|Role||Touring and trainer aircraft|
|First flight||23 March 1947|
|Primary user||Polish civilian aviation|
Design and development
The Żak (old-fashioned "student") was designed in the Lotnicze Warsztaty Doświadczalne (LWD, Aviation Experimental Workshops) in Łódź, directed by Tadeusz Sołtyk in 1946, as one of the first Polish post-war aircraft. It was a light low-wing cantilever monoplane of a mixed construction, with a crew of two, sitting side by side, and fixed conventional landing gear. The first prototype Żak-1 was first flown on March 23, 1947. It was powered by the Czechoslovak 65 hp straight engine Walter Mikron III and carried markings SP-AAC. The second prototype Żak-2 was powered by the 65 hp flat engine Continental A-65 and had an open cockpit. It was flown on November 27, 1947 and carried markings SP-AAE.
The design appeared successful and the Ministry of Communication ordered a series of 10 aircraft. They were to be powered by licence-built A-65 engines, but since plans of engine production were abandoned, it was decided to fit them with Walter Mikron engines. They were also fitted with a closed canopy, sliding rearwards, and named Żak-3. Ten planes were built by the LWD in the end of 1948, the first of them was flown on November 8, 1948. They had markings: SP-AAS to SP-AAZ, and SP-BAA to SP-BAC. At least one (SP-AAX) had engine replaced later with 85 hp (63 kW) Cirrus F.III. They were used in the Polish regional aero clubs until 1955.
On October 20, 1948 there was flown a prototype of the last variant, Żak-4, meant for a glider towing. It had stronger 105 hp Walter engine and an open canopy. Since it showed unsuitable for glider towing, and old Polikarpov Po-2 appeared the better plane for this purpose, Żak-4 was not built in series, and the prototype was re-fitted with a closed canopy and used as a touring plane in aero club (markings SP-BAE).
- Żak-1 (SP-AAC)
- The first prototype powered by Walter Mikron III engine.
- Żak-2 (SP-AAE)
- The second prototype without canopy and powered by Continental A-65 engine.
- Main production version with closed canopy and powered by Walter Mikron III engine, 10 built.
- Żak-4 (SP-BAE)
- Prototype of the glider towing version with open canopy (later refitted with a closed one) and powered by Walter engine.
Data from Jane's All The World's Aircraft 1953-54 
- Crew: two
- Capacity: one
- Length: 7.6 m (23 ft 11 in)
- Wingspan: 11.8 m (38 ft 8½ in)
- Height: 1.95 m (6 ft 5 in)
- Wing area: 17 m² (183 sq ft)
- Empty weight: 400 kg (880 lb)
- Loaded weight: 620 kg (1,365 lb)
- Powerplant: 1 × Walter Mikron III air-cooled 4-cylinder straight engine, 65 hp (48 kW)
- Maximum speed: 160 km/h (86 knots, 99 mph)
- Range: 400 km (216 nmi, 248 mi)
- Service ceiling: 3,500 m (11,500 ft)
- Rate of climb: 2.7 m/s (520 ft/min)
- Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era
- Bridgman 1953, p.173.
- Babiejczuk, Janusz and Grzegorzewski, Jerzy: Polski przemysł lotniczy 1945-1973 (Polish aviation industry...), Wydawnictwo MON, Warsaw 1974 (Polish)
- Bridgman, Leonard. Jane's All The World's Aircraft 1953-54. London:Jane's,1953.
- Krzyżan, Marian: Samoloty w muzeach polskich, Warsaw 1983, ISBN 978-83-206-0432-0 (Polish)
- Photo and description at Poser page (Polish)
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