PZL P.11


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PZL P.11

The installation of a radial engine in the P.Z.L. P.7 diminished the excellent forward view for the pilot that was achieved in the P.Z.L. P.1 with its narrower V-12 engine, and it was proposed to improve this situation by the introduction of a Bristol Mercury radial engine, which was of smaller diameter than the Jupiter that powered the P.Z.L. P.7a. This version of the fighter was designated P.Z.L. P.11, but delay in delivery of a Mercury engine from Bristol resulted in the P.11/1 prototype being flown initially, in August 1931, with a 384kW Jupiter IX.ASb engine licence-built by Gnome-Rhone. It was not until December 1931 that the P.11/II was flown with a 395kW Bristol Mercury IV.A enclosed in a long-chord Townend ring. This prototype was later re-engined with a 373kW Gnome-Rhone 9K Mistral engine, with which powerplant it was exhibited at the 1932 Paris Salon de I'Aeronautique. A third aircraft with a Mercury engine, the P.11/III, served as a pre-production prototype and, following satisfactory official testing, was approved for production for the Polish air force as the P. 11a. However, it was preceded on the production line by 50 Mistral-powered P.11b aircraft for Romania, all of them delivered by the summer of 1934. Production of the P.11a began with a batch of 30, these being similar to late-production P.11b aircraft, but differed by having the 386kW Skoda-built Mercury IV.S2 engine. The major production variant, however, was the P.11c which adopted more radical measures to improve the pilot's field of view, lowering the engine and resitting the pilot farther to the rear on a raised seat, and a number of other improvements were incorporated at the same time. Production of this version totalled 175, the first batch being powered by the 418kW Skoda-built Mercury V.S2, but the remainder by the P.Z.L.-built Mercury VI.S2. A version of the P.11c, powered by a licence-built 9K Mistral engine, was built under licence in Romania by I.A.R. under the designation P.11f, about 80 being produced during 1936-38.

Deliveries of the P.11c to Polish fighter squadrons were completed by the end of 1936, and at the outbreak of World War II 12 squadrons were equipped with the type, claiming the destruction of 126 Luftwaffe aircraft for the loss of 114 of their own number. When, in early 1939, it became clear that the planned P.Z.L. P.50 Jastrzab fighter was unlikely to materialise, efforts were made to provide the P.11c with greater capability by the installation of a 626kW licence-built Mercury VIlla engine and four-gun armament. A prototype was flown as the P.11g Kobuz and quantity production was initiated, but the German invasion of Poland, had started before any of these aircraft were delivered.

PZL P.11cA three-view drawing of PZL P.11c (1278 x 888)

 ENGINE1 x Bristol Mercury VI.S2, 481kW
  Take-off weight1630 kg3594 lb
  Empty weight1147 kg2529 lb
  Wingspan10.72 m35 ft 2 in
  Length7.55 m25 ft 9 in
  Height2.85 m9 ft 4 in
  Wing area17.9 m2192.67 sq ft
  Max. speed390 km/h242 mph
  Ceiling8000 m26250 ft
  Range700 km435 miles
 ARMAMENT2 x 7.7mm machine-guns, bombs

PZL P.11f

aerofan, e-mail, 22.08.2011 23:58

Thats right Wiliam. This example P-11C surviving in Romania who was arrested in 1939. P-11C from Krakow has a camuflage Polish pilot Waclaw Król.


William Luther, e-mail, 01.02.2011 00:36

There is one surviving example of a P-11C left in the world and it is on display at the Polish Aviation Musuem in Karkow.


Barry, 10.12.2010 16:44

Like it's predecessors, the P6 and P7, this plane was designed by Zygmund Pulaski, but at about the time of the first flight of the prototype he was killed in a crash. His place was taken by W.Jakimuik who later went on to design for D.H.Canada and SNCASE.


Dennis, e-mail, 06.04.2010 02:47

Hi John,
I think John Northrop sells a 1 /5 size P11c but I know of no 25% or 33% size plans or kits. One of the model mags had a few pics of a larger size P11c. I haven't been able to find it on line or in my magazine collection. If you find one please let me know.


Grzesiek, e-mail, 09.03.2010 13:31

There were two types of P11C. One with two fuselage mounted 7,7 mmm wz. 33 guns and second with four 7,7 mm wz. 33 guns, two in fuselage and two wings mounted. Max. bombload was 60 kg (4x12,5 kg). Max. speed of P11C was 375 kmh. 390 kmh is a speed of P11G. What is unusal, this plane was equipped with jettisonable main tank.


Ian, e-mail, 22.04.2009 12:22

A total of 285 German aircraft were lost according to Luftwaffe records, with at least 110 victories credited to the P.11 for the loss of about 100 of their own.


John Babcock, e-mail, 23.01.2009 16:18

Who sells a 1 /3 or 1 /4 scale RC Model kit of this airplane?


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