The airport and the airline plant in Lublin in the Second Polish Republic. 2016Last change: March 2020
Zakłady Mechaniczne E. Plage i T. Laśkiewicz in Lublinie,
And then Lubelska Wytwórnia Samolotów in Lublinie.
Zakłady Mechaniczne Emil Plage and Teofil Laśkiewicz in Lublin are the first Polish Aerospace Factory. The plant produced aircraft from 1921. From 1928, he produced his own constructions under the name Lublin. The plant was nationalized in 1935. In 1939-09-01, German troops invaded Poland starting the Second World War. On 1939-09-17, the German army was helped by the Soviet army and their brothers. With the fall of the Republic of Poland in September 1939, the factory also collapsed.
Familia Plage probably came from Belgium. They were Protestants by religion. In 1860, Albert Plage opened a metal workshop at Bernardyńska Street in Lublin. Bernardyńska Street still carries the same name and is an exit street from Lublin towards Żmigród. The workshop began the production of the then popular copper sheet dishes. Plates, bowls, saucepans and equipment for distilleries were produced. The workshop developed and employed around 50 people at the end of the 19th century. At that time, the workshop changed its name to "Albert Plage's Copper Products Factory". At that time, the plant also produced iron products. In 1897, Albert Plage transferred the plant to his son Emil Plage, who turned out to be even more entrepreneurial. Already in 1899 the plant employed about 90 people.
Teofil Emeryk Laśkiewicz, born in 1869 in Skierniewice, is a Polish industrialist and technologist. He was comprehensively educated in technical direction. Professionally associated with Łódź, Warsaw, St. Petersburg and Odessa. In 1898 he came to Lublin.
In 1899, Messrs. Emil Plage and Teofil Laśkiewicz founded the company and the famous "Zakłady Mechaniczne E. Plage and T. Laśkiewicz in Lublin" was created. The company had its headquarters in Lublin and was initially concluded for a period of 10 years. The shareholders bought the former Bronowice farm, which was located south of the center of Lublin, between the Bystrzyca River and railway tracks. Here they built another factory. Her location was well communicated; there was the Warsaw-Kowal railway line and the road to Zamość. Metal products for the food industry were still produced, which were of very good quality, which was confirmed by awards won at exhibitions. The range of manufactured products increased very quickly. From 1907, the plant produced large-scale low and high pressure steam boilers. The plant also produced iron structures for cement and sugar factories.
Both men also worked in other areas. Emil Plage promoted the development of sport and did charity. Teofil Laśkiewicz was a co-owner of the starch factory "Lublin". He was the president of the Lublin Branch of the Metal Industrialists Association, the Association of Craftsmen and Traders in Lublin. He belonged to the founders and was the president of the Supervisory Board of the Christian Workers' Loans and Savings Society in Lublin. He was also a board member of the Lublin Charity Society.
The third creator of the plant's power was engineer Kazimierz Arkuszewski, the most colorful character in the three of them. He came from a noble family from Greater Poland. He was born in 1970. Very gifted. He graduated from St. Petersburg with the first place. He worked as an engineer-technologist in large metal factories in Germany. Then he worked in Lodz in a large metal company of his cousin Józef Arkuszewski. The plant dealt with plumbing, sewage and central heating installations. At the turn of the century, the plant employed over 100 employees and was the largest in the Polish Kingdom and the Russian Empire, making apparatus for central heating, ventilation, water supply, sewage, laundry, steam kitchens, baths, baths and more. The company had branches in St. Petersburg, Moscow, Kiev, Odessa and Rostov-on-Don. In 1904, Kazimierz Arkuszewski was already a shareholder of the company in Łódź, which employed nearly 120 employees and over 10 engineers. By 1905, the company had completed over 1,000 installations.
In 1909, Emil Plage died unexpectedly, leaving no descendants. His shares in the factory "Zakłady Mechaniczne E. Plage and T. Laśkiewicz in Lublin" passed to his parents, brother and sister. The company was continued by Teofil Laśkiewicz, and the interests of the Plagi family were represented by Józef Laube. However, in 1910, Teofil Laśkiewicz and Kazimierz Arkuszewski decided to purchase Plagi's shares. The Plage family has agreed to sell, provided that the name Plage is left in the company name. It also happened. Kazimierz Arkuszewski bought 90%, and Teofil Laśkiewicz 10% of shares.
Kazimierz Arkuszewski transferred his companies from Łódź to Lublin. At that time, the plant in Lublin in Bronowice had two main departments: copper and iron. The products went mainly to the food industry: distilleries, sugar factories, breweries, starch plants and others, in the Kingdom of Poland and Russia. Other products, such as huge oil tanks, were also made to order. The company continued to produce boilers. In 1913, she began manufacturing boilers for Russian warships. In May 1914, the company obtained a huge contract for the construction of hulls of seagoing warships for the Russian army. Individual elements were to be made in Lublin, and the final assembly in Nowogród, in the Zablina factory, was to be carried out by a team of fitters from Lublin. Before the Great World War, the plant employed about 300 employees.
The dynamic flourishing of mechanical plants was hampered by the great world war. Fortunately, the initial war saved the factory. The plant was involved in the renovation of previously built installations and carried out small production for the army: field kitchens, boilers, mess-boxes and canteens. In 1915, retreating Russian troops devastated the factory, and some of the equipment was taken deep into Russia. The plant did not collapse, but it could only employ 30 employees. A small order for the army (field kitchens, mess-boxes) was made by Austria.
The birth of an aircraft factory
In 1918, the Republic of Poland was reborn, which opened new possibilities for the plant. Kazimierz Arkuszewski became a supporter of aviation. He persuaded Teofil Laśkiewicz to undertake the production of aircraft. At that time, the Overhead Navigation Section of the Ministry of Military Affairs decided to produce airplanes in Poland and was looking for a label that would take on this task. Appropriate documents were sent from Lublin to Warsaw for permission to establish an aviation department. Air Force Inspector General Gustaw Mackiewicz appointed a commission that confirmed the possibility of launching a new production. A positive response to Lublin came on February 14, 1920. Another commission decided that the first planes built at the plant would be Italian planes in the amount of 300 pieces. On February 17, 1920, the company "Zakłady Mechaniczne E. Plage and T. Laśkiewicz in Lublin" signed a contract with the Ministry of Military Affairs for the licensing of aircraft; Ansaldo A-1 "Balilla" hunting equipment (200 pieces) and Ansaldo A-300 reconnaissance bomber (100 pieces).
The reader will easily see that the events were relatively fast. It is true that the Polish government approved the agreement only in February 1921, but it was already a formality. The ongoing war with Bolshevik Russia required decisive and swift action. That is also why the first Italian machines were delivered to Warsaw ready from Italy so that they could enter the fight as soon as possible. The technical advantage of Italian planes over the then widely used Albatrosses was enormous. The flight time was twice as long and exceeded 4 hours.
