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Avia BH-3 / BH-4


The construction of the Avia BH-3, a fighter aircraft, took place in Czechoslovakia in 1921.

This aircraft followed a conventional design, featuring a braced, low-wing monoplane configuration with a tailskid undercarriage.

It was considered to be a direct descendant of the BH-1 sports plane.

Following successful trials in June 1921, the Czechoslovakian Air Force placed an order for ten units of the aircraft.

These units were delivered in 1923 and were given the military designation B.3.

However, despite its initial promise, the aircraft displayed unpredictable behaviour during its service and was subsequently reassigned to training duties.

It continued to serve in this capacity until 1927.


The Avia BH-4, an experimental fighter aircraft, was developed in Czechoslovakia in 1922.

It served as an upgraded version of the BH-3 model, incorporating a Hispano-Suiza 8 engine to improve its overall performance.

To accommodate this new engine, extensive modifications were made to the forward fuselage, reinforcing the structure and undercarriage of the aircraft.

Despite these efforts, it was found that the BH-4’s performance was only marginally better than that of its predecessor, the BH-3.

Consequently, further development of the BH-4 was swiftly halted.




One pilot


7.00 m (23 ft 0 in)


10.20 m (33 ft 5 in)


3.10 m (10 ft 2 in)

Wing area

15.8 m2 (170 sq ft)

Empty weight

778 kg (1,715 lb)

Gross weight

1,025 kg (2,260 lb)


1 × BMW IIIa inline engine,

138 kW (185 hp)


Maximum speed

225 km/h (140 mph, 121 kn) at sea level.

240 km/h (150 mph; 130 kn) at 2,000 m (6,600 ft)


500 km (300 mi, 260 nmi)

Service ceiling.

7,800 m (25,600 ft)

Rate of climb

7.9 m/s (1,560 ft/min)


2 × fixed forward firing .303 Vickers machine guns.


Czechoslovakian Air Force, 1918-1970, Aircam Aviation Special 05-Richard Ward, Zdenek Titz & Gordon C. Davies.

Ceskoslovenské Letectvo, 1918-1924-Jiří Rajlich & Jiří Sehnal.




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