Aircraft History, Specification and Information
Zlín Z-37 Čmelák

The Zlin Z-37 Čmelák (Czech: "Bumblebee"), also known as LET Z-37 Čmelák is an agricultural aircraft manufactured in Czechoslovakia. The aircraft is used mainly as a cropduster.

Design and development

Zlin Z-37A-2 - Cmelak Aero Slovakia - OM-ZNP - Nitra Airport, Slovakia (LZNI)
Zlin Z-37A-2 Cmelak
OM-ZNP (sn 09-30)
Aero Slovakia
Picture taken April 07, 2007
Nitra Airport, Slovakia (LZNI)
Photo Copyright & Thanks to
Daniel Rybka
Zlin Z-37A-2 Cmelak - Horizont Repuloiskola Kft - HA-MFK - Glider Towing Aircraft - Ocseny Airport, Hungary (LHOY)
Zlin Z-37A-2 Cmelak
HA-MFK (cn 05-17)
Operated by Horizont Repuloiskola Kft. Ready for towing at Gemenc Cup 2005.
Image taken July 30, 2005
Ocseny AIrport, Hungary (LHOY)
Photo Copyright & Thanks to
Czégény Péter, Hungary
Zlin Z-37 Cmelak - OK-HYA - Single Engine Aircraft - Brno Turany Airport, Czech Republic (BRQ/LKTB)
Zlin Z-37A-C3 Cmelak
OK-HYA (sn 23-08)
Photo taken September 03, 2006
Brno Turany Airport, Czech Republic (BRQ / LKTB)
Photo Copyright & Thanks to
Piotr Biskupski

Design work upon the first purpose-designed agricultural plane started in Czechoslovakia in 1961, in a cooperation of two manufacturers: Let Kunovice and Moravan (Zlin brand). The first prototype, designated as XZ-37, first flew on 29 March 1963 (other sources:29 June). It was a cantilever low-wing monoplane of tubular metal construction, the wings and stabilizers are covered with duralumin and the fuselage and control surfaces are made of fabric. It had a fixed undercarriage with a fully castering tailwheel, but locked to the rudders for ground handling. The pilot's cockpit was in front, immediately behind a 315 hp radial engine, with a hopper for chemicals situated behind the cockpit. This offered the pilot a good view, but was potentially dangerous in case of an emergency landing. A mechanic could be seated behind the hopper, facing backwards. There were also spray booms mounted under the wings. There is also a freight version with open space instead of hopper and spray equipment and a -3 variant with 3 passenger seats facing rearwards.

The plane was produced from 1965 under a designation Z-37. From 1971, the Z-37A was produced, with a strengthened construction. It was produced until 1975, and then in 1983-1984. 677 were produced, including 27 two-seater Z-37A-2 for crew training.

On 6 September 1981 the prototype XZ-37T first flew, powered by a (691 shp) Walter M-601B turboprop engine. Two further prototypes of the definitive turboprop version, the Z-37T Agro Turbo, powered by a less powerful M-601Z engine, flew on 12 July and 29 December 1983. As well as the new engine, it had longer span wings (13.63 m) fitted with winglets.

The Z-37T was produced from 1985 until 1994, with a total of 51 aircraft built., including some Z-37T-2 two-seater trainers. Later production aircraft were redesignated Zlin Z-137T.

Operational history

The main user of Z-37s was Czechoslovakia (now Czech and Slovak Republics) along with East Germany and other Eastern Block countries. Many were exported to the Sudan and India and flown there almost non-stop with the hopper used as extra fuel tank. Variants are as far a field as England and the USA. Current use is limited because of fuel costs and are now used mainly in Slovakia. Many are used for glider towing, having the ability to easily tow 2 gliders and often transport 4 gliders in tow for cross country.

A record has been set by a Z 137T in Slovakia towing nine gliders.


  • XZ-37
    First prototype.
  • Z-37
    First production version built between 1965 and 1971.
  • Z-37A
    Second production version with strengthened construction. Built between 1971 and 1975 and later between 1983 and 1984, 650 built.
  • Z-37A-2
    Two seat version for crew training, 27 built.
  • Z-37A-3
    Pilot plus three passenger version. Conversion of "A" version. Rear-facing seats.
  • XZ-37T
    Prototype of the turboprop version powered by Walter M-601B engine, built in 1981.
  • Z-37T Agro Turbo
    Turboprop version with bigger span wings, powered by Walter M-601Z engine and built between 1985 and 1987. 28 built including Z-37T-2 trainer.
  • Z-37T-2
    Two seat turboprop version for crew training built between 1985 and 1987.
  • Z-137T
    Further development version.


  • Czech Republic
  • East Germany
  • Finland
  • Hungary
  • India
  • Iraq
  • United Kingdom
  • Yugoslavia

Specifications (Z-37A)

General characteristics
Crew: 1, pilot
Capacity: 1, mechanic (optional), 650 l of chemicals
Length: 8.55 m (28 ft 0½ in)
Wingspan: 12.22 m (40 ft 1¼ in)
Height: 2.90 m (9 ft 6 in)
Wing area: 23.80 m² (256.2 ft²)
Empty weight: 1,043 kg (2,295 lb)
Loaded weight: 1,850 kg
Useful load: 600 kg
Max takeoff weight: 1,850 kg (4,080 lb)
Powerplant: 1 × Walther M 462RF air-cooled 9-cylinder radial engine (supercharged), 235 kW (315 hp)

Never exceed speed: 270 km/h (145 knots, 167 mph)
Maximum speed: 210 km/h (113 knots, 130 mph)
Cruise speed: 183 km/h (99 knots, 114 mph)
Stall speed: 81 km/h (45 knots, 51 mph)
Range: 640 km (345 NM, 398 mi)
Service ceiling: 4,000 m (13,125 ft)
Rate of climb: 4.7 m/s (925 ft/min)
Take-off run - no load: less than 50 m (170 ft) - loaded from 125 metres (410ft) in still air
Landing run: less than 100 metres in still air
Fuel Capacity: 250 litres
Fuel Grade: Not less than 73 Octane (Unleaded 95 usually used)
Fuel Burn: 52 litres per hour cruise, 110 litres per hour full power

Last updated November 22, 2011
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Zlín Z 37".
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