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PZL is an abbreviation name used by three Polish aerospace manufacturers. Before 1939 it was one manufacturer Państwowe Zakłady Lotnicze - State Aviation Works, based in Warsaw, Poland.


PZL (1928-1939)

PZL was founded in Warsaw in 1928, basing on the earlier workshops CWL (Centralne Warsztaty Lotnicze - Central Aviation Workshops). The first product was a licence-produced French fighter Wibault 70. Soon, a talented designer Zygmunt Pulawski designed a series of high-wing metal-covered fighters: PZL P-1, P-6, P-7 and P-11. The last two types were basic fighters of the Polish Air Forces since 1933. The last variant PZL P.24, developed after Pulawski's death in an air crash, was exported to 4 countries. Mass-produced were also: light bomber PZL.23 Karas and modern medium bomber PZL.37 Los. The later was one of the best bombers in the world before the Second World War. At that time, PZL also built some sport (PZL-5, PZL-19, PZL-26) and liaison (PZL Ł-2) planes. By 1939 it developed also several prototypes of modern fighters and of a passenger plane (PZL-44). PZL was the biggest Polish pre-war aircraft manufacturer. Since 1934 the main aircraft factory in Warsaw was named PZL WP-1 and placed in Okecie district of Warsaw. A new division PZL WP-2 was built in Mielec. An engine factory division, PZL WS-1 in Warsaw, built mostly engines on the British Bristol licence (Bristol Pegasus, Bristol Mercury).

PZL "Warszawa-Okecie"

During the Second World War, all factories were destroyed, and after the war they were rebuilt. The PZL WP-1 factory was renamed CSS (Central Aircraft Studies), then WSK-4, then in 1956 to WSK-Okecie (Wytwórnia Sprzętu Komunikacyjnego - Communication Equipment Factory). Despite the new name, the abbreviation PZL was still used in designs' names. It developed mainly light sport, trainer and multi role aircrafts. The best known designs are: multi role PZL-104 Wilga and agricultural PZL-106 Kruk. After 1989 the factory was renamed with its traditional name PZL "Warszawa-Okecie".


The second factory, named WSK-Mielec became the biggest Polish post-war aircraft producer. It initially manufactured licensed Soviet planes: transport biplane Antonov An-2, jet fighters: MiG-15 (as Lim-1 and Lim-2) and MiG-17 (as Lim-5 and Lim-6). It produced also an own jet trainer TS-11 Iskra, and a jet agricultural plane M-15 Belphegor. Currently it produces and develops mostly licensed civil aircrafts, best known agricultural M-18 Dromader and light transport M-28 Skytruck/Bryza. After 1998 it was changed into a company Polskie Zakłady Lotnicze (Polish Aviation Works), in short: PZL-Mielec.


In 1951 there was built the third aerospace factory WSK-Świdnik in Swidnik, in 1957 renamed: WSK "PZL-Świdnik". Since 1956 it became one of the major world's helicopter manufacturers, producing helicopters Mil Mi-1 and Mil Mi-2 on the Soviet licence. Swidnik was an exclusive producer of a spread-out Mi-2. Since the late 1980s, Swidnik produces Polish-designed helicopter W-3 Sokol. After 1991, the factory became PZL-Świdnik. It also produces gliders and cooperates with other world's manufacturers.

See also:

  • PZL constructions until 1939 (http://www.miramex.com.pl/jwsoft/1939/pzl/wykaz.htm)
  • Swidnik PZL branch home page (http://www.pzl.swidnik.pl/)
  • Warsaw PZL branch home page (http://www.pzl-okecie.com.pl/)
  • PZL Mielec home page (http://www.pzlmielec.pl/)

A list of main PZL designs (a date of first prototype flight /serial production):

