PZL (Państwowe Zakłady Lotnicze - State Aviation Works) was the main Polish aerospace manufacturer of the interwar period, and a brand of their aircraft. Based in Warsaw between 1928 and 1939, PZL introduced a variety of well-regarded aircraft, most notably the PZL P.11 fighter, the PZL.23 Karaś light bomber, and the PZL.37 Łoś medium bomber.

Państwowe Zakłady Lotnicze
IndustryAerospace
PredecessorCentralne Warsztaty Lotnicze
Founded1928 (1928)
Defunct1989 (1989)
FateBroken up
Successors
Headquarters,
Key people
SubsidiariesPodlaska Wytwórnia Samolotów
(1937–1939)

In the post-war era, aerospace factories in Poland were initially run under the name WSK (Transport Equipment Manufacturing Plant), but returned to adopt PZL acronym in late 1950s. This was used as a common aircraft brand and later as a part of names of several Polish state-owned aerospace manufacturers referring to PZL traditions, and belonging to the Zjednoczenie Przemysłu Lotniczego i Silnikowego PZL - PZL Aircraft and Engine Industry Union. Among the better-known products during this period is the PZL TS-11 Iskra jet trainer and PZL-104 Wilga STOL utility aircraft.

After the fall of communism in Poland in 1989, these manufacturers became separate companies, still sharing the PZL name. In the case of PZL Mielec, the abbreviation was later developed as Polskie Zakłady Lotnicze - Polish Aviation Works. Over time, most of the now-separate divisions were purchased by foreign concerns, and some continue to use PZL brand.

HistoryEdit

PZL (1928-1939)Edit

 
The Warsaw PZL plant in December 1939

The PZL - Państwowe Zakłady Lotnicze (State Aviation Works) was founded in Warsaw in 1928 as a state-owned company, and was based on the earlier CWL (Centralne Warsztaty Lotnicze) - Central Aviation Workshops.[1] First to be produced was a licensed version of a French fighter, the Wibault 70, but from then on the company produced exclusively its own designs. In the next decade a talented designer Zygmunt Puławski designed a series of high-wing, all-metal modern fighters: PZL P.1, P.6, P.7 and P.11. The latter two types were used as basic fighters in the Polish Air Force from 1933 onwards. The last variant, PZL P.24, developed after Puławski's death in an air crash, was exported to four countries. PZL also mass-produced a light bomber, PZL.23 Karaś, and a modern medium bomber, PZL.37 Łoś, as well as building small numbers of sport aircraft (PZL.5, PZL.19, PZL.26), and liaison aircraft (PZL Ł.2); and developing prototypes of passenger aircraft. In the late 1930s the company also developed several prototypes of more modern fighters and bombers — and a passenger airliner, the PZL.44 Wicher. However, World War II prevented these aircraft from entering production. PZL was the largest Polish pre-war aircraft manufacturer.

In 1934, the main factory in Warsaw was named PZL WP-1 (Wytwórnia Płatowców 1 - Airframe Works 1) in the Okęcie district of Warsaw. A new division PZL WP-2 was built in Mielec in 1938-1939, but production was only just starting there at the outbreak of World War II.[1] An engine factory division, PZL WS-1 in Warsaw-Okęcie (Wytwórnia Silników - Engine Works 1), produced mostly licensed versions of British Bristol engines, such as the Bristol Pegasus and the Bristol Mercury. The WS-1 factory was former Polskie Zakłady Skody, the Polish division of Skoda Works, and was nationalized and renamed in 1936. In 1937-1939 a new engine division, PZL WS-2, was built in Rzeszów.[2]

Situation post-warEdit

During World War II and the five-year German occupation, all Polish aviation industry was taken over by German firms, and as a result, almost completely destroyed. By the end of the war, all factories were either ruined or robbed of tooling.[3] Despite it, from 1944 there were carried out efforts to design new aircraft, in primitive conditions (first of all, in the LWD). No engines nor suitable production facilities were available at first.[4] The post-war communist government of Poland wanted to break all connections with pre-war Poland[citation needed]: from the late 1940s the name PZL ceased to be used, and new aerospace factories were named WSK (Wytwórnia Sprzętu Komunikacyjnego - Transport Equipment Manufacturing Plant). Under the Soviet-influenced, centrally planned economy, all indigenous projects were abandoned, in a favour of manufacturing Soviet-licensed aircraft.[4] No own designs were produced for a decade, and only in late 1950s, after the stalinist period (1956), did the PZL brand return to designing new aircraft.

