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Avia

The meaning of «avia»

Avia Motors s.r.o. is a Czech automotive manufacturer. It was founded in 1919 as an aircraft maker, and diversified into trucks after 1945. As an aircraft maker it was notable for producing biplane fighter aircraft, especially the B-534. Avia ceased aircraft production in 1963.

The company was founded by Pavel Beneš, Miroslav Hajn, Jaroslav František Koch and Václav Malý in 1919 and became part of Akciová společnost, dříve Škodovy závody in 1928. During the 1930s the factory became the biggest aircraft producer in Czechoslovakia and moved to Letňany near Prague, where production continues until present. in World War II Avia made aircraft for the German Luftwaffe. After the war the company was nationalized and became involved in the automotive industry. It made aircraft until 1963, then concentrated on truck production and continued to make aircraft engines (producing only propellers from 1988). The company was split in 1992 into propeller and truck sections, both using the Avia brand.

Soon after the war, the manufacture of fuel injection pumps, jets and roller bearings for freight vehicle transport was implemented in Avia. The factory also provided repair of trucks. In the post-war reorganization of Czechoslovak industry it was later decided that Avia would be fully transformed into making new commercial vehicles. As early as 1946 a prototype of the Škoda R-706 vehicle was developed, and the first vehicle and bus series was built in 1947. These products were successfully exported to many countries

At first the enterprise concentrated on assembling T-805 vehicles. In 1961 it switched to making the Praga V3S/S5T medium duty truck. The legendary three-tone off-road V3S was maintained in Avia's manufacturing program until 1988. The vehicle was built not only as a platform car but with different types of bodies as well. It fully utilised its construction designed for extraordinarily heavy use in the army, on site, in forest as well as in any other operation demanding a high performance under the heaviest conditions. The modifications of the Praga S5T model also included a semitrailer truck, the S5T-TN model with a "trambus" cab. In 1963 Avia began making chassis units for the OT 64 (SKOT) armoured carrier. Praga and Tatra enterprises, and also some Polish makers took part in the manufacture.

In 1965 structural changes of demand concerning a small tonnage lorry appeared in both national and international markets. The Avia enterprise considered two ways ahead: developing its own new models and/or being licensed to build another company's products. The outcome was that Avia accepted the French Renault-Saviem manufacturer's offer of two types of truck. Series production of the new trucks began in autumn 1968. The larger vehicle was the Renault-SG 4 Super Galion (later Avia A30), and the smaller was the SG 2 Super Goelette (later Avia A15).

The new manufacture as well as its scope required new buildings as well as modernization of existing enterprises' premises. New big buildings housing advanced equipment were built and Avia became among the largest Czechoslovak car manufacturers. Annual production reached 17,000 vehicles. Over the years the Avia models were continuously modernized. The volume of the diesel engine increased from original 3.32 to 3.61 litres, and nearly all vehicle units were adapted. In 1983 the Avia A31 was developed from the Avia A30 model, and the Avia A15 (later A20) furgon was succeeded by the Avia A21 model. From 1974 to 1978 modernization of A20, 30, and 40 models was prepared, with smaller wheels, redesigned axles, new dashboard, enhanced cab interior, etc.

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