The Zlin Z-37 Čmelák
"), also known as LET Z-37 Čmelák
is an agricultural aircraft
manufactured in Czechoslovakia
. The aircraft is used mainly as a cropduster
Design and development
Design work upon the first purpose-designed agricultural plane started in Czechoslovakia in 1961, in a cooperation of two manufacturers: Let Kunovice
(Zlin brand). The first prototype designated XZ-37 first flew on June 29, 1963
(other sources: June 29). It was a cantilever low-wing monoplane of metal construction, covered with duralumin and canvas in a tail part, with a fixed landing gear. The pilot's cab was in front, right after a 315 hp radial engine, and before a container for chemicals. This offered pilot a good view, but was potentially dangerous in case of emergency landing. Behind pilot, there could seat a mechanic, heading towards tail.
The plane was produced from 1965 under a designation Z-37. From 1971, the Z-37A was produced, with a strengthened construction. It was produced until 1975, and then in 1983-1984. 677 were produced, including 27 two-seater Z-37A-2 for crew training.
On September 6, 1981 there was flown a prototype XZ-37T, powered by a 691 hp turboprop engine Walter M-601B. Final variant Z-37T Agro Turbo was powered by less powerful turboprop engine M-601Z and produced from 1985 until 1987. 28 Z-37T were built by then, including some two-seater trainers Z-37T-2. Apart from engine, it differs from the Z-37 by having a bigger span - 13.6 m and wing area, the wings have winglets. A further development carries a designation Z-137Т.
Main user of Z-37s is Czechoslovakia but many planes were exported. Aircraft is used for agricultural duties but can also be used for firefighting or hauling gliders
- First prototype.Z-37
- First production version built between 1965 and 1971.Z-37A
- Second production version with strengthened construction. Built between 1971 and 1975 and later between 1983 and 1984, 650 built.Z-37A-2
- Two seat version for crew training, 27 built.XZ-37T
- Prototype of the turboprop version powered by Walter M-601B engine, built in 1981.Z-37T Agro Turbo
- Turboprop version with bigger span wings, powered by Walter M-601Z engine and built between 1985 and 1987. 28 built including Z-37T-2 trainer.Z-37T-2
- Two seat turboprop version for crew training built between 1985 and 1987.Z-137T
- Further development version.
- Hans-Joachim Mau: Tschechoslowakische Flugzeuge, Transpress, Berlin 1987, ISBN 3-344-00121-3
- Photo and description (in Slovak)