Air Enthusiast 2001-07
D.Bernad - Balkan Birds (1)
A pair of DAR-2s, B-BOPA and B-BOPB, lined-up at Bozhurishte during the late 1920s.
Avia B-135 истребительной школы
In 1943, it was planned to build the Czechoslovak Avia B-135 fighter - tentatively designated by Bulgarians as the DAR-11. Depicted is one of the dozen B-135s imported through the RLM in March 1939.
The aircraft type built in largest numbers by the DAR works was the DAR-9 Siniger. Eight aircraft of the fourth production batch are lined up on the factory airfield; the second and third being LZ-BTT and 'BTV, respectively.
A range of DAR products lined-up at Bozhurishte prior to an inspection by high-ranking Bulgarian officials, sometime in mid-1932. From right to left: DAR-1, U-1, DAR-3(I), DAR-4, DAR-5 and DAR-6(I).
The DAR-6 was a two-seat advanced trainer built in 1932. The first prototype, LZ-BZL, crashed, and a second one was built using salvaged parts.
A group shot with the civilian and military personnel of the DAR works assembled in front of the most advanced Bulgarian design, the DAR-10A, at Bozhurishte factory airfield in 1942.
The DAR-10F unmarked prototype, prior to its maiden flight in March 1945. Note the white-painted wing tips - in contrast to the yellow Axis identification colour - denoting a pro-Allies aircraft and the national markings applied directly over the light blue-grey under wing colour, without the white background.
Pinnacle of Bulgarian aircraft design was the DAR-10 of 1941. First prototype, illustrated at Bozhurishte, was lost during an accident in October 1942.
Two DAR-1s at a ceremony at Bozhurishte in 1928. Note that while the Bulgarian national colours on B-BIKD are applied on the rudder vertically, while on B-BIKE they appear horizontally.
DAR-1 LZ-IKE was temporarily fitted with a ski undercarriage for operations from snow-covered landing grounds.
LZ-IKZ was the last of eight DAR-1As built at Bozhurishte between 1927-1928. Despite the flip-over, it was probably repaired quite quickly and returned to the air.
In an attempt to increase the speed of DAR-3(I), the Lorraine-Dietrich was changed to a slightly more powerful G&R radial. The re-engined prototype became B-BDIA.
Series production of Garvan Is at DAR's Bozhurishte plant in 1939.
A series production DAR-3 Garvan III, wearing Axis-type markings consisting of a black St Andrew's Cross over a white square - adopted in November 1940, well before Bulgaria officially joined the Axis Powers in March 1941.
Garvan I No.6 in military livery. The markings of VNVV consisted of a golden-edged red Maltese Cross over a white disc, known as the 'Bravery Cross', completed by two diagonally crossed golden swords. In the centre, inside two concentric golden rings, a golden-crowned lion was depicted standing on its rear feet. The rudder was painted horizontally, from top to bottom, in white green and red, Bulgaria's national colours.
The first DAR-3 prototype was the earliest aircraft of the long-running Garvan series of trainers.
LZ-DID, the third DAR-3 Garvan I, after its port landing gear failed during a hard landing sometime in the mid-1930s. The aircraft sports a new, dark green paint scheme, more appropriate for its covert military recce role. Note the machine-gun mount installed in the observer/rear gunner's location.
On February 14, 1934, the DAR-3(II) LZ-DJA crashed near Kazanlak, killing its occupants, casting a dark shadow over the type's promising future. Note the under-wing bomb shackles; an unusual feature for a purely 'civilian' aircraft.
DAR DAR-3 Garvan III.
Atanas Grigorov and his seaplane, 1925.
U-1s B-BAPA and B-BAKO at Yambol in front a World War One German Zeppelin hangar.
The first DAR product, Uzunov-1, or DAR U-1, B-BAPA at its birthplace, Bozhurishte, in front of World War One era hangars in the late 1920s.
The DAR-4 was an aborted attempt by Dr Winter to enter the prospective civilian air transport market.
The DAR-5 Brambar single-seat advanced trainer ended its days as a meteorological platform. The unmarked prototype is depicted soon after it had been completed at Bozhurishte in 1930.
The prototype DAR-8 powered by a British Gipsy Major.
A few DAR-8s were re-fitted with a more available Czech radial, including LZ-BAB.