We have always responded to the latest market changes and focused on the highest quality of customer support.
Aero - továrna létadel (Aero - the aircraft factory) in Prague, has its roots in the period immediately following the creation of the independent Czechoslovak Republic in 1918. On January 11, 1919, a preliminary agreement establishing the new limited liability company was signed. The date of registration with the Companies Court - February 25, 1919 - can be considered as the founding date.
The new company, which focused on production of aircraft, aircraft parts and aircraft repairs, was soon followed by two other companies - the state owned Letov and the private Avia. However, Aero was the strongest of the three for a long time considering the size of workforce as well as the production output.
After repairs of a number of imported aircraft types started, a prototype of the first in-house type (Aero A-1) was built in the Brandenburg shape. An order from the Ministry of Defense for series production of this test-proven military prototype soon followed. The new introductory type was designed for pilot training - a typical product of much more distant future!
More powerful training aircraft types followed, and after production had been moved to new facilities in the Prague district of Vysočany, the basis for a new family of reconnaissance, bomber and training biplanes was laid down by the Aero A-11 and A-12. Military pilots soon became famous for braking records and winning races in Aero aircraft. Aero, at that time a private enterprise owned by Dr. Vladimir Kabeš, became the main contractor for the Ministry of Defense and the Ministry of Public Works (civil aviation).
First foreign customers soon followed the suit, starting with Finland. Between the two world wars, Aero achieved a number of Czechoslovak firsts:
the company built a prototype of the first indigenous fighter airplane, designed the first dedicated cabin transport aircraft, the first
twin-engine aircraft, the first seaplane with indigenously designed floats, introduced a braced high-wing monoplane and also pioneered
a practical design of a wooden cantilever wing structure. An important milestone was the first practical application of a flapped wing
(in combination with automatic slat and roll control augmented by spoilers) in mid 1930s, and the use of retractable undercarriage on refined
streamlined aircraft and hydraulically operated flaps before the World War II.
Significant manufacturing and technology advancements in all-metal structures came with the commencement of licensed manufacturing of the French Marcel Bloch and Soviet SB-2 twin-engine bombers in the second half of 1930s.
The enhanced capabilities of the company were fully utilized and later developed during the German occupation, when Aero produced stressed-skin semi-monocoque structures with full jigging for reconnaissance and training missions (Focke-Wulf Fw 189 and Siebel Si 204).
Prelude to Future
Immediately after the war ended, the nationalized Aero continued in the production and repairs of aircraft. Modified German aircraft types were manufactured for the Czechoslovak Air Force as well as civil aviation. Shortly after the war, a new remarkable indigenous type had been introduced - the high-performance, twin-engine, all-metal Aero 45 four-seater.
In 1953, new facilities designed entirely for jet aircraft production were built in Vodochody and started operation in the same year. The production, in which several Czechoslovak aviation plants were involved, focused on a large-scale series production of MiG-15 aircraft built under a license and its derivatives. The supersonic MiG-19 and MiG-21 aircraft were manufactured by Aero through the 1960s and 1970s, paving the way in production capabilities to indigenous jet trainer programs - the L-29 Delfin and the L-39 Albatros.
Indigenous Jet Trainers
In the second half of the 1950s, the need for jet trainer aircraft became more and more urgent. Concentrated efforts in developing an
optimized airframe and indigenous jet engine within the Czechoslovak aircraft industry resulted in the maiden flight of the L-29 in 1959.
The definitive step on Aero's way to mass production of jet trainers took place in Summer 1961 near Moscow: the L-29 Delfin won comparative
testing of three different prototypes and was declared the most suitable trainer in Eastern Bloc countries. Production and deliveries
continued smoothly for the ten following years, after which the second generation, a more powerful and more efficient L-39 had been
developed. Production of the L-39 occupied Aero's workshops and assembly halls during 1970s and 1980s. A number of air forces around the
world still utilize the excellent tutoring quality of this affordable airplane.
The L-39 Albatros family expanded considerably in the course of time, forming a perfect basis for further development. The advent of 1990s brought incorporation of Western avionics and standards as well as the use of more powerful American engines and global equipment, and with it a start of a new chapter in the life of the company.
In the 1990s, Aero commenced works on the multi-purpose aircraft type L270, which was intended to replace the Antonov An-2 forming the base
of the fleet of utility aircraft of the countries of eastern block. Further development of the project was however limited and conditioned by
workload of the employees of technical section and insufficiency of financial means allocated for this project.
In the second half of 1990s, Aero started to seek a partner for further continuation of the L270 project. This search was successfully crowned in the year 1997 by establishing the Ibis Aerospace Limited (IBIS) joint venture and by signature of the joint venture contract with the company Aerospace Industrial Development Corporation (AIDC) from Taiwan, both parties participating with 50%. The L270 aircraft was renamed the Ae 270.
