The dubious loyalty of some military personnel did not help matters. Yugoslav fighter aircraft and anti-aircraft artillery brought down about 100 enemy aircraft, but defending forces were unable to make any significant impact on the enemy advance. On 17th April 1941 the Yugoslav government surrendered. Several JKRV aircraft escaped to Egypt via Greece, and the crews then served with the RAF.
     
  2. gekho

    gekho Active Member

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    Development of the three-seat Dornier Do 22 floatplane was the responsibility of Dornier's Altenrhein factory in Switzerland, where.two prototypes were built. Of all-metal construction with fabric covering throughout, except for the metal-skinned forward fuselage, the Do 22 was powered by a Hispano-Suiza 12Ybrs engine driving a three-bladed propeller. The Do 22 carried a crew of three, the rear cockpit providing accommodation for a gunner, and a radio operator whose position in the front half of the cockpit was protected by a glazed canopy. Four 7.92mm MG 15 machine-guns were fitted, one in the forward fuselage above the engine, one in a ventral position and two in the rear cockpit. Although not ordered by the Luftwaffe, approximately 30 were built at Friedrichshafen in Germany and the first production aircraft was flown on 15 July 1938. Do 22s were supplied to the Greek, Yugoslav and Latvian air forces as the Do 22Kg, Do 22Kj and Do 22Kl respectively.
     

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  3. Crimea_River

    Crimea_River Well-Known Member

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    Interesting. Igor should be along any minute now....
     
  4. imalko

    imalko Well-Known Member

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    #4 imalko, Apr 5, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2011
    Here I am! :D
    Very nice thread Gekho. Looking forward to see what else you're going to put here. Hope you won't mind if I contribute with picture and/or comment from time to time...

    Few explanations... "Ministartstvo vojske i mornarice" means "Ministry of Army and Navy". Also one should note that historically the term "Jugoslovensko Kraljevsko Ratno Vazduhoplovstvo" or JKRV (in translation Royal Yugoslav Air Force or RYAF) was never officially adopted or used. This term appears often in various books and articles on the topic though. Our AF at that time was organized in two separate branches; there was "Vazduhoplovstvo Vojske Kraljevine Jugoslavije" or in short VVKJ which in translation means "Air Force of the Army of Kingdom of Yugoslavia" and second branch was "Pomorsko vazduhoplovtsvo" or Naval Air Force.
     
  5. Gnomey

    Gnomey World Travelling Doctor
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    Nice shots! Looking forward to more.
     
  6. gekho

    gekho Active Member

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    In June 1936, the Yugloslav government ordered 36 Do 17E variants from Germany. The negotiations for a license were completed on 27 June 1938 for 36 Do 17Ka's at the cost of 1,829,825 Reichsmark (RM). On 18 March 1938, Yugoslavia ordered 16 complete Do 17 Ka-2's and Ka-3's at a cost of 3,316,788 RM. They received the last on 21 April 1939. The machines were from 72-96% complete. The Dorniers were devoid of German equipment, including engines. The Yugoslavs found a French manufacturer to supply the powerplants instead. Gnome et Rhône was the supplier chosen, and the Gnome-Rhône Mistral Major engine was to be used in the Dornier. The French had inflated the performance data of the engine, claiming it to have 649 kW (870 hp) and a speed of 420 km/h (261 mph) at 3,850 m (12,320 ft). The constant-speed propellers were also poor, and delivered late. This led to trials with Piaggio Aero and Ratier propellers.[53] Only one of the Do 17s delivered was fitted out complete with German equipment. The rest of the Dorniers were equipped with Belgian FN 7.9 mm (.31 in) machine guns, Czech camera equipment and eventually Telefunken radio sets.[26] Altogether, 70 Do 17s were produced by Yugoslav factories.

    At the beginning of German invasion of Yugoslavia, the Yugoslav Royal Air Force (YRAF) possessed some 60 Dornier Do 17Ks that equipped the 3 vazduhoplovni puk (3rd Bomber Regiment). It was composed of two groups: the 63rd Bomber Group stationed at Petrovac airbase near Skopje and the 64th Bomber Group stationed at Mileševo airbase near Priština. During hostilities, the aircraft factory in Kraljevo managed to produce three more aircraft. Two were delivered to the YRAF on 10 April and one on 12 April 1941. The Luftwaffe destroyed 26 of these Yugoslav Dorniers in the initial assault. Total Yugoslav losses stood at four destroyed in aerial combat and 45 destroyed on the ground. Between 14 and 15 April, seven Do 17Ks flew to Nikšić airport and took part in the evacuation of King Petar II and members of the Yugoslav government to Greece. During this operation, the Yugoslav gold reserves were also airlifted to Greece by seven Do 17s. After completing their task, five Do 17Ks were destroyed when Italian aircraft attacked Paramithia airbase in Greece. Only two Do 17Kb-1s escaped destruction and later joined the RAF in Egypt, where they were allocated the serial numbers AX707 and AX706. However, both machines were destroyed in an air attack on 27 August 1941. During this time, it is also recorded that two Dorniers escaped to the Soviet Union.[97] According to other sources 23 Yugoslav Dorniers survived the April battles, and the RAF received a third machine.
     

