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Avia B.135

Czechoslovakia (1942)
Picture of Avia B.135 Single-Seat, Single-Engine Monoplane Fighter Aircraft

The Czech-originated Avia B.135 fighter fought for the Bulgarian Air Force for a time during World War 2.


Detailing the development and operational history of the Avia B.135 Single-Seat, Single-Engine Monoplane Fighter Aircraft.  Entry last updated on 5/15/2018. Authored by Dan Alex. Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com

Though originating as a Czech pre-war design (through the Avia B.35 venture), the B.135 was utilized during World War 2 (1939-1945) solely under the banner of the Bulgarian Air Force. The type was a modern, low-wing monoplane originally developed for the Czech Air Force to a 1935 requirement by the Ministry of National Defence. Three progressive B.35 prototypes emerged - two prior to the German occupation of March 1939 and the third after. The Bulgarian Air Force flew the B.35/2 prototype during November of 1939 and followed this in June of 1940 with trials of the B.35/3. The latter was accepted as the B.135 to which the German Air Ministry allowed the aircraft to be locally produced for Bulgaria out of Lovech. The Bulgarian Air Force commissioned for twelve of the fighters along with a stock of engines (62).

The B.135 retained many of the qualities ironed out in the final B.35/3 prototype. The original prototype's construction involved wood wings but this was given up in the finalized form to carry all-metal wings. Standard armament became 1 x 20mm cannon firing through the propeller hub and 2 x 7.92mm machine guns in the wings. The undercarriage was retractable while of the "tail-dragger" arrangement. The pilot sat under an enclosed canopy with generally adequate views of the surrounding action - the position of the wing mainplanes (forward of midships) and the raised fuselage spine did little to help.

Beyond the original twelve on order, a further fifty examples were to emerge from Bulgarian lines under the designation of DAR ("Darzhavna Aeroplanna Rabotilnitsa") 11 "Ljastuvka" ("Swallow") to help shore up Bulgarian air strength. The first twelve units arrived during the middle part of 1942 though the engine portion of the procurement foundered and left just 35 delivered. This forced Bulgarian reliance on the German Messerschmitt Bf 109 fighter crop.

Most of the B.135's wartime use was in training primarily due to unreliable engines. At least four participated in an operational-level manner during a March 30th, 1944 interception sortie which yielded a downed enemy bomber - the only known air kill of the war by the B.135 series.

Total production of the B.135 stood at the original twelve units.

Any available statistics for the Avia B.135 Single-Seat, Single-Engine Monoplane Fighter Aircraft are showcased in the areas immediately below. Categories include basic specifications covering country-of-origin, operational status, manufacture(s) and total quantitative production. Other qualities showcased are related to structural values (namely dimensions), installed power and standard day performance figures, installed or proposed armament and mission equipment (if any), global users (from A-to-Z) and series model variants (if any).






Our Data Modules allow for quick visual reference when comparing a single entry against contemporary designs. Areas covered include general ratings, speed assessments, and relative ranges based on distances between major cities.

Image of collection of graph types

Relative Maximum Speed Rating
Hi: 400mph
Lo: 200mph
    This entry's maximum listed speed (332mph).

    Graph average of 300 miles-per-hour.
City-to-City Ranges
NYC
 
  LON
LON
 
  PAR
PAR
 
  BER
BER
 
  MOS
MOS
 
  TOK
TOK
 
  SYD
SYD
 
  LAX
LAX
 
  NYC
Graph showcases the Avia B.135's operational range (on internal fuel) when compared to distances between major cities.
Aviation Era
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Useful in showcasing the era cross-over of particular aircraft/aerospace designs.
Unit Production Comparison
Comm. Market HI*: 44,000 units
Military Market HI**: 36,183 units
12
12


  * Commercial Market High belongs to Cessna 172.

  ** Military Market High belongs to Ilyushin Il-2.


Altitude Visualization
Small airplane graphic
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National Flag Graphic
Origin: Czechoslovakia
Year: 1942
Type: Single-Seat, Single-Engine Monoplane Fighter Aircraft
Manufacturer(s): Avia - Czechoslovakia
Production: 12
Status: Retired, Out-of-Service
Global Operators:
Bulgaria
Historical Commitments / Honors:

Military lapel ribbon for Operation Allied Force
Military lapel ribbon for the Arab-Israeli War
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Britain
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Midway
Military lapel ribbon for the Berlin Airlift
Military lapel ribbon for the Chaco War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cold War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cuban Missile Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for the Falklands War
Military lapel ribbon for the French-Indochina War
Military lapel ribbon for the Golden Age of Flight
Military lapel ribbon for the 1991 Gulf War
Military lapel ribbon for the Indo-Pak Wars
Military lapel ribbon for the Iran-Iraq War
Military lapel ribbon for the Korean War
Military lapel ribbon for the 1982 Lebanon War
Military lapel ribbon for the Malayan Emergency
Military lapel ribbon for the attack on Pearl Harbor
Military lapel ribbon for the Six Day War
Military lapel ribbon for the Soviet-Afghan War
Military lapel ribbon for the Spanish Civil War
Military lapel ribbon for the Suez Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for the Vietnam War
Military lapel ribbon for Warsaw Pact of the Cold War-era
Military lapel ribbon for the WASP (WW2)
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 1
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 2
Military lapel ribbon for the Yom Kippur
* Ribbons not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective campaigns/operations.
Measurements and Weights icon
Structural - Crew, Dimensions, and Weights:
Unless otherwise noted the presented statistics below pertain to the Avia B.135 model. Common measurements, and their respective conversions, are shown when possible.

Operational
CREW


Personnel
1


Dimension
LENGTH


Feet
27.89 ft


Meters
8.5 m


Dimension
WIDTH


Feet
35.60 ft


Meters
10.85 m


Dimension
HEIGHT


Feet
5.25 ft


Meters
1.6 m


Weight
EMPTY


Pounds
4,553 lb


Kilograms
2,065 kg


Weight
LOADED


Pounds
5,622 lb


Kilograms
2,550 kg

Engine icon
Installed Power - Standard Day Performance:
1 x Hispano-Suiza 12Ycrs V-12 liquid-cooled inline piston engine developing 860 horsepower.

Performance
SPEED


Miles-per-Hour
332 mph


Kilometers-per-Hour
535 kph


Knots
289 kts


Performance
RANGE


Miles
342 mi


Kilometers
550 km


Nautical Miles
297 nm


Performance
CEILING


Feet
27,887 ft


Meters
8,500 m


Miles
5.28 mi


Performance
CLIMB RATE


Feet-per-Minute
2,660 ft/min


Meters-per-Minute
811 m/min

Supported Weapon Systems:

Graphical image of an aircraft medium machine gun
Graphical image of an aircrat automatic cannon
Armament - Hardpoints (0):

STANDARD:
1 x 20mm cannon in propeller hub
2 x 7.92mm machine guns in wings (one per wing)
Variants: Series Model Variants
• B.135 - Base Series Designation; twelve examples completed.
• DAR 11 "Ljastuvka" - Proposed designation of locally-produced B.135 aircraft in Bulgaria; none completed.