PZL TS-11 Iskra. 2022.

Kraków 2022-07-31

Farewell to the PZL TS-11 Iskra planes.

On July 27, 2022, after 58 years, the Polish Air Force said goodbye to the perfect Polish PZL TS-11 Iskra training and training aircraft.

But already on December 9, 2020, at the airport of the 41st Training Aviation Base under the name of Major Pilot Eugeniusz Horbaczewski in Dęblin, a family decommissioning ceremony for the PZL TS-11 Iskra aircraft was held. This meant that the cadets of the Military Aviation Academy would train only on turboprop PZL-130 Orlik TC-II airplanes, and then on Leonardo M-346 Bielik turbojet airplanes. Let us mention that on November 17, 2020, the eleventh Leonardo M-346 Bielik aircraft was delivered to Poland. From December 9, 2020 to July 27, 2022, only PZL TS-11 MR planes from the "White Red Sparks" Aerobatic Team were kept in a gaseous state.

White and red sparks. 2018 year. Photo by Karol Placha Hetman
White and red sparks. 2018 year. Photo by Karol Placha Hetman

White and red sparks. 2018 year. Photo by Karol Placha Hetman
White and red sparks. 2018 year. Photo by Karol Placha Hetman

White and red sparks. 2018 year. Photo by Karol Placha Hetman
White and red sparks. 2018 year. Photo by Karol Placha Hetman

The PZL TS-11 Iskra planes are too important in the history of Polish Aviation for their farewell to be only marked. There were preparations for a much larger event with the participation of the general public, but life verified the plans. The bandit Tsar Putin attacked the sovereign state - Ukraine, with the consent of the Germans and the French. In the twenty-first century, it turned out that all peace deals can be thrown into the bin, and the world is ruled only by money.

Therefore, on July 27, 2022 (Wednesday), another family event was organized, during which the last farewell flights of PZL TS-11 Iskra aircraft were made at the airport of the 41st Training Aviation Base in Dęblin.

The main designer of the aircraft was professor engineer Tadeusz Sołtyk. The prototype of the aircraft made its first flight on February 5, 1960. When the PZL TS-11 Iskra planes were introduced into service in the 1960s, it was the best training and training aircraft in the world. During the competition in Moscow, he outclassed the Russian Yak-30 and the Czechoslovak L-29 Delfin. The PZL TS-11 Iskra plane achieved three world records and several Polish records. But the Muscovites politically chose a plane from Czechoslovakia. PZL TS-11 Iskra was exported to India. Other possible contracts were blocked by Moscales. Production of the aircraft ended on September 23, 1987, after 424 copies were built.

Aviation training on TS-11 aircraft began in March 1964 in the then 60th Air Training Regiment in Radom, which was the first aviation unit to be equipped with these machines. Apart from Radom, where the PZL TS-11 Iskra was used in the period 1964 - 2000, aviation training was conducted in Tomaszów Mazowiecki, Modlin, Biała Podlaska and until 2020 in Dęblin. In addition to aviation training, these aircraft were in the equipment of each fighter regiment, as a business aircraft, for air reconnaissance flights, for flights in an obscured IFR cabin, for patrolling the state border and territorial waters, for visual and photographic reconnaissance flights. . The participation of PZL TS-11 Iskra aircraft in aerobatic teams is a separate story.

The PZL TS-11 Iskra had many advantages. It was completely produced in Poland. Not only the airframe, but also the engine was of Polish design and production. The plane was pilot-friendly and perfectly suited for training. She forgave many mistakes of young aviators. This is confirmed by all the pilots who sat at its controls.

The farewell ceremony for the PZL TS-11 Iskra aircraft was combined with the last flight of three machines, accompanied by new M-346 Bielik advanced training aircraft. The planes flew over the airport in Dęblin in the group "Grot" in white and red. The group's commander and leader was Lieutenant Colonel Marek Stechni, who has over 3,700 hours of flight time on these planes. Participants of the ceremony emphasize that the last departure of planes over the airport and landing combined with the release of smoke was one of the most touching moments of saying goodbye. A tear in the eye is rolling.

The ceremony was attended by the General Commander of the Armed Forces - General Jarosław Mika, Deputy General Commander of the Armed Forces, Maj. Gen. pil. Cezary Wiśniewski, Air Force Inspector - Maj. Gen. pil. Jacek Pszczoła, Commander of the 4th School Aviation Wing, gen. Brig. pil. dr inż. Grzegorz Ślusarz, commanders of wings, brigades, bases and squadrons, instructors, present and former pilots, technicians and invited guests, including descendants of professor Tadeusz Sołtyk.

More information about the PZL TS-11 Iskra aircraft is provided in other chapters of this portal.

Written by Karol Placha Hetman