Conceived as a multi-role fighter and designed by a
team led by Franciszek Misztal, the Wilk (Wolf) was intended
primarily as an attack fighter with secondary escort and intercept tasks. Of all-metal construction,
the Wilk was projected with the indigenous P.Z.L.Foka
(Seal) eight-cylinder inverted-Vee air-cooled engine,
the proposed armament consisting of two 20mm Wz 38
cannon and twin 7.92mm Wz 36 machine guns in the
nose, and twin 7.92mm guns on a flexible mounting for
the second crew member. Difficulties in development
of the Foka engine led to the second prototype, the
P.38/II, being fitted with two 450hp Ranger SGV-770B
12-cylinder engines. This aircraft flew in May 1938, the
first prototype with 620hp Foka II engines not flying
until January 1939. In the meantime, a more refined development
of the basic design, the P.48 Lampart (Leopard)
powered by 700hp Gnome-Rhone 14M Mars
radials, had succeeded the Wilk in future planning, but
prototypes had yet to be completed at the time of the
German invasion of Poland.
|A three-view drawing of P.38/I (1280 x 844)|
| MODEL||Foka II-powered prototype|
| Take-off weight||2770 kg||6107 lb|
| Empty weight||1715 kg||3781 lb|
| Wingspan||11.05 m||36 ft 3 in|
| Length||8.35 m||27 ft 5 in|
| Height||2.50 m||8 ft 2 in|
| Wing area||19.00 m2||204.51 sq ft|
| Max. speed||465 km/h||289 mph|
| Range||1250 km||777 miles|
|Krzysztof Kolczynski, 28.02.2007|
Your description of PZL-38 Wilk contains a couple of errors:
1. It was intended as a multirole aircraft: reconnaissance, light bomber, dive bomber (with a single 300 kg bomb under the fuselage), and interceptor.
2. It was supposed to have only ONE 20 mm cannon (machine gun numbers are correct).
3. It was the FIRST prototype, PZL-38/I, that was fitted with stopgap Ranger engines rated at 500 hp at 3000 m. Their actual power output was reportedly only 330 hp.
4. It was first flown in APRIL 1938.
5. The second prototype, PZL-38/II, was fitted with Foka, not Foka II engines. The planned maximum power was 420-450 hp. The actual power output is not precisely known, but believed not to exceed some 360 hp.
6. The "Foka II" (AKA "Foka B"), was a new 12-cylinder design, aimed at 700+ hp, utilizing only some components of the unsuccessful 8-cylinder Foka. It never reached a prototype stage, and it is unconnected with PZL-38.
7. For PZL-38/II, take-off weight was 2800 kg, empty weight 2156 kg, wing area 20.4 m2. During very limited flight testing, it achieved only slightly over 400 km/h at low level.
Do you have any comments about this aircraft ?