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The BH-3 was the first fighter produced by the Czechoslovakian AVIA
company. It was a logical development of their earlier BH-1 and BH-2
sporting monoplanes. The prototype first flew in 1920 and was found to
have an excellent rate of climb and very good manoeuvrability. This
prompted the Air Force Directorate of the Ministry of Defence to order
series production of 10 aircraft. The first five were powered by a BMW
IIIa engine of 185 bhp, and the remainder by a Walter-built BMW IV of
220 hp. It was armed with two 7.7 mm machine guns.
This was quite an achievement for a state that only gained autonomy
from the Austro-Hungarian Empire following its collapse and the WW1
armistice. Avia went on to be a major manufacturer of many indigenous
and license-built military aircraft.
I have for many years admired KP kits. Whilst some people criticize
them, I think it is well worth remembering when they were first
released, and in my opinion are often better than similar products from
British kit makers of the time. Regardless of opinions on quality, KP
has provided us modellers with many very interesting Czechoslovakian
I chose to build this kit after starting an email correspondence with
a Czech modeller who has since become a very good friend.
My kit was very straightforward to build and only took a few nights
of work. I added hollowed out exhaust pipes and a seat harness, plus I
recessed the retractable radiator and opened up a couple of cowl scoops
and thinned the wing struts a little.
The only problem I had was the decals when the national insignia
broke up, so I quickly masked these out and painted them on.
I recommend this as a very simple, cheap and enjoyable kit for anyone
who wants a little bit of Czech history in their display cabinet.
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Model, Text and Images Copyright ©
2006 by Mark Davies
Page Created 03 October, 2006
Last Updated 21 February, 2007
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