Manufacturer: Letov |
Model: LF-107 Lunak
Span: 14m / 46ft
Length: 6.64m / 22ft
Height: 1.47m / 5ft
Wing Area: 13.01m² / 140ft²
Empty Weight: 199.58kg / 440lbs
Gross Weight: 299.38kg / 660lbs
Maximum Speed: 349.15km/h
Letov LF-107 Lunak Glider
The Czech aerobatic glider LF-107 Lunak was designed by Rudy Letov and further developed by a group of sailplane pilots and aeronautical engineers. The good aerobatic and gliding characteristics of the prototype drew considerable attention at aerobatic competitions in Ziar, Poland, and Grenchen, Switzerland, in 1949. With the advent of the Cold War, the factory was pushed into the production of MiG-15 aircraft and only 75 examples of the Lunak were built. Production models were used in local clubs for sailing and aerobatics as well as for training jet pilots. Of the 75 Lunak-107s built only nine remain in the world today.
This aircraft was donated to the Museum by Mira Slovak. Slovak, known as "The Flying Czech," was a star in the unlimited hydroplane racing scene in the 1950s and 1960s, winning the national high point championship twice. Born in Czechslovakia in 1929, Slovak's passion for aviation began at an early age and by his early 20s, he was working as a captain and chief pilot for the communist government-controlled Czechoslovakian Airlines. Slovak became an international celebrity in 1953, when he overpowered his communist co-pilot on a flight from Prague to Brno and hijacked his own plane to Frankfurt, Germany and freedom from the communist regime. He later immigrated to the U.S., where after having trouble finding work as a commercial pilot, worked as crop duster in Yakima, Washington. After moving to Seattle, Slovak had the fortune to meet Bill Boeing, Jr. who hired him as his private pilot and gave him the opportunity to race his hydroplanes for him. After numerous racing victories, he was inducted into the Unlimited Hydroplane Hall of Fame in 1963.