Flight, January 19, 1939
Foreign Service News
A Czech Bomber
ON page 65 of this issue appear first photographs of the Aero A-300, a twin-engined day and night bomber and reconnaissance machine. Of Czech design, this type is of interest because it corresponds to
the Blenheim and Dornier Do.17 formula, i.e., comparatively small dimensions, high speed, two fully supercharged engines, and a crew of three. With the same power plant as the standard short-nosed Blenheim (two Bristol Mercurys giving a maximum output of 840 h.p. at 14,000ft.), the speed is claimed to be rather better though the range is shorter. The machine can hardly compare, of course, with the new long-nosed version of the Bristol (295 m.p.h., 1,900-mile range).
The A-300 has a welded steel fuselage with fabric covering, and a wooden, ply-covered wing. The tail unit embodies twin fins and rudders.
There is a movable belt-fed machine gun in the nose with the bomb sight behind. The flooring, which carries the seats and bomb sight, can be dismounted to make way for a camera Remote controls for the wireless are operated by the observer. Behind the single-seater pilot’s cockpit is the upper gun position, which embodies a turret retractable by hydraulic or electric-and-hand power. While the turret is retracted the gunner has a reasonable field of view through a projection in its upper surface. When the machine is used for reconnaissance (or scouting, as the makers call it) there is a third gun position in the floor, the machine gun being attached to the edge of the opening, which is normally covered by a door.
When the turret is retracted the A.300 has fine lines.
The installation of the Bristol Mercury IX engines. The well-designed nose may also be studied.
The Czech Letov S.231, a bomber corresponding to the Blenheim formula. It has the same power plant - two Bristol Mercury VIIIs.
The retractable turret, showing the "dome" which permits the gunner to keep watch when the body of the turret is retracted.
An interior of the nose, which houses a belt-fed machine gun and the bomb sight. The “visibility” is of an exceptional order.
A drum feeds ammunition to the floor gun via a flexible guide.
General arrangement of the Czecho-Slovakian A-300 bomber.