The ZPLiS PZL - Zjednoczenie Przemysłu Lotniczego i Silnikowego PZL - PZL Aircraft and Engine Industry Union, which grouped all state-owned aerospace industry factories, was created in following years, but it only enjoyed some economic autonomy from 1973 onwards.[5] It consisted of 19 factories, a research institute, and the Pezetel Foreign Trade Center - CHZ Pezetel, which represented all the Polish aerospace industry abroad (Pezetel being the pronunciation of an abbreviation PZL in Polish).[5] Consequently, in the 1970s some WSK factories also introduced the PZL abbreviation to their names. After the fall of communism in Poland in 1989, all manufacturers became separate companies, initially state-owned, still sharing the PZL name.

LocationsEdit

PZL "Warszawa-Okęcie"Edit

The main factory PZL WP-1 in Warsaw was destroyed during World War II, mostly during the German evacuation in 1944. In 1946, the CSS construction bureau (Centralne Studium Samolotów - Central Aircraft Study) was set up there. As the factory was rebuilt, it was renamed in 1950 as the WSK Nr.4, and in 1956 as the WSK-Okęcie.[6]

It first produced licensed versions of Soviet types and aircraft developed by other Polish companies. From 1958 onwards it started to produce its own designs under the PZL brand, starting with the PZL-101 Gawron. The factory developed mainly light sports, trainer and utility aircraft. An attempt of producing and airliner PZL MD-12 was unsuccessful. The best-known designs are the PZL-104 Wilga utility aircraft, which was produced in larger numbers than any other Polish-designed aircraft; and the PZL-106 Kruk agricultural aircraft. During the 1970s the factory adopted the name WSK "PZL Warszawa-Okęcie", which after the fall of the communist system was changed in 1989 to PZL Warszawa-Okęcie. In 2001 the factory was bought by the Spanish company EADS CASA (now part of Airbus Defence and Space) and since then has been known as EADS PZL Warszawa-Okęcie SA.

WSK "PZL-Mielec" / PZL MielecEdit

 
PZL-Mielec logo

The PZL WP2 factory in Mielec became a part of Heinkel during the German occupation of Poland, and manufactured parts for German aircraft. After the war the factory was named first PZL No.1 works,[7] then from 1949 WSK-Mielec, and later WSK "PZL-Mielec". It became the biggest post-war Polish aircraft producer.[7] It manufactured mostly licensed Soviet types, such as the Antonov An-2 transport biplane and early jet fighters: Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-15 (as Lim-1 and Lim-2) and Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-17 (as Lim-5 and Lim-6). It also produced the Polish-designed TS-8 Bies piston trainer and TS-11 Iskra jet trainer, and the PZL M-15 Belphegor the world's only jet agricultural aircraft. Large numbers of aircraft were exported abroad, mostly to the USSR.[7] From the 1970s onward it produced mostly its own developments of licensed civil aircraft, the best known are the PZL M-18 Dromader agricultural aircraft, which was exported to numerous countries, and the PZL M-28 Skytruck/Bryza light transport aircraft. In 1998 the state factory WSK PZL-Mielec went bankrupt and was changed into the state-owned Polskie Zakłady Lotnicze Sp.z o.o. (Polish Aviation Works) (PZL Mielec).

On March 16, 2007, PZL Mielec was purchased by the Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation, a unit of United Technologies Corporation (UTX). It still produces M-18 and M-28 aircraft.

WSK "PZL-Świdnik"Edit

In 1951 a third national aerospace factory, WSK-Świdnik, was built in Świdnik,[8] and in 1957 it was renamed to WSK "PZL-Świdnik". Since 1956 it has become one of the world's major helicopter manufacturers, producing helicopters under Soviet licences, starting from the SM-1 (Mil Mi-1).[8] Świdnik was the main producer of the Mi-1 and the exclusive producer of the Mil Mi-2, which was widely used throughout the world. Since the late 1980s, Świdnik has been producing a Polish-designed medium helicopter PZL W-3 Sokół. It also produces a light helicopter, the PZL SW-4 Puszczyk. After 1991 the state factory became a state-owned corporation (WSK "PZL-Świdnik" SA). It also produced the SZD-30 Pirat, PW-5 and PW-6 gliders and cooperates widely with other nations' manufacturers, e.g., in the manufacture of Agusta A109 fuselages.

