Polish Aviation Industry - Part 10

Kraków 2015-02-12

Polish Aviation Industry.

Part 10

Lublin Aircraft Factory in Lublin.

See part 4

LWS-6 A. 2016. Photo by Karol Placha Hetman
LWS-6 A. 2016. Photo by Karol Placha Hetman

1935 year.

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 state hands. This had good and bad sides. However, for Zakład Plage i Laśkiewicz it meant nationalization or liquidation. This happened when the order for 50 Lublin R-XIII-F aircraft was carried out. The first 7 machines were delivered to the army, and at the end of 1935 the order for the remaining machines was withdrawn.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 Lublin R-XIII-F aircraft under construction. The plant was in financial trouble. The company's management stated that bankruptcy should be declared, 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, already under the name LWS. The design office was liquidated and the plant became a production plant carrying out orders from Polskie Zakłady Lotnicze from Warsaw. Therefore, in 1936, the production of bomber aircraft, which received the designation LWS-6 Żubr, was directed here.

LWS–1 (Lublin R–XX).

In 1931, Zakłady Mechaniczne E. Plage and T. Laśkiewicz submitted an offer to the Navy management to build a long range heavy reconnaissance seaplane. The proposal was accepted and in 1932 a contract was concluded. In the period from 1932 to 1934, under the direction of Jerzy Rudlicki, the Lublin R – XX aircraft design was developed. The prototype was flown on 10/04/1935 by Capt. pil. Bolesław Filanowicz. Flight tests were carried out at the Naval Aviation Squadron base in Puck. The plane showed good performance but had several disadvantages. The improved aircraft was ready on October 30, 1935. The Navy, impatient with the prolonged attempts, broke the contract and concluded a new one for modified R-XX A planes, in the number of 6 pieces, whose prototype began to be built as early as 1935. Work on the aircraft continued after the company was nationalized, under the new designation LWS -1. In 1936, they were discontinued in favor of LWS-5 (LWS-4 with floats).


The LWS-2 sanitary aircraft was commissioned by the Military Aviation Command and the Polish Red Cross. The preliminary design was made by Eng. Zbyslaw Ciołkosz. The prototype was flown in the autumn of 1937 by W. Sułkowski in Lublin. After tests at the Aviation Technical Institute (ITL), the aircraft was handed over to the army. LWS-2 took part in the International Sanitary Aviation Competition in Esch in Luxembourg, which took place from July 1-4, 1938, where it took first place. PCK ordered a series of 6 copies of LWS-2, but production did not start due to the priority that the construction of the RWD-14 Czapla, LWS-3 Mewa and LWS-6 Żubr aircraft had. The prototype was used by sanitary aviation.

LWS–3 Mewa.

The aircraft was built in Warsaw under the direction of Zbysław Ciołkosz, as PZL P-40. When the designer moved to Lublin, he took the project with him. Here, the aircraft received the designation LWS-3 Mewa. The plane was made as an observation plane. Its design referred to the winning in Challenge 1934, RWD-9 and sanitary LWS-2. The LWS-3 drive was to be a 680 hp French Gnome-Rhone Mars radial engine. The project was approved by the army and was to complement the RWD-14 Czapla and Lublin R-XIII aircraft. Three prototypes were ordered. The first of them was flown in November 1937. At the end of 1938, the Polish Army ordered 200 units. It was also planned to create a version of LWS-3 B for Bulgaria, and a float version of LWS-3 H. Production started in 1939, and the first two ready aircraft were handed over to the army in August 1939. Another about 20 machines were waiting for new propellers. Several machines took part in the Defense War. The LWS-7 Mewa II aircraft was to be a further development of the LWS-3 structure.

PZL-30, LWS-6 Żubr.

In the PZL plant in 1933, the Ministry of Communication placed an order for a 2-engine passenger aircraft. It was to replace Fokkery F-VII B / 3m planes used by LOT Polish Airlines. 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 to buy American Douglas DC-2 aircraft and the order for PZL-30 was canceled when the prototype was almost completed. The Ministry of Military Affairs became interested in the project, commissioning the conversion of the PZL-30 into a bomber. 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 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 was a new construction office. In Lublin, the aircraft was to receive the designation LWS-PZL-30, but in 1937, it was eventually given the designation LWS-6. The designation LWS-5 was envisaged for the float version intended for the Navy. During the presentation of the Romanian delegation aircraft a disaster occurred. The accident investigation commission found structural defects in the wing. 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 aircraft received the designation LWS-6. The aircraft was in one copy and remained at the Lublin plant for further modifications. In the summer of 1937, serial production began. Interestingly, the version marked LWS-6 A was built, which was reinforced, but had a single vertical tail. 15 machines were built, which were 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.

The LWS – 6 Żubr aircraft has a mixed, high-wing, 2-engine structure. The drive was two 9-cylinder star engines, air-cooled PZL-Bristol Pegaz VIIIC with 2 x 515 kW (2 x 700 HP) each.

LWS-5 seaplane.

After discontinuing, in mid-1936, work on the LWS-1 bomber-torpedo seaplane (Lublin R-XX), 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 4/12/1937. After the LWS-4 crash on 7/11/1936, the construction needed to be strengthened and work continued. In December 1937, the Navy gave up LWS-5 and purchased Italian Cant Z-506 B Airone aircraft.


LWS-7 Mewa II is the development version of LWS-3 Mewa. The LWS-7 observation and connecting aircraft was the last structure developed at the Lublin Aircraft Factory before the outbreak of World War II. It was based on the construction of the LWS-3 Mewa. The prototype flight was planned for spring 1940. During the operation of the Lublin Aircraft Factory, Lublin R-XIII and RWD-14 Czapla aircraft were serially produced. A prototype of the PZL-39 fighter aircraft was also created.

The Lublin Aircraft Factory was the longest-functioning aviation plant during the Defense War. But like the entire Polish Republic, it was captured and occupied by the German army. Planes captured by the German army were burned. The factory's facilities were allocated to warehouses and segregation of stolen money, jewelry and other items that were sent to Rajch.

Written by Karol Placha Hetman