|Primary users||Czechoslovak Air Force|
Spanish Republican Air Force
The Letov Š-31 was a fighter aircraft produced in Czechoslovakia in the early 1930s in a number of variants. All of the aircraft had metal tubular framing and fabric covering with a metal engine cowling.
The first flight of the definitive and highly altered Š.231 version was on March 17, 1933. After testing at the Czechoslovak flight facility at Prague-Lethany, modifications were undertaken to improve the machine’s performance. It entered production the following year and began equipping Czech fighter units in June 1936. The machines however did not remain in frontline fighter status with the Czechoslovak Air Force until the German occupation of Czechoslovakia in 1939. The sole Š.331 and 22 out of 24 produced Š.231s were sold to representatives of the Spanish Republican government. Reports of their combat record in the Spanish Civil War are vague, but at least three machines survived the war and were used by victorious Nationalists. The operational performance and ultimate fate of the Š.331 is unrecorded.
- Spanish Air Force – Post civil war.
- Š-31 – initial version with Walter-built Bristol Jupiter (33 built)
- Š-131 – racing version with BMW-built Pratt & Whitney Hornet (three built)
- Š-231 – main production version with Walter-built Bristol Mercury engine
- Š-331 – version with Walter K.14 engine (one built)
- Š-431 – version with Armstrong Siddeley Tiger engine (one built)
- Crew: one
- Length: 7.80 m (25 feet 7 inches)
- Wingspan: 10.06 m (33 feet 0 inches)
- Height: 3.00 m (9 feet 10 inches)
- Empty weight: 1,280 kg (2,822 pounds)
- Loaded weight: 1,770 kg (3,902 pounds)
- Powerplant: 1 × Walter Bristol Mercury V-S2, 9-cylinder, air-cooled radial piston engine, 412 kW (560 hp)
- Maximum speed: 348 km/h at 5,000 m (216 mph at 16,405 feet)
- Range: 450 km (280 miles)
- Service ceiling: 7,800 m (25,590 feet)
- Guns: Two fixed forward-firing 7.7 mm (0.303 inch) machine guns mounted in fuselage nose, one similar weapon in pod beneath each lower wing,
- Bombs: Six small bombs at hard points beneath lower wings
- Letov S-231 / S-331 . While the Š.31, Š.131, Š.231, and Š.431 had engines of 480 to 680 hp, the Š.331 had a Walter K14 engine with 900 hp. This powerful engine gave it extremely high speed and outstanding performance for an aircraft of the early 1930s. In May 1935, the aircraft established a new Czechoslovak altitude record of 34,941 feet (10,650 m).
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