In early 2010 the factory was acquired by AgustaWestland.

PZL-BielskoEdit

Glider manufacturer SZD (Szybowcowy Zakład Doświadczalny - Glider Experimental Works) was created in Bielsko-Biała in 1948 and was renamed to PZL-Bielsko only in the 1990s. The main Polish producer of gliders, its products were exported to many countries. However, for most of its history it did not carry PZL name. Currently it is named Allstar PZL Glider Sp.z o.o. (from 2002).

WSK-RzeszówEdit

The engine division WS-2 of the PZL was built in Rzeszów in 1937-1939.[2] After the war it still bore a name PZL (Państwowe Zakłady Lotnicze) until 1951, when it was renamed WSK-Rzeszów.[9] From 1949 it manufactured Soviet-licensed M-11 engines, later, among others, ASh-62IR, turboshaft engines GTD-350 and Polish jet engines SO-1.[9] The factory was bought by United Technologies in 2002 and changed its name to Pratt & Whitney Rzeszów in 2015.[10]

WSK "PZL-Kalisz"Edit

In 1952 the engine manufacturer WSK-Kalisz was created. It manufactured mostly Soviet-licensed engines, first piston (the Shvetsov ASh-82 and the Ivchenko AI-14) and then jet (the Klimov VK-1). It also produced Polish piston engines, such as the WN-3, and other equipment. In October 1996 it was renamed WSK "PZL-Kalisz" and became a corporation (SA).

WSK "PZL Warszawa II"Edit

WSK Warszawa II was created in 1952 in Warsaw as a manufacturer of aircraft parts and military equipment parts. In 1995 it was changed from a state factory to a corporation WSK "PZL Warszawa II" SA.

