Air Pictorial 1957-09
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Photos by request
PWS-10 (Podlaska Wytwornia Samolotow - Podlaslan Aircraft Manufacturing Establishment). The PWS-10 was the first Polish-designed fighter intended for the Military Air Service as a replacement for the numerous foreign-designed, Polish-constructed aircraft such as the Czech Avia and French S.P.A.D. and Wibauit fighters. A single-seater, the PWS-10 was first flown in 1928 and had a maximum speed of 152 m.p.h., climbing to 16,400 ft. in 15 min. 15 sec. for a gross weight of 3,290 ib. Service ceiling 21,300ft. Powerplant was a 450-h.p. Skoda/Lorraine twelve-cylinder, water-cooled inline with three banks of four cylinders arranged in "broad arrow" or "W" formation. Some sixty-five PWS-10 fighters were delivered to the Polish Air Force, eventually to be replaced by the PZL series, including the P.VII, P.XIA and P.XIC. The remaining PWS-10s were then transferred to fighter training and gunnery roles. Span 36ft. 0 in.; length 24 ft. 7 1/2 in.; height 8 ft. 6 in. Colour scheme: olive green overall, including undersides of wings and fuselage.
PWS-26. The PWS-26 was a two-seat advanced military trainer used in large numbers by the Polish Air Force before the war. A logical development of the earlier PWS-16bis and PWS-18, the PWS-26 possessed superior all-round performance. About two hundred and fifty units were built by the Biala Podlaska (PWS) plant from 1937 to 1939, when war broke out. The bulk of these attractive biplanes were destined for the Central Flying School (CWL) at Deblin, which boasted a central school and four satellite bases within a radius of ten miles. Powered by a 220-h.p. Avia-Wright Whirlwind radial, the PWS-26 had a maximum speed of 130 m.p.h. for an a.u.w. of 2,420 Ib. Climb to 3,400 ft. took 4 minutes, while service ceiling topped 14,400ft. Armament consisted of one forward-firing, fixed 7.7-mm. machine gun, plus two underwing 25-lb. practice bombs. A camera gun was fitted in the lower, port mainplane. Span 29 ft. 9 in.; length 22 ft. 11 in.; height 8 ft. 10 in. Several PWS-26 trainers were used by the Luftwaffe but none is known to have survived to this date. Colour scheme: olive drab overall, though some had sky-blue undersurfaces. Lettering and coding in black.
PZL-44 (Panstwowe Zaklady Lotnicze - State Aircraft Factory). The PZL-44 Wicher was intended as a replacement for the Douglas DC-2 and Lockheed Model 12A and Model 14 Super Electra transports operated by P.L.L. LOT just before World War II. The Polish national airline issued a specification calling for a fourteen-passenger (four-crew, including captain, co-pilot, radio operator and steward) airliner which resulted in the Wicher designed by W. Jakimuk and built at the PZL-WP.NI works at Okecie, near Warsaw. The first flight took place on 20th March 1937, and subsequent flight evaluation was carried out at the I.B.T.L. establishment in Warsaw during the latter half of 1938. Of ail-metal construction, the sole prototype, PZL-44 (latterly registered SP-WHR), was powered by two 850-h.p. Skoda-Wright Cyclones, although for the production models the more powerful 1,000-h.p. Wright GR-1820-G2 radials had been planned. Every modern flying and navigational aid and passenger-comfort device was installed, including such items as efficient de-icing, hydraulically-operated dual controls, Sperry autopilot and "climatised" cabin conditions, thus making the PZL-44 one of the most promising pre-war airliners ever built. When war broke out for Poland on 1st September 1939 the evaluation testing ceased after the prototype had logged some two hundred flying hours, latterly by Polish airline pilots. With a span of 78 ft. 1 3/4 in., length 60ft. 7 in., and height 15 ft. 7 3/4 in., the PZL-44 had an a.u.w. of 23,100 lb,, giving a normal range of 1,140 miles, or five hours' duration at cruising speed (62.5 per cent power) of 211.2 m.p.h. at 13,120 ft. Maximum speed 234 m.p.h. at 6,560 ft. in English "Wicher" means Tempest or Storm.
PWS-24.T. The PWS-24.T was the precursor of the PWS-52.T. First flown In 1931, the PWS-24.T was initially powered by a 220-h.p. Skoda-Wright Whirlwind as shown in the photograph of the first prototype SP-AGR. Designed to seat six passengers and crew, the PWS-24.T was operated by P.L.L. LOT - Polish Airline on the feeder route from Warsaw to Posnan. Experience showed that with a full complement the Whirlwind - PWS-24.T was underpowered, and the Wrights were replaced by the higher-powered 420-h.p, Pratt & Whitney Wasp Junior radial. Performance was improved to give a cruising speed of 110 m.p.h. and maximum speed of 139.5 m.p.h., for an a.u.w. of 4.800 lb. Service ceiling 11,400 ft. Some PWS-24.Ts retained the lower-powered Whirlwind and served as crew trainers and for aerial-mapping duties undertaken by P.L.L. LOT on behalf of the Government. The colour scheme was all-silver with navy-blue trimming and black lettering, including the airline badge on the fin.