The Avia S-199 is a propeller driven fighter aircraft built after World War II, notable as the first fighter obtained by the Israeli Air Force, and used during the 1948 Arab-Israeli War.
Constructed in Czechoslovakia, with parts and plans left over from Luftwaffe aircraft production, the aircraft had numerous problems and was generally unpopular with its pilots.
Israeli agents negotiated the purchase of Avia S-199s from the Czechoslovak government in defiance of an arms embargo that Israel faced at the time.
Twenty five aircraft were obtained and all but two were eventually delivered.
The price for a fully equipped plane was $190,000.
The first examples arrived on 20 May 1948, six days after Israel’s declaration of independence and five days after the commencement of hostilities by Egypt.
Forming Israel’s first fighter squadron, they were assembled and sent into combat for the first time on May 29, attacking the Egyptian army between Isdud and the Ad Halom bridge, south of Tel Aviv.
A few days later, on 3 June, taking off from Herzliya Airport the type scored the Israeli Air Force’s first aerial victories when Modi Alon shot down a pair of Royal Egyptian Air Force C-47s which had just bombed Tel Aviv.
The type proved unreliable and performed poorly in combat.
The type scored victories over its opponents, including the Spitfire.
The Avia’s were mostly withheld from service by the end of October, at which time only six remained operational.
The S-199 continued making sporadic sorties until mid-December.
Messerschmitt Bf 109G-10 variant assembled post-war in Czechoslovakia.
Avia factory designation was C.10, 21 aircraft completed.
Training variant of Avia S-99 based on the Messerschmitt Bf 109G-12 variant.
Avia factory designation was C.10, 23 aircraft completed.
Avia S-99, powered by Junkers Jumo 211F engine, main production variant.
Avia factory designation was C.210, 559 aircraft completed.
Two seat training variant rebuilt from Avia S-199.