PZL (before 1939)
PZL P.1 1-engine, fighter prototype, high-wing, 1929/-
PZL Ł-2 1-engine, liaison, high-wing, 1929/1930
PZL-5 1-engine, sport, biplane, 1930/1931
PZL P.7 1-engine, fighter, high-wing, 1930/1932
PZL P.11 1-engine, fighter, high-wing, 1931/1934
PZL-19 1-engine, sport, low-wing, 1932/-
PZL.23 Karaś 1-engine, light bomber, low-wing, 1934/1936
PZL P.24 1-engine, fighter, high-wing, 1933/1936
PZL-26 1-engine, sport, low-wing, 1934/-
PZL-27 3-engine, passenger prototype, high-wing, 1934/-
PZL-30 Żubr 2-engine, medium bomber, high-wing, 1936/1938
PZL.37 Łoś 2-engine, medium bomber, low-wing, 1936/1938
PZL.38 Wilk 2-engine, heavy fighter prototype, low-wing, 1938/-
PZL-43 Karaś
PZL.44 Wicher 2-engine, passenger plane prototype, low-wing, 1938/-
PZL-45 Sokół 1-engine, fighter prototype, low-wing, -/-
PZL.46 Sum 1-engine, light bomber prototype, low-wing, 1938/-
PZL-48 Lampart 2-engine, heavy fighter prototype, low-wing, -/-
PZL-49 Miś 2-engine, medium bomber prototype, low-wing, -/-
PZL P-50 Jastrząb 1-engine, fighter prototype, low-wing, 1939/-
PZL-62 1-engine, fighter project, low-wing, -/-
CSS -> WSK-Okecie -> PZL "Warszawa-Okecie"
CSS-13 1-engine, multirole biplane, 1948 (licence Polikarpov Po-2)
LWD Junak 1-engine, trainer low-wing, 1948/1951
Jak-12 1-engine, multirole high-wing, 1956 (licence Yakovlev Yak-12)
PZL-101 Gawron 1-engine, multirole (agricultural) high-wing, 1958/1960
PZL-102 Kos 1-engine, sport low-wing, 1958/1959
PZL-104 Wilga 1-engine, multirole high-wing, 1963/1964
PZL-105 Flaming 1-engine, multirole high-wing, 1989/-
PZL-106 Kruk 1-engine, agricultural low-wing, 1973/1977
PZL-110 Koliber 1-engine, trainer / sport low-wing, 1978 (licence SOCATA Rallye 100ST)
PZL-130 Orlik 1-engine, military trainer low-wing, 1984/1992
WSK-Mielec -> PZL-Mielec
LWD Szpak 1-engine, sport / tourist low wing, 1945/1948
LWD Żak 1-engine, trainer / tourist low wing, 1947/1948
TS-8 Bies 1-engine, military trainer low-wing, 1955/1957
An-2 1-engine, transport and multirole biplane, 1960 (licence Antonov An-2)
Lim-1 1-jet engine, fighter, 1953 (licence MiG-15)
Lim-2 1-jet engine, fighter, 1954 (licence MiG-15bis)
Lim-5 1-jet engine, fighter, 1956 (licence MiG-17)
Lim-6 1-jet engine, attack plane, 1961
TS-11 Iskra 1-jet engine, military trainer, mid-wing, 1960/1963
M-15 Belphegor 1-jet engine, agricultural biplane, 1973/1976
M-18 Dromader 1-engine, agricultural low-wing, 1976/1978
M-20 Mewa 2-engine, multirole low-wing, 1979/1989 (licence Piper Seneca)
M-21 Dromader Mini 1-engine, agricultural low-wing, 1987/-
M-24 Dromader Super 1-engine, agricultural low-wing, 1987/-
M-25 Dromader Mikro 1-engine, agricultural low-wing, 1987/-
M-26 Iskierka 1-engine, trainer low-wing, 1986/
M-28 Skytruck / Bryza 2-turboprop engine, light transport / military high-wing, 1984 (developed Antonov An-28)
PZL I-22 Iryda / M-93 / M-96 2-jet engine, military trainer, high-wing, 1985/1992 (abandoned)
WSK "PZL Świdnik" -> PZL-Świdnik
PZL SM-1 light helicopter (3 seats), 1957 (licence Mil Mi-1)
PZL SM-2 light helicopter (1+4 seats), 1962
Mi-2 helicopter (2+8 seats), 1966 (licence Mil Mi-2)
PZL W-3 Sokół helicopter (2+12 seats), 1979/1987
PZL SW-4 light helicopter (1+4 seats)

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  Results from FactBites:
warbirdregistry.org - A Warbirds Resource Group Site - Polish Aircraft Specifications (958 words)
One 7.7mm (.303 in.) Browning or KM Wz 33 mounted on PZL hydraulically assisted mount in rear cockpit
The plane was developed to replace Breguet 19 and Potez 25 aircraft in the Polish Air Force.
Sometimes the aircraft is called the "PZL P.23", but despite an abbreviation P.23 painted on a tail fin, the letter "P" was generally reserved for fighters of Pulawski's design (like PZL P.11).
Greek PZL P.24 fighters (5058 words)
For the PZL company the modernization program was belated acknowledgment of the fact that the successor of the P.11, the P.24, upon who's design the P.11g modifications were based had been dismissed just a little too soon by the Polish military.
The PZL P.24 did however prove it self able to deal with Italian Macchi MC.200 and Fiat CR.42 and CR.50 fighters of the Regia Aeronautica and this it proved quite conclusively in the hands of Greek pilots during the Italian invasion of that country.
The Greeks responded to attrition by consolidating the PZL fighters in 22 and 23 Mira while 21 Mira was re-equipped with the newly arrived Gloster Gladiators.
  More results at FactBites »



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