Lockheed Electra E-10A celebrated its 90th birthday

Ninety years ago, on February 23, 1934 this airplane took off on its first flight. A total of 149 of these aircraft were produced, out of which only two are still in flying condition, one in Prague and the other one in New Zealand. The aircraft in Prague, registered OK-CTB, is a part of the collection of historic planes in Aeroclub Točná, located at the small sports airport Točná (LKTC) at the southern edge of the capital of Prague.

This aircraft was bought by Jan Antonín Baťa back in 1934, for his private and business flights. His Baťa factory in Zlín in the east of the Czech Republic was, at the time, one of the largest shoe manufacturers in the world. Only few people may know that there is a tick on the letter t, which means that it is pronounced Batja in the Czech language.

His brother Tomáš Baťa founded and started the production of footwear in Croatia, in Borovo in 1931. The similarity of the font of the letters on the logo of Baťa and Borovo is still visible today. He also built Borovo Naselje for his workers, according to a recognizable model of urbanism and architecture, which is the same at Borovo Naselje as well as in Zlín and the nearby town of Otrokovice in eastern Czechia. At that time, Borovo had the largest production of footwear in the former Kingdom of Yugoslavia.

Tomáš died in a plane crash in 1932 and his brother Jan Antonin took over the management of the factories. Both were lovers of aviation, so in 1934 he founded and started the production of airplanes carrying the name of the city of Zlín until today. Production was at the airport he built in 1929 in Otrokovice, near the city of Zlín (LKZL). He also built the airport in Borovo (LKOB) in 1935. It is very likely that he also came to Borovo with his Electra to patrol the production at his factory, but we have no evidence of that.

The Baťa family fled to Canada during the Second World War, and after the Second World War, the communist govenments in Czechoslovakia and also in Yugoslavia confiscated the shoe factories in Zlín, Borovo, as well as the aircraft factory in Otrokovice and many other factories he had in Eastern communist Europe. He continued the production of footwear in Brazil, and today the headquarters of the company is in Lausanne, Switzerland.

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