AircraftEdit

 
PZL.37B medium bomber
 
PZL-104 Wilga
 
PZL M-28B Bryza 1R maritime patrol aircraft
 
PZL W-3 Sokół of the Polish Armed Forces
Model name First flight Number built Type
PZL P.1 1929 2 Single piston engine monoplane fighter
PZL Ł.2 1930 31 Single piston engine monoplane liasion airplane
PZL.3 N/A 0 Four piston engine monoplane bomber
PZL.4 1932 1 Three piston engine monoplane airliner
PZL.5 1930 15 Single piston engine biplane sport airplane
PZL P.6 1930 1 Single piston engine monoplane fighter
PZL P.7 1930 151 Single piston engine monoplane fighter
PZL P.11 1931 325 Single piston engine monoplane fighter
PZL.12 1931 1 Single piston engine monoplane flying boat
PZL.16 1932 1 Single piston engine monoplane utility airplane
PZL.19 1932 3 Single piston engine monoplane sport airplane
PZL.23 Karaś 1934 253 Single piston engine monoplane light bomber
PZL P.24 1933 184 Single piston engine monoplane fighter
PZL.26 1934 5 Single piston engine monoplane sport airplane
PZL.27 1934 1 Three piston engine monoplane airliner
PZL.30 Żubr 1936 20 Two piston engine monoplane bomber
PZL.37 Łoś 1936 120+ Two piston engine monoplane bomber
PZL.38 Wilk 1938 2 Two piston engine monoplane fighter-bomber
PZL.43 1937 54 Single piston engine monoplane light bomber
PZL.44 Wicher 1938 1 Twin piston engine monoplane airliner
PZL.45 Sokół N/A 0 Single piston engine monoplane fighter
PZL.46 Sum 1938 2 Single piston engine monoplane light bomber
PZL.48 Lampart N/A 0 Two piston engine monoplane fighter-bomber
PZL.49 Miś N/A 0 Two piston engine monoplane bomber
PZL.50 Jastrząb 1939 1 Single piston engine monoplane fighter
PZL.53 Jastrząb II N/A 0 Single piston engine monoplane fighter
PZL.54 Ryś N/A 0 Two piston engine monoplane heavy fighter
PZL.55 N/A 0 Single piston engine monoplane fighter
PZL.56 Kania N/A 0 Single piston engine monoplane fighter
CSS -> WSK-Okęcie -> PZL "Warszawa-Okęcie"
CSS-10 [pl] 1948 2 Single piston engine monoplane trainer[11]
CSS-11 [pl] 1948 2 Single piston engine monoplane trainer[12]
CSS-13 1948 ~500 License built single piston engine biplane utility airplane
LWD Junak 1948 252 Single piston engine monoplane trainer
CSS-12 1950 1 Two piston engine monoplane airliner
CSS S-13 1953 91 License built single piston engine biplane utility airplane
WSK Jak-12 1,191 License built single piston engine monoplane utility airplane
PZL-101 Gawron 1958 325 Single piston engine monoplane utility airplane
PZL-102 Kos 1958 10 Single piston engine monoplane sport airplane
PZL MD-12 1959 3 Four piston engine monoplane airliner
PZL-104 Wilga 1962 1,000+ Single piston engine monoplane utility airplane
PZL-105 Flaming 1989 2 Single piston engine monoplane utility airplane
PZL-106 Kruk 1973 275+ Single piston engine monoplane agricultural airplane
PZL-110 Koliber 1978 Single piston engine monoplane sport airplane
PZL-112 Junior 2000 1 Single piston engine monoplane trainer
PZL-130 Orlik 1984 59 Single turboprop engine monoplane trainer
PZL-126 Mrowka 1990 2 Single piston engine monoplane agricultural airplane
PZL-230 Skorpion N/A 0 Two jet engine monoplane attack airplane
WSK-Mielec -> PZL-Mielec
PZL Szpak-4T 1948 10 Single piston engine monoplane utility airplane
PZL S-1 1945 1 Single piston engine monoplane trainer
PZL S-4 Kania 1957 3 Single piston engine monoplane trainer
PZL TS-8 Bies 1955 251 Single piston engine monoplane trainer
PZL M2 1958 2 Single piston engine monoplane trainer
PZL M3 Pliszka 1959 3 Glider
PZL M7 N/A 0 Two jet engine monoplane trainer[13]
PZL M8 Pelikan N/A 0 Glider[14]
PZL M4 Tarpan 1961 2 Single piston engine monoplane trainer
PZL An-2 1961 11,000+ License built single piston engine biplane utility airplane
PZL Lim-1 1952[15] 227 License built single jet engine monoplane fighter
PZL Lim-2 500 License built single jet engine monoplane fighter
PZL Lim-5 1956[16] 666 License built single jet engine monoplane fighter
PZL Lim-6 110 License built single jet engine monoplane attack airplane
PZL TS-11 Iskra 1960 424 Single jet engine monoplane trainer
PZL TS-16 Grot N/A 0 Single jet engine monoplane trainer
PZL M12 N/A 0 Two piston engine monoplane utility airplane[17]
PZL M19 N/A 0 Two jet engine monoplane trainer[18]
PZL M14 N/A 0 Single turboprop engine monoplane agricultural airplane[19]
PZL M15 Belphegor 1973 175 Single jet engine biplane agricultural airplane
PZL M16 N/A 0 Two jet engine monoplane trainer[20]
PZL M18 Dromader 1976 759 Single piston engine monoplane agricultural airplane
PZL M17 1977 1 Single piston engine monoplane utility airplane
PZL M20 Mewa 1979 33 Two piston engine monoplane utility airplane
PZL M19 N/A 0 Two turboprop engine monoplane transport airplane[21]
PZL M21 Dromader Mini 1982 2 Single piston engine monoplane agricultural airplane[22]
PZL M24 Dromader Super 1987 4 Single piston engine monoplane agricultural airplane
PZL M25 Dromader Micro N/A 0 Single piston engine monoplane agricultural airplane[22]
PZL M26 Iskierka 1986 9 Single piston engine monoplane trainer
PZL An-28 1984 Two turboprop engine monoplane transport
PZL M28 Skytruck 1993 Two turboprop engine monoplane transport
PZL M30 N/A 0 Single turboprop engine monoplane agricultural airplane[23]
PZL M32 N/A 0 Two turboprop engine monoplane utility airplane[24]
PZL M34 N/A 0 Two turboprop engine monoplane transport[25]
PZL I-22 Iryda 1985 17 Two jet engine monoplane trainer
WSK "PZL Świdnik" -> PZL-Świdnik
PZL SM-1 1956 1,594 License built single piston engine utility helicopter
PZL SM-2 1959 89 Single piston engine utility helicopter
PZL Mi-2 1965[26] 5,400+ License built two turboshaft engine utility helicopter
PZL SM-4 Łątka N/A 1 Single piston engine utility helicopter
PZL Kania 1979 19 Two turboshaft engine utility helicopter
PZL W-3 Sokół 1979 149 Two turboshaft engine utility helicopter
PZL SW-4 Puszczyk 1996 40 Single turboshaft engine utility helicopter
PZL PW-5 1993 Glider
PZL PW-6 1998 ~26 Glider
PZL I-23 Manager [pl] 1999 2 Single piston engine monoplane sport airplane

