Late production aircraft - One 85kW (115hp) with 5
min supercharged 105kW (140hp) rating Walter M332
inline inverted four cylinder piston engine driving
a two blade adjustable pitch propeller.
Late production aircraft - Max speed 237km/h
(128kt), max cruising speed 208km/h (112kt). Initial
rate of climb 630ft/min. Service ceiling 14,765ft.
Max range 850km (460nm).
Late production aircraft - Wing span (without
wingtip tanks) 10.00m (32ft 10in), length 7.54m
(28ft 9in), height 2.47m (8ft 1in). Wing area 14.6m2
Initial production aircraft had seating for three
with a single passenger seated behind pilot and
passenger. Late production had seating for four.
Approximately 200 MetaSokols built between 1954 and
1961. Almost all production was of the four seat
model, with only small numbers of the initial three
seat model built.
One of the more lesser known light aircraft to
emerge from behind the Iron Curtain, the unusually
configured MetaSokol three/four seat light aircraft
was a development of the Let Mraz M.1 Sokol.
The M.1 Sokol was a three seat light aircraft
developed in the late 1940s. It was used in a
variety of roles, mainly for training and a number
were built for Czechoslovak flying schools. The
wooden construction M.1 Sokol featured tail dragger
undercarriage and a 80kW (105hp) Walter Minor 4III
inline inverted four cylinder engine.
Like the M.1 Sokol, early production MetaSokols
seated three and were powered by the same 80kW
Walter Minor engine. However the MetaSokol
introduced a number of new features and design
changes including metal construction, a rearwards
sliding cockpit canopy, a very tall vertical tail
that extends from the fuselage at almost a right
angle, and a unique undercarriage system.
The MetaSokol's undercarriage features a reverse
tricycle arrangement, with the main undercarriage
legs extending from the front of the wing, with the
third leg mounted from under the fuselage. Unlike
the original fixed undercarriage M.1 Sokol, the
MetaSokol's undercarriage retracts, although the
rearward retracting main landing gear remains
exposed in flight. The effect of the arrangement is
very similar to driving a dumper truck at one
hundred miles an hour!
The prototype L20 MetaSokol flew for the first time
during 1954. This original three seat model was
built in only small numbers before it was superseded
by the definitive four seater, which also introduced
a more powerful M332 engine. The M332 was notable in
that its normal maximum power output could be
boosted for up to five minutes with supercharging.
Like the majority of Eastern European aircraft of
its time, most MetaSokols were exported to countries
within the Soviet sphere of influence, although a
number were sold in western Europe, North America
and Australia. Some aircraft were built under
license in India.