95-year anniversary of VZLU

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This year it is ninetyfive years when the predecessor of VZLU, “Vzduchoplavecký studijní ústav”, was founded by the decree of Ministry of national defence. This happened on 1st May 1922.

In the pre-war years VZLU was focused mainly on aerodynamics and strength-of-structure calculations. Aircraft made in LETOV, AVIA, AERO and PRAGA factories were tested here. After the War VZLU came under the civil administration and took over design work from many aviation factories. VZLU gave rise to a number of successful aircrafts such as the first jet aeroplane L-29 Dolphin, the L-13 Blanik sailplane, sporting planes and helicopters.

From the mid sixties, VZLU participated in the developments of new airplanes like the L-39 Albatros jet, the L-410 small transport aircraft and sporting planes. For most of the airplanes new engines, an ejection seat, propellers and other systems were developed jointly with other manufacturing plants. In this connection some electronics systems should be mentioned such as the first Czechoslovak flight simulator, control and diagnostics system, and last but not least the PES, an electronic flight-deck navigation and fire control system. VZLU carried out wind tunnel tests on all of the planes being developed, conducted most of aerodynamic calculation, and all fatigue and strength measurements to increase their service life. VZLU also played an important role in initiating license production of Soviet planes Il-10, MiG-15, and Il-14. Measurements and tests of products beyond the aviation field such as land transport vehicles, construction and building structures were carried out at VZLU as well.

After 1989 VZLU had to sustain and overcome economic difficulties linked with downturn of the Czech aviation industry and the Soviet Union break-up resulting in the loss of eastern markets. VZLU was actively involved in new aeronautical and other programmes particularly in the development of a new jet trainer, the L-159 ALCA. As for the civil sector, VZLU participated in the development and testing of a regional transport plane L-610G and a single-engined turboprop Ae-270.

PRESENT - MISSION

VZLU is a national center for research, development and testing in aeronautics and space. The primary mission of VZLU is to pursue fundamental, industrial research and experimental development. Results and new knowledge generated by R&D activities are disseminated by publication, knowledge transfer or educational activities. In addition, VZLU supports industry by providing engineering and testing services necessary for the development of new products. VZLU continuously develops its large research and testing infrastructure in order to provide R&D activities and services on a high level.

The major multidisciplinary fields of VZLU include: aerodynamics, structure strength and durability, material and corrosion engineering, turbomachinery and composite materials and technologies. Through its three subsidiaries the VZLU group can offer accredited environmental and mechanical testing, prototype and batch production of composite parts and satellite equipment development.

R&D capacities of VZLU contribute notably to the progress of aerospace industry, surface transport, defence & security sector, power industry and civil engineering.

DISCIPLINES AND SCOPE: Aerodynamics, Strength of structure, Corrosion engineering, Aircraft engines, Air propeller and industrial fans, Development of scientific instruments for the use in space (Serenum a.s.), Prototype and small batch production (VZLU Technologies, a.s.) and Accredited testing (VZLU TEST, a.s.).