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  7. gekho

    gekho Active Member

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    During 1938, The Yugoslav government concluded an agreement with Hawker to purchase 12 Hurricane Is for the Royal Yugoslav Air Force and followed this up with an order for 12 more together with a manufacturing licence to allow production of the fighter at the Rogozarski (orders for 60) and Zmaj (orders for 40) factories. These plants, together with the Ikarus concern, had been designing and manufacturing sporting and training aircraft since the 1920s. Production was expected to reach eight per month from each assembly line by mid-1941. In the event, by the time of the German onslaught of April 1941 which put an end to further production, Zmaj had delivered 20 Hurricanes but Rogorzarski had delivered none. The design team had been working on improved versions of the IK-Z. It had originally been planed to power later IK-Zs with new 1,100 h.p. Hispano-Suiza 12Y-51 engine. The German occupation of France had frustrated this plan, and it therefore become necessary to consider a British or German engine. The Air Ministry favored the DB 601 A, and as part of IK-Z development program, the Daimler-Benz engine was installed experimentally in a Hurricane airframe in 1940.

    Engineers Ilic and Sivcev at the Ikarus plant, Zemun, outside Belgrade, made the conversion, by the fitting of new engine bearers, cowlings and cooling system manufactured at the Ikarus factory. The one Hurricane fitted with a DB601A engine for comparison with the Merlin-engined version was tested early in 1941. The conversion was extremely successful, and experimental aircraft displayed better take-off performance and climb rate than either the standard Hurricane or the Bf 109 E-3 and was only slightly slower than the latter.
     

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  8. muggs

    muggs Member

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    Very nice Hurricane pics !
     
  9. imalko

    imalko Well-Known Member

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    I must say Gekho, I'm impressed by your collection of pictures because I know from personal experience it's quite difficult to find pictures of Royal Yugoslav aircraft in good resolution (unless you have some good book or magazine that is).

    Anyway, here are some pictures that haven't been posted yet... Dornier Do-22 which survived the April War and became part of No. 2 Yugoslav Squadron photographed at Abuquir in 1941. Then two pictures of Dornier Do 17Ks of VVKJ. Out of those Do 17Ks which survived the April War 9 were subsequently used by Zrakoplovstvo NDH and few other machines by Bulgaria and Hungary. And finaly few pictures of Yugoslav Hurricanes. There were differencies in paint schemes between Hurricanes delivered from Britain and those build by Zmaj. Experimental project of Hurricane with Daimler-Benz engine was designated L.V.T.-1 (Lovac Vazduhoplovno Tehnički - 1). Unfortunately no photos of L.V.T.-1 exists. Drawing in the attachment is based on the available info on this aircraft.

    Source of photos and drawing: Aeromagazin
     

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  10. gekho

    gekho Active Member

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    #10 gekho, Apr 7, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2011
    Some pics of the Yugoslavian C-47 Dakotas

    Can anyone provide information of these birds on yugoslav service?
     

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  11. gekho

    gekho Active Member

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    In 1939 Yugoslavia received 73 Me-109 E-3's in exchange for iron, copper and chrome ore. However the aircraft were grounded most of the time due to a lack of spares. The Yugoslav pilot were not happy with their new fighters. There were a lot of landing accidents. When the Germans invaded in April 1941 the Yugoslav Air Force put up a fight but could do little to repel the invaders. By the end of the war 17 109's were left. These were stored until 59 more were acquired from Bulgaria. The new Yugoslav Air Force used a mix of G-2, G-6, G-10 and G-12 aircraft. The aircraft were used until about the middle of 1952.
     

