LWS (aircraft manufacturer)

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LWS - Lubelska Wytwórnia Samolotów (Lublin Aircraft Factory) was the Polish aerospace manufacturer, located in Lublin, created in 1936 of Plage i Laśkiewicz works and producing aircraft between 1936 and 1939.


The LWS was created of a nationalized Plage i Laśkiewicz works, the first Polish aircraft manufacturer. Due to plans of the Polish aviation authorities, headed by Ludomił Rayski, to gather all aviation industry in state hands, Plage & Laśkiewicz works were forced to go bankrupt in late 1935. Then, they were nationalized under the name LWS in February 1936. Formally, it was owned by the PWS state aircraft manufacturer, in fact it was subordinated to the PZL. A director was Maj. Aleksander Sipowicz, a technical director and main designer was initially Zbysław Ciołkosz; from autumn 1937 the technical director was Ryszard Bartel and the main designer Jerzy Teisseyre.

The first LWS aircraft were Plage & Laśkiewicz developments. 18 almost ready Lublin R-XIIIF army cooperation aircraft were completed in 1936 and bought by the Polish Air Force (their quality was the pretext for forcing Plage & Laśkiewicz bankruptcy), and the next series of 32 was built for the Polish Air Force by 1938. The factory also continued works upon a two-engine torpedo bomber seaplane Lublin R-XX prototype, now designated LWS-1, but it was not ordered due to a low performance.

In 1937 a light ambulance aircraft LWS-2 prototype of Ciołkosz design was first flown, but despite it was quite successful, it did not enter production, since the factory was busy with military orders.

In 1936, a further development of the medium bomber PZL-30 of Ciołkosz design, was handed to the LWS, under a designation LWS-6 Żubr. Since it was much inferior to PZL.37 Łoś, a planned serial production was finally reduced to 15 aircraft, built in 1938. However, works upon its modernized variant continued until 1939. The factory also proposed its torpedo-bomber seaplane variant designated LWS-5, but it was not accepted due to a low performance and the prototype was not completed.

From 1938 to 1939 the LWS built a series of 65 licence RWD-14 Czapla army cooperation aircraft for the Polish Air Force (it was sometimes called the LWS Czapla after the manufacturer). In 1937, there was flown a prototype of a modern reconnaissance aircraft LWS-3 Mewa of own design. A series of 200 aircraft was ordered by the Polish Air Force, but only a couple were completed just after the outbreak of the World War II, and about 30 were in not finished state in a factory.

Apart from aircraft production, the LWS modified 47 light bombers Potez XXV (licence produced in Plage & Laśkiewicz and PWS) fitting them with radial engines PZL (Bristol) Jupiter. The LWS also designed the LWS-4 light fighter and LWS-7 Mewa II reconnaissance plane, but they were not built.

A list of LWS aircraft[edit]

Aircraft built by Lubelska Wytwórnia Samolotów
Model name Description First flight prototype/serial Number built
LWS-1 (Lublin R-XX) 2-engine, 5-seater, torpedo bomber seaplane, low-wing 1935 / - 1
LWS-2 1-engine, 1+3-seater, ambulance plane 1937 / - 1
LWS-3 Mewa 1-engine, 2-seater, army cooperation and reconnaissance, high-wing 1937 / 1939 3+4[a]
LWS-4 1-engine, 1-seater, fighter, low-wing (project only) - / - -
LWS-5 2-engine, 4-seater, torpedo bomber seaplane, high-wing (1936, project only) - / - -
LWS-6 Żubr (PZL-30) 2-engine, 4-seater, medium bomber, high-wing 1936 / 1938 2+15[b]
LWS-7 Mewa II 1-engine, 2-seater, army cooperation and reconnaissance, high-wing (1939, project only) - / - -
LWS Czapla (RWD-14 Czapla) 1-engine, 2-seater, army cooperation and reconnaissance, high-wing 1935 / 1938 65[c]
^[a] 3 prototypes, 4 completed, about 25 not completed
^[b] 2 prototypes built in PZL
^[c] licence production


  • Glass, Andrzej: "Polskie konstrukcje lotnicze 1893-1939" (Polish aviation constructions 1893-1939), WKiŁ, Warsaw 1977, p.20 (Polish)