Eduard Aircraft 1/72 Avia Bk534 Graf Zeppelin Aircraft Wkd Edition Kit
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The prototype of the B.534 flew for the first time in 1932. Much like other comparable aircraft of the period such as the Gloster Gladiator and the Curtis P-36, the B.534 represented a bridge between the traditional biplanes of the 1920s and the all-metal monoplanes of the 1930s. The aircraft was effective, however, and in April 1934 it gained the Czechoslovak national speed record of 227.2mph. The later IV series would feature an all-metal propeller, tail wheel and enclosed cockpit, but the earlier versions still had the open cockpit typical of aircraft of the period. An order for 34 aircraft was increased to 147 with the prospect of war in Europe looming. In the event, the partition of Czechoslovakia meant that the B.534 never actually saw combat in the defense of its country. Slovakia was declared independent and their Air Force reformed using the B.534, and when Hungary invaded in 1939, two aircraft were lost to AAA fire and four more to fighters. Slovakian B.534s were used again during the invasion of Poland, escorting German Ju 87 bombers. These same aircraft later served with the Germans in the Ukraine in the summer of 1941 and returned in 1943 for anti-partisan duties. The last recorded use of the B.534 would be Slovak National uprising in 1944. One aircraft downed a Hungarian Ju 52, this being the last recorded aerial victory for a biplane. The BK variant was cannon armed and distinguished by a single gun trough on the fuselage rather than the double trough of the machine gun aircraft.