And now for something completely… homebuilt. Not really easy on the eye, the Cvjetković CA-10 is a one-of, ~90% accurate replica of the 1910 Penkala Leptir (“butterfly”), the very first aircraft designed, built AND flown (sort of) in Croatia.
The brainchild of Slovak-born Polish-Dutch-Croatian inventor Slavoljub Penkala (quite a mouthful!), the Leptir had suffered from an extremely aft position of the Center of Gravity, which meant that it did not so much fly as hop along in extended leaps – but for a country eager to enter the Age of Airplanes, that was more than enough.
Built in early 2010 to celebrate the centennial of powered flight in Croatia, the CA-10 differs from the Leptir primarily by its powerplant: the original 25 HP Laurin & Kliment engine having long gone extinct, it was replaced by an 80 HP Rotax 912, installed forward of the fuselage in an attempt to nudge the CG into a more acceptable position. The only other major change is a much bigger vertical stabilizer, in order to counter the longer moment arm of the new engine. But despite all of this (and more than three times the power), the 10 is still a tricky so-and-so in flight – so much in fact that only one pilot (a highly experienced former ATR-42 captain and gliding instructor) is actually allowed to fly it. Sadly, as of 2020 it had not flown for several years, though there have been attempts to put it on display in a museum…
Original Author: Boran Pivcic