Successful maiden flight of the aircraft was performed in summer 2000. In the year 2005, the Ae 270 achieved the EASA Type Certificate and in 2006 the Type Certificate from the FAA.
AERO Vodochody AEROSPACE a.s. is a joint stock company, registered in the Companies Register in Prague on January 2, 1991. Till the end of the year 2006, Aero was a state-owned company. From January 4, 2007, private equity group Penta became a sole shareholder of Aero and in the same year successfully finished its restructuring process, the main result of which was profit reached by Aero for 2007 in the amount of CZK 236 million. Aero thus entered the year 2008 as a stable and profitable company, ready to develop long-term partnerships with its customers.
- 1919 Aero - továrna létadel (Aero – Aircraft Factory) founded in Prague
- 1919 A-1, first in-house designed military training aircraft
- 1921 A-10, first in-house designed civil airliner
- 1923 A-11 family of successful military biplanes (bomber and reconnaissance)
- 1925 De Havilland DH-50 airliner produced under British license
- 1929 A-34 "Blackbird", first of sport and training light biplanes family
- 1932 A-100 family, military biplane (bomber and reconnaissance)
- 1937 MB-200 all-metal bomber produced under French license (Marcel Bloch)
- 1938 A-304 twin-engine low wing military aircraft
- 1938 A-300 twin-engine low wing bomber
- 1939 C4/C-104 (Bucker Bu-131 Jungmann) training and aerobatic biplane
- 1943 C-3 (Siebel Si-204D) twin-engine military aircraft
- 1947 Ae-45 twin-engine civil aircraft
- 1953 Aero moved from Prague to new facilities in Vodochody
- 1954 Maiden flight of first MiG-15 jet fighter built under Soviet license (3,405 aircraft delivered 1954-1962)
- 1958 Maiden flight of MiG-19 Farmer supersonic fighter built by Aero under Soviet license (103 aircraft delivered 1958-1962)
- 1959 Maiden flight of L-29 Delfin (Dolphin), first in-house designed jet trainer (3,500 aircraft delivered 1963-1974)
- 1962 Maiden flight of MiG-21 Fishbed supersonic fighter built by Aero under Soviet license (194 aircraft delivered 1962-1972)
- 1968 Maiden flight of L-39 Albatros in-house designed jet trainer (more than 2,900 aircraft delivered 1971-1999)
- 1986 Maiden flight of L-39MS in-house jet trainer, for export designated L-59 Super Albatros (60 aircraft delivered 1992-1996)
- 1997 Maiden flight of L-159 advanced light combat aircraft (72 aircraft delivered to Czech Air Force)
- 1997 Joint Venture established between Aero and AIDC Taiwan for the Ae 270 aircraft development and production
- 1998 Boeing becomes strategic partner of Aero
- 2000 First production L-159 delivered to Czech Air Force
- 2000 Production of Boeing 757 passenger door polished skins launched
- 2000 Maiden flight of Ae 270 civil utility aircraft
- 2000 Production of S-76 helicopter for Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation launched
- 2001 Production of F/A-18 gun bay door for Boeing St. Louis launched
- 2001 Production of Boeing 767 fixed leading edges kits started for BAE SYSTEMS (today Spirit AeroSystems)
- 2002 Maiden flight of L-159B advanced trainer
- 2004 Delivery of L-159 aircraft to Czech Air Force completed
- 2004 Boeing ceased to be strategic partner of Aero
- 2005 Ae 270 achieved EASA Type Certificate
- 2005 Privatization of Aero announced by Czech Government
- 2005 Aero signed a long-term agreement on Czech Air Force L-159 fleet follow-on support
- 2006 Ae 270 achieved FAA Type Certificate
- 2007 Private equity group Penta becomes the sole shareholder of Aero
- 2007 L-159T1 advanced trainers delivered to Czech Air Force
- 2007 Joint venture with AIDC concluded
- 2007 Acquisition of Rotortech Composites Ltd. is carried out by Penta
- 2007 Production of C-27J Spartan center wing box for Alenia Aeronautica launched
- 2008 Production of Embraer 170/190 door subassemblies for Latecoere launched
- 2009 Aero signed a contract with a Belgium company SONACA on design, development and manufacturing of the Wing Fixed Leading Edges for a CSeries Aircraft
- 2010 Aero made an agreement with Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation on manufacturing of cockpit of UH-60M Black Hawk helicopter
- 2011 Aero concluded a contract with Brazilian company Embraer on design, development industrialization and serial production of the Wing Fixed Leading Edge and technological development and manufacturing of the Rear Fuselage II, all Cabin Doors and Cargo Lamp
- 2011 The first UH-60M Black Hawk helicopter cockpit for Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation was manufactured
AERO Vodochody AEROSPACE a.s.
U Letiště 374
250 70 Odolena Voda
- Public Relations
Tel.: +420 255 763 173