History Construction Tally

PZL I-22 Iryda. Part 1. 1985.

Kraków 2008-08-01

271b Section 1985-03-05

PZL I-22 Iryda

Poland

Combat training aircraft.

History PZL I-22 Iryda. Part 1.

PZL I-22 Iryda nr 1 AN 001-05 nb 105. 2017 year. Photo by Karol Placha Hetman
PZL I-22 Iryda nr 1 AN 001-05 nb 105. 2017 year. Photo by Karol Placha Hetman

PZL I-22 Iryda nr 1 AN 001-03 nb 103. Dęblin 1994 year. Photo of LAC
PZL I-22 Iryda nr 1 AN 001-03 nb 103. Dęblin 1994 year. Photo of LAC

WTT conditions and M-16 aircraft. 1972 year.

At the turn of 1972–1973, the Tactical and Technical Requirements Project (WTT) was developed in the Air Force Command (DWLot) for a training and combat aircraft that would be the successor to the TS-11 Iskra. These requirements have become the basis for assessing the feasibility of meeting them, determining construction assumptions and performing a technical and economic analysis of the new aircraft. Study work was undertaken at the Institute of Aviation (IL) in Warsaw and at the Research and Development Center for Communication Equipment (OBR SK) in Mielec. The Central Coordination Plan for the "12.05 Node Problem" was developed, based on a preliminary work order from November 1972. On 1973-06-04, the Chief Executive of the Union of Aviation and Motor Industry (ZPLiS) PZL appointed a commission whose aim was to perform technical and economic analyzes. Its chairman was the deputy director of IL for Scientific Affairs, engineer Czesław Skoczylas. Members were representatives of the largest companies of the Polish Aviation Industry, Unification of PZL and Head of Aviation Technology (STL) of the Ministry of National Defense. The basis for analysis was the concept of the aircraft marked M-16 developed by a team of designers from the Mielec SK Research and Development Center.

The M-16 was to be a twin-engine high-wing aircraft, with an unladen weight of 4,000 kg, sloping wings, an area of ​​17 m2 and an aerodynamic system similar to the structure of the SEPECAT Jaguar. The drive unit was to be made of single-flow turbojet engines with 2 x 1,500 - 1,800 kG thrust. Interestingly, two ways of solving the power train problem were considered here. The first is; purchase of a license for the Rolls-Royce Viper 632 engine. The license for these engines was already bought by Romania and Yugoslavia at that time for Orao aircraft. The second way is to develop your own engine, designated SO-16 with a thrust of 1,800 kG without afterburning and 2,300 kG with afterburning. The remark was that the afterburner would be developed at a later date. It was anticipated that the M-16 aircraft would be comparable to Western structures; Alpha Jet, Hawk. Armament loading capacity was planned for a 2,000 kg aircraft. The maximum speed of the aircraft, at an altitude of H-0 m 1 150 km / h, on H-11 000 m 1 170 km / h. Climbing speed 70 m / s. The plane was to have extensive equipment; navigation and sight radar station; the ability to fly automatically at low altitudes; inertial navigation system; central computer; head-up HUD; map projector and others. The plane was to be made in two versions; single-seater combat, two-seater training and combat. Considering the equipment and anticipated armament, the M-16 would be one of the best aircraft in its class in the world. Serial planes would hit combat units in 1983, i.e. after eight years of work.

The program of the new aircraft was very ambitious. Developing almost all elements from scratch meant large expenditures and unpredictable difficulties that could delay the Program and large financial expenses. However, all these problems could be resolved positively.

Already at the beginning, the CCCP government's attitude turned out to be a problem, for which Poland's independence was badly seen. Without looking at the above conditions, the Program was implemented further. Despite the increased costs. The purchase of a license for the engine was considered intentional as it gave long-term effects with higher effects and reduced the risk of the Program falling.

New WWTT conditions. 1974.

Considering the analyzes carried out on the M-16 aircraft design, the Ministry of National Defense has been developed anew; Initial WTT (WWTT) for training and combat aircraft, WWTT for turbojet engine, WWTT for accessories. These conditions were signed on 1974-12-03 by the Chief of Aviation Technology, Brigadier General Engineer Sergiusz Kaługin.

WWTT conditions for the engine became a problem, in which its thrust was determined at 1 500 kg and no afterburner was mentioned. With such a string, a problem arose that some of the performance of the future aircraft would not be met.

Based on WWTT conditions issued by the Ministry of National Defense, construction teams in Mielec and Warsaw and the Commission of Dr. Czesław Skoczylas, they continued work on the M-16 aircraft, correcting the concept. At the same time, military facilities, including WAT (Military University of Technology), conducted analyzes of weapon systems for the new aircraft.

However, at that time, the Central Committee of the Polish United Workers' Party, which actually ruled Poland, did not enter the M-16 aircraft program into the five-year plan, which automatically led to a lack of funding for the project. However, actions were taken, both by industry and the Ministry of National Defense, to include the Program in the Central Coordination Plan in 1976-1980. The program was defined as a node problem 12.05. With a research and development (R&D) period of 8 years, this meant the aircraft was brought into service in 1984. These activities were crowned with success and the Council of Ministers in Resolution No. 223/75 of 1975-12-15, obliged the Ministry of Machine Industry to undertake the Program. Unification of the PZL Aviation and Aircraft Industry, including the Institute of Aviation as the coordinator, was responsible and leading the whole Program. In this way, the training-combat aircraft program became a government program and became a fact. This is how the basics of the Iskra 2 program were born.

The program Iskra 2. 1976.

