Let L-200 Morava

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L-200 Morava
Letoun L-200D Morava (4069401562).jpg
Role Touring / utility aircraft
Manufacturer Let
First flight 9 April 1957
Status In service with private hands
Primary users Czechoslovakia
USSR, Poland
Produced 1957-1964
Number built 367

The Let L-200 Morava is a two-engine touring and light passenger aircraft of the 1960s, designed and produced by Let Kunovice in the Czech Republic.

Development[edit]

Let L-200D Morava on landing
Let L-200D Morava banking
cockpit of L-200D Morava
Let L-200D Morava at Kubinka air base

The Let L-200 Morava light twin-engine transport was preceded in production at the Let factory by the license-built Aero Ae 45. In 1955 the newly created design team led by Ladislav Smrcek of the Czechoslovak State Aircraft Factory decided to proceed with a proprietary design for a more modern twin with seating capacity of five and powered by a pair of then new 210 hp Avia M 337 engines, but as they were not yet available, the prototype made do with the less powerful Walter Minor 6-III engines of 160 hp each. While maintaining similar characteristics of western twin engine aircraft of the time, updated features of the Morava included twin tails, standard thermal wing de-icing equipment and inverted inline engines.[1]

Three prototypes were built. The first, designated XL-200 (OK-LNA) made its maiden flight on 9 April 1957. It was followed in flight testing by the second prototype (OK-LNB) while the third was used for static testing. The aircraft sported clean, elegant lines. During the same year the factory built a run of 10 pre-production L-200s, one of these aircraft undergoing government flight testing in 1958. The program was successful, and the airplane was ordered into full-scale production. One L-200 was converted into a prototype of the M-337-powered production model L-200A. This aircraft incorporated minor changes, consisting mostly of new two-blade V-410 propellers, a cockpit lowered by 43mm, a modified tailfin design as well as longer engine nacelles. It was completed in 1959 and shown at the Paris Air Show in July of that year. The aircraft underwent government trials in the fall of 1959, having been fitted with M-337 engines. The trials once again proved successful and were completed the following July. The first production L-200A took to the skies in February 1960.

L-200B and C models were not produced. The second production variant was the L-200D, modified according to Russian Aeroflot demands. It was fitted with new three-blade propellers V-506 of a smaller diameter and some minor improvements, such as dust filters. It also received more comprehensive navigation equipment. The prototype (OK-NIA) was converted from the L-200A prototype in 1960 and tested in 1961-1963.

In all, 367 L-200s were built[2] by 1964, including 3 prototypes and 197 L-200D (eight L-200A and the L-200A prototype were converted to L-200D as well). 5 aircraft were manufactured from parts by Libis in Yugoslavia.

A further development was 6-place L-210 (also known as L-201; registration OK-PHB), converted from one L-200D in 1966, powered with 245 hp M-338 engines, but it was not ordered by the airlines and was not produced.

Operational Service[edit]

The pre-series aircraft L-200 were distributed for testing: 5 to the Czechoslovak airline Agrolet (OK-MEA - MEE), 2 to the Czechoslovak Air Force and 2 to Aeroflot in the USSR.

Aeroflot, who used them as air taxis, was the largest single user of Moravas - 68 L-200A and 113 L-200D, final deliveries taking place in 1966. In the 1970s however, the Soviet Union sold or withdrew its aircraft from use, in favour of indigenous designs.

About 100 Moravas were used for civilian purposes in Czechoslovakia by aeroclubs Svazarm (about 50), the airlines Agrolet (from 1969 Slov-Air) and Czechoslovak Airlines (45) and by businesses, such as Škoda. 20 were used by the Czechoslovak Air Force (16 of which L-200A[2]), among others, for training. About 50 were sold to Poland, where they were used mostly as air ambulances and in aeroclubs. Some other countries had smaller fleets of Moravas.

During the Cold War Era, not many light aircraft were exported from behind the Iron Curtain.[1] 144 L-200A were exported to 15 countries. They were used in Australia, Argentina, Cuba, Hungary, West Germany, Great Britain, Egypt, India, Italy, Poland, South Africa, USSR and Yugoslavia. L-200D were exported to Bulgaria, Cuba, Egypt, France, Hungary, GDR, Great Britain, India, Indonesia, Italy, Poland, Switzerland, Sweden, USSR and Yugoslavia.

Small number of Moravas are still used (as of 2008), mainly in Czech Republic, Slovakia and Poland.

Operators[edit]

 Bulgaria
 Cuba
 Czechoslovakia
 Hungary
 Soviet Union

Specifications (L-200D)[edit]

Data from Jane's All The World's Aircraft 1966–67[3]

General characteristics

Performance

See also[edit]

Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Frawley, Gerard (1997). The International Directory of Civil Aircraft. Fyshwick, ACT 2609, Australia: Aerospace Publications Pty Ltd. p. 135. ISBN 1875671269. 
  2. ^ a b Vaclav Nemecek, Atlas letadel. Dvoumotorova obchodni letadla, Praha 1987
  3. ^ Taylor 1966, pp. 27–28.
  • Taylor, John W. R. Jane's All The World's Aircraft 1966–67. London:Sampson Low, Marston & Company, 1966.
  • L-200 Morava at Ugolok Neba site (in Russian)


External links[edit]