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  12. gekho

    gekho Active Member

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    The Ikarus IK-2 was a high-wing, all-metal, single seat, monoplane fighter aircraft designed as a private venture by Kosta Sivčev and Ljubomir Ilić. The prototype, designated the IK-L1, of the design was ordered from Ikarus A.D. in 1934, and was delivered for test in 1935. Captain Leonid Bajdak, a biplane advocate, tested the IK-1 in flight. The prototype first flew on April 22nd, 1935. During a full range of tests on the third flight the aircraft failed to pull out of a power dive and crashed. Bajdak bailed out and survived but claimed the IK-1 was not suitable as a fighter. Investigation of the wreckage disclosed that the failure was due to negligence in sewing a seam on one of the fabric-covered wings, and therefore a decision was made to proceed with the second prototype, designated IK-2. The second prototype had metal-skinned wings and a shallower cooling radiator. The IK-2 was ready for test in June 1936. A new test pilot, Dobnikar, performed the preliminary flight tests, including a mock battle against a Hawker Fury, a biplane, flown by Captain Bajdak. The IK-2 outperformed the biplane in all respects, thereby confirming the hopes of the young designers. Royal Yugoslav Air Force ordered a production batch of 12 IK-2 fighters, which were all delivered in 1937. When German forces invaded Yugoslavia on 6 April 1941, Ikarus IK-2 fighters took part in aerial battles over Yugoslavia. For the rest of the short conflict IK-2s were used for strafing advancing German columns and on several occasions they scrambled in pursuit of German reconnaissance aircraft, but to no effect. At the end of the brief campaign the four surviving IK-2s were overhauled at the Ikarus aircraft plant in Zemun before being transferred by the Germans to the newly formed Air Force of the Independent State of Croatia.
     

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  13. Gnomey

    Gnomey World Travelling Doctor
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    Nice stuff!

    Sorry, can't help you with the C47's. Imalko would be the best bet.
     
  14. gekho

    gekho Active Member

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    The Hawker Fury was a British biplane fighter aircraft used by the Royal Air Force in the 1930s. It was originally named the Hornet and was the counterpart to the Hawker Hart light bomber. The Yugoslav Fury was a revised single-seat fighter for Yugoslavia, powered by 745 hp Kestrel XVI piston engine, and fitted with low drag radiator and cantilever undercarriage with internally sprung wheels. Provision for an additional two machine guns under wing. Ten made by Hawker delivered 1936-37, with a further 40 licence built in Yugoslavia by Ikarus (24) and Zmaj (16).
     

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  15. gekho

    gekho Active Member

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    At the Teheran Conference toward the end of 1943, the three powers decided to recognize the Yugoslav partisan army – NOVJ (Narodno Oslobodilacka Vojska Jugoslavije) as a member of the anti-Axis coalition. Several months later, British military aid to NOVJ resulted in the formation of the partisan Air Force with two squadrons, No. 352 (Yugoslav) Squadron with Spitfires Mk. VC and No. 351 (Yugoslav) with Hurricane Mk. IV. The units were formed in North Africa in April 1944, initially trained on Harvards and later on Hurricanes . The RAF provided the training and the units were to remain under its operational command. Upon achieving combat readiness, No. 351 received eighteen used Spitfires Mk.Vc with tropical filters.

    No. 352 was used for ground attack duties over the difficult Yugoslav terrain and unfortunately in short time suffered high losses, mostly to the German flak. Losses included one Squadron Leader, four Flight Lieutenants and almost a third of its pilots. The Spitfires were formally handed over to the post-war Yugoslav Air Force on 15 June 1945.
     

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  16. gekho

    gekho Active Member

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    #16 gekho, Apr 8, 2011
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2012
    The Rogožarski IK-3, a 1930s Yugoslav low wing monoplane single seat interceptor fighter with retractable landing gear, was a product of the design team of Ljubomir Ilić and Kosta Sivčev as a successor to their IK-1/IK-2 fighter. The IK-3 prototype was powered by a Hispano-Suiza 12Y-29 liquid-cooled supercharged V12, rated at 890 hp (664 kW) for take-off and at 920 hp (686 kW) at 11,810 feet (3600 m) altitude. The prototype was armed with one 20 mm Hispano-Suiza HS-404 cannon and two 7.92 mm FN-Browning machine guns mounted over the engine in the forward fuselage. The aircraft was of mixed steel tube, wood, and fabric construction with the retractable landing gear of Messier design. Its construction was similar to the British contemporary Hawker Hurricane fighter. Six test pilots flew the prototype in a mostly-successful test program (alterations were required to the retractable landing gear and to the engine installation) before the airplane was destroyed in a fatal crash. On January 19, 1939 the test pilot, Captain Milan Pokorni, after a series of aerobatic maneuvers, entered a terminal velocity dive from which he did not recover. The subsequent accident investigation could not find an aircraft-related cause for the accident, and the Yugoslav Air Ministry ordered an initial production lot of twelve aircraft.