On 1975-12-22, the Military Department of the Ministry of Machine Industry officially notified the Unification of the Air and Aircraft Industry PZL about the tasks arising from the adopted Resolution of the Council of Ministers. On 1976-01-09, they commissioned the Institute of Aviation to agree with the military side on WTT conditions for the aircraft and power unit. Legal arrangements have been obtained; preparation of the initial design, construction of the mock-up, approval of the design and mock-up, arrangements and studies with interested companies and institutions. The aircraft was named Iskra-2, and the M-16 project and WWTT conditions from 1974 became the starting point.

The first months were devoted to the division of individual elements of projects within the framework of stakeholders, establishing schedules and costs. And here the first problems arose. Most of the entities, mainly WSK and OBR SK Mielec, pointed out the short delivery time and reduction of costs by 50%. In addition, additional works not included in the program were to be financed from the PZL Unification own resources. There was also no balance in having sufficient staff of scientists, engineers and technicians. The management of Mielec estimated that in order to carry out the imposed work during three years, it must have 200 designers. It was emphasized that for the aircraft in the proposed form an engine with 1 800 kG was needed, which was not available in Poland. In addition, the range of combat capabilities was so large that it became necessary to buy avionics equipment abroad, as such was not built in Poland. The latter issue is inextricably linked to the neglect of the communist authorities of the 1960s, which sought to liquidate the Aviation Industry. An example was the liquidation in 1967 of the designer's office of engineer Tadeusz Sołtek. Especially PZL Mielec felt these problems because he participated in the program of agricultural aircraft M-15 Belfegor and passenger Ił-86. Both programs were imposed by CCCP.

On 1976-08-06, the following arrangements were made. The program will be implemented according to top-imposed directives. These directives provided breakdown of work, time of implementation, financing and job responsibility. The nodal problem of 12.05.01, i.e. the Iskra-2 aircraft, was divided into five subprograms (tasks, stages); task A - preliminary design, task B - technical design, task C - prototype construction, task D - tests and examinations, task E - implementation. The director of the program was ZPLiS PZL. The Institute of Aviation was responsible for the implementation of the preliminary project (A). For completing task B, C, D - Research and Development Center SK Mielec, and for task E - WSK PZL-Mielec. The Research and Development (R&D) phase was to end in 1982, and the trial batch of aircraft was to be sent to the army in 1983.

In this way, the Program was implemented in unreal time and for little money, impossible to implement, even by the world's largest aviation producers. For comparison - research and development (R&D) costs for the M-15 agricultural aircraft were three times higher than those assumed for the Iskra-2 aircraft. Not only that, this comparison does not take into account inflation, which at the time was an abstract concept for the Central Committee of PZPR. The second comparison - the time of R&D works for the Alpha Jet plane was 11 years. Our Iskra-2 was to be built within 7 years.

A problem not explored, the question of project-related work remained. Without doing this work, you are unable to enter the aircraft into service. Estimated value is equal to R&D and implementation costs. They were to be financed from ZPLiS PZL investment funds.

It is also puzzling why the nodal problem of 12.05.01 (Iskra-2) refers to the basic version of the aircraft. Perhaps it was a gate for a possible change of airframe, without changing the program and starting everything from the beginning. This gate was used in some way later.

Approved in 1974, WWTT conditions for a jet combat training aircraft concerned advanced combat training and training aircraft in a three-level training system, and after appropriate adaptation to reconnaissance tasks and tactical support. This meant that this aircraft would not be the successor to the TS-11 Iskra, but another type for training after the TS-11 Iskra, in place of two-seater SB Lim-1/2 aircraft and one-seater Lim-2 aircraft. In turn, in the combat variant it would replace Lim-5/6 planes, which at that time formed the core of Polish fighter-attack aircraft.

The Iskra-2 aircraft, according to the assumptions of 12.05.01, was to replace the PZL Lim family aircraft and was to be built in two- and one-seat versions. Iskra-2 was to have TT parameters, structure layout, equipment and armament almost identical to that of the M-16 Program. The drive was still to be made of 2 x 1 800 kG engines. Inclined wing, although the surface is more than 10% larger, and the angle of attack of the wings reduced from 35 degrees to 25 degrees. At that time, it was anticipated that work in the field of equipment and armament would be gradual while maintaining airframe and propulsion. It is hard to change the airframe, with a maximum speed of Ma-0.95. Supersonic speed was not sought, as was in the unfinished TS-16 Grot program.

After agreeing in August 1976 on the subject of the Program on 12.05.01 by the Ministry of National Defense, in the Coordination Plan of the nodal problem 12.05. The Institute of Aviation has developed work on the project. At the end of November 1976, a General Order was issued to work on the subject 12.05.01. At the end of January 1977, ZPLiS and the Institute of Aviation placed an order with OBR SK Mielec for the implementation of stages B, C and D. It was already clear then that the target production in 1985 was to be 100 machines, with an option for a further 300 aircraft. The Employer was ZPLiS PZL, represented by the Chief Executive Officer, and the Recipient of STL MON represented by the Head of Aeronautics. The contract was to be prepared by OBR SK Mielec, as these were the regulations.

In March 1977, it turned out that due to limited IL staff, he was unable to prepare the project himself. Designers from Mielec and other institutes and universities (WAT, ITWL, WITU, Warsaw University of Technology and others) had to be included in the work. The main constructor of the project was appointed Dr. Associate Doctor R. Orłowski from the Institute of Aviation.

