In 1936 AVIA’s construction team have begun work on a modern low-cost fighter that was to replace the then aging AVIA B-534.
The first prototype of the new AVIA B-35, of beautiful and clean lines, was flown on September 28, 1938. As the H-S 12 Y-1000 engine was not ready yet, the weaker Hispano-Suiza 12 Ydra engine from the AVIA B-534 was used. Due to the delay in the construction of the retractable chassis, the prototype received a fixed chassis. After all, the prototype achieved high speed and showed good flight characteristics. On November 22, 1938 the plane, however, was broken, burying the pilot in its remnants.
In 1939, the second prototype marked B-35.2 was built, and after the fall of Czechoslovakia and occupying Czech territory by Germany, in August 1939 the third, on which the retractable chassis of the Messier system was installed. This prototype marked B-35.3 became the model for the final version of the fighter, B-135 (under the German occupation they were called Av-135, but I will remain with the Czech nomenclature).
12 aircraft of this version together with 62 engines Hispano-Suiza 12 Ydra have been ordered by Bulgaria. It was planned to build another 50 under license (which were even given the Bulgarian name DAR-11 Liastovica) in state-owned DSF plants.
Until 1942, all the ordered aircraft were delivered from the factory in Czech Letnany to the Bulgarian owners, then until August 1943 they were assembled in the Łowecz plant, flown and approved by the army. The stock also included spare parts, 35 engines, and full documentation. Bulgaria ultimately resigned from further supply and purchase of the license.
Avias were assigned to the aviation school in Dolna Mitropolya, because the Bulgarians considered them to be difficult to use, difficult during the start due to the too weak engine, delicate (during training fights carried out using figures of advanced piloting, there occurred severe deformation of the hull and wings) and too poorly armed (planned 20 mm gun has never been installed), as per the requirements of the ongoing conflict.
Nevertheless, the plane has recorded a moment of a war glory.
The AVIA B-135 number 5 (probably the first built in Bulgaria), on March 30, 1944, piloted by feldfebl (sergeant) Jordan Ferdinandov, together with three other Avias attacked the formation of American bombers during an air raid on Sofia. White ‘5’ was derived from the serial number of the airframe, ‘105’.
It is difficult to determine whether this machine actually shoot down American B.24, but the fact is that one Liberator can be counted on the account of Avia B-135 – whether individually or jointly with other Avias. However, it should be noted that formally this kill has not been confirmed, American sources indicate only that one plane has been lost, probably shot down.
Pictures and information about the airplane are taken from a beautiful monograph: Miroslav Bily, Denes Bernad, Pavel Kucera, Avia B-35, B-135, MBI publishing house, Prague 2003.
Model of the Czech company Planet Models. Resin, small etched fret, a vacuum formed canopy. Very simple model, with quite a few parts. A bit demanding, as regards the fitting of elements, their preparation (air bubbles present in the cast almost everywhere, the feature of the medium from which the model was made) – but in my opinion not exceeding the average modeling skills.
Painted RLM 65/70/71 from the Gunze H palette. Weathered with AK and MIG pigments.
As usual with me, it is not perfect – but I hope that the silhouette of the plane defends itself.
Hope you like it, stay tuned