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Aero Ae.02

Single-Seat Biplane Fighter Prototype

The Aero Ae.02 marked the first all-Czech-designed biplane fighter in its history - only one flyable prototype was completed.
Authored By: Staff Writer | Edited: 6/21/2018
National Flag Graphic


Year: 1920
Status: Retired, Out-of-Service
Manufacturer(s): Aero Vodochody (Aero) - Czechoslovakia
Production: 1
Capabilities: Fighter; X-Plane;
Crew: 1
Length: 17.88 ft (5.45 m)
Width: 27.07 ft (8.25 m)
Height: 8.86 ft (2.7 m)
Weight (Empty): 1,202 lb (545 kg)
Weight (MTOW): 1,907 lb (865 kg)
Power: 1 x Hispano-Suiza 8Ba V8 liquid-cooled inline piston engine developing 220 horsepower and driving a two-bladed propeller at the nose.
Speed: 140 mph (225 kph; 121 kts)
Ceiling: 19,685 feet (6,000 m; 3.73 miles)
Range: 124 miles (200 km; 108 nm)
Rate-of-Climb: 565 ft/min (172 m/min)
Operators: Czechoslovakia (cancelled)
Czechoslovakia was formed from part of the remnants of the Austro-Hungarian Empire towards the end of World War 1 (1914-1918) and managed an existence until its dissolution in 1992. Between that span the country had a respectable aero-industry and its first homegrown fighter aircraft became the Aero Ae.02. Its design was attributed to Antonin Husnik and Antonin Vlasak with construction handled by Aero Tovarna Letadel (Vodochody). Prior to this, Aero's experience was tied to the Austro-Hungarian Hansa-Bradenburg B.I trainer of 1919.

The Ae.02 benefitted from experiences gained by the major air powers of World War 1. It utilized a streamlined fuselage and an upper and lower wing (unequal span) assembly braced by a simplified I-strut arrangement. The strut and wing arrangement created single bays to each side of the fuselage. Ailerons were featured along the upper wing members only and the wings themselves were fabric-covered wood appendages. Internally, duralumin alloy was used to make up the aircraft's load-bearing framework. The engine was held at a forward compartment in the traditional way and drove a two-bladed propeller unit at the nose. The undercarriage was fixed in flight and wheeled at the main leg members. The tail utilized a traditional single-finned arrangement.

Proposed armament became 2 x 7.7mm Vickers Machine Guns synchronized to fire through the spinning propeller blades. Beyond this there was no bomb-carrying capability built-in.

Dimensions amounted to a length of 17.10 feet, a wingspan of 27 feet and a height of 8.9 feet. Empty weight was 1,200lb against an MTOW of 1,910lb. Power was from a single Hispano-Suiza 8Ba V8 water-cooled inline piston engine generating 220 horsepower.

Josef Novak was at the controls of the prototype Ae.02 when it first went to the air in 1920. Beyond a 1st place finish in 1921 at the 1st International Flying Meeting (hosted by Czechoslovakia), the Ae.02 saw very little commercial success for it was not adopted for military service even by the local air force. Instead, attention turned to its evolved successor - the Ae.04 - leaving the sole Ae.02 prototype to the pages of aviation history.


2 x 7.7mm Vickers Machine Guns synchronized to fire through the spinning propeller blades.

Graphical image of an aircraft medium machine gun

Variants / Models

• Ae.02 - Base Series Designation
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