Avionics News May 2012 - 52
Continued from page 51
In the early 1950s, the company worked closely with the Czechoslovak and Soviet aviation industries, developing products to satisfy a growing need. But, it wasn’t until 1970 that Mikrotechna Praha hit its stride in the golden age of Czechoslovakian aviation with instruments and devices installed in all types of military and civilian aircraft. At the time, more than 9,000 Czech aircraft were equipped with Mikrotechna instruments and devices. “The most popular of the aircraft were gliders, the Blanik L-13 and L-23 acrobatic type; light trainers, the Zlin series Z-50, Z-37 and Z-143; commuter aircraft, the L-410; and jet trainers, the L-29 Dolphin,” Milev said. “A huge number of them are still operated around the world today, and the instruments’ part number LUN is well known in the aviation engineering community.” To keep up with demand, Mikrotechna employed more than 1,500 people in its
Mikrotechna is located in Modřany, a southwest suburban corner of Prague.
kia’s peaceful Velvet Revolution that rejected Soviet communism, led to significant changes in the regional economy. “This process created a collapse of the Eastern European aviation industry, which reflected over Mikrotechna’s production, too,” Milev said. “Gradually,
Mikrotechna complies with FAA and EASA certification rules, which enables their products to be approved and installed in virtually every type of fixed- and rotor-wing aircraft.
branch facilities located in the suburbs of Prague – Praha Modřany and Praha Holešovice, as well as Týn and Vltavou, which is about 77 miles south of Prague. “The number of new projects kept increasing, including the launch of one of the best in its category of design and performance – the Aero Vodochody´s new military jet trainers L-39, L-59 and L-159,” Milev said. “They were equipped with pure Czech-made equipment.” A Time of Change The European political transformation of 1989, which included Czechoslova52
there was a significant reduction of the production programs and the number of employees.” However, with the 1990s came hope and renewal for both the country and Mikrotechna Praha. In 1993, Czechoslovakia split into two independent countries – the Czech Republic and Slovakia, creating two capitalist economies. A year later, Mikrotechna Praha privatized its branch in Modřany, and new investors and a new management team took over the business. “Jan Staněk, Mikrotechna Praha’s main investor and president, stabilized the company’s financial status and launched a new business development strategy oriented
toward the Western European market,” Milev said. “Paralleling the country’s aviation production program, management also launched new cooperation partnerships with some of the biggest aviation and aerospace industry producers, such as Thales Aviation, Moog and Smith Aerospace, which is now GE Aviation.” The strategy worked. Mikrotechna Praha grew its capital and became a joint stock company in 1997. Sales rebounded and production increased to keep up with demand. Mikrotechna’s instruments were installed in all Czech Army helicopters and aircraft as a part of the country’s modernization and upgrade program of the Czech military aviation. “At the present day, we continue to hold our position between the main players in the European aviation industry market,” Milev said. “Many types of airplanes from the military and civil aviation field have our equipment or instruments onboard.” In 2002, Vladimir Nyvlt, Mikrotechna’s chief executive officer, made another strategic decision to help the business – join the Aircraft Electronics Association. “Becoming an AEA member in 2002 helped us open new opportunities for market expansion in North America,” Milev said.