Archive digitization



Aviation and Diplomacy

Frank Piasecki

NATO 1949-2009 Projekt ekspozycji w Muzeum Lotnictwa Polskiego w Krakowie



Polish Aviation Museum

31-864 Kraków,
al. Jana Pawła II 39
phone: (12) 640 99 60,
(12) 642 40 70
e-mail: info@muzeumlotnictwa.pl

a cultural institution of the Malopolska Region

Małopolska – Kraków Region


Patronage

Kraków Airport







Aeroplane: RWD-21

RWD-21
Poland
sporting plane
1939



  • Technical data


Span 11.0 m
Length 8.4 m
Take-off weight 685 kg
Maximum speed 210 km/h
Ceiling 5500 m
Range 650 km
Armament
Powerplant :
4-cylinder inline inverted Cirrus Minor, 90 hp (65 kW)
Virtual tour :

 

The development of sport aviation in 1930s had also a Polish chapter. The LOPP organisation (est. in the 1920's) propagated on a wide scale the idea of flying. Therefore an aircraft was needen that would be inexpensive in production and service, widely available, safe and reliable.

In the mid 1930's, Andrzej Anczutin started working over a series of popular and cheap aircraft at the Experimental Aviation Works at the Okęcie airfield, Warsaw. As a result, there appeared the RWD-16, first flown in 1936, however it seemed not to be a good construction. However, the experience gained led Anczutin to develop the RWD-16 bis, which first flew in 1938. Despite a similar name, the new machine had little in common with the RWD-16. A new airframe powered by an inline engine (60 hp) turned out to be a very good aeroplane. In parallel, the RWD-16 bis version with a 90 hp engine was developed.

The construction of the new RWD-21 differed only in small details from the RWD-16 bis. The RWD-21 is a two-seat, light sports aircraft, fitted with a fixed undercarriage, of cantilever low wing configuration. The RWD-21 prototype registered as SP-BPE took to the air for the first time in February 1939, the pilot being Eugeniusz Przysiecki. According to his opinion it was easy and nice to fly. Subsequent tests proved a significant improvement in performance over the RWD-16 bis, which led to the decision of serial production.

The RWD-21 was an economical aircraft with good flight characteristics. The low-loading wings were equipped with crocodile flaps and slotted ailerons, which improved the margin of safety, especially during take-off and landing. A simple wooden construction and welded fittings lowered the costs of production and, consequently, the price of the plane. An unusual feature was that the control column was placed between pilot seats which were situated side-by-side.

Three out of ten ordered aircraft had been completed by the summer of 1939, and served in aero clubs. In September 1939, two RWD-21 were evacuated to Romania, where they survived the war. The fate of the third, flown to Latvia, is still unknown.

The plane found at the Museum is the RWD-21 which returned from Romania after the war, and bearing the SP-AKG registration remained in service with the Warsaw Aero Club until 1950. After it was retired it became an exhibit at the Polish Aviation Museum. The aircraft was restored then at the No 3 Military Aviation Works in Dęblin. The engine was also restored and started. Since 1995, it is presented in the pre-war colours.

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Dofinansowano ze środków Ministra Kultury i Dziedzictwa Narodowego
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