Avia B.534 Biplane Fighter
The oft-forgotten B.534 was at the pinnacle of biplane design in the 1930s.
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The Czechoslovakian Avia B.534 series of biplane was a highly regarded though often forgotten product of the European nation. Some reports make it the best aircraft of its category during its early run through the 1930s. Such was the performance of the machine that the German Luftwaffe would briefly setup a fighter squadron utilizing captured B.534 aircraft.
Simply put, the Avia B.534 can be thought of as a melding of two ages in aviation history. The B.534 featured a static undercarriage and coupled with its throwback biplane wing assembly. Under that outdated facade was also four 7.7mm synchronized machine guns, a powerful 850 horsepower engine capable of 245 miles per hour and the ability for the weapon system to carry no fewer than six 44lb bombs. Handling of the system was reported to be favorable, so much so that this combination of speed, handling and firepower was highly respected.
Fuselage construction of the Avia B.534 was a unique mix of fabric-covered steel-structured wing assemblies. The fuselage, as a whole, was highly aerodynamic in nature, complete with an enclosed cockpit. The operational flight ceiling of over 30,000 necessitated this feature.
Avia B.534's would eventually see combat against the invading German forces, for the conquering German forces against the Soviet Union and ultimately phased out of service after completing several, less note-worthy, roles.