MORAVAN AEROPLANES INC (A division of Moravan Inc)
Formed 18 September 1934 as Zlinská Letecká Akciová Společnost (Zlin Aviation Company Ltd) in Zlin; manufacture of Zlin aircraft started 1933 by Masarykova Letecká Liga (Masaryk League of Aviation); total of approximately 650 aircraft, including gliders and military transports, manufactured by end of Second World War.
Company then renamed Moravan; 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. Production began in 1970 of Z 42/142/242 and Z 43/143 families; Algerian Z 43s (five supplied in 1991) designated Safir 43; Algerian Z 142s (17 complete and 29 kits in 1987-91) designated Firnas 142. In July 1997, the factory suffered serious flood damage, causing production to be suspended until the following year.
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 US$40 million, but was later cancelled. 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, is being resumed as the result of a 2001 order; these will be manufactured by LZ. Licensed manufacture of the Russian Technoavia Finist, with an Orenda OE-600 piston diesel engine, is planned under the designation Z 400 Rhino. Under a contract with EADS Socata, signed on 22 June 2001, Moravan Aeroplanes is producing complete fuselages for the TB series; deliveries were to begin in August 2002, at a rate of six to eight per month. Also builds Russo Savage kitplane for Italian designer Pasquale Russo.
It was announced on 16 July 2001 that approval had been given for Moravan Aeroplanes to acquire Let Kunovice, with the exception of the L 610 G programme, for the sum of Kcs200 million (US$5 million). Moravan intends to keep open the L 410/420 production line, as well as Let's L-13, L-23 and L-33 sailplanes, and plans to use the factory (now renamed Letecké Zavody: LZ) also for its work on the Z 400 Rhino programme. L 610 G programme subsequently acquired by LZ in early 2002. Shortly after its acquisition of Let, Moravan Aeroplanes announced plans to establish a final assembly centre for its aircraft at Beeville, Texas, USA, in a joint venture with Pereira Internacional Aérea of Houston.
Moravan also manufactures aircraft equipment.