    At the beginning of the April war, only 6 out of 12 IK-3 from the first production series were operational. One aircraft was lost in a fatal accident before the war (it dived into the Danube River under power; investigators concluded the pilot had blacked out), four were grounded for scheduled services and repairs and one aircraft was undergoing modification to Series II IK-3 standard in the Rogozarski airplane factory. The six remaining IK-3s were assigned to 161st and 162nd fighter squadron (3 IK-3 each) of the 51st Fighter group. The 51st fighter group was part of the 6th fighter regiment of Royal Yugoslav Air Force which was tasked to defend Yugoslav capital, Belgrade. Both fighter squadrons were stationed at Zemun airport. One source states: " . . the IK-3s put up a valiant resistance against the Luftwaffe, scoring a number of "kills" before they were finally destroyed in combat." Another source claims 11 victories for the IK-3, with Narednik (Flight Sergeant) M. Semiz as most successful (4 victories).
     

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  17. gekho

    gekho Active Member

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    #17 gekho, Apr 8, 2011
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2012
    The Air Force of the Independent State of Croatia came into existence in July 1941. During the war, much of the force's capacity was sent to the Eastern Front as the Croatian Air Force Legion (Croatian: Hrvatska zrakoplovna legija, German: Kroatische Luftwaffen Legion). This consisted of one fighter squadron equipped with Messerschmitt 109 fighters and one bomber squadron equipped with Dornier Do 17 bombers. The fighter squadron served in Russia as part of JG 52. Many of the unit's pilots became aces, including; Mato Dukovac, Cvitan Galić, Franjo Džal, and many more. The Air Force of the Independent State of Croatia, the Zrakoplovstvo Nezavisne Države Hrvatske (ZNDH) came into being as early as 19 April 1941, just nine days after the proclamation of the Independent Croat State. Croatia had a large fleet of relatively modern aircraft during the Second World War usually of German origin, but also ex-Royal Yugoslav, Italian, French, British and Czech. The fleet numbered several hundred aircraft, from training bi-planes to the latest Messerschmitt 109 fighters. All ZNDH aircraft captured at the end of World War II were incorporated into the Yugoslav People's Army inventory.

    On the Allied side, when the Partisan forces started forming their own air force squadrons (based on donated Allied planes, as well as captured ZNDH aircraft) towards the end of the war, a number of Croats with previous flying experience (NDH defectors, USAAF pilots of Yugoslav descent, pre-war civilian pilots), as well as previously untrained personnel, took part in the effort. Most famous unit was the No. 352 Squadron RAF. Founders of the Partisan air force were Croatian pilots Rudi Čajavec and Franjo Kluz. They both received the title of People's Hero of Yugoslavia.
     

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  18. Gnomey

    Gnomey World Travelling Doctor
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    Good stuff!
     
  19. Wayne Little

    Wayne Little Well-Known Member

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  20. imalko

    imalko Well-Known Member

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    Yugoslav Air Force (Jugoslovensko Ratno Vazduhoplovstvo - JRV) operated a fleet of Douglas Dakotas for 40 years, from 1946 untill 1986. In total our Air Force operated 41 aircraft of this type. Military C-47s were withdrawn from service in late 1976, but one example serving with Federal Flight Control Agency for calibration of navigation equipment was withdrawn from service in 1986!

    Though C-47s were used in Yugoslavia since the end of WW2, the type became operational with JRV in larger numbers in 1953/54 when twenty examples were received as a part of western military aid. They were used as personnel and cargo carriers and for paratrooper training, carrying 25 soldiers or paratroopers or up to 2000kg of cargo. One example had a device for cargo airdropping installed with capacity for 1940 kg weight.

    Examples of Yugoslav C-47s were reconstructed to DC-3 standard for civilian service with our national airline Jugoslovenski Aerotransport (JAT) as early as 1946. Eventually some 20 examples were operated by JAT.

    Following their withdrawal from service, some were installed as gate guards across the former Yugoslavia or in a Museum of Yugoslav Aviation in Belgrade, while a lucky few were sold on the international market (some of which still fly today). One of those sold abroad, former "71248" in JRV service, is now in Merville, France, having been rescued and beautifully restored as the "SNAFU Special" by French enthusiasts who found out that the aircraft was actually a D-Day veteran.

    The set of pictures in the attachment bellow taken from the Museum of Yugoslav Aviation website.
     

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