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Zlín Z 20

In 1939, Engineer Tomáš received a task from the Bata factories’ management to design an aircraft for international commercial flights and to serve the regions where Bata had operations, including Canada, the USA, and South America.

The aircraft needed to have a capacity for 6 passengers and a range of 1,500 to 2,000 km when fully loaded.

For power, the chosen units were Argus As 10C engines, each providing 240 horsepower.

The design featured a low-wing structure with retractable landing gear and a tailwheel, along with 750-litre fuel tanks to ensure the required range.

By 1942, the prototype was nearing completion and was almost ready for its first flight.

Unfortunately, the project was halted due to the German occupation forces.

The initial prototype survived the war in neglected, damaged, and poor condition.

Despite evident design flaws and a weight that exceeded the initial estimates, the decision was made to continue with the project in Otrokovice.

The Z-20 underwent a comprehensive overhaul, being completely disassembled and undergoing minor reconstructions.

The retractable landing gear was replaced with a fixed one.

However, the new aircraft weighed 2,000 kg, which was 11% more than originally intended.

This increase in weight was attributed to various factors, including the suboptimal weight of the wing, the urgency of the project, and the scarcity of suitable materials during wartime.

On March 14, 1946, the Z-20 took flight twice.

However, the level of progress achieved during these flights did not indicate any significant advancements.

The Z-20 was last flown in 1947; its whereabouts are unknown.



15 m


10.25 m


3.25 m

Wing Area

24.55 m²

Empty weight

2,000 kg

Take-off Weight

2,800 kg


2 x Argus As 10 engines at 240 hp each

Maximum Speed

315 km/h

Cruising Speed

295 km/h


800 km

Service Ceiling

5,000 metres


2 plus 4 passengers


Only a single prototype was constructed.

Zlins, Typenschau No.3-Detlef Billig.

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