Valsts Elektrotechmska Fabrika / VEF
Valsts Elektrotechmska Fabrika (Government Electrotechnical Factory) at Riga. Aviation division established 1935 under Karlis Irbitis, pioneer aircraft designer/builder in Latvia since mid-1920s. First production was I-11 (Irbitis's 11 th design), two-seat low-wing monoplane, built 1936. A year later came improved I-12. Single examples followed of small series of small, lightweight fighter/trainers and, in 1939, the 300mph (483kmh) I-16 two/four-gun single-seat light fighter. VEF built I-17 two-seat primary trainer for Latvian Air Force in 1940, and two I-18 two-seaters developed from earlier Pulins/lrbitis I-8. When Latvia was invaded on June 17,1940, VEF had 380-400mph (612-644kmh) I-19 fighter on drawing board.