The Aero Ae 50 was a prototype propeller-driven military reconnaissance aircraft built in Czechoslovakia.
Designed with the artillery spotting role in mind, the Ae 50 was a high-wing monoplane of unusual design, with a fuselage that terminated abruptly immediately aft of the crew cabin, leaving the tailplane to be mounted on a single boom attached to the wing. The tailwheel was mounted at the rear of the fuselage. This arrangement had been intended to maximise the observer's field of view. Another unusual feature was that it incorporated a towing point to allow it to be towed by another, longer-range aircraft to enable it to be transported to a combat zone outside of its own range without having to stop and refuel.
First flown on April 14, 1949, it was evaluated against the Praga E-55 for a defence ministry contract. The Ae 50 was found to have a range of flaws, including directional stability and the operation of the leading-edge slots. These problems were overcome, but the problem of the aircraft being somewhat overweight proved insoluble, and development was abandoned.
Specifications (Ae 50)
- Crew: 2
- Length: 7.1 m (23 ft 4 in)
- Wingspan: 10.5 m (34 ft 5 in)
- Height: 2.46 m (8 ft 1 in)
- Wing area: 15.1 m2 (163 sq ft)
- Empty weight: 460 kg (1,014 lb)
- Gross weight: 730 kg (1,609 lb)
- Powerplant: 1 × Walter Minor 4-III inverted 4-cyl. air-cooled in-line piston engine, 78 kW (105 hp)
- Maximum speed: 171 km/h (106 mph; 92 kn)
- Service ceiling: 4,370 m (14,337 ft)
- Rate of climb: 2.333 m/s (459.3 ft/min)
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