Czechoslovakia's Avia B 534, Avia B.534 fighter

Photos

Avia B.534 fighter:
Czechoslovakia's Avia B.534 fighter

Design

The Avia B.534 was designed by František Novotny.2,3

The B.534 had a metal skeleton and the cover was fabric and metal.3

Prototype

The B 534 prototype first flew in August 1933.1,3

Production

An order for 100 B.534s was placed on July 17, 1934.2 A second order was placed for 47 which was then raised to a total of 447.2 Production of the B 534 went until 1939.1

  • Prototype: 11
  • Avia B 534-I: 471
  • Avia B 534-II: 991
  • Avia B 534-III: 461
  • Avia B 534-IV: 2721
  • Avia Bk 534: 351, 542
  • Total: 4453, 5001
    • Manufacturer: Avia3

Variants

  • Avia B 534-I: Open cockpit.1 The spats on the wheels were removed.1 The guns were mounted in the wings and on the fuselage.1
  • Avia B 534-II: Had the four guns on the fuselage.1
  • Avia B 534-III: Had wheel spats added.1
  • Avia B 534-IV: Had an enclosed cockpit with a sliding canopy.1 Had one gun firing through propeller hub and the other three were on the fuselage.1
  • Avia Bk.534: A 7.7 mm MG was mounted between the engine's cylinders.2

Usage

The Avia B 534 was used by Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Germany, Greece, Slovakia, and Yugoslavia.1

Air Races

In 1937 the Avia B.534 competed in the International Aeronautical Meet at Zurich.2,3 The Czechoslovakian team won 2nd, 3rd, and 4th place.2 The winner was the Bf 109.2,3

First Unit

The 4th Air Regiment was first equipped with the Avia B.534 in 1935.2

Combat Biplane

The Avia B 534 was one of the few biplanes that saw active service in World War II.1

Greek Air Force

The Greek Air Force received six B 534-IIIs before the start of World War II.1

Yugoslavian Air Force

The Yugoslavian Air Force received fourteen B 534-IIIs before World War II started.1

German Occupation

When the Germans occupied Czechoslovakia in March 1939 the Luftwaffe took over around 450 B 534s.1 The were used as fighters, trainers, and glider tugs.1

Slovak Air Force

When the Slovak Air Force was created 70 B 534s were transferred to their control.1,2

Three squadrons were equipped with the B 534 and sent to the Russian front in July 1941.1

Slovak Revolt

In the Slovak revolt of 1944 three surviving B 534s were used against the Germans.1

Bulgarian Air Force

The Bulgarian Air Force received 78 B 534-IVs.1 Some were used in the defense of Ploesti.1

Specifications

  Avia B 5341, Avia B.5343
Type Fighter1,3
Crew 11,2,3
Engine (Type) Avia built Hispano-Suiza 12 Ydrs1
Avia-Hispano-Suiza 12 Ydrs2,3
Cylinders V 121,2,3
Cooling Liquid2,3
HP 8502, 8601,3
Propeller blades 31
Dimensions  
Span 30' 10"1,2,3
9.4 m1,2
Length 26' 11"1,2,3
8.2 m1,2
Height 9' 2"2,3, 10' 2"1
2.79 m2, 3.1 m1
Wing area  
Weight  
Empty 3,218 lb1
1,460 kg1
Loaded 4,365 lb1,2,3
1,980 kg1,2
Performance  
Speed @ 14,435' /
4,400 m
245 mph2,3
394 kph2
Cruising speed  
Climb  
Service ceiling 34,875'2,3
10,600 m2
Range 373 miles2,3
600 km2
Armament 4: MGs2
4: 7.7 mm MG1
Lower wings 2: MG3
Fuselage sides 2: MG3
  Avia B 534-IV1
Type  
Crew  
Engine (Type)  
Cylinders  
Cooling  
HP  
Propeller blades  
Dimensions  
Span  
Length  
Height  
Wing area  
Weight  
Empty  
Loaded  
Performance  
Speed at sea level 214 mph1
344 kph1
Speed @ 14,435' /
4,400 m
245 mph1
394 kph1
Cruising speed 215 mph1
346 kph1
Climb 2,950'/minute1
900 m/minute1
Climb to 16,400' /
5,000 m
5 minutes1
Service ceiling 34,875'1
10,630 m1
Range 373 miles1
600 km1
Armament  
Lower wings  
Fuselage sides  

Sources:

  1. Aircraft of WWII, Stewart Wilson, 1998
  2. Complete Book of World War II Combat Aircraft, Enzo Angelucci, Paolo Matricardi, Pierluigi Pinto, 1988
  3. World War II Airplanes Volume 1, Enzo Angelucci, Paolo Matricardi, 1976
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