Other types of aircraftEdit

EnginesEdit

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

NotesEdit

  1. ^ a b A. Glass (1977), p. 26-31
  2. ^ a b A. Glass (1977), p. 41-44
  3. ^ Babiejczuk, J. and Grzegorzewski, J. (1974), p. 54
  4. ^ a b Cynk, Jerzy B. (4 January 1962). "Progress in Poland". Flight International. Vol. 81 no. 2756. pp. 14–17.
  5. ^ a b Babiejczuk, J. and Grzegorzewski, J. (1974), p. 11, 16
  6. ^ Babiejczuk, J. and Grzegorzewski, J. (1974), p. 67-72
  7. ^ a b c Babiejczuk, J. and Grzegorzewski, J. (1974), p. 90-98
  8. ^ a b Babiejczuk, J. and Grzegorzewski, J. (1974), p. 101-103
  9. ^ a b Babiejczuk, J. and Grzegorzewski, J. (1974), p. 132-134
  10. ^ "History". Pratt & Whitney. Retrieved 8 March 2021.
  11. ^ Luto, Krzysztof. "CSS-10, 1948". SamolotyPolskie.pl (in Polish). Retrieved 14 March 2021.
  12. ^ Luto, Krzysztof. "CSS-11, 1948". SamolotyPolskie.pl (in Polish). Retrieved 14 March 2021.
  13. ^ Luto, Krzysztof. "PZL M7 STN, 1960". SamolotyPolskie.pl (in Polish). Retrieved 14 March 2021.
  14. ^ Luto, Krzysztof. "PZL M8 "Pelikan", 1960". SamolotyPolskie.pl (in Polish). Retrieved 14 March 2021.
  15. ^ Luto, Krzysztof. "Lim-1 / Lim-2, 1952". SamolotyPolskie.pl (in Polish). Retrieved 22 March 2021.
  16. ^ Placha Hetman, Karol (14 October 2020). "WSK Mielec Lim-5. 2020". Polot. Retrieved 22 March 2021.
  17. ^ Luto, Krzysztof. "PZL M12, 1961-1963". SamolotyPolskie.pl (in Polish). Retrieved 14 March 2021.
  18. ^ Luto, Krzysztof. "PZL M19, początek lat 1970- tych". SamolotyPolskie.pl (in Polish). Retrieved 14 March 2021.
  19. ^ Luto, Krzysztof. "PZL M14, 1969-1971". SamolotyPolskie.pl (in Polish). Retrieved 14 March 2021.
  20. ^ Luto, Krzysztof. "PZL M16, 1973". SamolotyPolskie.pl (in Polish). Retrieved 14 March 2021.
  21. ^ Luto, Krzysztof. "PZL M19, 1981". SamolotyPolskie.pl (in Polish). Retrieved 14 March 2021.
  22. ^ a b Placha Hetman, Karol (21 November 2020). "PZL Mielec M-18 Dromader. 1976". Polot. Retrieved 14 March 2021.
  23. ^ Luto, Krzysztof. "PZL M30, 1985". SamolotyPolskie.pl (in Polish). Retrieved 14 March 2021.
  24. ^ Luto, Krzysztof. "PZL M32, 1990". SamolotyPolskie.pl (in Polish). Retrieved 14 March 2021.
  25. ^ Luto, Krzysztof. "PZL M34, 1996". SamolotyPolskie.pl (in Polish). Retrieved 14 March 2021.
  26. ^ Luto, Krzysztof. "PZL Mi-2, 1965 (SM-3)". SamolotyPolskie.pl (in Polish). Retrieved 14 March 2021.

BibliographyEdit

  • Glass, Andrzej (1977). Polskie konstrukcje lotnicze 1893-1939 [Polish aviation designs 1893-1939] (in Polish). Warsaw: Wydawnictwa Komunikacji i Łączności.
  • Babiejczuk, Janusz; Grzegorzewski, Jerzy (1974). Polski przemysł lotniczy 1945–1973 [Polish aviation industry 1945-1973] (in Polish). Warsaw: Wydawnictwo MON.
  • Cynk, Jerzy B. (4 January 1962). "Progress in Poland". Flight International. Vol. 81 no. 2756. pp. 14–17.

External linksEdit