The fact that the Iskra-2 Program was a further continuation of the M-16 program is evidenced by the approach to the powertrain problem. Purchase of a minimum of three Viper 632 engines abroad (for the first prototype and one spare), with a course of around 1,800 kg, continued to be prominent. On the other hand, the Polish newly developed engine was to be without an afterburner, which would not provide it with the required thrust.

At the end of May 1977, a draft agreement was prepared in Mielec, taking into account a number of the above problems, which made the whole program real and made it feasible. The costs of stages B, C, D were increased by about 50%. The deadline for completion of R&D works has been moved to the end of 1986. The implementation of the trial batch of five aircraft was scheduled for 1988.

The Iskra-22 Program and WWTT Conditions - Edition 2. 1977.

Work on the Iskra-2 aircraft has not yet begun for good and has already ended. As we know from the information above, there was a contradiction between the airframe and the power unit. In January 1976, discussions continued between IL and the Ministry of National Defense regarding the clarification of the terms of the WTT. There was an opportunity to straighten it out. WTT data were developed together with the Iskra-2 Program. The band of R. Orłowski, in mid-1977. completed work on the concept of a combat training aircraft. Compared to the M-16 and Iskra-2, the new aircraft designated Iskra-22 has typically become a subsonic aircraft. Its parameters placed it between the Italian MB-339 and the French Alpha Jet.

The presented concept was to create two versions of the Iskra-22 aircraft. Basic with 2 x 1 100 kG drive and development with 2 x 1 400 - 1 500 kG drive. Both versions in one- and two-seat variants. The development version was to have better performance, without emphasizing the increase in maximum speed. The selected wing and its profile (angle of attack 16 degrees) limited the maximum speed to 900 - 950 km / h and Ma-0.8. As many specialists believe, the consequences of this choice were crucial to the fate of the aircraft. The range of equipment and armaments of the basic version was significantly reduced, which made this variation a training and training plane. Anyway, the history of the first versions of MB-339, Alpha Jet, Hawk was very similar. The R&D phase was also to be record-breaking. Only 5 years. It should not surprise anyone in the conditions of the then propaganda of success. There is no question of the great optimism of engineers and technicians, but the acceptance of directives from the party authorities.

On 1977-07-21, the Chief of Aeronautics at the Ministry of National Defense, brigadier general engineer S. Kaługin and the General Director of ZPLiS PZL, engineer K. Kuczyński, approved WWTT conditions for the jet combat aircraft Edition 2 and WWTT conditions for the engine for this aircraft. They became the basis for further activities on the development of the Iskra-22 aircraft.

Under the new conditions of WWTT Edition 2, the first stage was to create a basic aircraft powered by two PZL Kaszub-3 W engines with 2 x 1 100 kG thrust. These were the PZL SO-3 W development engines from the TS-11 Iskra aircraft. The equipment was to be used devices currently available in Poland or Comecon countries. In the second stage, a development version was to be created, powered by 2 x 1 400 - 1 500 kG engines. Engines were to be developed in the country as single-flow and without afterburners. The equipment was to be significantly expanded and, importantly, developed mainly in Poland. From the beginning, the airframe was to be developed for the development version, both in terms of strength, installation of new engines, and the amount of space intended for the target equipment.

Performance Requirements for the basic version are given in WWTT Edition 2 conditions only. Of course, these were typically subsonic, not subsonic, requirements. The reduction in broaching speed when the flaps were swung out confirmed this, because it required a wing with a thicker profile and a smaller angle of the leading edge. On the other hand, it was an improvement in the requirements regarding the climb and the ceiling with one engine running.

The performance of the development version of the aircraft was a great unknown, since their substantial increase would be impossible with such a selected wing. It would be necessary to change the plane, so develop a new plane, and this was impossible. It should be added that the Ministry of National Defense has never abandoned the personic version.

The adoption of the new WWTT conditions practically meant the end of work on the Iskra-2 aircraft. Already in July 1977, the General Director of ZPLiS appointed a consultative team on the subject of Spark-22, whose first meeting took place on 1977-07-12. At the second meeting of this team on 1977-08-29, the progress of works in the topic 12.05.01 aircraft and topic 12.05.02 Kaszub-3 W 22 engine for the basic version and topic 12.05.03 engine Kaszub-15 K-15 for development version. It was also established that the implementation of specific sub-topics will be carried out by Military Representations (PW) at individual companies and institutions.

In mid-July 1977, the Institute of Aviation ordered from OBR SK Mielec an engine part of the fuselage of the Iskra-22 aircraft.

Work on individual sub-topics sped up, although it ran into organizational, staffing and financial problems. ZD Centrum had the biggest delays, which carried out the model and models for blowing in the wind tunnel. There should have been 80 of them, and by October 1977, none had been made. This generated natural delays. The biggest problems occurred in IL, in terms of staff. Due to the existing pay limits, it was not possible to commission researchers to work overtime. Not launching the granted foreign exchange funds in due time for the purchase of measuring devices and materials in capitalist countries also slowed down the Program.

Therefore, at the third meeting of the consultative team, which took place at the end of October 1977. representatives of the Ministry of Machine Industry and representatives of the Ministry of National Defense proposed that the topic Spark-22 should be included in the National Socio-Economic Plan for 1978. by the resolution of the Council of Ministers. It also happened. Resolution No. RM 199/77 of 1977-12-31.

So what if at the end of the 70s in Poland the economic crisis was growing, which even the ubiquitous propaganda of success was not able to hide behind the slogan of "temporary difficulties in the face of undoubted successes and achievements". Despite subsequent meetings, controls, monitoring and directives, this did not change much. The Iskra-22 program could not be an exception. And what about the fact that at the next meeting of the consultancy team at the beginning of December 1977, the General Director of ZPLiS proposed to shorten the development of the Iskra-22 program by one year, from 1983, to 1982. Therefore, decisions were made to move some designers between offices. The establishment of a new institution - the Science and Production Center of Light Aircraft - which merged WSK Okęcie and IL did not help much.

