July 1933: Czechoslovak Letov Š-328 bomber makes first flight

Photo: Jakab

The Letov Š-328, Czechoslovakia’s most common single-engine bomber and observation plane in the interwar period, made its first flight 90 years ago, on July 19, 1933.

The Š in the name Š-328 was the initial of the plane’s designer, a man named Šmolík. It had orginally been designed for the Finnish Air Force but in the end was assigned to the Czechoslovak Army instead.

The Letov Š-328 was technically unsophisticated, with military experts saying the Czechoslovak Air Force wouldn’t stand a chance in a fight with Hitler’s Germany.

Indeed in the following years the conceptually outdated biplane became easy prey for enemy fighters and anti-aircraft ground fire.

However, ground staff and pilots praised the Š.328. It was reliable and met expectations of pilots not only in service at main bases, but also during training at airfields. The structure of the wing and fuselage frame was impervious to the weather, in particular rain.

See the rest here.