PZL Kania

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PZL Kania
PZL Kania Police helicopter (cropped).jpg
PZL Kania of the Polish Police
Role Helicopter
Manufacturer PZL-Świdnik
First flight 3 June 1979
Primary user Poland
Produced 1986–2006
Number built 19
Developed from Mil Mi-2

The PZL Kania (Polish Kite, also marketed as Kitty Hawk) is a follow-up to the Mil Mi-2 helicopter, developed in Poland by PZL-Świdnik.

Design and development[edit]

In 1964, an agreement was signed between Poland and the Soviet Union assigning production of the Mil Mi-2 twin-engined light helicopter exclusively to the WSK PZL-Świdnik factory at Świdnik, Poland.[1]

Work on a significantly redesigned version of the Mi-2 started in 1977.[2] PZL decided to develop, in conjunction with the American aero-engine company Allison, a re-engined version for export for western markets, the Kania or Kitty Hawk.[3] The changes include a modified fuselage with more pointed nose, new engines (Allison 250-C20B turboshaft engines) each rated at 426 hp (313 kW), new composite rotors blades, and new western avionics. The first prototype, utilizing a modified Mi-2 airframe, was flown on 3 June 1979.[4] Two prototypes were made and two pre-series machines. Tests conducted during the early 1980s led to certification according to FAR-29, in February 1986.[2]

The prototype SP-SSC took part in the 5th Helicopter World Championships in Castle Ashby in 1986.[2] A production started that year in small numbers, in the PZL Świdnik factory. The helicopter was to be a replacement of the Mi-2, more economical, comfortable and offering better performance, and it compared quite favourably with Western counterparts. It did not become popular, however, partly due to problems with certification and a weak promotion in Western countries, and reluctance to spend convertible currency for imported parts in Eastern Bloc countries in the 1980s. Only 19 were built until 2006, including prototypes.[5] It isn't currently in PZL-Świdnik's offer anymore.[6]

Main user is the Polish Border Guard, using 7 helicopters (not at one time). Polish Police used two helicopters.[5] Three Polish Kanias were employed in air service in Sierra Leone in 1987–1990.[7] In 2007, Świdnik offered 6 armed Kanias for Philippine Air Force, but lost in competition[8] (finally, after cancelling a procedure, PZL W-3 Sokół was chosen).


Passenger Standard
Seats for pilot and 9 passengers, individual vents and lighting.
Passenger Executive
Seats for pilot and 5 passengers, luxury finishing, silenced cockpit, individual vents, lighting and audio system.
Ability to carry external loads as a flying crane or to carry up to 1200 kg of load in the cabin.
Medevac / Air ambulance
Equipment and space for up to 4 stretchers or less with paramedic crew on board.
Ability to carry up to 1000 kg of chemicals or agro loads (grains, seeds etc.) and ability to carry on one of following aerial application methods: LV spraying, ULV spraying, dustring and spreading (not built in series, only tested).
Spitfire Taurus II or Super Kania
American version of the PZL Kania, with redesigned fuselage and single Allison 250-C28 550 HP engine, with a big central air inlet, that was to be built under licence in the United States by Spitfire Helicopters but only a mock-up was built.[8]




Data from Jane's All The World's Aircraft 1988–89 [12]

General characteristics


See also[edit]

Related development


  1. ^ Taylor 1982, p.169.
  2. ^ a b c Miłosz Bogdański: Kania uczy się latać (Kania learns to fly) in: Aeroplan Nr. 5-6 (80–81)/2009, pp.4–16 (in Polish)
  3. ^ Taylor 1982, p.170.
  4. ^ Taylor 1988, p.188.
  5. ^ a b Lista produkcyjna śmigłowców Kania (Kania production list) in: Aeroplan Nr. 5-6 (80–81)/2009, p.46 (in Polish)
  6. ^ Official PZL-Swidnik page [retrieved 11-3-2011]
  7. ^ Miłosz Bogdański: Kania w służbie (Kania in service) in: Aeroplan Nr. 5-6 (80–81)/2009, pp.24–32 (in Polish)
  8. ^ a b Miłosz Bogdański: Niezrealizowane projekty i nieudany eksport in: Aeroplan Nr. 5-6 (80–81)/2009, p.17-23 (in Polish)
  9. ^ "World Air Forces 2004 pg. 53". flightglobal.com. Retrieved 25 August 2018.
  10. ^ "PZL Kania in Polish Border Guard Service". aeroflight.co.uk. Retrieved 25 August 2018.
  11. ^ "PZL "Kania", 1979 ("Kitty Hawk")". samolotypolskie.pl. Retrieved 25 August 2018.
  12. ^ Taylor 1988, p.189.
  • PZL Kania, Aeroplan Nr. 5-6 (80–81)/2009 (special issue) (in Polish)