CLAUDIO DELFINI COLLECTION
No. 10352. PZL Mielec M-96 Iryda (SP-PWG c/n 002-04)
Photographed at the Museum of the Polish Army, Warsaw, Poland, November 2, 2010, by Claudio Delfini

PZL Mielec M-96 Iryda

01/31/2011. The Iryda (Iridium) was designed at the Instytut Lotnictwa (Aviation Institute) by a team led by chief designer Dr. Eng. Alfred Baron. They were assisted by the Osrodek Badawczo-Rozwojowy Sprzetu Komunikacyjnego (Communications Equipment Research and Development Centre) at Mielec, where the aircraft were built, and various other Polish aviation industry establishments.

The Iryda, originally known as the I-22, was designed to provide pilot, navigation, air combat, reconnaissance and ground attack training, with day/night and bad-weather capability. Four prototypes (c/n P01-01 to P01-04) were built, of which the first was used for static tests. Powered by two 2,425 lb (1,100 kg) s.t PZL Rzesz SO-3W22 non-afterburning turbojets, the first flew March 3, 1985 (crashed January 31, 1987).

These were followed by nine I-22 production aircraft (c/n 001-01 to 001-05, 002-01 to 002-04) and the first of these flew May 5, 1992. Three of these aircraft were developed into increased capacity versions: Construction of a batch of six M-96 aircraft was started, but never completed. They were stored, as were at least nine of the nineteen I-22/M93s produced.

Created January 31, 2011