1978 year.

In April 1978, the technical concept of the Iskra-22 aircraft was presented. The basic version complied with the requirements of WWTT requirements of 1977, and the development version of the aircraft was similar to the requirements contained in WWTT requirements of 1974. Except for the maximum speed of the aircraft. The dates of the Program implementation have not changed. The life-size scale model of the aircraft supported the activities carried out so far. The model enjoyed great interest among the members of the PZPR party, including Edward Gierek himself. The model was presented under the noble slogan - "On the 50th anniversary of the aviation industry for the defense of the country". The party needed success and success was, although hidden from the ordinary citizen, like all military and defense topics. The plane was a success, though only as a mockup.

The basic technical concept of the aircraft showed a difficult situation in terms of equipment and fittings. It turned out that in Poland we had only 15% of the total. 70% of components had to be purchased in CCCP and Czechoslovakia, and the remaining 15% of components had to be developed in Poland from scratch.

Despite the program's limitations in relation to the M-16 aircraft, the plans were still very ambitious. The Iskra-22 program found itself during the first confrontation between the expectations of the Ministry of National Defense and the possibilities of the Polish Aviation Industry. On 1978-03-29, the General Director of ZPLiS appointed a departmental commission to evaluate the model, which began operating in May 1978. The mock-up committee also assessed the overall status of the Project. The main conclusions from the work of the Commission were as follows. It was recommended; change of the panel construction from Sunday to divided, the halves of which are attached to the hull. Aerodynamic dislocation of the wing was proposed. It was proposed to change the connection of the rear part of the hull from the front, from point to integral. The recommendations were adopted for implementation. Because the dates were running, the changes were wanted to be introduced hot, which caused confusion, which was hardly controlled.

At the fifth meeting of the consultative team, at the end of July 1978, important arrangements were made for the Program. The work on preliminary projects was considered completed. At the same time, preliminary work was started on equipping the development version. A modified task schedule was also specified; 12.05.01. - basic aircraft, basic version, 12/05/03 - K-15 engine with 1 500 kg thrust, 12/05/03. - adaptation of the Kaszub-3 W engine for the Iskra-22 aircraft, 12/05/04 - equipment and accessories. In this situation, it was possible to submit this stage of works for assessment by the appropriate committee of the Ministry of National Defense. As for the K-15 engines, the prototype was to be built in 1980. By 1982, 18 engines were to be built, and in 1984, serial production was to be launched.

The basic variant of the two-seater version of the aircraft was to be made in the form of two volatile prototypes and one prototype for static tests by the end of 1980. Trials and tests were to be carried out by IL until the end of 1981, and in 1980, the construction of a zero (trial) series of 10 machines was to be started.

The Iskra-22 aircraft in the basic one-seat version. 1978 year.

At this point, there were preliminary adjustments to develop the basic one-seater version. The starting point was the two-seater version. Work on this version was to be made by IL by the end of 1980, three flight prototypes were to be made by CNPSL by mid-1982, and flight tests were to be carried out by the end of 1982.

No doubt the dates were unrealistic. The Institute of Aviation itself was not able to fulfill the tasks set out in terms of organization and personnel. The merger Institute of Aviation with WSK Okęcie into the aforementioned CNPSL did not change anything, and introduced a mess. WSK Okęcie did not have experience in working on this type of aircraft. The new schedule has changed nothing. Money and specialists did not come.

The Defense Ministry evaluates the preliminary draft. 1978 year.

On 1978-09-09, the Chief Inspector of Technology of the Polish Army, Deputy Minister of National Defense, General of Arms, Master of Science, Zbigniew Nowak, issued an ordinance regarding the appointment of the Commission for the assessment of the preliminary design and model of the Iskra-22 aircraft, and the initial design of the K-15 engine. Its chairman was the deputy head of aviation technology, Colonel Master of Science, engineer Zdzisław Pietrucha. The commission consisted of five teams assessing individual scopes of work and a total of 57 specialists and 29 additional experts. The Commission considered that the design could provide the basis for the technical design. The comments presented concerned mainly deficiencies or deficiencies in the initial design, which, as I mentioned, was made in a minimal state of progress. There was no outline of the reconnaissance and towing version. Attention was drawn to the need to use new materials and technologies as well as maximum modernization of equipment and installations. It was clear that the military side still prioritized the target version, both two-place and one-site version. At the same time, there was no clear wording that the development version should be based on the same airframe.

The K-15 engine was positively evaluated, but it was noted that the single-flow engine concept and the anticipated materials and technologies do not represent the technical peak at the present time. It was found that this would adversely affect the range and fuel consumption. Therefore, it was recommended to once again examine alternative propulsion sources for Iskra-22. Summing up, the Commission stated that the overall project was difficult to consider as a system development, which was predictable due to the progress of the Program. The anticipated dimensions and weight of the equipment as well as the adopted engine in contact with the expected performance and capabilities will be difficult to achieve the success of the Program. It has been rightly assessed that any correction of the airframe or / and equipment will reduce the payload (armament) of the range or other performance or combat capabilities. So the assumption that the Iskra-22 is to be the best aircraft in the class will not be realized.