The contract of the Lublin plant for the production of a huge number of planes (300 units) at that time was a great success of its owners, but also a big challenge. Kazimierz Arkuszewski himself became the head of the new department. Further areas were purchased for new production halls. The plant area increased from just over 1 ha to 14 ha. 10,000 square meters were under the roof. At that time, the plant had 51 buildings. The aviation department's production halls had an area of about 3,000 square meters. For the needs of new production, the owners bought a new 155 HP locomotive and a 409 HP power plant. Water supply and collective sewage system were built. Auxiliary production departments were organized, where templates and templates were made, as well as a department of semi-finished metal parts (fittings, fuel tanks, engine mounts and their covers). Most of the newly purchased land was allocated to the take-off field. In 1921, the factory employed about 600 people, including about fifty engineers and technicians. The monthly production capacity was: 40 tons of iron products, 4 tons of copper products, 7 tons of mechanical workshop products and 10 aircraft. It was a really big and modern production plant. Address; Lublin ul Fabryczna 26.
The first Ansaldo A-300 aircraft built in Lublin was flown on June 15, 1921. According to the municipal opinion, the quality of aircraft made in Lublin was low. There have been several disasters. This resulted in a reduced order. In individual years built; 1921. - 14 machines, 1922 - 22 machines, 1923 - 60 machines, 1924 - until production of 36 machines is stopped. The fact is that in 1921, while performing evolution, an ace of global aviation, pilot Adam Haber-Włyński, died, and in 1922, as a result of the wings being torn off, ensign J. Ryba and Sergeant W. Górski died. Therefore, Lublin planes did not enjoy good fame. In 1924 an investigation was carried out and a report was drawn up which stated that out of 110 aircraft 18 had accidents and there were 9 fatalities, but only one of the plant's faults. Defective and underdeveloped Italian engines should be blamed for this. The Italian airframes themselves had structural errors. They were adapted for use in dry climates and had no protection against moisture. The adhesives used were not resistant to high humidity and low temperatures, which was not initially taken into account. Only after some time it became clear that Polish wood used for aircraft products had different properties than Italian wood. That is why a laboratory was launched in the label. The wood was thoroughly classified in sawmills, and then in Lublin it underwent a long drying and seasoning process. About a different steel; pipes, wires, fittings, it was known from the beginning that Polish steel mills did not produce exactly the steel that was used in Italy. Polish steel mills were just beginning to master the production of various types of steel. It should also be added that specialists from Italy did not participate in the preparation for production. Although the plant did not build 300 aircraft, the construction of 110 machines was also a great success, and above all it allowed to gain vast experience in the mass production of modern aircraft. Ansaldo A-1 "Balilla" aircraft in the American-Polish Kosciuszko Squadron were instrumental in stopping the great cavalry of illiterate Budyony.
Technical specifications of the Ansaldo A-1 "Balilla" fighter aircraft 1917. number of seats: 1 type: single-engine biplane construction: mixed structure with predominance of wood, plywood and canvas coverage span: 7.68 m length: 6.84 m height: 2.53 m curb weight: 625 kg takeoff weight: 870 kg maximum speed : 220 km / h range: 525 km flight time: 4.5 h power unit: FIAT SPA-6A in-line engine with 162 kW (220 HP) armament: 2 Vickers 7.70 mm machine guns synchronized permanently, additionally two bombs .
Technical data of the Ansaldo A-300 reconnaissance bomber 1919. number of seats: 2 (pilot, observer) type: single-engine biplane construction: mixed structure with predominance of wood, covering with plywood and canvas span: 11.24 m length: 8.75 m height: 2.97 m weight: 1140 kg take-off weight : 1825 kg maximum speed: 200 km / h range: 500 km flight time: 3 h power unit: FIAT A.12 bis 6-cylinder in-line engine with 235 kW (320 HP) equipment: 4 7.70 mm machine guns , bombs with a total weight of 190 kg.
In August 1921, a design for a two-seater bomber and monoplane, powered by a FIAT A.12 bis 320 HP engine, was developed in the factory's technical office. The aircraft was designated ARLA-1 from the names of its owners: Kazimierz Arkuszewski and Teofil Laśkiewicz. However, the prototype was not built.
As a result of this report, for its part, the label improved the control system and introduced a number of changes in the production process. Modern machine tools were also purchased. The company's activities and achievements resulted in the fact that in 1924 the company easily obtained an order for the license production of French Potez XV aircraft, which were manufactured 100 in the period 1925-1926. A group of French technicians and engineers were on site in Lublin during the production of these aircraft. These aircraft were simultaneously produced in Biała Podlaska at the PWS - Podlaska Aircraft Factory. It was the first and not the only case in Poland when the same aircraft was produced in two factories. In this way, the labels competed with each other in terms of the quality of their products.
The Potez XV aircraft was a relatively young and successful airplane, but rather outdated in terms of structure. Correct in piloting. However, he could not stay in aviation for long, because metal-wooden or all-metal constructions were already appearing.
Technical data of the Potez reconnaissance bomber XV 1923. number of seats: 2 (pilot, observer) type: single-engine biplane construction: wood structure, covering with plywood and canvas span: 11.24 m length: 8.75 m height: 2.97 m weight: 1140 kg take-off weight: 1825 kg maximum speed: 200 km / h range: 500 km flight time: 3 h power unit: FIAT A.12 bis 6-cylinder in-line engine with 235 kW (320 HP) equipment: 4 7.70 mm machine guns, bombs with total weight 190 kg.
In 1925, after only 54 years, Teofil Emeryk Laśkiewicz died. He was buried in the family tomb in Lublin at Lipowa Street. His death caused undisguised sadness in almost all of Lublin. His son Roman Laśkiewicz, then only 22 years old, inherited his father's shares in the company.
During this period, two other programs important for the plant were launched at the plant. The first was to organize our own aircraft design office. The owners of aviation factories, not only in Lublin, but also in Poznań and Biała Podlaska, felt painfully that they could not function only counting on government orders for license production. Aircraft production was still specific. The sales market in Poland was limited, and only with own aviation constructions could buyers be sought abroad. The serial construction of small aircraft was not very profitable as the aircraft had to be expensive to sell and few could afford it. In mass production, it was possible to calculate a lower price, find more buyers and at the same time beat the competitors. In 1924, the Ministry of Military Affairs announced a competition for a heavy multi-engine bomber plane for the Polish Army. A design office employee, Jerzy Rudnicki, designed a twin-engine, biplane bomber, which was designated Lublin R-VII Retaliation. The aircraft design was mixed. The drive was provided with two in-line engines, 6-cylinder FIAT A.12 bis with 235 kW (320 hp), which the factory had. The crew was to consist of a pilot and three or four shooters. The project sent by mail was lost. Ultimately, none of the projects even entered the model building phase.
