ANBO (Lithuania) aircraft

ANBO-III trainers (15k) and ANBO-IV reconnaissance aircraft (22k) ("Aero" magazine, Vol.10)

When the Soviet Union annexed the three Baltic states of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia in 1940, the inventories of the armed forces of those nations also changed the owner. The air arms of all three countries, beneath imported types, were operating a small number of indigenous designs. In Lithuania these came from the Army Aircraft Factory or ANBO at Kaunas. The designer of ANBO aircraft was Lt.Col. Antanas Gustaitis, later becoming Commander of the Lithuanian Army Air Corps and even later being shot at Moscow. The first of his designs, the ANBO-I, appeared in 1928. It was a single-seat low-wing sports monoplane. This was followed by the first military type ANBO-II, a two-seat primary trainer with a parasol-mounted wing and only modest performance.

The next model was the ANBO-III, an advanced trainer which differed from its predecessor externally by its undercarriage and redesigned vertical tail surfaces. Production of ANBO-II and ANBO-III is said to have been 20 machines of each type.

Photo of ANBO-41 from Lithuanian page.

In 1932 the ANBO-IV passed its maiden flight. This was a much heavier construction compared with the earlier Gustaitis designs. The ANBO-IV was intended as a tactical reconnaissance and general-purpose aircraft and was flown by two squadrons of the Lithuanian Army Air Corps. This type soon earned the reputation to be a very reliable aircraft. When Colonel Gustaitis personally led a formation of ANBO-IVs on a tour to different European capitals (Stockholm, Brussels, Copenhagen, London, Paris, Rome, Vienna, Prague, Bukarest, Moscow and others) from June 25, 1934 on, the type became relatively well-known outside Lithuania. On June 30, 1934 Gustaitis himself demonstrated his talents as a pilot and the qualities of the ANBO-IV during the RAF Air Show at Hendon.

An improved version with a more powerful engine was the ANBO-41 (about 20 built) which also equipped two Lithuanian squadrons.

ANBO-V (left) and ANBO-51, found on Lithuanian page.

The models ANBO-V, ANBO-51 and ANBO-VI were trainers with a basic design similar to the ANBO-II and -III.

ANBO-VI, also from Lithuanian page.

In 1939 the ANBO-VIII light bomber/reconnaissance prototype appeared. This was a two-seat low-wing monoplane with an air-cooled radial engine and a fixed undercarriage. It was under test, when Lithuania was annexed by the USSR.

ANBO-VIII, same source as above.

As may be found at "History of aircraft construction in the USSR" and other sources, the USSR took over the models ANBO-III, -IV, -V, -VI, -VIII, -41 and -51 from Lithuania, but that they were of no military importance. Of the ANBO-VIII is said that its testing was continued by the Soviets.

General Information
Function Trainer Reconnaissance, ground attack Trainer Light bomber, reconnaissance
Year 1929 1932 1936 1929 1936 1933 1939
Crew 2
Type 1*Walter Mars 1*Bristol Pegasus L2 1*Bristol Pegasus XI 1*Walter Vega I 1*Armstrong Siddeley Genet Major IV 1*Curtiss Challenger 1*Bristol Pegasus XVIII
Power (hp) 120 600 800 85 160> 185 1,010
Size (m)
Length 6.50 8.84 7.30 7.25 9.50
Wingspan 10.55 13.20 13.24 11.35 10.60 13.50
Wing area (m2) 18.20 29.00 20.65> 18.30 30.00
Weights and loads
Empty (kg) 556 1,450 1,500 510 680 720 2,300
Maximum (kg) 800 2,200 2,300 820 950 1,070 3,700
Wing Load (kg/m2) 44 76 79 40 46 58 123
Power load (kg/hp) 6.67 3.67 2.88 9.65 5.94 5.78 3.66
Speed (km/h)
Maximum 180 290 at 1,500m 360 at 2,000m 170 200 205> 411 at 5,000m
Cruising ? 265 ? 180 ?
Normal ? 800km ?
Ceiling (m)
Ceiling 4,500 8,000 9,000 4,000 4,500 9,000
5,000m ? 12-14min 8min ? 15min
Guns None 4*mg 7.7mm 4*mg 7.7mm None 5*mg 7.7mm
Bombs None 144kg 200kg None 600-1,000kg

  • "Aero" magazine, Vol.10 (in German);
  • "Das große Buch der Militärflugzeuge, Weltkrieg II" ("Combat Aircraft of WWII") by Elke & John Weal and Richard Barker;
  • "History of aircraft construction in the USSR", Vol.2;
  • Anbo III
  • Anbo IV
  • Anbo 41
  • Anbo V
  • Anbo 51
  • Anbo VI
  • Anbo VIII
  • Anbo III (in Lithuanian)
  • Anbo IV (in Lithuanian)
  • Anbo 41 (in Lithuanian)
  • Anbo V (in Lithuanian)
  • Anbo 51 (in Lithuanian)
  • Anbo VI (in Lithuanian)
  • Anbo VIII (in Lithuanian)

  • Created for RAM April 24, 2000
    by Thomas Heinz
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