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Zlin Aircraft / Moravan Aviation

ZLIN AIRCRAFT a.s. is the continuator of the traditional production of world reputable sport and aerobatic ZLIN aeroplanes. More than 50 types of ZLIN have been produced since 1934 and over 5600 of them supplied to more than 60 countries around the world. ZLIN AIRCRAFT is major and traditional producer of landing gear wheels and brakes for planes used in the Czech Army. For example in the past, the MIG 15, 19, 21, IL 10, IL 14, JAK 11, AN 28, L-60 Brigadyr, Ae-45, L-200 Morava and more.

The first aircraft manufacturer in the Zlin region - company ZLINSKA LETECKA Inc. (ZLAS) - was established in 1934 by the famous businessman J.A. Bata. Zlin - Moravan Aviation S R.O was formed on 18 September 1934 as Zlinská Letecká Akciová Spolecnost (Zlin Aviation Company Ltd) in Zlin. The manufacture of Zlin aircraft started in 1933 by Masarykova Letecká Liga (Masaryk League of Aviation). In 1937 Mr. Lonek constructed a speedy travelling /courier plane Z-XIII. It was an elegant all-wood low wing plane with landing flaps, Ratier variable pitch propeller and the remarkable top speed of 350 km/h. Progress in this plane and other projects was halted due to events of the war. Other potential projects were lost during the war years.

Otrokovice airport was occupied by the Germans on March 15th, 1939. Pilots and technical engineers were arrested. During the second world war production was limited to only the licensed plane types Klemm KI-25 and Buckem Bu-181 for the German Wehrmacht. The total quantity of these planes manufactured in Otrokovice reached 723, including gliders and military transports, manufactured by the end of the Second World War.

The company was taken into public administration after the Second World War. The company was then renamed to Moravan. Production of two-seated sport planes Z-181 started with German engines. Initially it was re-made Bu-181's but the engines produced in our company were used soon after. These planes were marked as Z-281 and Z-381 and 465 pcs of them were manufactured in 1945 – 1951 respectively. Production of the new planes with our own construction was able to start almost immediately after the end of the war since preparations were secretly continued during the war. The production of a new engine Toma 4 (105K) started in 1946. Later the engine was replaced by Walter Minor 4 (Z-381).

Post-war aircraft production included 1,495 of the Z 26 family (162 Z 26, 170 Z 126, 366 Z 226, 436 Z 326, 331 Z 526 and 30 Z 726) built between 1949 and 1975. The production of the excellent Z-26 plane started at the end of 1945. It was made for basic aerobatics and to trail sailplanes, and with it the famous family of “Trener” was established. There were 1493 pcs produced in 6 types and 15 versions in 1947 – 1974. Sailplanes were produced at the same time as motor planes. The sailplane Galanecka started to fly in 1949. The most famous sailplane was probably the Z-25 Šohaj. 101 pcs of this sailplane were manufactured and 277 pcs of its modification, Z-125. The Šohaj sailplane was exported to Hungary, Poland and Romania.

Helicopters HC2 were produced in our company during the years 1958 to 1963. They were constructed in the Aeronautical and Testing Institute in Prague and it was mentioned in the Document of FAI records. Then followed Head Pilot Berg's setting of a national altitude record of 5 345 metres with the Z-35 helicopter in 1962.

Production began in 1970 of the Z 42/142/242 and Z 43/143 families. The training, sport and acrobatic plane Z-42 started to fly in 1967 and 193 pcs were produced. Next, the four-seater Z-43 was presented in 1968. 176 pcs of this plane were built until production finished in 1993. Serial production of the Z-43 was made with the Z-143L version of the Textron Lycoming. It became famous and its modification Z-143LSi remains in present production plans.

Moravan wanted to keep in step with world trends and modified the Z-42 to the new version Z-142 in 1978. 400 pcs of this plane were produced together with the next modification, the Z-142C + CAF. The last two-seat trainer is the and it is the basic type in present production. Containing the Textron Lycoming engine and certificated in 14 countries including the USA and Canada, it was the Z-242L which opened the North American market to this plane.