The second initiative was the production of bodies for passenger cars, buses and trucks. Please note that the production capacity of the Lublin plant was 10 aircraft per month. These abilities were not used. Therefore, going into the automotive sector was a good move. In 1924-1933, Zakłady Metalowe Plage and Laśkiewicz in Lublin produced car bodies for Somua and Ursus AW buses and Ursus A. trucks. "," Auburu ", referred to as luxurious. The plant bought complete chassis with chassis and engines and built bodies on them. The production of steam boilers for steam engines, ships and boiler rooms also continued.
After the production of Potez XV aircraft was completed, the factory received another order for the licensing production of Potez XXV line aircraft, which were manufactured in the period 1928-1931. This type was also produced in parallel in Lublin and Biała Podlaska in the PWS - Podlaska Aircraft Factory.
In 1927, engineer Jerzy Rudlicki, as a gifted aviation constructor, was appointed the head office constructor. Jerzy Rudlicki was a graduate of the aviation school in Paris. From then on, the era of Lublin constructions began. In mid-1927 a plan was created for the aircraft, which received the Lublin R.VIII designation. Engineers Jerzy Dąbrowski and Antoni Uszacki also worked on the plane. The aircraft was to meet the requirements of the reconnaissance bomb machine, which in Poland was also called linear. The project was presented to the Ministry of Military Affairs. On December 14, 1927, the label signed a contract to build three prototypes. The first prototype was ready on February 8, 1928, but due to delays in the delivery of French Farman 12 WE engines with 404 kW (550 hp), the first flight was made on March 15, 1928. Then the plane flew to Warsaw for research at the Institute of Aviation Technical Research. The machine received a positive opinion with the recommendation to mount a more powerful power unit. 478 kW (650 hp) Lorraine-Dietrich engines were purchased in France. These engines were equipped with a second prototype, which was designated Lublin R. VIII / 2 and was flown in July 1928. This aircraft has become a benchmark for serial machines. At that time, similar Hispano-Suiza aircraft engines were also obtained with a capacity of 478 kW (650 HP). On March 13, 1929, the plant signed a contract for the construction of the first series of 4 machines. All machines were built until mid-1930. At that time, the military began to undermine the sense of building more aircraft and squandering state money, when the army had enough reconnaissance (bomb) aircraft. They even started to question the construction's compliance with the requirements. The business owners did not lay down their arms easily. In April 1930, the Navy command was asked to convert four Lublin R. VIII aircraft into water planes with a float chassis. The final agreement was concluded on February 26, 1932. These aircraft were sometimes called Lublin R. VIII hydro. Nine Lublin R.VIII aircraft of all varieties were produced together with prototypes. In October 2015, a preserved propeller of Lublin R. VIII hydro aircraft and its 12-cylinder engine were found in the Bay of Puck.
Technical data of the Lublin R. VIII reconnaissance bomber aircraft 1928. number of seats: 2 (pilot, observer) type: single-engine biplane construction: mixed structure with a predominance of wood, covering with plywood and canvas. The chassis was a classic solid with tail skid. In the water version there were two short multi-bulkhead metal floats attached to the bottom panel. Each of the swimmers had a profiled bottom and a water rudder. span: 17.00 m length: 11.12 m (with floats 13.20 m) height: 4.50 m (with floats 5.33 m) Empty weight: 2200 kg (with floats 2 800 kg) take-off weight: 4200 kg maximum speed: 220 km / h (with floats 200 km / h) range: 1500 km flight time: 7.5 h power unit: Lorraine-Dietrich 12-cylinder in-line engine with 478 kW (650 hp) or Hispano-Suiza also with a capacity of 478 kW (650 HP) armament: 3 7.69 mm machine guns, 300 kg bombs.
In 1929, a prototype of the Lublin R.IX passenger aircraft was flown, which was based on the design of R.VIII. The aircraft was designed by Jerzy Rudlicki at the end of 1928. At that time, airlines, as well as the Air and Gas Defense League, were looking for a passenger plane. Reconstruction of combat aircraft into transport (passenger and freight) throughout the world is a common direction. Structures tested in the army were much more readily accepted by passengers as very safe. The more so because transport aircraft do not have to perform higher pilot figures. The Lublin R.IX aircraft left the pilot's cabin uncovered. The passenger cabin was placed inside the raised hull. The cabin, however, was not high enough to stand in it. Six armchairs were installed in pairs, and doors and windows were placed on the sides. The drive was powered by a Gnôme-Rhône Jupiter 9A star motor with 353 kW (480 HP). The prototype was flown on April 18, 1929. The aircraft was shown at the Universal National Exhibition in Poznań in June 1929. The design, however, has not gained recognition among potential buyers. The authorities of LOT Polish Airlines automatically compared the Lublin R.IX aircraft to the Fokker F-VIIA / 1m and Junkers F-13 aircraft. Attention was paid to lower performance (max speed 175 km / h, range 700 km) and more labor-intensive service. The plane was put into the airship hangar at the Ławica airport, and after a few years it was canceled.
In 1929-1930, the plant produced 11 Fokker F-VIIB / 3m passenger planes under a Fokker plant license, and a further 20 in a self-developed bomber version. Probably 9-10 more machines were built for France and Belgium. These aircraft went to LOT Polish Airlines and the Polish Army, where they were used, among others, for parachuting. The factory in Lublin offered the army a version of Fokker F-VIIB / 3m on a float chassis, armed with a 800 kg air torpedo. The node for mounting and dropping the torpedo was developed by engineer W. Świątecki. However, the Navy did not place the order.
Technical data of the Fokker F-VII / 3m multipurpose aircraft 1929. number of seats: 2-3 pilots type: single-engine high wing construction: mixed construction, wooden wings, fuselage made of steel pipes span: 21.71 m length: 14.56 m height: 3.90 m weight: 2600 kg takeoff weight: 4500 kg maximum speed: 185 km / h range: 1240 km flight time: 5 h power unit: 3 Wright J5B Whirlwind 9-cylinder star engines with 3 x 162 kW (3 x 220 HP) armament: 1 7.70 caliber machine gun mm on the hull, bombs with a total weight of 1000 kg, passenger version of 10 people.
