|SZD-8bis Jaskółka SP-1335 in the Polish Aviation Museum|
|First flight||21 September 1951|
|Variants||SZD-14x Jaskółka M
SZD-17x Jaskółka L
With prototypes rolled out in September and December 1951, the SZD-8 Jaskółka (Swallow) was a high-performance glider for its day, introducing several innovations to glider design such as a sliding moulded Plexiglas canopy, recessed handle in the rear fuselage for ground handling and a semi-retractable mainwheel. The all-wood wings were covered with plywood and fabric incorporating Fowler flaps on the trailing edges, which could be lowered to 12° or 25°, and Schemp-Hirth style airbrakes aft of the mainspars. Main designer was Tadeusz Kostia. The first prototype was flown on 21 September 1951 (test pilot Adam Zientek), but it revealed faults. After reconstruction, with longer fuselage and enlarged rudder (designated SZD-8-2) it appeared successful and was ordered into production, becoming the most popular competition glider in Poland from 1953 to 1957. Many of the 135 production aircraft were exported, garnering at least fifteen world records from May 1954 to May 1960. Licensed production was also carried out in the DDR (Deutsche Demokratische Republik - German Democratic Republic) and the PRC (People's Republic of China). Several variants were produced which introduced various improvements and modifications.
- two prototypes, first flown 21 September 1951
- SZD 8-2
- first prototype after reconstruction, first flown 16 March 1952
- SZD-8bis Jaskółka
- initial production variant (first flown 24 December 1952; 30 built)
- SZD-8bisE Jaskółka E
- improved variant of 1954 (30 built)
- SZD-8bisW Jaskółka W
- variant with water ballast (1 built, later converted to SZD-8bisZ)
- SZD-8bisZ Jaskółka Z
- one prototype
- SZD-8bisO Jaskółka O
- export variant
- SZD 8terZ Jaskółka Z
- variant with water ballast, introduced in May 1958
- SZD 8terZO Jaskółka ZO
- variant without water ballast, introduced in 1958
- Shenyang X-10 Qian Jin
- a licensed version of the SZD-8/14 Jaskolka, with modifications, built in the People's Republic of China at the Shenyang aviation factory.
Specifications (SZD-8bis Jaskółka Z)
- Crew: 1
- Length: 7.42 m (24 ft 4 in)
- Wingspan: 16 m (52 ft 6 in)
- Height: 1.41 m (4 ft 8 in)
- Wing area: 13.6 m2 (146 sq ft)
- Aspect ratio: 15
- Airfoil: NACA 43 012A
- Empty weight: 270 kg (595 lb) equipped
- Gross weight: 337 kg (743 lb)
- Max takeoff weight: 455 kg (1,003 lb)
- Never exceed speed: 250 km/h (155 mph; 135 kn)
- Aerotow speed: 150 km/h (81.0 kn; 93.2 mph)
- Winch launch speed: 120 km/h (64.8 kn; 74.6 mph)
- g limits: +3.5 -1.75 at 250 km/h (135.0 kn; 155.3 mph)
- Maximum glide ratio: 28.5 at 82 km/h (44.3 kn; 51.0 mph)
- Rate of sink: 0.75 m/s (148 ft/min) at 75 km/h (40.5 kn; 46.6 mph)
- Wing loading: 7.34 kg/m2 (1.50 lb/sq ft)
- Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era
- Krzyżan, Marian (1983). Samoloty w muzeach polskich. Warsaw: Wydawnictwa Komunikacji i Łączności. pp. 136–137. ISBN 978-83-206-0432-0.
- Babiejczuk, Janusz; Grzegorzewski, Jerzy (1974). Polski przemysł lotniczy 1945-1973 (in Polish). Warsaw: Wydawnictwo MON. pp. 119–120.
- John W.R. Taylor, ed. (1988). Jane's All the World's Aircraft 1988-89. London: Jane's Information Group. p. 620. ISBN 0-7106-0867-5.
- Shenstone, B.S.; K.G. Wilkinson; Peter Brooks (1958). The World's Sailplanes:Die Segelflugzeuge der Welt:Les Planeurs dans Le Monde (in English, French, and German) (1st ed.). Zurich: Organisation Scientifique et Technique Internationale du Vol a Voile (OSTIV) and Schweizer Aero-Revue. pp. 124–128.
- Coates, Andrew (1980). Jane's World Sailplanes & Motor Gliders (2nd ed.). London: Jane's. ISBN 0-7106-0017-8.
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