Orličan L-40 Meta Sokol

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L-40 Meta Sokol
Orličan L40 Meta Sokol (OK-MMM).jpg
Role Touring aircraft
Manufacturer Orličan
First flight 29 March 1956
Status in use
Primary user Czechoslovakian aviation
Produced 1957-1959
Number built 106[1]

The L-40 Meta Sokol was a Czechoslovakian sports and touring four-seat single-engine low-wing aircraft of the late 1950s.


A predecessor of the L-40 was a sports and touring plane M-1 Sokol of wooden construction. Next there was a sports plane with V-tail LD-40, designed by Zdenek Rublič. Its prototype XLD-40 was flown on 30 July 1950, however, it did not meet required performance and was abandoned. In 1954 the design of a further improved variant, the LD-40 started again, with the tail changed to a conventional one. The plane had a number of shortcomings, and further work continued. Eventually the aircraft was redesigned as a four-seater touring aircraft, under the designation L-40 Meta Sokol.

The prototype of the L-40, the XL-40, flew first on 29 March 1956. Another prototype flew in August 1956, introducing some simplification of construction. In 1957 the aircraft entered production, and by 1959, 106 were built.[1] The first series of 10 aircraft had 77 kW (103 hp) Walter Minor III-4 engine, with the remainder powered by more powerful (103 kW (138 hp)) Walter M-332 engines. Four persons sat in two rows, with dual controls. An unusual feature is the inverted tricycle gear, with main gear near the wing's leading edge and relatively big rear wheel near the wing's rear edge, which resulted in the fuselage being almost horizontal on the ground.


The primary user was the Czechoslovak civilian aviation. Over half of production was exported to 16 countries, among others to Germany, Great Britain, Switzerland and Australia. Several FAI world records were set on the L-40.


Single-engine low-wing cantilever monoplane of a metal construction. A fuselage built of a frame in front part, semi-monocoque in rear part, duralumin covered. Trapezoid three-part wing, duralumin covered, fitted with split flaps. Conventional tail, steering surfaces were covered with canvas. A tail fin was high, trapezoid. The plane had four seats in two rows, with twin controls in front. All were placed under a slim partly glazed canopy, sliding rearwards. At the rear, there was some luggage space. Inline engine in front, with two-blade tractor propeller V-410 of a variable pitch. Retractable inverted tricycle gear. The main gear's wheels are only half hidden in wings, making emergency landings safer. Fuel tanks were in wings, there could be also fitted small teardrop tanks to wingtips.


Data from Szwedo, F. (1992)

General characteristics

  • Crew: 1 pilot
  • Capacity: 3 passengers
  • Length: 7.56 m (24 ft 9½ in)
  • Wingspan: 10.30 m (33 ft 9½ in)
  • Height: 2.46 m (8 ft 1 in)
  • Wing area: 14.56 m² (156.7 ft²)
  • Empty weight: 534 kg (1,177 lb)
  • Loaded weight: 934 kg (2,059 lb)
  • Max. takeoff weight: 950 kg (2,090lb)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Avia M332 inline engine, 138 hp (103 kW)


See also[edit]

Related development
Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era


  • Paul,G.J Christopher. "Air Test 3: The Meta-Sokol". Air Pictorial, July 1959. pp. 248–250.
  • Szwedo, Franciszek, Samolot sportowy L-40 Meta Sokol, in: Modelarz nr 8/1992 (in Polish)
  • Ivan Procházka: Orličan L-40 Meta Sokol (in Czech)

External links[edit]