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Avia BH-1

The first type of AVIA factory

Basic parameters


Year of manufacture








km / h

Travel speed

1 + 1

Number of persons

About the Plane

The Avia BH-1 aircraft was the first engine type of the company "Avia", which was founded in August 1919. The first partners of "Avia - aircraft repair and production workshops" were Pavel Beneš, Miroslav Hajn (aircraft designers), JF Koch (later creators of well-known motorcycles Praga, who took care of the aircraft engine) and Václav Malý, a businessman looking for funds to run the company. In order to make a living, the workshop in Prague Vysočany also accepted non-aviation orders, and also produced model propellers and boomerangs.

The replica of the aircraft is completely identical in size to its model from 1920 and retains almost all the details of the original structure. The original aircraft was mainly used as a sports and factory, later as a military liaison. Avia BH-1 is a single-engine two-seater strut low-flying aircraft. The aircraft is an all-wood construction, the fuselage is covered with beech plywood, wings and tail surfaces with canvas. The chassis is of the spur type, motorcycle wheels are sprung with rubber cords. The aircraft is left in the original color of the material used. Compared to the original, the control has two and is equipped with basic instrumentation, so the aircraft meets the requirements of the current UL category.

10.08 m

5.86 m

2.05 m

11.50 m2

298 kg

450 kg

160 km / h

110 km / h

250 km

Walter Micron

1 + 1




Bearing surface

Weight of empty machine

Take - off weight

Maximal speed

Travel speed


Power unit

Number of passengers

About the plane

At the turn of 1919 - 1920, Beneš and Hajne began working on their first motor plane (before and after the war, they had already built several gliders of their own design). When designing this new aircraft, they applied their previous experience with "thick wing profiles", these profiles have been tested in the past on many of their own airworthy models. They were inspired by the constructions of Prof. Dr. Hugo Junkers and Anthony Fokker, their modern aircraft have already proven their qualities in the battles of the First World War. Type Avia BH1 was an experimental aircraft of all-wood construction, the fuselage was covered with weak plywood, wings and tail surfaces with canvas. Beneš and Hajn used very bold elements in the construction of the aircraft in 1920, they designed thick wing profiles, the original low-wing strut concept of hanging the wing to the fuselage (patented here) and a floating rudder - the function of the keel area was taken over by a high and flat fuselage at the rear.

Work on the aircraft continued quickly, construction began at the end of the winter of 1920 and on October 9 of the same year, the flight pilot of the company "Aero", Josef Novák with BH1 performed the first "jump", so far only up to 1 m. which has not yet been covered for the first flights. The first, already real flight up to a height of 50 m lasted 4 minutes and was made on October 13, 1920. The plane was ready for the next flight the very next day and the flight lasted 10 minutes. The Avia BH1 surprised everyone with its maneuverability and flawless flight characteristics. Only the pre-war Austro-Daimler aircraft engine was too weak, so only one pilot could fly with Avia.

After the first successful years, the aircraft was moved to the Prague Industrial Palace, where the "International Air Show" took place, the first in the Czechoslovak Republic. At the "Avie" stand, the aircraft attracted well-deserved attention and became the most admired exhibit of the exhibition. The protector of the exhibition, the President of the Republic TG Masaryk, donated CZK 100,000 from his fund to the company "Avia" to support its further development. This meant a lot to a small company, Václav Malý was financially exhausted at the end of 1920, and the further perspective of the company required further, considerable investments. After the exhibition, further modifications were made to the aircraft and continued to fly until April 1921, when it was dismantled and rebuilt to type BH1bis.

The BH1bis type differed from the first version of the aircraft mainly by the installation of a more powerful French seven-cylinder rotary engine "Gnome", the wing was covered to the rear beam with 1mm plywood, the landing gear was modified and the entire aircraft was painted silver. The modified BH1 could already fly with two people on board. In September 1921, the aircraft participated in the 1st National Aviation Meeting, where it won the reliability competition and the Sightseeing Flight through the Republic on the route Prague - Olomouc - Nitra - Vajnory - Olomouc - Prague. BH1 won despite the fact that much stronger machines took part in the race and the 860 km long track flew at an average speed of 125 km / h, succeeded in great competition thanks to its technological sophistication, aerodynamic purity of the kite and perfect piloting of factory pilot Bohuslav Munzar.

The aircraft remained the property of the company "Avia", it continued to fly at promotional events, air days and was tested by many pilots. Zdeněk Lhota, who later became famous for his success at international air races, also flew with the Avia BH1. In August 1922, the aircraft took part in the flight day of the West Bohemian Aviation Club in Pilsen, where Zdeněk Lhota arrived with it. Later, the machine was lent to the pilot Capt. Jan Popelák, who damaged him during an emergency landing during a military exercise. Because new constructions were being worked on in "Avia", it was no longer repaired and its remaining parts continued to fall into disrepair in the courtyard of the Vysočina workshops. To this day, only its considerably damaged wings have been preserved from the aircraft in the depository of the National Technical Museum.

Based on the significant success of the BH1 type, the company "Avia" built a series of BH3 fighters, which flew in the Czechoslovak Air Force, continued training types BH5, BH9, BH10, BH11, which were successful successors of the first low-altitude strut type Avia BH1. Work on these other and more perfect constructions took place under the new owner of the company. In the summer of 1921, "Avia" was bought by the Prague businessman Miloš Bondy, the new name of the company was "Miloš Bondy a spol.", The brand "Avia" has been retained until today.

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