The plant in Lublin, however, did not resign from developing its own passenger plane. In 1930, the structure was developed for the Lublin R.XI passenger plane. The aircraft was created for the competition of the Ministry of Communication. The competitor was the aircraft of Podlasie Wytwórnia Planów PWS-21 bis. The Lublin R.XI aircraft used the solutions used in the Fokker F-VIIB aircraft. The airframe mainly received a single lobe with an elliptical outline. The panel was made as a wooden structure. The hull, which was made of welded chromomolybdenum pipes, was also enlarged. The pilot's cabin was moved forward and placed between the engine and the wings. The cockpit was completely glazed. There were double controls in the cockpit, so the plane could pilot two pilots. The passenger cabin had only 4 seats. One star engine was used for the drive, which was surrounded by a Townend ring. The prototype received registration marks SP-ACC and made its first flight on February 8, 1930. After factory tests, in June 1930 the aircraft was transferred to tests at LOT Polish Airlines at the Mokotów airport. Unfortunately, after several flights the plane was damaged. The renovation was completed only in 1931. Several flights were carried out on it and in July 1931 it was broken again. The design was not ordered by the airlines.
However, based on the conclusions obtained from the tests of the passenger plane Lublin R.XI in 1931, the Ministry of Communications ordered a new prototype from the factory, which was designated Lublin R.XI. The plane was flown in February 1932 and after factory tests in May this year was sent to the Institute of Aviation Technical Research (IBTL). The aircraft entered the competition together with PWS-24, which was a development of PWS-21. Both competitors were comparable and close in performance. The competition was won by PWS-24, and the Lublin R.XVI aircraft was returned to Lublin to strengthen the structure and construction of the more powerful 365 HP Wright engine. The factory did not modernize the existing machine, but built a new prototype, which was designated R.XVI a / 2. Construction began in November 1932, but it did not fly until November 9, 1933. The aircraft successfully passed the IBTL tests in 1934 and was sent to test operation at LOT Polish Airlines. The tests lasted until 1935, after which the aircraft did not gain acceptance and in 1936 it was canceled. The fact is that as early as 1935 LOT Polish Airlines had serious talks with Lockheed regarding the purchase of Lockheed L-10 Electra aircraft. Twin-engine, all-metal machine with good navigation equipment.
Engineer Jerzy Rudlicki, using the Lublin R. XVI airframe, developed a sanitary version, which in the name received the letter "b". The plane took a pilot, a doctor and two patients on a stretcher. The prototype was flown in May 1933 and handed over to the army to check its usefulness. On 1-4 June 1933, the aircraft was demonstrated in Madrid during the 7th International Congress of Aviation Medicine, where the construction from Poland was a huge success, winning first place. In the defeated field were the following constructions: French Potez 29, American Ford Trimotor and English Avro 564. This success caused that the Polish Army ordered 5 Lublin R.XVI b machines, which were delivered in March 1935.
In December 1927, the label started developing a connecting plane at its own risk, rightly suspecting that the army would soon announce a competition for this type of machine. The project was managed by Jerzy Rudlicki. In 1928, two prototypes were made, one for static tests and the other for flight tests. In December 1928, the prototype underwent static tests. The Ministry of Military Affairs got interested in the plane and on February 1, 1929, the second prototype marked Lublin R. XIII was flown with military signs on the hull. Since it was winter, take-off and landing tests with a ski chassis were also carried out. The plane had good flight properties, high maneuverability, reacted correctly to the helms, and at the same time had a short run and run down. The plane had easily folded and unfolded wings. Thanks to this, the machines could be hidden even in a small barn or transported by road. Tests at the Institute of Aviation Technical Research (IBTL) in Warsaw at the Mokotow airport were carried out in March 1929. The Lublin R.XIII aircraft proved to be able to perform full aerobatics. On the aircraft, a muffler was installed on the engine exhaust system, which caused that the airplane flying at an altitude of 300 m was hardly heard on the ground. The army has placed an order for five aircraft of the first trial series. The aircraft received the designation Lublin R.X-a.
After building a series for the army, the label in July 1929 built a Lublin R.X plane in a rally version, which received registration SP-ABW, serial number 52.7. The aircraft had several significant changes. Each cylinder received its own exhaust. The fuel tank was so large that it allowed a 15-hour flight. The machine was shown at the Universal National Exhibition in Poznań. Then the plane received an additional encapsulated engine with a Townend ring and a metal propeller. An artificial horizon and gyroscope compass appeared in the equipment. The fuel installation has once again been expanded, allowing the flight time to be extended to 18 hours. The aircraft designation was changed to Lublin R.X-a-bis and the own name "Silver Bird" was added. This aircraft made several distant flights. Among other things, Warsaw-Barcelona without landing with a length of 1800 km. In 1931, the aircraft made a flight to Poland without landing. Distance 1650 km. In turn, in 1932 the Lublin R.X-bis "Silver Bird" aircraft made a paradise to Herad in Afghanistan covering a distance of 14,390 km. In the autumn of 1933 the plane was damaged. Already in April 1933 a similar aircraft was built, which was designated Lublin R.XXIII (R.XIII Dr), although it is more commonly known as Lublin R.XIII Dr and the proper name "Blue Bird". It was a typical rally aircraft based on the Lublin R. XIII-b airframe. The aircraft received registration SP-AJT. From October 21 to November 10, 1935 Crew; S. Karpiński, W. Rogalski made a flight on the route Warsaw - Istanbul - Baghdad - Karachi - Calcutta - Bangkok - Preczubab. In the latter locality, the plane was damaged during take-off at the boggy landing pad and the planned flight to Melbourne did not take place. The "Blue Bird" was transported by ship to the country and canceled the following year.
The machines handed over to the army were equipped with a movable machine gun on the turntable in the rear cabin. The aircraft were tested in the 2nd air regiment at the Rakowice-Kraków airport. In December 1929, the army carried out comparative tests of three aircraft: PWS-5, PZL Ł-2 and Lublin R.X. Equivalent, first place was taken by PZL Ł-2 and Lublin R.X. According to other reviews, Lublin R.X was clearly better. The fact is that the army placed an order for a plane from Lublin. However, this order was canceled because modernized Lublin R. XIV appeared. A total of 7 Lublin R.X planes were built. All of them served in the Polish Army mainly as connecting and dispatching planes. They were equipped with a radio and a device for taking ground reports during the flight.
Technical data of the Lublin R.X 1929 connecting aircraft. number of seats: 2 type: single-engine high-wing monoplane construction: mixed construction, wooden wings, folding, steel tube hull span: 13.50 m length: 8.30 m height: 2.98 m weight: 900 kg take-off weight: 1370 kg maximum speed: 170 km / h range: 750 km (version up to 2700 km) flight time: 18 h power unit: 9-cylinder Wright J5B Whirlwind 9-cylinder star engine with 3 x 162 kW (3 x 220 HP) armament: 1 rifle 7.70 mm machine gun.
