The Aero A.11 was a successful multirole performer for the Czech Army Air Force during the interwar years separating the two World Wars. Equally respected for its adaptability and capability, the A.11 was designed from the outset as a multi-purpose airframe to replace the aging series of aircraft still in service at the time. In the end, the Aero A.11 would see no fewer than 20 different variant types, owing much to the inherently adaptable design envisioned when the aircraft first flew in 1925.
The A.11 was of traditional biplane arrangement featuring an over and under primary wing element. It maintained World War 1-era fighter traits such as open-air cockpits and fixed undercarriage. The crew numbered two with the pilot and his observer / gunner seated in tandem within the slab-sided fuselage. The upper wing element was fitted just ahead and around the pilot with the single liquid-cooled engine mounted forward of this (driving a two-bladed propeller unit).
A single 7.7mm Vickers Machine Gun in a fixed, forward-firing mounting was fitted for attack and managed by the pilot. The rear gunner had access to a 2 x 7.7mm Lewis Machine Gun pairing atop a flexible mounting. A modest bomb load of 441lb could also be carried for attack sorties.
The engine of choice became the Walter W IV series engine of 240 horsepower. Performance included a maximum speed of 150 miles per hour, a service ceiling of 25,000 feet and a range out to 470 miles. Rate-of-climb was 751 feet -per-minute.
The Aero A.11 was seen in its typical twin-seat reconnaissance platform but was equally adept in the role of day (as the Ab.11) or night (as the A.11N) bombing. Another notable variant was the A.11HS, an export version shipped off to Finland - the only other operator of the series. Eight were used by the Finns up until World War 2 in 1939. By the 1940s the line had all but been discarded.
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