LETOV

Previously part of Austria-Hungary, Czechoslovakia started aircraft industry by forming Military Air Arsenal, also called Central Aircraft Works, Prague-Letnany, 1919, appointing Alois Šmolík designer. Became Vojenská továrna na létadla Letov 1920. Types Š 1 - Š 31 almost all single-engined military biplanes, but later (post-1930) included light aircraft and trimotor transports. Final product, Š-328 2-seat biplane, flew 1932 but remained in production in Second World War (525+). During Second World War the factory served as repair shop for the German Luftwaffe. Production lines were also set up during Second World War for combat versions of the Ju 290 aircraft, commencing with the Ju 290 A-2, which carried a search radar for its patrol role. Since the 1950s, the plant has manufactured parts for the MiG-15, MiG-19 and MiG-21. Over 4,000 wings and empennages for L-29 Delfín, a jet trainer aircraft that became the standard jet trainer for the air forces Warsaw Pact nations in the 1960s, were built by Letov. The company has also built wings and empennages for 2500 L-39 Albatros trainer aircraft since the 1970s. Following the fall of socialism in Czechoslovakia in 1989, Letov failed to assert itself on the international market and in 2004 it was bought by French Groupe Latécoère. The company now manufactures parts for large passenger aircraft.

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