The Lublin R.X variant was produced serially under the designation Lublin R.XIII from 1930 and was a huge success. The aircraft was adopted for the armament of the Polish Army as an accompanying (connecting) machine. Initially, the aircraft was produced under the designation Lublin R. XIV, because the label avoided giving the number 13 due to superstition among the crew. In the period 1930-1931, 15 machines were built. Later, the aircraft was slightly modernized and marked Lublin XIII. The decision on such numbering was made personally by engineer Jerzy Rudnicki. In the years 1932-1935, another 273 machines were built in 11 sub-varieties, differing in equipment.
In 1930, at the request of Lygia (LOPiP), a sports plane was created in one copy, referring to the Lublin R.X plane in its layout. The aircraft was designated Lublin R. XII and received civil registration. It is equipped with a small Armstrong-Siddeley Genet 5-cylinder star engine with 80 HP. The aircraft made its first flight in the autumn of 1930. LOPiP did not pick up the aircraft, arguing that the design did not meet their needs. The plane stood in the hangar for several years, after which it was canceled.
The factory in Lublin had its own flight pilots who conducted their own factory tests. State tests were carried out at the Institute of Aviation Technical Research in Warsaw at the Mokotów airport. The plant in Lublin not only produced ready planes, but also dealt with their repairs and supplied spare parts to users. The label ran its own school, which prepared aviation professionals (carpenters, welders, woodworking and metalworking operators). The management promoted sport. There was a volleyball sports club that played in the Polish league.
Factory ownership transformation
General Ludomił Rayski, head of the Aeronautics Department of the Ministry of Military Affairs pursued such a policy that the entire Polish Aviation Industry should be concentrated in the hands of the state. This had good and bad sides. However, for Zakład Plage i Laśkiewicz it meant nationalization or liquidation. At that time, the record company in Lublin had a very unfavorable press. Events from more than 10 years ago were mentioned about "fatal" Ansaldo aircraft, which "crumbled in the air." It was established that Lublin produced "flying coffins". There was a claim that the plant, apart from aircraft, had other production (cars and steam boilers), for which it allegedly drew funds from advances for the construction of aircraft. It has been written about R.XIII / R.XIV aircraft that they have no combat value because they only have one rifle (!). And many others. This happened at the time of the contract for 50 Lublin R.XIII-f aircraft. The first 7 machines were delivered to the army, and at the end of 1935 the order for the remaining machines was withdrawn. There were another 18 aircraft under construction. The plant was in financial trouble. According to the press since 1926. In 1936, the company's management stated that it was necessary to file for bankruptcy, after which the plant was nationalized, starting production under the name Lubelska Wytwórnia Planów - LWS. 18 Lublin R.XIII-f aircraft were completed and the army placed an order for another 32 aircraft. Formally, at the beginning of 1936, a state-owned legal company was established under the name "Lublin Aircraft Factory", which leased assets from the bankruptcy estate of the "Metal Plage and Laśkiewicz Plant in Lublin", which dealt with aviation production. The iron and copper production departments were closed. The design office was also liquidated, but it was relatively quickly seen that this was a mistake and the office was reactivated. Of course, in a different personal composition. Naturally, the biggest changes took place in the management of the label. Organizationally, the Lublin Aircraft Factory was subordinate to the National Aviation Plant in Warsaw. Interestingly, the nationalization of the label did not meet the hopes placed in it. In retrospect, it is difficult to assess the losses and benefits of changes. Most important, however, is that the label did not collapse and continued to build good constructions.
When the factory was nationalized, several programs were still working on the design office:
Lublin R.XV - The accompanying aircraft program Lublin R.XV was advanced, which was a continuation of the Lublin R.XV line. The 9-cylinder Wright Whirlwind J5Ab radial engine with 162 kW (220 hp) was left. The prototype eventually did not come into being.
Lublin R. XVII - it is basically a Potez XXV plane with a retractable landing gear in the lower lobe, using a mechanical cranked gear system. A speed increase of 40 km / h was expected. The project was on paper.
Lublin R. XVIII - 1929, three-engine night bomber. In 1931, the design was changed to a smaller engine. The offer for its construction was not accepted by the Aeronautics Department.
Lublin R.XIX - 1932, a test aircraft, was created to test the butterfly tail patented by Eng. Jerzy Rudlicki. In 1932, the design of the Lublin R.XIX aircraft with a positive elevation tail and a version of the R.XIX with negative elevation were developed, which was a modification of the mass-produced aircraft accompanying Lublin R.XIII. This crease, called Rudnicki's tail, has been used in several constructions around the world. The most famous is the French Fouga CM.170 Magister jet school aircraft.
Lublin R.XXI - design of 1934, an accompanying aircraft, was a development of the mass-produced Lublin R-XIII aircraft. It differed from the original in the use of the PZL G-1620B Mors II engine with 316 kW (430 HP). Like Lublin R.XXIII, it had wheels covered with fairings and the engine with a Townend ring. A prototype was not built and the project remained on paper.
Lublin R.XXII - project 1931, single-engine torpedo plane. Modeled on the British structure of this class of Vickers "Vildebeest", the aircraft was to replace Lublin R.VIII bombers, which proved unable to carry torpedoes. The project remained only on paper.
Lublin Aircraft Factory
Of all the programs implemented at the time of the nationalization of the label, it was ordered to continue the project of the Lublin R.XX sea plane (LWS-1), which made its first flight on April 10, 1935. The machine designation was changed to LWS-1 (Lublin Aircraft Factory - the first structure).
At the beginning of the 30 years, the Navy Command was looking for a heavy torpedo-bomber seaplane. A competition has been announced. Three offers were received: Państwowe Zakłady Lotnicze - project PZL-18, Podlaska Aircraft Factory - project PWS-62 and Lublin R.XX. The army intended to buy one prototype and 10 serial machines and equip them with a torpedo squadron. The prototype was to be flown in the third quarter of 1933 at the latest. Serial aircraft were to be delivered in the period 1934-1935. Zakłady Mechaniczne Plage and Laśkiewicz in the Lublin R.XX program used the experience gained in the design of the unrealized bomber Lublin R. XVIII. In 1933, the project managed by Jerzy Rudnicki was already far advanced. Aerodynamic calculations offered by Fokker, which had much more experience in the construction of large aircraft, were used.
