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9th branch Airmen Association of the Czech Republic




Two-seat No. 121.50 Phoenix C 1. Powered by a Hiero IV engine designed by Ing. Hieronymus and made at Skoda Mlada Boleslav Company in Bohemia, but the aircraft used by the Austrian Air Force for recce duties was being brought into completion in Austria from 1917.
Dimensions : Span 11 m, length 7.5 m, empty weight  820 kg, loaded one of 1240 kg
Powerplant : an 230 Hiero IV engine
Performance : Maximum speed 176 km.p.h., service ceiling 6 000 m, endurance 3 hrs
Armament : one synchronized  machine gun plus one flanking the cockpit

Phoenix C 1

An corner stone of the Czechoslovak Air Force had been laid during the Great War ie. even before independent Czechoslovakia came into existence on October 28, 1918. About 100 thousand well trained and armed Czechs and Slovaks formed in six divisions were deployed in Italy, France and Russsia that time. The first independent Czech escadrille was established in France thanks to General Rastislav Stefanik. Eleven volunteers for air training were recruited by him at the Czech NAZDAR Company of French Legion. After health testing only eight of them were accepted - seven for pilot- and one for observer training. But Stefanik failed to deploy all of them in one Squadron. Czech airmen fought in the French AF untill the Great War over was  – November 11, 1918. The fighter pilot Jan Hofman was killed while dog fighting on March 18, 1917 and Vilem Stanovsky under pseudonyme Rene Renaud was downed on November 8, 1918, shortly before the Armistice was signed and even twelve days after the Czechs and Slovaks declared their independence on the Austrian-Hungarian Empire. Jan Stork was shot downed as a member of the famous Les Cigognes Escadrille.
All the Czechoslovak pilots were awarded the French Military Gross, Legion of Honour and Militarieu Medal.
            Six pilots and three observers being of Czech origin deserted with their Austrian planes to Italy. But they were not allowed to set up an independent Czech AF unit together with eleven volunteers from POWs. Czech airmen did not engage on an Italian Front – they underwent training on Italian aircraft only.
Only Czechs and Slovaks fighting in a Russian Legion succeeded in establishing the Air Unit of their own.
Seven planes were given to the Czechoslovaks from the French Air Mission and three ones from Russia on the condition, that the aircraft would be prevented from German seizure at any cost.
The Czechoslovak Aviatic Division had been flunder in February 1918, but while withdrawing Vladivostok-
bound, five planes had to be given back to the Russians in Serdobsk, four more in Pemza and the last one in
Krasnojarsk. After reaching the town of Vladivostok on June 11, 1918 without a single plane, the staff was changed into an Automobile Unit.
When the Czechoslovak Legions seized the town of Samara, plenty planes had been found here by them. That reason for the Independent Aviatic Unit of No 1 Czechoslovak Gunner Hussite Division was set up on august 14, 1918. When the Czechoslovaks withdrew from the frontline, the Aviatic Unit was attached to the Cz. Army Headquarters and moved to Omsk under the name of Cechovojsk - Czech Army - Aviatic Unit. 

Robert Lev Melc [ Maelch] was in charge of their training, but being pushed by the Bolsheviks eastwards in the 1919 year, the Cechovojsk Aviatic Unit left for Vladivistok and its 168 staffers including four LWF TRACTOR biplanes embark on January 10, 1920 here heading for Trieste, Italy.
They arrived in Prague on March 2, 1920.

Fighter pilot of Czech nationality Agustin Charvat [ Kharvaht] /centre/ stands front of the Spad XIII C 1 called „ Vieux Pere “ fighter plane attached to the SPA 315 Sqn. at the Les Mores AF at the Belgian frontline in September 1918. Dimensions : span 8.08 m, lenght 6.22 m, empty weight 570 kg
Powerplant : an 220 Hispano Suiza engine
Performance : Top speed 215 km.p.h., climb up to 2000 m in 4 min 24 sec, service ceiling 6650 km, range 295 -
400 km. Armament : two synchronized machine guns over the engine

Aviatik-Berg C 1

An shot of the batch No37 Aviatik-Berg two-seat plane at Uherske Hradiště-Maratice in 1919. Czechoslovak emblems on a fin and wingtips. Built by the Austrian-Hungarian Aeroplane Works in Vienna-Stadlau, this type was used for recce duties by Austrian Air Force during the Great War.
Dimensions : Span 8.4 m, length 7.6 m, loaded weight 865 kg
Powered by an 185 hp Daimler engine
Performance : Maximum speed 186 km.p.h., service ceilling 6 400 m, endurance 3 and an half hrs
Armament : one synchronized machine gun incl. one flanking the cockpit


An No 3598  Nieuport XXIII C figter plane in Prague in the 1919 year. Being of an Ukrainian origin, it was flown to Prague from the Halic Region ie SE Poland. Undergoing restoration the aircraft incorporates parts from several types of planes.

