M.Simons The World's Vintage Sailplanes 1908-45
Antoni Kocjan, newly graduated from Warsaw Technical University, began designing gliders in 1930. The Komar was his third design, intended as an intermediate sailplane corresponding approximately to the Grunau Baby, its German contemporary.
The prototype flew in March 1933 and about eighty were built in pre-war Poland and more under licence in Bulgaria, Estonia, Finland, Palestine and Yugoslavia.
The wing had Goettingen aerofoils, 535 at the root tapering to 549 at the tip. The single box-type mainspar, with steel tubular strut and plywood covered leading edge, followed standard sailplane practice. The fuselage was a plywood covered box of quite graceful outline and the tailplane was of the all-moving variety. The cockpit was open and the undercarriage was a simple skid.
The Komar proved pleasant to fly and capable of soaring in weak slope lift or thermals but several of the early production aircraft broke up in the air. Investigations showed that the wing was failing at speeds over 90 km/h. Such speeds were easily exceeded by inexperienced pilots, especially if they entered cloud. Cloud flying in the Komar was forbidden whilst Kocjan redesigned the wing, and the result was the Komar bis.
A great many records were set by Komar pilots over the years, including the feminine world duration record of 24 hours 14 minutes, in 1937 by Wanda Modlibowska. A Komar was used to make the first flight across the eastern arm of the Baltic (Gulf of Finland) in 1934, the glider, one of the Estonian-built variety, being towed to 3800 metres and then gliding to Helsinki. Yugoslavian pilots flew Komars at the 1937 Internationals at the Wasserkuppe. Meanwhile the type became the standard Polish Silver 'C’ sailplane.
The destruction during the Second World War left Poland with only two complete sailplanes, and no plans were available for building any. Fortunately, a set of Komar drawings had survived in Yugoslavia and these were made available to permit new production. The design was further strengthened, the all-moving tailplane was replaced by a tailplane-elevator system, the ailerons were improved and spoilers were fitted. Twenty-three were built during 1948/49, some of these remaining in use till 1965.
In 1949 Stanislaw Wielgus raised the Polish national duration record to 35 hours, 14 minutes in one of these post-war Komars.
Komar bis: Span. 15.80 m. Wing area. 17.4 sq m. Aspect ratio, 14.4. Empty weight, 130 kg. Flying weight, 212 kg. Wing loading, 12.2 kg/sq m. Aerofoils, Goettingen 535 over centre section, tapering to Goettingen 549 at tips. Best glide. 1 : 20.2.
Komar 48/49: Span. 15.80 m. Wing area. 17.4 sqm. Aspect ratio, 14.4. Empty weight, 148 kg. Flying weight. 225 kg. Wing loading. 14.1 kg/sq m. Best glide 1 : 19. Minimum sink. 0.8 m/sec. Stall, 44 km h. Maximum permitted speed. 140 km/h.