After 1990, Moravan a.s. Otrokovice became a subsidiary company of Aero a.s. and the owners of the company changed a couple of times times during the subsequent years, the company structure changed and insolvency proceeding also occurred.

Algerian Z 43s (five supplied in 1991) were designated Safir 43; Algerian Z 142s (17 complete and 29 kits in 1987-91) were designated Firnas 142. In June 1999, Moravan announced the sale of 100 Z 242s to Egypt, equivalent to a two-year backlog of work at then-current production rates. This order then represented approximately half of Moravan's backlog value of USD40 million, but was later cancelled.

In July 1997, the company was completely flooded by the river Moravan, causing production to be suspended until the following year. The damages and losses totalled more than 395 million CZK. Production had to be temporarily stopped because the production area was flooded up to a height of 1.5 m and the airport 2 m.

Moravan sold 22 aircraft in 2000, compared with only 15 in 1999. Aerolease, a joint venture with Dutch financial support, was formed in 2000 to lease Zlin aircraft to European flying clubs and flying training schools. The Z 142 C, out of production since 1995, was resumed as the result of a 2001 order; these were to be manufactured by LZ.

The company was taken over by QucomHaps Holding Ltd. in February 2007 and the company's name was changed to Moravan Aviation s.r.o. ZLIN AIRCRAFT a.s. was re-founded in 2009 and wishes to continue on the basis of Bata Zlinská Letecká in ZLIN sports planes production.

Aerobatic and sport aeroplanes have a reputation for their very high safety standards and unique flight characteristics which enable full control of the aircraft during aerobatic manoeuvres. The current production of ZLIN focuses on the latest modification of the all-steel series ZLIN Z40 with a piston engine, the ZLIN Z 242 L and the ZLIN Z 143LSi. The training and fully aerobatic two-seater aeroplane ZLIN Z 242 L is capable of aerobatic flips with multiples +6/-3.5g. Its well balanced control system and IFR instrumentation position it ahead of other training aeroplanes. Manoeuvrability of this type is attractive for all flying enthusiasts.

The flexibility of the four-seater ZLIN Z 143 LSi enables its practical use for the training of pilots and aerial work as well as for business and other service flights. Besides its VFR instrumentation, the aircraft can also be supplied with instruments including an autopilot for flights in a variety of meteorological conditions. The aircraft is used for training young pilots as well as for patrolling over land or nautical targets with the use of a camera system, glider towing, banner towing and simulation flights. An easy interior change from four to two seats turns it in minutes into the useful “light cargo” version.

ZLIN aeroplanes are fully certified for the EU and many countries in the world, including the USA, Canada, Mexico, Peru, Israel, Australia and Hong Kong. ZLIN AIRCRAFT a.s. also provides training for pilots. Our pilots are all very experienced, especially in aerobatic flying, and together with other expert training personnel, they are ready and waiting to pass on their skills and experience to trainees in order for them to gain a feeling of safety and to appreciate the beauty of flying ZLIN aeroplanes during their training.

Support of ZLIN aeroplanes' operations includes the training of mechanics and engineers for all levels of maintenance of both types produced. ZLIN AIRCRAFT a.s. also manufactures flight components for other aircraft manufacturers – in particular wheels, brakes and individual ensembles of aircraft fuselage.

The company has produced more than 5 600 planes for more than 50 countries within 75 years. This includes: 9 types of hydrogliders, 12 types of sailplanes, 64 types of motor planes including reconstructions, 4 types of helicopters, 3 types of winds, 7 types of engines and a minimum of 15 types of planes that remain just within the project. ZLIN AIRCRAFT follows the tradition of ZLIN AIRCRAFT factory in training, aerobatic and multi-purpose ZLIN aeroplanes production.

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