History and Present

 

The history of our company is closely linked with the period of „The First Republic“ (1918 - 1938) in former Czechoslovakia and the beginnings of aviation. At this time, all aircraft instrument panels were fitted with equipment from foreign manufacturers. Mainly for this reason, the first serious attempt to develop Czech production of aircraft instruments was created early on.

 

In 1925, the Klevin company was established by a couple of pilots from the Czechoslovak Army, Lieutenant Colonel František Klepš (a night flying pioneer in Czechoslovakia) and Captain Zdeněk Vinopal. From modest beginnings, when simpler works were performed in the flat of one of the founders, the company began to grow quickly. Due to the increasing number of contracts, a building with more room in Vinohrady, next to Olšanské hřbitovy was leased. In 1933, the company employed about thirty people and due to continuous development even these new premises were insufficient. Therefore, the company moved in 1935 to new premises, close to Prague in the building with the camera manufacturer, Kolarex, in Modřany.

 

          

 

During the move, Lieutenant Colonel Klepš left the company and Captain Vinopal's brother, Karel replaced him. These events changed the original name of the company to Vinopal Brothers, a factory for the production of aircraft instruments (Bratři Vinopalové, továrna na výrobu leteckých palubních přístrojů). After moving into the new facilities, nothing further prevented their development and from 1936 - 1937, the company employed nearly four hundred employees. The requirements of the former Ministry of National Defence steadily increased, and the Vinopal brothers therefore decided to invest in the expansion of design, engineering and the development base of the company. They also purchased a licence from the company Sperry to manufacture artificial horizons and directional gyros. At this time, the company produced a wide range of products of its own design whose parameters were fully comparable with foreign competition.

 

 

However, at this time, Hitler's armies were impatiently knocking at the door and everything would soon change. In the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia (Protektorat Böhmen und Mähren), the company passed under German administration and was quickly involved in military production. Only German aircraft instruments and devices were manufactured and Czechoslovak production was strictly forbidden. After the Second World War, this manufacturer of aircraft instruments in Modřany was nationalised by presidential decree on 27th October, 1945, and was renamed National Enterprise PAL Modřany (národní podnik PAL Modřany). So, the infamous events of 1948 paradoxically found the company already nationalised. During the following sad history of our country, the company suffered many reorganisations, mergers and changes including other name changes (Aeropal, Vltavan, Mikrotechna).

 

 

In the following years of this period, close cooperation was developed with the Soviet aviation industry which over the years, became a major customer. Many types of aircraft of Soviet production, which operated over most continents and oceans of our planet (including supersonic and those with nuclear weapons), were fitted with instruments and equipment from Modřany. However, this fact caused serious problems for the company in the eighties, during the collapse of the Eastern bloc. After 1990, more than 1,000 employees were released and the decline in production still continued. During this difficult situation, the original part of the factory was privatised in the spring of 1994.

 

 

Currently MIKROTECHNA PRAHA a.s. has undergone extensive restructuring. This complete change affected: the production space of the original plant, machinery, technology together with the so important generational change of employees. Modern CAD/CAM/CAE systems have replaced the drawing boards and slide rules. The product portfolio has been extended with pressure gauges and switches, control and signal units, warning and lighting systems. Beyond our own production, the company has begun cooperation with significant domestic and international companies from different industries in order to supply them with both precision machined parts and complex assemblies. Our goal is to continue the design, manufacture and supply of products with the maximum possible quality and highest utility value. It is very important for us to contribute to the success of our customers, whom we highly appreciate.

 

Our company subscribes to the values of "The First Republic", under which we established the beginnings of a long and remarkable history…

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