Czerwinski WWS-1 Salamandra
Страна: Польша
Год: 1936

M.Simons The World's Vintage Sailplanes 1908-45

M.Simons The World's Vintage Sailplanes 1908-45


  The Salamandra was one of the few gliders to make an international reputation and was one of the few manufactured in quantity outside its country of origin. The total number built is not known but is thought to exceed 500 and this is perhaps the only sailplane of European design to have been built in China.
  The origin of the type goes back to Waclaw Czerwinski's CW-2 of 1929, which was a lightweight, open-framed and wire-braced glider of 11 metres span very similar in concept to the German Hangwind and Hols der Teufel. In 1936 Czerwinski joined a new Government-sponsored aviation workshop, the WWS, in Krakow. The Salamandra was his first design for this new factory and the prototype flew in mid-1936, after which large scale production began.
  It was a 12.5 metre sailplane with the aerofoil section Goettingen 387. The usual single-spar wing with torsion box leading edge was employed, with a single bracing strut. A nacelle housed the pilot whilst two booms carried the tail. Each boom was a light box beam, bolted at the front to the nacelle and at the rear to the fin, with wire diagonal bracing and wires to wing attachment points part way out along the span, to keep the tail straight. The nacelle was a plywood skinned box with an open cockpit. The skid was sprung by means of an inflated rubber tube trapped between skid and keel member with a lace-up canvas fairing.
  The Salamandra was easy to fly and very robust. If broken its sub-assemblies could be replaced easily. Its performance was good enough for soaring and for cross-country flying up to Silver ‘C’ standard. About 140 were built before the German and Russian invasions of 1939. Some were exported to Estonia, Finland and Yugoslavia. The standard Polish color for training sailplanes was bright orange.
  A single Salamandra survived after 1945 and was used as a pattern for new drawings. The first five gliders built in Poland after the war’s end were Salamandras and were flown in 1947. Subsequently production began again, with some modifications. The 1949 version was fitted with airbrakes and was generally strengthened. In 1953 a further variety appeared with a windscreen, a larger tailplane and mass-balanced elevators. Altogether 223 Salamandras were built in Poland between 1947 and 1953, some remaining in service till 1962.
  Meanwhile in 1942 the designer, Czerwinski, who had left Poland as a refugee, was living in Canada and working there for de Havilland. From memory, he reproduced the Salamandra drawings and under the name Sparrow, a Canadian version flew successfully, the chief modifications being the addition of a central landing wheel and slightly smaller wingspan with less area. In 1945, the Canadian Wooden Aircraft Company built the Robin, which was Czerwinski’s final version. It had an enlarged fin and rudder, a slightly different wingtip, and an improved nacelle shape, but it was still recognisably a Salamandra.
  The most unexpected development came in 1955 when, as a result of an order from Peking, a special Chinese version was built and 50 were exported from Poland to China. Production in that country was also begun, under licence, though it is not known how many were built. A two-seat version was also developed there, for training. Czerwinski, prior to 1939, had designed two further gliders for the WWS, the WWS-2, a primary trainer, and the WWS-3, Delfin, a gull-winged sailplane intended to replace the popular Komar.

  Technical data:
   Salamandra, 1936: Span, 12.50 m. Wing area, 16.9 sq m. Aspect ratio, 9.25. Empty weight. 110 kg. Flying weight. 195 kg. Wing loading. 11.6 kg/sq m. Aerofoil, Gollingen 387. Best glide ratio. 1:16.5 at 56 km/h.
   Salamandra. 1953: Span, 12.48 m. Wing area. 16.9 sq m. Aspect ratio, 9.2. Empty weight, 140 kg. Flying weight, 225 kg. Wing loading. 13.3 kg/sq m. Best glide ratio, 1:15.2.
A Salamandra in pre-war Poland, probably an early model, perhaps even the prototype. The nose of the nacelle shows signs of repair. In such restricted cockpits, a pilot’s foot would sometimes jump off the rudder pedal in a heavy landing and smash through the thin plywood. The primary trainers in the background are thought to be of the Polish Wrona bis type.
A Salamandra after an up-slope outlanding after a cross-country flight. The type was used for all three Silver 'C' tasks. To complete a 50 km distance flight in such a sailplane was a considerable achievement.