|Utva Aviation Industry
|1957 Aero-3-A as per US Registration. Yugoslavia AF records at Aero-3F
|Lycoming 0-435 (Reciprocating) HP 185
|34 feet 5 inches
|28 feet 1 inches
|8 feet 10 inches
|422 statute miles
|1 student, 1 pilot
This aircraft is currently awaiting reconstruction after it's transfer to Estrella Warbirds Museum. Wings were temporarily mounted on the wall of Hanger One to protect them during the transition scheduling.
The Aero-3 is a piston-engined military trainer aircraft built in Yugoslavia by Utva Aviation Industries, designed to replace the Ikarus Aero-2, which was the primary trainer in service during the mid 1950's. Only one hundred ten were built and utilized by the Yugoslav Air Force service from 1958 to mid 1970's. This aircraft is very unique in that there is only one other registered by the FAA (in the US), which is in storage at a museum in Florida. There are only two other Aero-3's known to still be flying in the world. As per Yugoslavia Air Force Air Force records, this aircraft serial number was listed/changed to UATV-3F, June 1989.
This particular aircraft was originally brought to the United States by Fred Patterson after purchasing it directly from the Museum of Aviation, Belgrade, Serbia. It was reassembled and flown as his personal aircraft until which time it was placed on loan to the Western Aerospce Museum, Heyworth, CA. In January of 2019, Mr. Patterson donated the plane to Estrella Warbirds Museum in order to preserve a piece of history for future generations.
This aircraft was originally registered in the United States with FAA as an "Ikrus" Aero-3-A, as was one other. This naming difference may have been due to the fact that both "Ikarus" and Utva Aviation plants and historical documentation had been destroyed during WWII and subsequently during NATO bombing in 1999. Both manufacturers were part of a state run aviation industry in Yugoslavia manufacturing somewhat similar aircraft. After WWII, both Utva and Ikarus worked jointly at Zemun, to refurbish damaged aircraft and develop new wooden framed aircraft. Utva lists the Areo-3 as one of their aircraft.
First flown in 1956, the Aero-3-A was designed to meet a Yugoslav Air Force requirement for a primary trainer that could also be used in an army co-operation role. The Aero 3-A is a low wing cantilever monoplane that seated the student and instructor in tandem under a bubble canopy. Built from all wood construction, it had a fixed tailwheel landing gear and was powered by a nose-mounted 185 hp Lycoming O-435A piston engine.
Ikarus was founded as a limited partnership on October 13th, 1923 in Serbia, and produced their first training aircraft "Brandenburg" in 1924. Ikarus established an agreement with the Serbian Air Command to build military planes in 1927. They produced military gliders. In 1936, they signed an agreement for the manufacture of the British "Hawker Fury". The Aero-2B flew for the first time in 1946 and became the primary trainer aircraft for the Yugoslav Air Force.
In April,1941, Nazi Germany occupation authorities confiscated the company and proclaimed Ikarus to be part of the state enterprise. Ikarus manufactured the first gliders in the socialist Yugoslavia. They also produced a light multi-purpose bomber, single-seat fight planes and the first Yugoslav jet plane in 1952. Most of the Ikarus manufacturing plants were destroyed as a result of allied bombing. Some were rebuilt. In 1954 Ikarus manufactured its first bus. In November 1961 "Ikarus" ceased to be a military company.
Included in the "state aviation enterprise," was the Zemun aircraft assembly plant. Production, although closely associated with a nationalized Ikarus, also produced the Aero-3-A. This particular plant was listed as established in 1937 as Utva Aviation Industry. One of the founding members name for UTVA appears also as a founding member of Ikarus 1923.
Ikarus continues to manufacture busses, airplanes and glider aircraft. The North American division of Ikarus bus manufacturing broke away in 1996 and was renamed North American bus Industries NABI.
UTVA went on to develop a series of military and civilian aircraft within Serbia. The main plant was severely damaged during the NATO bombing in Yugoslavia in 1999. In March 2017, Serbian defense company Yugoimport SDPR became the majority stakeholder of UTVA.