PZL 102B Kos (Blackbird)
April 1, 2017
PZL or Panstwowe Zaklady Lotnicze was established in January 1928 to be Poland's main aircraft design and manufacturing concern. Known in the early 1930's for a series of parasol wing monoplane fighters designed by Zygmunt Pulaski, PZL went on to produce one of the finest twin engine bombers of the pre-WWII era. The PZL 37 Los (Elk) had excellent performance and, had the war not intervened, would have been exported to a number of countries. After the German blitzkrieg, what was left of PZL was taken over by Heinkel to manufacture parts for the He-111, He-177, and He-219. Polish workers engaged in a sabotage campaign and production of parts was severely impeded. Some of the workers were sent to concentration camps.
After the war, PZL was rebuilt and produced aircraft for training, agricultural application, and light transport. Work on the PZL 102B Kos two-seat light trainer began in 1957, with the 65 hp prototype flying on 21 May 1958. Production models standardized on the 95 hp Continental C90 flat four, with deliveries beginning in 1962. The Kos is an all metal dual control side by side two seater with a top speed of 119 mph. Cruising speed is 108 mph. Service ceiling is 15,000 feet and range is 400 miles. Capable of light aerobatics, the 1390 pound Kos was built in small numbers, some configured for crop spraying. Exports went to Austria, Brazil, Finland, Lebanon, and South Africa. Production ended in 1964.
The 102B in this Oshkosh 2016 photo, N800UD, came to the United States from South Africa, where it had been registered ZS-UDI. Bearing manufacturer's serial number 211, it was registered on the USCAR in June 2016 to Vincent Spence of Oshkosh. It was tied down in the Vintage area, near the Red Barn. Other examples are believed to exist in Poland, Great Britain, and Brazil.
Blue skies and fair winds.
February Contest Result
This is only the third time I've managed to stump Mystery Plane readers, the other two times being the Flaglor Hightow and the Fleet Fort.