British Mandate of Palestine
Design and development
The RWD-15 was an enlarged development of the RWD-13 three-seat touring aircraft, designed by Stanisław Rogalski of the RWD team, in the DWL workshops in Warsaw. The prototype first flew in spring 1937 (registration SP-BFX). It inherited RWD-13's advantages, like ease of flying, with good stability. In 1939, five aircraft were produced. A series of 10 RWD-15 was ordered by the Polish Air Force as liaison aircraft in 1939, but they were not completed before the outbreak of World War II. A planned air ambulance variant with two stretchers and an aerial photography version then remained unbuilt.
Five-seater touring strutted high-wing monoplane of mixed construction. Fuselage frame was metal, covered with canvas, the engine section covered with aluminium sheets. A two-spar rectangular wing was of wooden construction, covered with canvas and plywood leading edges, supported by V-struts. Wings were rearwards folding, and were equipped with automatic slats. Cantilever wooden tail unit, covered with plywood (stabilizers) and canvas (rudder and elevators). The cabin was enclosed, with two front seats fitted with dual controls, and behind them a bench with three seats. The cabin had a single door on the left and a pair of doors on the right side. Behind the cabin were two luggage compartments. Engine at the front - 205 hp de Havilland Gipsy Six II, with a two-blade metal tractor propeller (DH Hamilton 1000) of variable pitch, 2.28 m diameter. Conventional fixed landing gear, with a rear wheel. Fuel tanks in wings - 240 l.
RWD-15s were used by Polish civilian aviation, and one was used by the Presidential Chancellory. One aircraft (SP-KAT) was completed as a long-range variant, with fuel tanks in place of rear seats, owned by the LOPP paramilitary organization. It was planned to fly it to Australia in marketing goals, but the plans were canceled after the German invasion of Czechoslovakia in March 1939.
In 1939, the prototype RWD-15 was exported to Palestine, and used there by Aviron company (registration: VQ-PAE, ex. SP-BFX). From 1945, it was used as a communication aircraft on routes from Lod to Tel Aviv and to Egypt. In December 1947, it had to be abandoned in Lod while undergoing repairs, and was burned on 6 April 1948 by Arabs.
After the outbreak of World War II, two aircraft (SP-ALA, SP-KAT) were evacuated to Romania. After the fall of Poland, they were taken over by the Romanian civil aviation (with registration YR-FAN and YR-TIT). After Romania joined the war on Axis side and it took part in attack on the USSR, RWD-15s were used as liaison aircraft on the eastern front by the Romanian Air Force.
Data from Glass, A. (1977)
- Crew: 1, pilot
- Capacity: 4
- Length: 9.0 m (29 ft 6¼ in)
- Wingspan: 12.40 m (40 ft 8 in)
- Height: 2.5 m (8 ft 2 in)
- Wing area: 20 m² (215 ft²)
- Empty weight: 875 kg (1,925 lb)
- Useful load: 485 kg (1,067 lb)
- Loaded weight: 1,360 kg (2,992 lb)
- Powerplant: 1 × de Havilland Gipsy Six II air-cooled 6-cylinder inline engine, 205 hp (153 kW)
- Maximum speed: 240 km/h (130 knots, 149 mph)
- Cruise speed: 220 km/h (119 knots, 137 mph)
- Stall speed: <75 km/h (41 knots, 47 mph)
- Range: 465 km (251 nm, 289 mi)
- Service ceiling: 5,000 m (16,400 ft)
- Rate of climb: 4.8 m/s (950 ft/min)
- Wing loading: 68 kg/m² (13.9 lb/ft²)
- Power/mass: 0.11 kW/kg (0.067 hp/lb)
- Related development
- Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era
- Andrzej Glass: "Polskie konstrukcje lotnicze 1893-1939" (Polish aviation constructions 1893-1939), WKiŁ, Warsaw 1977, p. 320-322 (Polish)
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