Mráz Sokol

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M-1 Sokol
Mraz M-1C Sokol OK-BHM.jpg
M-1C in the Prague Aviation Museum, Kbely
Role Utility aircraft
National origin Czechoslovakia
Manufacturer Beneš-Mráz, Choceň
Designer Zdeněk Rublič
First flight 9 March 1946
Number built 287

The Mráz M.1 Sokol (English: "Falcon") was a light aircraft built in Czechoslovakia in the years following the end of the Second World War. Designed in secret by Zdeněk Rublič at the Beneš-Mráz factory during the German occupation, the type was put into production in 1946.

Design and development[edit]

The Sokol was a conventional, low-wing monoplane that took the pre-war Beneš-Mráz Bibi as its starting point. Two seats were provided side-by-side in an enclosed cabin, and the main units of the tailwheel undercarriage were retractable. Construction throughout was of wood.

The prototype, then designated the M.1/1 and registered as OK-ZHA, first flew on 9 March 1946, following test flights the prototype was designated the M.1A as the two-seat-version. A re-engined two-seater was built designated the M.1B with a ZLAS Toma 4 engine, it first flew on 19 May 1946 but only one was built. The design was then modified as the M.1C with a third-seat in the rear and first flying on 16 February 1947. The M.1C became the main production variant and 183 aircraft were built.

In 1948 the M.1C was further developed as the M.1D with an enlarged single-piece canopy and a revised rudder. The M.1D first flew on 4 October 1948 and 104 were built. One M.1D was fitted with locally produced floats and re-designated the M.1E, it first flew in September 1949. A minor variant was the Para-Sokol which was fitted with rearward sliding canopy to allow parachutists to leave the aircraft.

Around 284 aircraft were built but the wooden-glued airframes were condemend in the early 1960s and withdrawn from use, under 20 were still in existence in the 2010s but only a few are flyable.

Variants[edit]

  • M-1A – original two-seat version with Walter Minor engine
  • M-1B – similar to M-1A but with ZLAS Toma engine (1 built)
  • G-AIXN landing at its home base of Turweston Aerodrome in the United Kingdom
    G-AIXN landing at its home base of Turweston Aerodrome in the United Kingdom in 2017
    M-1C – revised version, with longer fuselage and third seat, and swept leading edges on wing (183 built)
  • M-1D – similar to M-1C with new, single-piece canopy and larger rear windows (104 built)
  • M-1E – similar to M-1D but equipped with pontoons (at least 1 built)

Operators[edit]

 Czechoslovakia
  • Czechoslovakian National Security Guard
 Egypt

Survivors[edit]

An M-1C, registration G-AIXN is maintained in flyable condition in the UK and is based at Turweston Aerodrome[1] Other airworthy examples exist in the Czech Republic at Prague Točná Airport (2016) and in Germany (2012).

An M-1D, registration D-ENAP is maintained in flyable condition in Germany (EDWH). She ist powerd with a Lycoming O-235.

M1C Sokol G-AIXN at Leeds (Yeadon) in 1954, and is still airworthy in 2017

Specifications (M-1D)[edit]

Data from Jane's All The World's Aircraft 1951–52[2]

General characteristics

  • Crew: 1
  • Capacity: 2 passengers
  • Length: 7.35 m (24 ft 1 in)
  • Wingspan: 10.0 m (32 ft 10 in)
  • Height: 2.20 m (7 ft 3 in) (tail up)
  • Wing area: 13.8 m2 (149 sq ft)
  • Empty weight: 425 kg (937 lb)
  • Gross weight: 780 kg (1,720 lb)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Walter Minor 4-III air-cooled four-cylinder inverted inline engine, 78 kW (105 hp)

Performance

  • Maximum speed: 240 km/h (149 mph; 130 kn)
  • Cruise speed: 212 km/h (132 mph; 114 kn)
  • Range: 1,000 km (621 mi; 540 nmi)
  • Service ceiling: 4,800 m (15,700 ft)
  • Rate of climb: 3.0 m/s (590 ft/min)

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The last of the warm ones!". AviatorUK. 2017-10-27. Retrieved 2018-02-03.
  2. ^ Bridgman 1951, pp. 110c–111c.
  • Bridgman, Leonard (1951). Jane's All The World's Aircraft 1951–52. London: Sampson Low, Marston & Company, Ltd.
  • Němeček, Václav (1968). Československá letadla. Prague: Naše Vojsko.
  • Simpson, R. W. (1995). Airlife's General Aviation. Shrewsbury: Airlife Publishing.
  • Taylor, Michael J. H. (1989). Jane's Encyclopedia of Aviation. London: Studio Editions. p. 571.
  • Rare Sokol M1C at Prague Točná Airport