PZL M26 Iskierka
|First flight||July 15, 1986|
|Primary users||US civilian aviation
Design and development
The M26 Iskierka was conceived as an economical plane for civilian pilot training and primary selection of military pilots. It offers training in both VFR and IFR flying and aerobatics. Its construction is partly based upon the twin-engine PZL M-20 Mewa utility plane (Piper Seneca II, built under licence in WSK-Mielec). It shares the vertical stabilizer, rudder and main landing gear with the Mewa, while the wings and tail part of fuselage are unified to some degree. The plane is constructed according to FAR-23 rules. The main designer was Krzysztof Piwek.
The first prototype M26-00, powered by a PZL-Franklin 6A-350C1 air-cooled flat-six engine rated at 153 kilowatts (205 hp), flew first on July 15, 1986. The second prototype was the more powerful M26-01 variant, powered by a 220 kilowatts (300 hp) Lycoming AEIO-540-L1B5D engine, and first flew on June 24, 1987. It was tested in a military aviation school in Dęblin in 1992.
Only a short series of 14 aircraft have been manufactured, of which four remain in Poland. The plane is still offered by the PZL Mielec and is certified in the USA, Australia and Europe (EASA). In the USA it is offered under the name Airwolf or Air Wolf, and 8 were exported there, starting from 1996. In 1998 two were delivered to the Venezuelan National Guard. There are plans to fit a Walter M601 turboprop engine, for eventual customers' demand.
Metal construction low-wing monoplane, conventional in layout, metal covered. Semi-monocoque fuselage. Rectangular single-spar wings. Crew of two, sitting in tandem, under a common canopy, with double controls (student in front, instructor in rear). The rear seat is raised. The canopy is dropped in emergency. Retractable tricycle landing gear. Three-blade propeller (1.9 m diameter). Fuel tanks in wings (377 l). The plane may be fitted with a camera gun and racks for two small bombs.
Data from Jane's All The World's Aircraft 1993-94
- Crew: two pilots (instructor, student)
- Length: 8.30 m (27 ft 2¾ in)
- Wingspan: 8.60 m (28 ft 2½ in)
- Height: 2.96 m (9 ft 8½ in)
- Wing area: 14.00 m² (150.7 ft²)
- Empty weight: 940 kg (2,072 lb)
- Max. takeoff weight: 1,400 kg (3,086 lb)
- Powerplant: 1 × Lycoming AEIO-540-L1B5D air-cooled flat-six piston engine, 300 hp (224 kW)
- Never exceed speed: 400 km/h (215 knots, 248 mph)
- Maximum speed: 330 km/h (178 knots, 205 mph) at sea level
- Stall speed: 110 km/h (60 knots, 69 mph)
- Range: 1,620 km (874 nmi, 1066 mi)
- Rate of climb: 7.0 m/s (1,378 ft/min)
- Related development
- Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era
- Air International May 1987, p. 229.
- Lambert 1992, p. 180.
- Lambert 1993, pp. 235–236.
- Krzysztof Piwek, Wiesław Tomecki: Samolot M26 Iskierka in: Polska Technika Lotnicza - Materiały Historyczne 10(3/2005) - a lecture given on 19-2-2005 in Muzeum Techniki, Warsaw (Polish)
- Lambert, Mark (ed.) Jane's All The World's Aircraft 1993-94. Coulsdon, UK:Jane's Data Division, 1993. ISBN 0-7106-1066-1.
- "Poland's Novel Tuitional Trio". Air International, Volume 32, No. 5, May 1987. pp. 227–231. ISSN 0306-5634.
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