|Let Aero Ae 145|
|Manufacturer||Aero Vodochody, Let Kunovice|
|First flight||21 July 1947|
China, East Germany, France, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Romania, USSR and Switzerland
The Aero 45 was a twin-piston engined civil utility aircraft produced in Czechoslovakia after World War II. Aero Vodochody produced the aircraft in 1947–1951, after which the Let Kunovice rolled out these planes until 1961. In 1958 the Ae-45S became the first Czechoslovak plane to cross the Atlantic Ocean. It was the first product of the nation's postwar aviation industry and proved a great success, with many of the 590 produced being exported.
Design and development
Development began 1946 and was accomplished by the technical designers Jiři Bouzek, Ondřej Němec and František Vik. The design bears a superficial resemblance, when viewed nose-on, to the much larger German Siebel Si 204 which, among other German aircraft were produced in Czechoslovakia while under German occupation. The prototype (registered OK-BCA) flew for the first time on 21 July 1947 and the second, registered OK-CDA, one year later. Flight testing ran without incidents and the type was released for series production in 1948. The model number of "45" was not a continuation of Aero's pre-war numeration scheme, but a reference to the 4/5 seats in the aircraft.
The Aero 45 had a sleek, teardrop-shaped fuselage, with a rounded, extensively-glazed nose affording excellent visibility. It had a low wing on which the engine nacelles were mounted, and a conventional tail. The main undercarriage was retractable but the tailwheel was fixed.
Ae-45 prototypes were widely advertised abroad. In August 1949 Jan Anderle won the Norton Griffiths Race in Great Britain (Ae-45 registration OK-DCL). They also set several international records. As a result, apart from Eastern Bloc countries, the plane was also bought by Italy and Switzerland. On 10–11 August 1958 Dr. Pier Paolo Brielli flew an Italian Ae-45 3000 kilometers from South America to Dakar across the southern Atlantic (as the first Czechoslovak-built aircraft). In 1981 Jon Svensen flew Ae-45S from Europe to the USA.
This type was used in Czechoslovakia and was exported to the People's Republic of China, East Germany, France, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Romania, Soviet Union and Switzerland. Hungary was a major customer, where the aircraft was known as the Kócsag (Hungarian: "Egret").
- Aero 45
- First production version built in Aero factory. 200 built between 1948 and 1951.
- Aero 45S "Super Aero"
- Improved variant produced by Let in Kunovice factory, among others with better navigational equipment. 228 aircraft built between 1954 and 1959.
- Aero 145 (I)
- Larger five-seat derivative of Ae-45 powered by Walter Minor 6-III engines and tricycle landing gear, not built.
- Aero 145 (II)
- Version with engines changed to supercharged Motorlet (Walter) M332, produced later as Avia M 332s. This version was developed and built by Let, 162 aircraft built between 1959 and 1961.
- Aero 245
- Similar to 145, but with a tailwheel, not built.
- Aero 345
- Aero 45 airframe powered by Walter Minor 6-III engines, not built.
- Chinese unlicensed copy of the Aero Ae 45S, produced from 1958.
- Hungarian Police
- Hungarian Air Ambulance Service
- LOT Polish Airlines operated three Ae-45 in 1952–1957
- Polish Air Ambulance Service operated Ae-45 and Ae-145
- People's Liberation Army Air Force operated license-built Suingari-1 variant.
- Czechoslovak Air Force operated aircraft under designation K-75, for liaison purpose.
- Czechoslovakian National Security Guard
- Indian Air Force operated a single aircraft gifted by the Czech government
- Vietnam People's Air Force – three Ae-45 from 1956 (acquired from China)
Specifications (Aero 145)
Data from Jane's All The World's Aircraft 1961–62
- Crew: 1
- Capacity: 3-4 passengers
- Length: 7.77 m (25 ft 6 in)
- Wingspan: 12.25 m (40 ft 2 in)
- Height: 2.3 m (7 ft 7 in)
- Wing area: 17.1 m2 (184 sq ft)
- Airfoil: Aero No.58-64
- Empty weight: 960 kg (2,116 lb)
- Gross weight: 1,500 kg (3,307 lb)
- Max takeoff weight: 1,600 kg (3,527 lb) (full fuel)
- Fuel capacity: 324 l (86 US gal; 71 imp gal)
- Powerplant: 2 × Avia M 332-III 4-cylinder air-cooled inverted in-line piston engines, 100 kW (140 hp) each
- Propellers: 2-bladed Type V410, 1.9 m (6 ft 3 in) diameter electrically-operated metal 4-position variable-pitch propellers
- Maximum speed: 282 km/h (175 mph, 152 kn) at 1,600 kg (3,500 lb) AUW
- Cruise speed: 250 km/h (160 mph, 130 kn) at 1,600 kg (3,500 lb) AUW
- Range: 1,700 km (1,100 mi, 920 nmi)
- Service ceiling: 5,900 m (19,400 ft)
- Service ceiling one engine out: 2,200 m (7,200 ft)
- Rate of climb: 5 m/s (980 ft/min)
- Wing loading: 87.8 kg/m2 (18.0 lb/sq ft)
- Power/mass: 9.5 kg/kW (15.7 lb/hp)
- Take-off run to 15 m (49 ft): 460 m (1,510 ft)
Aircraft of comparable role, configuration, and era
- "Aero Ae-45: První československé aerotaxi". FlyMag.cz.
- Vaclav Nemecek, Atlas letadel. Dvoumotorova obchodni letadla, Praha 1987
- "Legendární české aerotaxi vznikalo tajně. Místo letadel měli dělat hrnce". iDNES.cz (in Czech). 16 October 2013.
- Hardy, M. J. Air Taxi, Sir? article in Aircraft Annual 1964 UK Ian Allan 1963 p.61 bw plate
- Adam Jońca: Samoloty linii lotniczych 1945–1956, WKiŁ, Warsaw 1985, ISBN 83-206-0529-6
- Our Background vietnamairlines.com
- "World Air Forces — Aircraft — Katanga Aircraft". worldairforces.com. Retrieved 17 May 2021.
- Taylor 1961, pp. 37–38.
- Taylor, John W.R., ed. (1961). Jane's all the World's Aircraft 1961–62. London: Sampson Low, Marston & Co.
- Němeček, Václav (1987). Atlas letadel. Dvoumotorova obchodni letadla (in Czech). Praha.
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