As a result of ongoing polemics, the Commission commissioned a change in the hull structure and some structural modifications of the wings and tail. In terms of materials and technology, it has been recognized that there is some progress, but it is less than assumed and lags behind world leaders. Unfortunately, Poland's economic opportunities were a problem here. So, the comments did not concern the aircraft as such, but the possibilities of the then technique of our aviation, metallurgy, chemical and electrotechnical industries. For the same reasons, the K-15 engine was considered medium in its class. It was ordered either to analyze the possibilities of building a two-pass engine in Poland, or to take advantage of the solutions used in the American single-engine J-85 engine from General Electric, copies of which were then in Poland, imported from Vietnam Northrop F-5 E and Cessna A-37 aircraft B.

The Ministry of National Defense commission submitted its comments and recommendations to IL at the end of 1978. In mid-December 1978. The Chief Builders presented their position on this matter. The Chief Designer of the aircraft stated that since the end of the initial design, that is from the middle of the year, work is already underway on the technical design in which changes are being made on an ongoing basis. The Commission's comments were mostly accepted. An important explanation was the information that in the development version the aircraft airframe would remain unchanged. And this at the anticipated increase in maximum speed from 920 km / h to 970 km / h and the allowed number of Ma-0.85 increased to Ma-0.90, with a wing with a skew angle of about 15 degrees, seemed impossible to meet. Whether it was official optimism or strong faith, it is hard to judge. Let's not forget, however, that the program was still implemented in stages and gradually the best results were achieved.

The Chief Engineer of the K-15 engine assessed the degree of modernity of his gun differently, using convincing technical and economic arguments. Referring to the suggestion of copying the American J-85 engine, he stated that it could not be mapped in Polish conditions due to the design solutions, materials and technologies that Polish industry did not have. The designer found it impossible to adapt this engine to domestic materials and technologies. As for the development of a new dual-flow engine, this problem has not been commented on.

Approval of the first stage of work. 1979 year.

The report on the work of the Commission then entered the phase of opinions, reconciliations and approvals. In mid-January 1979, the ITWL Scientific Council issued a positive opinion on the results of the first stage of work on the Iskra-22 aircraft, requesting continuation and, if possible, acceleration of work. The idea of ​​training Polish pilots on Polish equipment was still right, modernization of the domestic industry and independence from foreign markets (read CCCP and Czechoslovakia) building this type of aircraft. Attention was also paid to the need to develop modern avionics in Poland. It was still ordered to develop the K-15 engine, but as a starting point for the future dual-flow engine. It has been clearly stated that many stages, both at the airframe and at the engine, are also dictated by the lack of experienced construction and technological teams. A week later (January 1979), the Equipment Committee for Flying Equipment of the Council of the Ministry of National Defense also gave a positive opinion on the conclusions of the Committee and the College of Central Institutions of the Ministry of National Defense reporting to the Chief Inspector of Polish Army Technology. This college ordered, by the end of March 1979, the final development of WTT conditions for aircraft and engine that would be approved at the highest levels by defense and engineering industry ministers. Interestingly, American military standards MIL were used in their development.

At the beginning of April 1979. The report on the work of the Commission was approved by the Chief Inspector of Technology of the Polish Army, deputy minister of general defense, general weapons master's engineer Z. Nowak and deputy minister of machine industry, division general professor engineer Jerzy Modrzewski. They signed the Protocol early; General Director of ZPLiS PZL M. Sc. Eng. K. Kuczyński, deputy chief inspector of the Polish Army, Chief of Aeronautics, brig. Assoc. Dr. Eng. Mieczysław Sikorski.

The management of ZPLiS, the Ministry of the Machine Industry and the Ministry of National Defense, despite knowing the evaluation of the work of the Ministry of National Defense commission, which resulted in the need to refine the preliminary design, increased fiction in the implementation of the Program. As late as mid-January 1979, Deputy Minister of Machine Industry, Gen Modrzewski approved the B + RiW military work plan for 1979, which upheld the absurd deadlines for the completion of subsequent stages, which resulted from the ZPLiS schedule of July 1978, and the Ministry of Machine Industry of September 1978.

Further work. 1979 year.

In accordance with the decision taken from above, subjects 12.05.01 (Iskra-22 aircraft) and 12.05.03.01 (K-15 engine) were covered by a resolution of the Council of Ministers, which meant a high priority in implementation. On the other hand, nodal and departmental-industry problems were covered by topics with much lower priorities, and thus less funding. And yes; 12.05.04.02 - new equipment and accessories for military flying ships, 12.05.04.03 - adaptation of new high-strength steel grades for the needs of military flying ships, 12.05.04.04 - adaptation of heat-resistant alloys for the needs of military flying ships, 12.05.04.05 - adaptation of resin composites and aluminum for military aircraft, 12/05/06 - adaptation of titanium alloys for military aircraft.

Trials and tests under the 12.05.04.02 theme were to end in 1982, and the themes 12.05.04.04 - 06 in 1985. As you can see, the topics of new materials perfectly matched the remarks made by the Ministry of National Defense Committee and were right. However, as it turned out, the implementation was worse. Fiction as to the deadlines was replicated at lower levels. Nobody dared to oppose this, because they were political spheres, and there were no jokes here. Corrections forced life itself, or rather "objective difficulties." The translation about temporary difficulties against the background of objective successes was mastered to perfection and usually ended with staff castling and approval of the existing state of affairs. Everything ended with a slight correction, because no one was referring to fiction.

