No. 12700. PZL Bielsko SZD-50-3 Puchacz (G-CKAN c/n B-2106)
Photographed at Henstridge, UK, by Ron Smith

PZL Bielsko SZD-50-3 Puchacz

12/29/2014. Remarks by Johan Visschedijk: "The Puchacz, designed by Dipl.-Ing. Adam Meus, is a high performance sailplane intended particularly for training and performance flying. It was modified and developed from a prototype, designated SZD-50-1 Dromader (Dromedary), which first flew on December 21, 1976, registered as SP-3067. A second prototype made its initial flight on 20 December 1977, this was designated SZD-50-2 Puchacz (Eagle Owl) and was registered SP-3115.

The first production aircraft, designated SZD-50-3 Puchacz (SP-3151 c/n B-903) followed on March 13, 1979, and had a larger horizontal tail situated 11.75 in (30 cm) higher on the fin, an enlarged rudder, and a fairing over the mainwheel. Inverted flight and extended aerobatic maneuvers became permissible in 1986. Although the Puchacz has a design life of 11,000 hrs, the actually approved operating time is 6,750 hrs. A total of 327 SZD-50-3s had been built by the time production was suspended, the type has been exported to many countries, including Argentina, Austria, Canada, China, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Greece, Russia, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, and the UK.

TYPE: Tandem two-seat high performance training sailplane.
AIRFRAME: Cantilever mid-wing monoplane, mainly of glass fiber sandwich construction. Wortmann wing sections. Plain ailerons. Upper/lower surface airbrakes. Glass fiber fuselage, supported in central portion by two wooden frames, with integral fin. Glass fiber sandwich cruciform tail unit, with fabric covered glass fiber rudder. Non-retractable semi-recessed nosewheel (size 255 x 110 mm) and sprung monowheel (size 350 x 135 mm, with disc brake), and tailskid. One-piece canopy opens sideways.

Created December 29, 2014