Craftsmanship in Engineering
A short history of Aero
For the last 96 years in the Czech Republic, Aero has been producing some remarkable and best-selling aircraft. It is one of the oldest aviation companies in Europe with a continuous heritage under the same name, and this introductory article follows the history of its design development from the Ae.01 to the L-60 and includes its licence production of MIG fighters and other types.
The history of the Czech state is a long and fascinating one, beginning as it did with the formation of the Duchy of Bohemia in the latter half of the 9th century. The country had become one of the most successful industrial centres in Europe during the 19th century, with a reputation for engineering excellence that continues to this day. In October 1917, during the First World War, Dr Ulrich Marcius and two Viennese partners, one of whom was the director of the Oesterreichische Albatros Werke, the Austrian subsidiary of the Albatros company based at Johannisthal, Berlin, had decided to set up an aircraft factory and repair workshop in Prague to take advantage of the engineering expertise in the country. This became known as Al-ma, Czech Aircraft Factories Ltd, the name being a
ABOVE: The Al-ma factory in Holešovice, the first aviation works in Czechoslovakia, later taken over by Aero as they expanded. A row of Brandenburg C.I and Bréguet Br XIV fuselages can be seen outside.
ABOVE: The first type produced by Aero, the Ae-10 later redesignated the Ae-01, seen here outside the hangars at Kbely airfield.