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A Century of aviation in Serbia

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Domestic aeronautical industry has been developed, as well as scientific and research institutions. The Aeronautical Department was set up at the Technical Faculty of the Belgrade University and a Test Group for testing planes on the ground and in the air was formed in 1933 at the Zemun airport. In 1923, Serbia opened a competition for setting up a company for making planes, with the guarantee of initial orders and profit. The condition was that the planes fitted technical standards, and that domestic capital was used. Plane factories were founded (6), thus creating a complex of aeronautical industry: “The first Serbian aeronautical factory Zivojina Rogozarskog” in Belgrade; plane factory “Ikarus” in Zemun; aeroplane and hydroplane factory ”Zmaj“ Zemun; State plane factory in Kraljevo; plane factory “Utva” in Pancevo, and plane factory “Albatros” in Sremskoj Mitrovici; factory of engines and aeronautical equipment “Vlajkovic & co.” and “Industry of aeroplane engines, JSC ” in Rakovica near Belgrade; factory “Teleoptik” from Zemun; factories “Nestor” and “Mikron”; factory “Knebl i Ditrih”; “Vistad” from Visegrad and others. In Yugoslav factories, from 1923 to the beginning of April war in 1941, 60 types of planes of different catagories and purpose were designed and constructed, and 16 were made in smaller or larger batches. 13 types of gliders, out of which some were manufactured in batches, were designed and constructed. 16 types of planes and 5 types of planes were made according to foreign licences. In that period, 1,570 planes, 80 gliders, 1,150 engines and 2,500 parachutes were made.


In April war of 1941, the air force (2000 airmen and a thousand planes, out of which about 400 combat aircraft) offered the aggressor strong and organized resistance. Combat aviation had 1,416 sorties (fighter aviation 993, bomber aviation 423). A few tens of enemy planes were shot down. 135 airmen were killed. A number of the airmen went to the Middle East, continuing their fight against fascist forces together with the Allies.


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