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Zlin 24 KrajánekDocumentation in support of a model plan by Jim Owen
The history of the glider dates from around 60 years ago. At that time the chief designer, Ladislav Marcol, worked in the then Germans occupied Czechoslovakia in the Zlin aircraft company where he produced aircraft for the training of German pilots. These aircraft were of wooden structures. Also working there was Ladislav Koutny a carpenter. The two together started illegally constructing a glider that could be used after the war to train glider pilots. The construction was inspired by the Grunau Baby sailplane and the German Hütter H-17 whose positive characteristics they were trying to combine. Even before the war drawings had been prepared.
Immediately following the war, the Ing. Karel Tomáš decided to build a prototype and by the end of August at Otrokovice airport,the prototype was finished. Ladislav Šváb as the first postwar test pilot and was launched for its first flight by towing with a car. All tests were conducted in carefully in small stages following successful completion, batch production of the Krajánek began. Just over 250 were to be finally made. The first examples were painted in a blue-gray and then later in the famous Czech yellow-orange color.
The fuselage was hexagonal with an an easily removable open cockpit. The leading section of the wing, ahead of the spar, was covered in rigid plywood. The tail surfaces were conventional construction. Two Towing hooks were fitted, one on the nose for towing and the other on the center of gravity for winch starts, which was actually the most used method. This was later replaced with side hooks which were safer, but reached about 100-150 m lower height on launch. The airbrakes were not very effective and required the landing to be quite accurate.