PZL M26 Iskierka
) or M26 Airwolf
is a Polish trainer
aircraft, designed in WSK "PZL-Mielec"
(later PZL Mielec).
Design and development
M26 Iskierka was conceived as an economical plane for civilian pilots' training and primary selection of military pilots. It offers training in both VFR
flying and aerobatics
. Its construction is partly based upon twin-engine PZL M-20 Mewa
utility plane (Piper Seneca
II, built under licence in WSK-Mielec). It shares vertical stabilizer with rudder and main landing gear with Mewa, while wings and tail part of fuselage are unified to some degree. The plane is constructed according to FAR-23 rules. Main designer was Krzysztof Piwek.
The first prototype M26-00, powered with PZL-Franklin 6A-350C1 (150 kW) engine flew first on July 15, 1986 (registraion SP-PIA). The second prototype, of ultimate M26-01 variant, with Lycoming AEIO-540-L1B5D (220 kW) engine flew on June 24, 1987 (registration SP-DIB, earlier SP-PIB). The plane was tested in a military aviation school in Dęblin in 1992.
Only a short series of 14 aircraft has been made by now, from which four remainin in Poland. The plane is still offered by the PZL Mielec and is certified in the USA, Australia and Europe (EASA). In the USA it is offered under a name Airwolf or Air Wolf, and 8 were exported there, starting from 1996. In 1998 two were delivered to Venezuelan National Guard. There are works to fit Walter M601 turboprop engine, for eventual customers' demand.
Metal construction low-wing monoplane
, conventional in layout, metal covered. Semi-monocoque
fuselage. Rectangular single-spar wings. Crew of two, sitting in tandem
, under a common canopy
, with double controls (student in front, instructor in rear). The rear seat is raised. The canopy is dropped in emergency. Retractable tricycle landing gear
. Three-blade propeller (1.9 m diameter). Fuel tanks in wings (377 l). The plane may be fitted with a camera gun and racks for two small bombs.
Note: in aerobatics variant maximum take-off weight is 1,315 kg, maximum speed 394 km/h and climb rate 9 m/s.