Aero Ae-45 / Ae-145

Microsoft / Aeroplane Heaven

AIRCRAFTTWIN PROPVINTAGE

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The Ae-45 is a rendition of the prototype of the airframe and is available with four liveries: Prototype, Polished, OK-FHA, and Plain White. The Ae-145 is available with five liveries: OM-NHS, SP-LXH, Red-Cream, Silver-Gold, and Plain White.

The Ae-145 is a twin-engine, low-wing utility aircraft developed and manufactured by Aero Vodochody of Czechoslovakia. The airplane can accommodate up to five, including two in its cockpit. It is a development of the original Ae-45, which took its maiden flight on July 21, 1947 and was introduced in 1948. A total of 590 of all Aero variants were built during a production run that spanned from 1947 to 1961. 162 of these were Ae-145s, built between 1959 and 1963.

The Ae-45, frequently referenced as the Aero 45, began as a concept in 1946 in the wake of the Second World War. A team of five Czechoslovak engineers sought to innovate an efficient, low-maintenance civil aircraft that could perform a wide variety of applications. Their work was fueled by national pride as much as by aerospace engineering aspiration; they sought to re-establish the Czechoslovakian aviation industry in the post-World War II era and propel it onto the global stage. They were so driven that they began working on and financing the concept on their own, without any state or industry sponsorship.

After roughly a year of toil, Aero Vodochody took notice and backed the engineers. The result was one of aviation’s most distinctive, rugged, and enduring performers. The all-metal design comprises a high-visibility cabin, two powerful wing-mounted engines that provide speed and efficiency, and an innovative cockpit that maximizes pilot efficacy. Upon release, the Ae-45 (the 45 is a reference to it being a 4- or 5-seat aircraft) proved a fast, high-endurance, reliable craft that was easy to operate and maintain.

The aircraft’s engineers incorporated numerous features into the aircraft’s design that were state-of-the-art for the era. This included electrically-actuated propeller pitch gearboxes able to be pre-set using push button control, the function of which is similar to an automatic transmission in an automobile. Designers also included electrical systems for flaps and landing gear control. These novel features were incorporated in the prototype and early iterations of the Aero 45 using systems adapted from previous aircraft, notably wartime German bombers like the Heinkel He 111. These components, adapted for production expediency, included magneto switches and engine diagnostic gauges.

The Aero 45 became an immediate success throughout Europe, with models being exported to France, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and other nations. Pilots raved about its cockpit visibility, range, speed, and reliability. A number of variants ensued, including the Aero 145, which boasts supercharged engines and an enhanced canopy. The aircraft was ultimately used by civil and military operators in dozens of countries for passenger transport, cargo, air ambulance, flight schools, law enforcement, and other purposes.

The Ae-45 established itself publicly soon after its release by winning a high-profile air race in Great Britain and by completing a number of long-range expeditions, notably in Africa. In 1958 it became the first Czechoslovakian aircraft to cross the Atlantic Ocean, flying from South America to Africa. Its initial successes set the stage for successive iterations, and the series remained in production for 14 years. After years of robust export sales, the Czech aviation market adopted the Aero into widespread use at home. At this point its engineers had refined it and had incorporated more advanced avionics, flight control, and power management systems. This refined design resulted in a new line of Aeros, culminating in the Ae-145.

Over the decades, private owners modified their airframes, and today no two of the few remaining Aero 145s are identical. Some of the most notable upgrades include cockpit instrumentation, particularly from modern Piper and Cessna aircraft, and cabin enhancements for comfort.

While many aviation museums throughout the globe display static examples of the Aero 45 and 145, only a small handful of fully functional airframes remain, making them a rare sight in today’s skies.

The Ae-145 measures 25 feet, 6 inches in length, stands 7 feet, 7 inches tall, and has a wingspan of 40 feet, 2 inches. It is powered by two inverted 4-cylinder Avia M 332-III piston engines that each deliver 140 horsepower and turn 2-blade, variable-pitch metal propellers. The Aero 145 has a range of 1,100 miles, a service ceiling of 19,400 feet above sea level, and a rate of climb of 980 feet per minute. It cruises at 160 miles per hour and has a top speed of 175 mph. The aircraft also performs well operating out of short and unimproved airfields, boasting a take-off run of 1,500 feet.

The Ae-145 is a no-nonsense, utilitarian airplane that has been charming aviators for decades with its reliability, power, and overall performance. Pilots can take flight in the craft for a wide variety of purposes, from practicing basic maneuvers to embarking on trans-oceanic or multi-continental journeys.

Specifications


WINGSPAN40 ft 2 in (12.25m)
WING AREA184 sq ft (17.1 sq m)
AIRFOILAero No. 58-64 (later 35-60 and 35-25)
LENGTH38 ft 7 in (11.76 m)
HEIGHT7 ft 6 in ( 2.3 m )
MAXIMUM SPEED175 MPH (145 kn )
CRUISE SPEED160 MPH (130 kn)
RATE OF CLIMB5m/s(980 ft./min.)
CEILING19,400 ft ( 5913m )
GROSS WEIGHT1,500 kg(3,307 lb.)
EMPTY WEIGHT960 kg(2,116 lb.)
MAX TAKEOFF WEIGHT3,527 lb (1,600 kg)
FUEL CAPACITY86 US gallons (324 litres)
TYPICAL RANGE810 mi ( 1300 km)
POWER PLANTS2 x Walter (AVIA) M 332-III air-cooled, inverted, in-line engines developing 140hp each
PROPELLERSElectrically-operated, variable pitch (total 4 pre-set positions including feather). 2 blades, metal, diameter 1.9m (6ft. 3ins)
CREW2