Nieuport XXIII C

Since the first cotrollable heavier-than-air flights had been made, the Austria-Hungarian administration did not intend to establish aeroplane manufacturing neither in Bohemian nor Moravian Lands. An Aeroplane Repairs Works „ Al-Ma „was set up by an Dr. Martius being of German origin in the Prague district of Holešovice in 1916. Several days after the independent state of Czechoslovakia had come into existence on October 28, 1918 the Air Force Corps was founded and an order to move all the aeroplanes and air material  to Prague was issued.  On November 18, 1918 nine planes were seized by the Czechs and eight of them ferried from the town of Cheb to Prague situated near border on Germany so that the Germans were prevented from flying them into Germany. This unexpected raid  was commanded by  Cpt. Adamec [Addammaets] who was later appointed the Aeroplane Arsenal`s CO.The ninth Czech pilot had to land in Germany and his aircraft was confiscated.
            Every plane was concentrated at the Prague Fair Facility and till February 1919 sorted. An young P/O Alois Smolik was in charge of undergoing repairs. He used to be as an aid to the Air Expert and Scholar Profesor Miess. An Sm-1 biplane designed by Alois Smolik and flight-tested in Apríl 1919 persuaded the Czechoslovak government to prefer the home-production aircraft to ones imported from France, though 115 French planes were presented them. The first Czechoslovak plane was the sporting B-5  type built in the Plzen „ Bohemia “ Works.
            An recce S-1 and S-2 types as well as a fighter S-4 had been built at the Prague Fair Facility but later the production was moved to the village of Letnany on the Prague outskirts. Till the 1930 year the production bombers S-6, Brandenburg licenced trainers S-10 as well as S-16 and S-616 bombers, S-18 and S-218 trainers, an transport S-19 type and S-20 and S-31 fighters were turned out by this „Letov “ Company here. 
An politician Tusar`s idea to invest money into the plane production presented late 1918 was had come true in the Prague District of Bubenec – aircraft was being repaired here at first. An copy of the Brandenburg trainer biplane coded Ae-01 was made here in September 1919, the first one of the 35 pcs production batch built not only at Bubenec but also in the Holešovice „Al-Ma “ premises.
The company was called from the 1921 year : Aero, Aeroplane Works, Dr Kabes [Kabbaesh]  The Aero Factory was moved to the Prague District of Vysočany two years later. Production Ae-01 trainers of Brandenburg 10 version, transport A-10, recce bombers A11 + Ab-11, trainers A-211, recce A-12, Brandenburg licenced trainer- and recce A-14, Brandenburg licenced observer A-15, fighter A-18, night-time trainer A-21, De Havilland licenced DH 50 as well as A-22, A-23, A-38 transport planes, A-25 trainers, A-30 bombers and ground-attack A-32 + Ap-32 types were built here till 1930.

            The production fighters BH-3, trainers BH-9, aerobatic trainers BH-10, liasion BH-11, BH-17 + BH-21 fighters, fighter trainers BH-22, transport BH-25 J as well as BH-33, BH-33E, BH-33L fighters and Fokker licenced F 60 transporter were in production at the Avia Company at Cakovice till the 1930 year.            


Fokker D VII

A Fokker D VII biplane having been made in Germany from the 1918 year placed the first in the German fighter plane rankings. The only aircraft of this type was used by the newly established Czechoslovak Air Forces at the Cheb Training School.
 Wood- longeroned and framed wings, steel-tube-welded fuselage.
Dimensions : Span 8.90 and length 7 m, empty weight 685 kg.
Powerplant : a 210 hp Austro-Daimler 
Performance : Maximum speed 200 km.p.h. , service ceiling 6700 m ,endurance 2 hrs  
Armament : two synchronized  Spandau machine guns

A Spad Mk VII French fighter plane entered service in 1916. After the Czechoslovak Republic had came into existence on Oct 28, 1918, aircraft of this type was imported and used by the Czechoslovak AF. The plane was finely tuned.
Fabric-covered wooden airframe, sheet metal plated cowlings
Dimensions : Span 7.77  and length 6.12 m, empty weight of 535 kg
Powerplant : a 180 Hispano-Suiza
Performance : Max. speed 191 km.p.h., service ceiling 5334 m, endurance 2 hrs 15 min
Armament : one forward firing synchronized machine gun 

Spad VII
Spady VII

Transport of Spad type aircraft was  as easy thanks to fixed undercarriage members as complicated due to the tail strut. There were flown about sixty machines of VII and XIII Marks in Czechoslovakia after the Great War. The former was armed by one, the latter by two synchronized machine guns.


Transport of the Spad VII and XIII fighters. These one-seat biplanes were of French origin. Both the types` were of all-wooden airframe, covered by fabric
Empty weight of the VII type 535 kg, 570 in the XIII one respectively.



Breguet Bre

Breguet Bre 14 A2 designed by Louis Breguet was one of the most successful bomber planes of the Great War. Wood- and steel- wingframe, skeletal structure of fuselage steel- framed, sheet metal plated engine cowling
Dimensions : Span 14.36 m, length 8.87 m
Powerplant : a 300 Renault 12
Performance : Maximum speed 175 km.p.h. service ceiling 6300 m
Armament : Bombload of 300 kg, defensive : three machine guns of a 0.3-cal

The Letov S-1 was the the first plane turned out for military purposes on the territory of newly established Czechoslovak Republic in 1920. Thanks to this type home-made aircraft was preferred to ones offered from France. Fabric covered semicircular plywood skeletal moulded fuselage, wood-framed wings as well as a fin covered by plywood plus fabric.
Dimensions : span 12.86 m, legth 8.31 m, empty weight 861 kg
Poweplant : a 230 Hiero L
Performance : Max. speed 194 km.p.h., climb to 5000 m in 52 min, range 715 km



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