Organizational inertia and late decisions, or complete detachment from reality, reached their apogee in management issued in mid-March 1979 by the General Director of ZPLiS PZL regarding the development, implementation, testing of prototypes and launching serial production of the Iskra-22 training and combat aircraft , which was an executive act. According to him, the topic of 12.05.01 was still coordinated and responsible for him, the Institute of Aviation, but now under CNPSL PZL-Warsaw, and the entirety was supervised by the Director of CNPSL. Unrealistic deadlines for the completion of works were kept. At the same time, the Director of the Institute of Aviation was instructed to develop a detailed work plan for the period 1979–1981 by mid-May 1979. By the end of April 1979, it was imposed to sign contracts with cooperating parties. The CNPSL director was obliged to secure the implementation of tasks related to the production of the Iskra-22 information series. Directors of other companies were not omitted. The change was shifting the assembly of the aircraft information series from Mielec to Warsaw (CNPSL). Only a complete wing with fuel equipment and installation, horizontal tail and diagnostics were left in Mielec. Changes were also made to the investments and funds allocated to them. However, the ordinance completely omits the fact that the preliminary design needs to be refined and re-evaluated by the Ministry of National Defense. The fact that the finalist of the work was supposed to be a manufacturer building light aircraft such as PZL-104 Wilga, PZL-106 Kruk, and never building heavy jet aircraft was not taken into account. But there was no one brave to draw the attention of the party authorities to this fact. Those who soundly assessed the Program knew that the delays were up to 18 months compared to the deadlines.

The Order also provides a list of products (components) for the Iskra-22 aircraft. It covered 7 Unions and 37 product items; Unification of MERA in 1980, - navigation computer, UNITRA in 1981, - prototype of radar sight, on-board TV camera, radio compass, in 1982, - digital converter with symbol generator, Unification of Optical Industry OMEL in 1982, - prototype of Polish HUD. Interestingly enough, it was not known how the execution of tasks would be carried out.

The list of license products included 13 items; In 1979, the purchase of a reclining chair. In 1980, ABS (anti-slip when braking), inertial platform, screw drives for wing and tail mechanization, 9 kW current-starter, automatic navigation system with the possibility of mapping, optical sight for the basic version.

As we can see, in great pain, but systematically the plane took shape and was no longer fiction. Difficulties and delays were, but they did not threaten the Program. Only finance could become a barrier.

Threat to Program Iskra-22 by Suchoj Su-25 aircraft. 1979 year.

In the Verified Coordination Plan of the nodal problem 12.05 sent to ZPLiS companies at the beginning of April 1979. In addition to known and implemented topics (12/05/01) new ones have appeared; 12.05.05 (study on a single-engine multi-purpose helicopter) 12.05.06 (twin-engine multi-purpose helicopter W-3) and 12.05.07 (attack aircraft Sukhoi Su-25 Tajfun - information).

The plan verification procedure was as follows. The final companies implementing individual topics updated and presented their proposals of topic changes in the financial and timely manner annually. These data were sent to the Institute of Aviation as the office coordinating the nodal problem on May 12 and to ZPLiS, where they were collected in their entirety and presented to the party authorities. The party authorities had a decisive voice and they made the plans "real".

The appearance of the topic 12.05.07 (Suchoj Su-25 Tajfun) meant that WSK PZL-Mielec, as a potential manufacturer of a licensed aircraft, was required to assess costs, deadlines and provide necessary data for projects for subsequent years. Subject 12.05.07 appeared from the socialist view at the right time, as another 5-year-old was approaching, in which Su-25 could be included. The Iskra-22 aircraft, however, was about to enter the technical design phase. Theoretically, everything looked fine, but the appearance of the Su-25 made it pointless to develop a single-seat version of the Iskra-22. An economic factor has emerged. The 400 aircraft construction program would be reduced to 100 - 150 two-seater units intended for training only. Also topic 12.05.04 lost its raison d'etre, especially in terms of equipment. The subject of Su-25 aircraft would solve the problems of materials and finished products from CCCP.

In this situation, it is not excluded that the short deadlines for the implementation of the Iskra-22 Program and the lowest possible costs of development, implementation and operation were aimed, for a certain group of party authorities, to prevent Poland from becoming more dependent on CCCP. There is no doubt that the Su-25 is much more expensive than the Iskra-22. In addition, it does not stimulate the development of Polish science. However, today you can only speculate on this topic.

For now, some adjustments to the Iskra-22 Program have taken place very quickly. Already in June 1979. The directorates of the economic operators concerned agreed on several modifications among themselves. General returned to the division into the following stages; A (preliminary design), B (technical design), D (prototype testing) - responsible Institute of Aviation; C (prototype production), E (information series) - WSK PZL-Mielec and OBR SK Mielec. The Institute of Aviation supervised everything. These arrangements were sanctioned by a detailed ordinance of the ZPLiS Chief Executive issued in mid-July 1979. Thus, the framework of the Iskra-22 Program was finally established, which was of great importance for the further course of work.

At the beginning of October 1979, a draft Coordination Plan Plan for the nodal problem 12.05 was submitted from WSK PZL-Mielec to the Institute of Aviation, on 12.05.07 (Su-25). The adaptation of the Su-25 aircraft license documentation was to take two years, and implementation and mastery of production until 1987. The cost of this work exceeded 3.5 times the cost of the Iskra-2 Program in its basic version (topic 12.05.01) from 1976, and more than twice the cost of the Iskra-22 Program, whose serial production was to start in 1984. They were also included in the project; development version Iskra-22 M two-seater (for 1985), single-seater, reconnaissance and towing version (for 1988).

Comparing costs and other relevant arguments, there could be only one decision - Iskra-22 instead of Su-25. And so it happened later. Although the main reason was the Kremlin's increasing distrust of Poland due to events in the country in August 1980.