In the autumn of 1934, the results of the competition were announced, which was won by Lublin R.XX. In December 1934, the Aeronautics Supply Department placed an order for a prototype and six serial machines. The reduction in the number of planes was due to the thin budget, and planes were to be better equipped. The prototype was completed in June 1934 and was transported in parts at the Puck airport. After assembly, it turned out that the plane "sits badly" on floats on the water. His back was too heavy. The necessary corrections were made and on April 10, 1935, a flight was carried out by Capt. pil. Bolesław Filanowicz. During the test flights other construction shortcomings came to light. The most important was low hull stiffness. The label started modernizing and at that moment the army terminated the contract. The only copy of Lublin R.XX remained in the army as LWS-1. Various combat tests were carried out on it. Torpedoes and deep sea bombs were dropped from it, obtaining good results. As early as spring 1935, an improved aircraft was developed with better aerodynamics with shorter lobes. The aircraft was designated Lublin R.XX-b. The plane did not arouse military interest. Eventually, work on the LWS-1 aircraft was discontinued in 1936 when LWS-5, or LWS-4, appeared on swimmers.
The Lublin R.XX aircraft had a crew of five. The radiotelegraph's cabin was completely covered. Other cabins were uncovered. In the R.XX version, all cabins were completely glazed. To drive the machine used the most powerful engines at that time available to Poland: Bristol Pegasus II, with a power of 2 x 467 kW (2 x 635 HP). These engines had the best weight-to-power ratio with low fuel consumption. Seaplanes and flying boats are aerodynamic specific aircraft to arrive. Therefore, the maximum speed of 250 km / h should be considered very good.
Technical data of the Lublin R.XX bomber torpedo aircraft - LWS-1 1935. number of seats: 5 type: twin-engine low wing, seaplane construction: mixed structure, wooden wings covered with plywood, hull made of steel pipes covered with sheet metal and canvas. Float chassis made of Short metal. span: 25.40 m length: 15.90 m height: 6.10 m curb weight: 4000 kg takeoff weight: 6000 kg maximum speed: 250 km / h range: 1200 km flight time: 6 h power unit: two star engine 9-cylinder Bristol Pegasus II with 2 x 467 kW (2 x 635 hp). armament: torpedoes, bombs up to 1000 kg, 4 machine guns for defense.
After the success of the Lublin R.XVI sanitary aircraft from 1933, the Polish Red Cross (PCK) became interested in a similar aircraft. For the program to be successful, the Polish Red Cross established contact with the Aviation Command of the Ministry of Military Affairs, because it was supposed to maintain and operate the aircraft. In 1936 an appropriate agreement was concluded and the Lublin Aircraft Factory (LWS) was commissioned to develop an appropriate machine. A prototype for static tests and a second prototype for flight tests were ordered. In order for the plane to fulfill its tasks, it had to be able to safely operate on small, accidental ground pads. The preliminary design was developed by Eng. Zbysław Ciołkosz in Warsaw. The aircraft was designated LWS-2. The high-wing suppression system was adopted. The fully covered cabin accommodated four people. A star engine was used for the drive. The aircraft were built in 1937. The volatile prototype received SP-ATP registration and the first flight was made in autumn 1937. The pilot was Władysław Szulczewski. Factory tests were very successful. The aircraft reacted correctly to the helms and was very stable. It had an exceptionally short run-up and run-down, which was achieved thanks to the rich mechanization of the wing modeled on the RWD-9 aircraft. On the front leading edge of the wing there are retractable gills. On the other hand, flap ailerons were used. At takeoff and landing they played the role of slotted flaps, and in the normal flight of ordinary ailerons. The aircraft was transported to Warsaw, where it underwent tests at the Aviation Technical Institute. They confirmed the advantages of the machine and was issued with a certificate of operation as a sanitary aircraft. The hull made of pipes housed a cabin for four people in the interior. The pilot had left hand controls. Behind him, at the folding table and first aid kit, was a doctor. The rest of the cabin was occupied by two pairs of stretchers for the sick. The door through which patients were put on stretchers was in the port side. LWS-2 took part in the International Sanitary Aviation Competition in Esch-sur-Alzette in Luxembourg, which took place from July 1-4, 1938, where it took first place. PCK ordered 6 machines, but they were not built. The only LWS-2 aircraft in May 1938 was handed over to the Polish Army. The plane took part in the defensive war in September 1939 and was devastated by the Germans at the airport in Krosno.
Technical data of the LWS-2 sanitary aircraft 1937. number of seats: 4 type: single-engine high-wing construction: mixed structure, wooden wings covered with plywood and canvas, hull made of steel pipes covered with sheet metal and canvas. span: 13.00 m length: 9.05 m height: 2.84 m curb weight: 1185 kg take-off weight: 1680 kg maximum speed: 206 km / h range: 500 km flight time: 2.5 h drive unit: engine 9-cylinder 9-cylinder Wright J5B Whirlwind with 3 x 162 kW (3 x 220 HP) equipment: not applicable.
The LWS-3 Mewa aircraft is the most famous construction of the Lublin Aircraft Factory, and what is more important, built in large numbers. The aircraft was built in Warsaw under the direction of the designer engineer Zbysław Ciołkosz, as PZL P-40. The preferred engine was the G-1620bis engine or the Polish "Foka" engine with about 400 hp. The designer made the first sketches in 1935. When Eng. Zbysław Ciołkosz moved to Lublin, took the project with him. Here, the aircraft received the designation LWS-3 Mewa and was redesigned for a more powerful engine. The aircraft was built as an observational in a new formula: it was to conduct correction of distant artillery fire and conduct close reconnaissance over enemy territory, to a depth of up to 100 km. Its design referred to the winning in Challenge 1934, RWD-9 and to the sanitary LWS-2. For the first time in this type of aircraft, indoor cabs were used: a plot and an observer, who could open the glazing to operate the camera and rifle. In addition, next to the profiled chassis were placed further solid machine guns that fired forward beyond the propeller disk. This solution, however, proved to be impractical, because during landing the mounting of rifles loosened and deformed. The aircraft's defensive attribute was to be its high speed. The plane was well equipped: communication radio, camera, rocket launcher, illumination bombs, signal floodlight, ground reporting system. The army ordered three prototypes.
After the loud crash of the LWS-6 Żubr aircraft, on November 7, 1936 (below), Eng. Zbysław Ciołkosz left the label, and the head of the LWS-3 project was Eng. Jerzy Teisseyre. The airframe was ready in November 1937, but the delivery of Hispano-Suiza 14AB engines with 493 kW (670 hp) was delayed. Then it was decided to use Gnôme-Rhône 14M01 engines with 485 kW (660 hp).
The prototype was flown in March 1938, and in September 1938, tests were carried out at the Aviation Technical Institute. They confirmed the very good performance of the aircraft. The max speed of the aircraft turned out to be slightly lower. The project was approved by the army and was to complement the RWD-14 Czapla and Lublin R-XIII aircraft. Then (November 25, 1938 - December 11, 1938), the aircraft and other Polish structures were demonstrated at the International Air Show in Paris under the designation PZL "Mewa".
