Aero A.12 - Czechoslovakia, 1923
Detailing the development and operational history of the Aero A.12 Light Bomber / Reconnaissance Aircraft.
Entry last updated on 3/20/2016; Authored by Staff Writer; Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com
The Aero A.12 emerged as a post-World War 1 aircraft design utilizing experience garnered in The Great War and replaced the successful Aero A.11.
The Aero A.12 was designed specifically to succeed the company's previous biplane effort - the A.11. The A.11 appeared in the early 1920s and was produced in some 440 examples to be operated by the air arms of both Czechoslovakia and Finland. The type was of a basic design, featuring a biplane wing assembly and tandem seating for the pilot and observer/rear gunner with a front-mounted engine. The A.11 saw production during World War 1 and in the years following. The A.12 was essentially a improved form fulfilling the same functional roles of reconnaissance and light bombing. Production of the type was limited in a world that was still reeling and recovering from the First World War. Production figures below are estimated.
Externally, the A.12 mimicked much of the lines found on the A.11. The biplane wings were of uneven span with single bays. The engine - an air-cooled radial piston powerplant - was fitted to a front compartment and powered a two-bladed wooden propeller set low in the nose. The fuselage was slab-sided with curved edges making the A.12 a rather clean design. The pilot saw in an open-air position just below the upper wing assembly and aft of the engine. To his rear was the circular, open-air position for the rear observer, machine gunner. A ring mount was provided to hold a trainable .303 inch Lewis type machine gun or two. The pilow managed a single .303 inch Vickers machine gun in a fixed, forward-firing emplacement. All told, this provided the A.12 with enough offensive and defensive prowess for the time. Light bombs could be affixed under the wings for the light bombing role. The undercarriage of a typical design for the time, made up of two main landing gear wheels supported by multiple struts under the center portion of the wingspan - helping to displace the overall weight of the aircraft when at rest. The tail section was supported along the ground by a simple tail skid. The empennage was conventional, featuring a single, rounded vertical tail fin and a pair of applicable horizontal planes.