Preliminary draft of the Iskra-22 aircraft completed. 1979 year.

In July 1979, the new Chief Designer of the Iskra-22 aircraft was replaced by Dr. Engineer R. Orłowski, engineer Alfred Baron, who was also the deputy director of the Institute of Aviation.

In November 1979, the supplement to the preliminary design was completed. The documentation included 20 drawings, 25 albums of calculations and structural analysis, 35 albums of installations and devices. The Ministry of National Defense commission presented 26 recommendations and 93 comments. The project referred to all of them. Some were implemented in the completed design, some were qualified for the technical design. The number of changes resulted in the need to develop new drawing and calculation documentation. Only three recommendations were not taken into account, which was however justified.

The first unrealized recommendation concerned the single-seater version. Her initial design was to be created after the Ministry of National Defense presented WTT conditions for this type, and they were not there. The rule was that the two-seater version was supposed to be the basis. Proceeding, as the British did, in the second half of the 80s with the Hawk 200.

The second unrealized recommendation is the armament node under the hull with a load capacity of 500 kg, and not 100-200 kg as planned. Such a change required raising the aircraft upwards by extending the legs of the landing gear and strengthening them, which would increase the weight by approximately 150 kg.

The third recommendation is to specify the terms of WWTT from 1977. The Ministry of National Defense gave them in April 1979, but they were in a long phase of consultation and opinion, and it was not done on time. There was no agreement as to the maximum speed, maximum Mach number, tactical radius of action. The Ministry of National Defense was still expecting a sound plane, which could not be met with the approved wing. The Institute of Aviation proposed to make the performance more realistic. In justification, the Institute of Aviation presented an analysis of the possibilities to meet these requirements.

What did the plane look like at this stage? It has changed a lot compared to the presented mock-up. The layout, geometrical parameters and wing have been preserved, which the MON commission has already adopted. The fuselage and tail have changed significantly. As it turned out, this new fuselage has become final. The advancement of the work and conducted analyzes allowed for specifying a number of TT data parameters, although from today's point they were still too optimistic. There was a correction of mass data upwards, and thus downward performance. There were still no final WTT conditions for the aircraft and no regulations. This made it impossible to take into account certain factors at this stage, which blurred the final form of the aircraft.

Completion of the preliminary design of the Iskra-22 (I-22) aircraft.

The first phase of the Program, task A, was slowly coming to an end. Its final was to be approval of the target WTT conditions for the aircraft and engine and based on their acceptance by the Ministry of National Defense Project. This would give rise to the start of task B, including the technical design.

The matter of WTT conditions was not easy. The fact is that the Ministry of National Defense revised the WTT conditions in April 1979, but the proposed project was not able to meet them. On the other hand, the data contained in the WTT conditions were to be accepted by the military and civilian parties. The situation was further complicated by the fact that there were ultimately four versions of the aircraft; basic, development, with engines of approximately 1,000 - 1,100 kg and with engines of approximately 1,400 - 1,500 kg. The WTT conditions presented by the Institute of Aviation basically solved the problem. Separate WTT conditions were to be developed for the reconnaissance and towing versions. Not only that, the conditions of the WTT provided the basis for the development of the changed plane for the development version and thus obtain VD = 1040 km / h and Ma-0.95.

The proposed armament of the development version looked very good. Bombs weighing up to 500 kg, Thunderbolt containers with Thunder bombs, Kisajno cartridge cassettes, 57mm S-5 non-guided missiles in UB-16 and UB-32 launchers, 100mm non-guided missiles, pp class infrared missiles R-3 S and Polskie S-2 in the GAD system, Fobos reconnaissance trays, passive and radioelectronic interference trays. After using the Radar Station, with a detection range of up to 40 km, additional guided missile class p-p with a range of 25 km. Instead of the GSz-23 two-barrel cannon, a new Polish multi-barrel cannon was proposed, Śniardwy.

In December 1979, there was still no common position on the terms of the WTT. The military side sought the opinion of specialists from DWLot, WAT and ITWL. After consulting, in mid-January 1980, the military side once again met with industry representatives and the impasse was broken. It was decided that; The aircraft will be developed in two stages. The first stage will include the basic version with Kaszub-3 W 22 engines and with performance similar to those contained in the supplemented preliminary design and conditions of WWTT Edition 2 of 1977. The second stage is the development version with Kaszub-15 engines with higher performance than those given for the development version in the supplemented preliminary design, similar to the conditions of WWTT from 1974. Before starting work on the development version, a study of the conceptual design of the aircraft and equipment and a detailed schedule was to be created. The basic and development versions are to be similar in pilot terms.

The result of these arrangements for the army was the need to extend the operation of PZL Lim aircraft, as the development version of the new aircraft will enter service at the earliest after 1985.

It became clear that the basic and development versions are two different aircraft, the construction of which based on the same airframe is impossible. Therefore, the Ministry of National Defense maintained its position as to the sonic speed. The development of WTT conditions entered the final phase, which was not so simple, however, due to the need for correction made in many entities. Meanwhile, the preliminary design was waiting for acceptance by the Ministry of National Defense.

When the conditions for Specific Tactical and Technical Requirements (SWTT) for the aircraft and engine arose, they were signed by the Director of the Institute of Aviation, Mr. Assoc. Dr. Eng. A. Wierzba and from the Ministry of National Defense, Col. Z. Prochota and Mr. Brig Gen. Doc. Dr. Eng. M. Sikorski. These documents were handed over to the Institute of Aviation in mid-July 1980. At the same time with the appointment of the Ministry of National Defense Committee to receive the preliminary design of the Iskra-22 aircraft.