The second prototype received an interesting vertical tail solution that could be lowered during the flight. Thanks to this, the rear firing field was unlimited. In addition, it turned out that the machine is more manoeuvrable and easier to get out of the corkscrew. Due to the need to quickly start serial production, this solution was planned to be used in LWS-7 Mewa II. The third prototype was a production standard.
At the end of 1938, the Polish Army ordered 200 units. Production started in 1939, and the first few aircraft were handed over to the army at the beginning of August 1939. Another about 20 machines were waiting for the French propeller hubs, which attempted to deliver to the Lublin route, but it was too late. Several machines took part in the Defense War. It was also planned to create the LWS-3 B version for Bulgaria, and the float version LWS-3 H, planned for 1940. Sweden and Egypt were seriously interested in the aircraft. The LWS-7 Mewa II aircraft was to be a further development of the LWS-3 Mewa construction.
The technical documentation of the LWS-3 Mewa aircraft was taken to Bulgaria by the director of the Lublin Aircraft Factory, Eng. Aleksander Sipowicz.
Technical data of the LWS-3 Mewa observation aircraft 1938. number of seats: 2 type: single-engine high wing construction: mixed structure, wings and wooden tail, fuselage welded lattice made of pipes span: 13.45 m length: 9.50 m height: 2.65 m weight: 1750 kg take-off weight: 2450 kg maximum speed: 360 km / h range: 700 km flight time: 3 h power unit: 9-cylinder Wright J5B Whirlwind 9-cylinder star engine with 3 x 162 kW (3 x 220 HP) armament: 1 movable PWU FK wz. 37 cal. 7.92 mm observer.
The LWS-4 Żubr aircraft is a structure that materialized in Lublin. The history of this aircraft begins in Warsaw. At the Polish Aviation Works (PZL) in 1933, the Ministry of Communications placed an order for a two-engine passenger aircraft for LOT Polish Airlines. It was to replace the aging Fokkery F-VII B / 3m aircraft. The project, which received the designation PZL-30, was dealt with by Zbyslaw Ciołkosz. The work went on systematically. In 1934, LOT Polish Airlines decided, however, to buy American aircraft Lockheed L-10 Electra and Douglas DC-2 and the order for PZL-30 was canceled. At that time, the prototype was almost completed. The Ministry of Military Affairs got interested in the plane, commissioning the conversion of the PZL-30 into a bomber plane. The aircraft was redesigned and given the new designation PZL-30 B / I. A prototype equipped with 2 x 295 kW (2 x 400 HP) Pratt Whitney Wasp Junior star engines. The first flight of the prototype took place in March 1936, and the flyer was Capt. Bolesław Orliński. Tests showed unsatisfactory performance. It was decided to use PZL-Bristol Pegaz VIII engines with 2 x 500 kW (2 x 680 HP). The new aircraft was designated PZL-30 B / II Żubr. An export version was also developed that received French Gnome-Rhone 14K engines. Serial production was planned to start in Lublin. Zbysław Ciołkosz was appointed the head of the cell there, which in fact became a new design office. In Lublin, the aircraft was to receive the designation LWS-6, but in 1937, it was eventually given the designation LWS-4. The designation LWS-5 was envisaged for the float version intended for the Navy.
Romania, whose delegation came to Poland in November 1936, was very interested in the plane. She was presented with an airplane that was then designated LWS-6 Żubr. On November 7, 1936, the plane took off for a demonstration flight. There were four people on board, including two Romanian officers. Nothing predicted misfortune. During the return to the Mokotów airport one of the engines was torn out of the wing and the plane fell to the ground burying everyone on board. It was in Michałowice near Warsaw, just 8 km before the Mokotów airport. At the place of the plane's fall, up to now there is a monument founded by Romanian society, and the street is called Romanian. The accident investigation commission found structural defects in the wing. The applied bakelite type adhesive (more resistant to moisture) was attached to the flap structure with the least moisture resistant urea glues. After the disaster, Romania withdrew its plans.
In 1937, under the direction of Jerzy Teisseyre, the aircraft was redesigned. The aircraft structure has been strengthened. In addition, it was equipped with a double vertical tail. As a result of the corrections, the weight of the aircraft increased, and thus the load of taken bombs was only 660 kg. The improved prototype aircraft was in one copy and remained at the Lublin plant for further modifications.
Preparations for mass production have been made since 1936. In the summer of 1937, serial production began. Interestingly, a version marked LWS-4 A was built, which was reinforced, but had a single vertical tail. 15 machines were built and handed over to the army in August and September 1938. Since it was already an outdated structure and its combat value was limited, the army incorporated machines into school squadrons. I used the phrase - the structure was outdated, because at that time modern aviation structures were already made entirely of metal (duralumin), which is characterized by a smaller mass and greater strength. One may ask - Why did LWS not build all-metal aircraft? Because metal constructions have not proved their 100% advantage over mixtures constructions. Metal constructions turned out to be much more expensive to build, more difficult and sometimes even impossible to repair. Structures based on metal tubes are currently being built in the world for so-called small aviation.
The LWS-5 seaplane belonged to the same family of planes. When in mid-1936 work on the LWS-1 bomber-torpedo seaplane was discontinued (Lublin R.XX), the Lublin Aircraft Factory proposed to the Navy command to develop a float version of the LWS-4 Żubr bomber. The new aircraft was designated LWS-5. The contract was signed on April 12, 1937. In December 1937, the Navy gave up LWS-5 and purchased Italian Cant Z-506 B Airone aircraft.
Technical data of the LWS-4 Żubr bomber aircraft 1936. number of seats: 4 type: twin-engine high wing construction: mixed structure, wings and wooden tail, fuselage welded lattice made of pipes span: 18.50 m length: 15.40 m height: 4.00 m weight: 4780 kg take-off weight: 6880 kg maximum speed: 340 km / h range: 750 km flight time: 5 h power unit: two 9-cylinder star engines, air-cooled PZL-Bristol Pegaz VIIIC with 2 x 515 kW (2 x 700 HP) armament: 5 rifles machinery, bombs with a total weight of 660 kg.
Even before the outbreak of World War II, the RWD-14 Czapla observation aircraft were mass-produced at the Lublin Aircraft Factory, which was designated LWS Czapla in Lublin. It was an aircraft of the accompanying type, intended for cooperation with land forces. Sometimes also marked as observational, and its weapons are mainly intended to defend against fighters' attacks. The RWD-14 Czapla aircraft was developed at the Experimental Aviation Workshops in Warsaw. Preparations for serial production in Lublin were managed by Eng. Ryszard Bartel. 65 machines were built.
