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SW-4 prototype
Role Multipurpose utility helicopter
National origin Poland
Manufacturer PZL-Świdnik
First flight 29 October 1996
Introduction 2002
Status In service
Primary user Polish Armed Forces
Number built 40[1]

The PZL SW-4 Puszczyk (Polish "tawny owl") is a Polish light single-engine multipurpose helicopter manufactured by PZL-Świdnik.


The origins of PZL-Swidnik's SW4 five seat light utility helicopter date back to the early 1980s.

PZL-Swidnik began development of a new four/five place light utility helicopter about 1981. This original SW4 was to have been powered by a 300 kW (400 shp) PZL Rzeszow GTD350 turbo shaft with the prototype mockup. It could reach the rated top speed of about 240 km/h (130 kn) and a max range with auxiliary fuel tank about 900 km (485 nmi).

The restructuring the powers of the previous Iron Curtain countries allowed PZL-Swidnik to redesign the SW4, on the base around the Allison (now Rolls-Royce) Model 250 turbo shaft. Aside from the power plant, design changes included a more streamlined fuselage and revised tail and tail boom.

The ground test of a non flying prototype, was launched in December 1994. The two consequent air born prototypes were completed, the first flew on or about 26 October 1996.

PZL-Swidnik targeted US FAA FAR Part 27 certification for the SW4, which was believed it should allow it to enter production by 1999. PZL Swidnik management decided however to redesign the rotor head, what resulted in a very costly delay. The purpose was to enlarge the horizontal stabilizer and to improve the hydraulic systems.

Once the basic Rolls-Royce powered SW4 become certified it should also be re-certified for production at PZL Swidnik including Pratt & Whitney Canada PW200- power plant variant. A twin power plant model was developed in consideration with forthcoming European regulations which would restrict single engine helicopter operations.

The SW4 as planned was expected to fulfill a range of utility missions ranging from civil and executive transport to Medevac, police, border patrol duties and some of military pilot training tasks; however, customers have thus far been limited to the Polish military. The optionally-manned PZL-Świdnik SW-4 Solo will fly from an RN ship in 2014 as part of the UK’s RWUAS (Rotary Wing Unmanned Air System) Capability Concept Demonstrator (CCD) programme. [2] At the present time all of the SW-4 are now serving as the training equipment for "The Center of Aviation Education and Training at Dęblin" (Ośrodka Szkolenia Lotniczego w Dęblinie).

In 2006, PZL-Świdnik entered however into an agreement with China's Jiujiang Hongying Technology Development Ltd. to assemble the SW4 at Jiujiang, China, hopefully targeting some international market for SW4. The maiden flight of the first SW4 co-produced in China took place on or about 25 February 2010.[3] The 2011 development of the RUAV (Rotorcraft Unmanned Aircraft Vehicle) version have had been initiated.[4] First was shown at the MSPO 2012 in Poland as "SW-4 Solo" RUAS/OPH platform (Rotorcraft Unmanned Air System/Optionally Piloted Helicopter) and was expected to be initially deployed by 2013.[5]


PZL SW-4 #0203 of Polish Air Force

One 335 kW (450 shp) (283 kW/380 shp max continuous rated) Rolls-Royce Model 250C20R/2 turbo shaft driving a three blade main rotor and two blade tail rotor. Option of one 460 kW (615 shp) Pratt & Whitney Canada PW200/9 turbo shaft.

Rolls-Royce Model engine - Max speed 232 km/h (125 kn), normal cruising speed 200 km/h (108 kn). Initial rate of climb 1973 ft/min. Service ceiling 17,820 ft (5,430 m) Max range with standard fuel and no reserves 860 km (464 nmi). Endurance 5 h 8 min.



Specifications (SW-4)[edit]

Data from {name of first source}

General characteristics


See also[edit]

Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era
Related lists


External links[edit]