Letov Š-14

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Letov Š-14
Letov Š-14.jpg
Role Single-seat fighter
National origin Czechoslovakia
Manufacturer Letov Kbely
Designer Alois Šmolik
First flight 1924
Number built 1

The Letov Š-14 was a single-seat, single-engine aircraft, designed and built in Czechoslovakia in the early 1920s. Originally intended as a biplane fighter, it was later modified into a monoplane and entered as a contestant in a speed competition.

Design and development[edit]

The Letov Š-14 was designed alongside the Letov Š-13, sharing its Škoda licence-built 300 hp (224 kW) Hispano-Suiza 8Fb water-cooled V-8 engine but not its thick airfoil wings. Like the Š-13, it was intended as a single-seat biplane fighter aircraft. It was of mixed construction, with wooden wings and a metal-framed fuselage.

The wings, mounted without stagger, were straight edged with a constant chord and blunt wingtips. It was a single bay biplane with a pair of interplane struts on each side. These were straight and near parallel, but converged a little towards the narrower chord lower wing. The upper wing was braced to the fuselage with a cabane immediately ahead of the open cockpit, situated below the wing trailing edge.[1]

The Hispano drove a two-blade propeller with a pointed spinner; it was cooled by a rectangular radiator on each side of the fuselage between the wings. The fuselage was flat sided with rounded decking, tapering aft to the mid-mounted tailplane, where the vertical tail was broad and low. The Š-14 landed on a fixed conventional tailskid undercarriage.[1]

The Š-14 first flew in 1924 but Letov quickly decided to concentrate their fighter development efforts on the Letov Š-20 which flew the following year.[1] Instead, the Š-14 was rebuilt as a cantilever monoplane to take part in the Third Speed Contest of 1924. At that event it recorded a speed of 153.13 mph (246.44 km/h).[1]

Specifications (biplane)[edit]

Data from Green and Swanborough pp.333-4[1]

General characteristics

  • Crew: one
  • Length: 6.43 m (21 ft 1 in)
  • Wingspan: 8.10 m (26 ft 7 in)
  • Empty weight: 664 kg (1,464 lb)
  • Gross weight: 896 kg (1,975 lb)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Hispano-Suiza 8Fb V8 water-cooled, 220 kW (300 hp)
  • Propellers: 2-bladed


  • Maximum speed: 238 km/h (148 mph; 129 kn)
  • Range: 495 km (308 mi; 267 nmi)
  • Time to altitude: 18.5 min to 5,000 m (16,405 ft)


  1. ^ a b c d e Green, William; Swanborough, Gordon (1994). The Complete Book of Fighters. Godalming, UK: Salamander Books. pp. 333–4. ISBN 1-85833-777-1.