One more promising PZL-39 Sokół fighter aircraft was working in the design office in Lublin. The project was brought to Lublin by Zbyslaw Ciołkosz. Here, the program had several different designations, due to the search for a suitable drive. The greatest hopes were associated with the designed Polish 8-cylinder in-line PZL Foka engine. The PZL-39 was supposed to be a cheap fighter operating at low ceilings, capable of reaching speeds of about 400 km / h. Mixed construction. One-man crew. The cabin was to be completely covered. Retractable undercarriage. Armament two machine guns. Problems with the choice of power unit caused that no prototype was created.
Airport take-off area
According to information from 1932, Lublin Airport was private. Geographic coordinates - 51 degrees 14 minutes long, 22 degrees 35 minutes. Altitude 183 m above sea level Magnetic deviation -0 degrees 52 minutes. The airport was located in the south-eastern suburbs of Lublin. It was 2,500 m to the center. The Lublin-Chełm railway line was in the immediate vicinity. There was a road to Zamość nearby. The plant and the airport surrounded the cities: from the north - Tatary, Majdan Tatarski, from the south - Kośminek and Nowy Kośminek. The arable fields of the Bronowice farm were from the east. To the west of the Bystrzyca River was about 800 m.
At the approach to the take-off field, the only major obstacles were chimneys are neighboring factories: from the north four chimneys to a height of 40 m, from the south a series of chimneys to a height of 46 m (power plant), from the west chimneys to a height of 36 m, and in the immediate vicinity three-story buildings plant.
From the orientation marks in the center of the take-off field, a white circle and the inscription Lublin and a wind sleeve
The take-off field dimensions: 690 mx 360 m and it was a rectangle. Large north-wester slope. Clay mold on a clay ground covered with grass. The airport had four factory hangars with large doors (30 x 6, 10 x 4, 19 x 4.3 and 15 x 4.3 m). The airport offered airmen and travelers: fuel, lubricants, water, electricity (380 V, 220 V, 110 V), telephone, weather station, technical and repair assistance. There was 800 m to the bus stop. The rest of the help could be obtained in the city: train station (1 500 m), police, medical assistance, hotel, restaurant, post office and telegraph (1 500 m), taxis and cabs.
The end of the Lublin Aircraft Factory
The end of the Lublin Aircraft Factory was very sad. On September 2, 1939, at 7:30, the factory and factory airport were bombed and shot at with machine guns. Nearly 40 people were killed during this attack, and many others were injured. Losses in the plant's infrastructure were small. The factory operated until September 10, 1939. On the same day, the surviving machines were evacuated to a field airport 18 km away from Łuck. Shortly after losing the defensive war, the Germans established a concentration camp and a forced labor camp in LWS. One of the factory's buildings was converted into a gas chamber. The take-off area was built up with prison barracks. Already during the mass murders of the Jewish and Polish population and the ongoing plunder of property in the hangars, main warehouses were organized. Looted goods were sorted here before being sent to Germany. The Lublin Aircraft Factory has never been revived.
Zakłady Mechaniczne Emil Plage and Teofil Laśkiewicz in Lublin are undoubtedly the first Polish aviation company to boast about their own very successful aircraft. The plant has mastered the construction of observation aircraft as well as passenger and bomber aircraft. It can be said that the plant has developed its own style of construction. The hull was based on a spatial steel structure made of chromium-molybdenum pipes connected by welding. If the aircraft was single engine, the engine bed was an integral part of the steel structure. The engine was enclosed in a profiled sheet. The main fuel tank was located behind the engine, followed by the crew cabin. A metal partition was placed between the crew cabin and the fuel tank as well as the fuel tank and the engine as a firewall and power structure. The hull was partly covered with plywood, but mainly with canvas. The wooden structure was covered with canvas. Most of the company's planes were monoplane wings placed high, i.e. high-wing aircraft. The wings were reinforced with braces. The wing construction was wooden. The wood made it much easier to shape the flaps in terms of contour and aerodynamic profile. The strength structure of the wing was based on two main girders, sometimes with a third, auxiliary rear girder. The wing from the leading edge to the first girder was covered with plywood. The rest of the wing, control surfaces and flaps were covered with canvas. The chassis was standard with a rear wheel or tail skid. The main chassis always consisted of two wheels with inflated tires. Shock absorbers have already been used. As for the chassis, the chassis was already working on a retractable mechanical system. The pilot, using a small handle, pulled them in and out. Engineers from Lublin counted on increasing the speed of the plane with retractable landing gear by up to 50 km / h.
The label has also developed several water planes. What is commendable, engineers from Lublin did not try to build their own swimmers. The constructions used at the then best seaplane factory in the world, British Short Brothers from Belfast, were used. This company exists to date under the logo of the Bombardier Aerospace company. The floats purchased by Poland were made of metal, multi-bulkheads, tested on many planes.
Due to the lack of Polish engine designs, the Lublin plant used drives from renowned Western European manufacturers. Designs were chosen not only with the highest power, but with good performance parameters. Both in-line and star engines were used. The latter, in the 1930s, were very popular and valued higher than in-line engines. A Townend ring was also used, which improves engine cooling and airframe aerodynamics. The factory used two-blade wooden propellers, and a little later introduced two-blade metal propellers. The plans were for propellers with variable angle of attack of blades.
The company used radio-navigation equipment, so-called avionics, in accordance with the orders of the future user. Own structures were not developed, because it was unprofitable on such a small scale. The fact that the factory had a good idea about avionics is enough to look at the construction of the Lublin R.X long distance bis "Silver Bird", which is equipped with an artificial horizon, gyro compass, double altimeters, speedometers and additional engine metering. Communication radios were installed in other constructions.
However, the biggest success of the Lublin record company was a good mastery of serial production in large series. It has never happened that a plant fails to fulfill its contracts. It was the contracting party that often failed to comply with the contracts. It is difficult to blame anyone here specifically. We must remember that technical progress in aviation in the 1930s was enormous. Planes were flying faster and faster, but above all. It was through aviation that the planet Earth began to shrink.
Today (2016), quite a few objects have remained after the airline plant in Lublin. First of all, three hangars at Wrońska Street. The next building is the building, also at Wrońska Street. The building was beautiful. It has four floors. He served as an office and is now also the seat of several companies. Unfortunately, the building no longer has a square tower with a height of about 25 m. Further buildings at Wrońska Street also remember the glory days of the aviation plant. Unfortunately, there is no longer a twin four-storey building that closed this urban complex from the north. The building, which is in the corner of Droga Męczenników Majdanku street and the railway track, has also survived. The building is clearly visible from the railway tracks. The neighboring building from the side of Droga Męczenników Majdanku street has also survived. Probably other buildings stand on the foundations of the plant. There are no more rail sidings on the site. Ulica Droga Męczenników Majdanku was erected in a trench to avoid collision under the viaduct under the viaduct. At the time of the plant, there was a regular railway crossing.
Written by Karol Placha Hetman