Airport in Świdnik, WSK PZL Świdnik. 1950
WSK PZL Świdnik. 1950 year.
The new history of Świdnik began with the establishment of the WSK PZL Świdnik plant. (Wytwórnia Hardware Komunikacyjnych, Państwowe Zakłady Lotnicze. 1950) The importance of WSK for the City cannot be overestimated. It was thanks to the plant that people from the Lublin region and other parts of the country began to come to the city. Świdnik should be considered a city planned by the communist system. A good propaganda trick was to talk about the historical aviation traditions of the region. It is true. However, one of the goals was to pacify the recalcitrant populations by transforming them from Poles into socialist workers. Therefore, from that moment on, Świdnik did not develop naturally, but was controlled in one hundred percent from the Central Committee of the Polish United Workers' Party. Although under the lofty slogans of economic development ("May Poland grow in strength and live well for people").
At the end of 1948, the communist authorities in Warsaw decided to build an aircraft factory in Świdnik. The main initiator was the then Ministry of Industry and Trade. Design works began in the first half of 1949, and the first assumptions were developed in April-June 1949 by the Department of Investments and Reconstruction of the Communication Equipment Factory - Warsaw Okęcie, which was at that time the main investor in the reconstruction and expansion of the domestic aviation industry. These assumptions, on June 30, 1949, were sent to the Design Office of the Prozamet Industrial Plant in Gliwice, where preliminary work on the development of technical documentation was commenced, in the form of general assumptions and the construction project of Plant No. 5 in Świdnik. For the implementation of technical designs and construction from May 1950, the group of designers joined, inter alia, Department of Structural Mechanics of Gdańsk and Poznań Universities of Technology, Warsaw Office of Industrial Construction Designs.
In August 1949, the first construction workers started arriving in a small summer village near Lublin. In the historic Order of the Minister of Machine Industry from 1949, in which we read: "2 hectares of potatoes should be dug up and the nearby forest belonging to local farmers should be cleared, because these areas are necessary to build a workers' settlement." It was the beginning of the plant and the city. The government decided to build aviation plants, based on many factors, such as: the existence of an airport, a railway line, convenient location in the vicinity of Lublin and, as I mentioned above, political and social considerations. At the end of 1949, in the villages intended for the construction of the plant. In order to enable road transport, the construction of a road in the direction of the Lublin-Piaski road was commenced. On the Lublin-Chełm railway line, a railway siding was built and a special rolling stock was launched.
From May 1950, there was the construction management of WSK. Konrad Biały, an engineer (in May 1950), was appointed the director of the Construction Directorate of the WSK Plant. In the spring of 1950, the first builders started working. There are housing estates consisting of brick barracks, located next to the railway tracks and in Franciszków.
However, construction was slow. The situation changed with the outbreak of the war in distant Korea (June 25, 1950). It was then that Moscow ordered Poland to arm itself above the country's defense needs. As Polish aviation units still operated machines that remembered the battles for Berlin, decisions had to be made quickly to launch weapons factories, including turbojet fighter jets.
To speed up the construction of the factory, it was decided to dismantle the hangars at the Krzesiny Airport and transport them to Świdnik and reassemble them here. There were presumably two hangars. These works started in June 1950. The halls were completed in 1952, and by 1953, they were already equipped with machines and were ready to start production. Support and service facilities were already operational. The greatest intensity of construction works took place in 1950-1953.
On January 1, 1951, the Central Management Board of the Communication Equipment Industry in Warsaw, based on the Resolution of the Council of Ministers and the Order of the Minister of Heavy Industry of December 14, 1950, established the WSK Plant No. 5 in Świdnik. Full name - Wytwórnia Sprzętu Komunikacyjnego - State Enterprise Separated - Świdnik near Lublin.
From 1951, Świdnik Airport functioned as a company airport. The PZL Świdnik factory and the airport were located exactly on the premises of the pre-war Pilot School and Airport and the surrounding forests. The terrain is close to a rectangle. From the south it is limited by the Lublin-Chełm railway line and along Żwirki i Wigury Street. From the west, Lotnicza Street. From the north, Mełgiewska Street. From the east, the village of Franciszkanów.
WSK PZL Świdnik products.
Written by Karol Placha Hetman