In September 1980, further WTT conditions provided by the Ministry of National Defense for the industrial side appeared. There were many more signatures of senior people on these documents. Among others ; div. gene pilot Tadeusz Krepski, gen. div. prof. Dr hab. Inż. J. Modrzewski, weapon gene MSc. Z. Nowak, dr inż. Aleksander Kopeń, army general Wojciech Jaruzelski. This apparent split of documents resulted from the desire to reduce downtime in the Program. The SWTT conditions contained those elements which so far were not a problem and were accepted by all parties and based on them the Ministry of National Defense could start its activity. The latter WTT conditions already contained all the arrangements.

Receipt of the project of the Iskra-22 Program (I-22). 1980 year.

The Ministry of National Defense commission consisted of 15 people headed by Colonel Eng. Z. Prochot, received the preliminary design on 1980-07-18. Thus, task A was finally closed.

Aircraft propulsion in the 1980 year.

In the case of SWTT and WTT engine conditions, the matter was simple. It was a single-flow engine with a minimum 2 x 1,400 kG starting thrust with the possibility of increasing the thrust to 2 x 1,500 kG and a specific fuel consumption of not more than 1 kg / kg / h. Its reliable operation was required up to the ceiling of 15,000 m and up to Ma-0.95 speed. In the future, the engine design concept was to ensure a reduction in fuel consumption and an increase in maximum thrust to 1,800 kg. The new engine was to be built in accordance with Soviet or US military regulations, and if they could not be obtained, the use of civil British BCAR regulations was allowed.

Anticipating the facts, we will say that the main sin of the program was the inconsistency of WTT conditions (and everyone) with a top-down engine imposed. The analyzes carried out by many specialists showed that there was always a lack of power and up to 30%.

The Iskra-22 aircraft in the basic and development version. 1980 year.

In the case of WTT conditions for a plane it was not that easy. Performance requirements for the basic version with Kashub-3 W 22 engines were almost identical to those in the draft WTT conditions by the Institute of Aviation of April 1979. And very similar to the requirements contained in the terms of WWTT Edition 2 of July 1977. Although the initial design did not meet some parameters already, and it was known that the curb weight of the aircraft would increase.

To sum up, the Ministry of National Defense set requirements that the new aircraft was to meet and at the same time the initial design of the aircraft was received which could not meet these requirements. At the same time, thinking would be a mistake - this plane or none. The compromise had to be reached at the border; army needs and capabilities of Polish industry. And it barely succeeded.

In terms of equipment and weapons, the matter was fortunately clear. The requirements were in line with what the aircraft was supposed to have. Basic version in the one and two-seater variant with a load capacity of 1,200 kg of armament. In the single-seater version, additional fuel and additional ammunition for the cannon were to be placed in the second cabin, and possibly extended equipment.

The basic aircraft airframe was to be built as a destination with engines, equipment and accessories.

The transition to the development version seemed easy. The aircraft was to meet the requirements of WWTT, December 1974. But here it was also known that the maximum speed requirement would not be met because the planned weight of the equipment was significantly exceeded.

And here we come to the main problem of the entire Program, i.e. reconciling combat capabilities and the weight of the structure with equipment. The radar station itself is about 150 kg at that time. The Ministry of National Defense also knew about it, but it remained firmly in line with its requirements. Other equipment of the new generation for the development version, with incomparably greater possibilities, also had its weight. Autonomous navigation system with a map monitor, SNM-72 radiotechnical near navigation system, Polish HUD head-up indicator, integrated electronic indicators instead of classic instruments, the above-mentioned Radar Station, integrated weapon control system, central computer, radiation warning system, interfering agents, active response system, terrain obstacle warning system for flights at low altitudes with the possibility of automatic bypassing them, attack on ground and air targets without their visibility. The training and combat version was also to have a student work control system and even control his pulse and breathing. These requirements corresponded to the latest combat aircraft of the world. The weapon load capacity was estimated at 2,000 kg. The armament met the requirements developed by WAT (Military University of Technology) in mid-1978 and included in the SWTT conditions.

The aircraft installations were also to be of the latest generation. Self-sealing fuel tanks. Comprehensive diagnostics through diagnostic connectors with ground equipment, but also collecting information during the flight with informing pilots about abnormal conditions. The technical service life of the aircraft was to be 2,500 flight hours in a minimum period of 20 years, and the landing gear service life was 6,000 take-offs.

According to the WTT conditions, the development version was to be based on the basic airframe version, which was impossible with the introduction of such a large number of new equipment. Changing the internal structure was inevitable. There was a constant question of changing the wing for the development version.

Of course, at this point it was also clear that the 2 x 1 500 kG thrust target K-15 engines would not have enough power and it might be necessary to search for 2 x 1 800 kG thrust engines and think about an afterburner with up to 2 x thrust 2,300 kg.

Materials used to build the aircraft should come from the country or Comecon countries. Accepting materials from capitalist countries for use in prototypes was pointless from an economic point of view, because later it would be necessary to look for Polish substitutes and prove their durability, which would mean additional work and costs.

The mosaic of military and civil, Eastern and Western regulations was a big problem. This was to be corrected at the latest at the technical design stage. The matter became clear only in 1981, when the technical design was ready and workshop work began.

Fortunately, the Program was moving forward, because there were WTT conditions, which are for the plane, like the constitution for the country. In the event of obstacles, the WTT conditions could be improved, as allowed by the relevant entry.

Written by Karol Placha Hetman