RWD-16 in its initial shape
The RWD-16 was designed in 1935 by Andrzej Anczutin as a light, two-seat low-wing, and economical sports plane. The plane was a wooden construction low-wing cantilever monoplane, conventional in layout, with a fixed landing gear and a closed cockpit. The fuselage was semi-monocoque, plywood-covered. Single-piece trapezoid wings with rounded tips, two-spar, plywood (in front) and canvas covered. Conventional cantilever empennage, plywood (fins) and canvas (elevators and rudder) covered. Two seats side-by-side, with twin controls, under a common canopy, with a fixed windshield. Conventional fixed landing gear with a rear skid. Powered was 50 hp Walter Mikron I straight engine, with two-blade wooden Szomański propeller, 1.8 m diameter.
The prototype was built by the RWD team and first flown in early 1936 (registration SP-AXY), funded by the Polish division of Osram factory. The plane did not appear a successful design, though. Test revealed lack of directional stability, therefore its rudder was much enlarged, the wings were fitted with fixed slats and a windshield was redesigned. It did not improve the situation much, and in 1937-1938 the prototype was rebuilt and fitted with stronger 60 hp Avia 3 engine in a lengthened nose, while the vertical stabilizer and rudder were made smaller. Most significant feature became a front windshield with a negative slope.
After final changes, the prototype still was not satisfactory, but it served as a basis for the 1938 RWD-16bis design, which two were built. The redesigned aircraft was produced as the RWD-21. The prototype RWD-16 was given then to a known touring aviator Zbigniew Babiński.
Andrew Anczutin designed over 1937-38 the RWD-16 bis. The prototype RWD-16 bis (registration SP-BNM) was built in the first half of 1938 and was flown in late June 1938 by Eugene Prysieckiego, powered by a Polish-designed 63 hp Avia 3 straight engine. Insufficient directional control led to a wider and higher, pointed fin. The modified prototype flew well in September 1938 and in the same month successfully completed ITL testing.
In November 1938 they built two new RWD-16 bis. The first (SP-BPC) differed in the shape of the rear window, and was fitted with an Avia 3 of 44 kW. The second copy (Factory no.305 SP-BPE) was powered by a Cirrus Minor of 66 kW and was soon modified to become the ‘luxury’ version, and prototype of the RWD-21.
LOPP made a public presentation on 14 January 1939 and at the end of the month LOPP ordered from DWL, through the Committee Wigury Street, 20 of the RWD-16 bis. LOPP offered the aircraft at only 9500 gold because LOPP rented the engine free, and gave a 20% tax discount. Purchase was effectively 53% of the real price.
The first orders were received in January 1939 from 26 yesr old PhD. Jadwiga Pitulanka of Karkow Aeo Club, Dr. Šwietoslaw Baley from Dubna, H.Hoffman from Warsaw, owner of the Stemplew George Gerlicz and Lodz industrialist Andrew Sobczyk.
In September, Sec.pil. Gerllicz flew his RWD 16 bis to Steplewa Airport Lodz Lublinek to take up the post of commander of 5 Platoon Army liaison Carpathians.
The RWD 16 bis ordered by Vilnius Charles Wedziagolskiego was replaced by an RWD-21. Wedziagolskiego’s RWD 16 bis went to the Aero Club of Vilnius.
A quantity of aircraft produced never flew.
Engine: 1 × Avia 3, 60 hp (kW)
Length: 7.51 m
Wingspan: 11.8 m
Height: 2.75 m
Wing area: 15.3 m²
Empty weight: 325 kg
Loaded weight: 610 kg
Useful load: 285 kg
Wing loading: 40 kg/m²
Maximum speed: 145 km/h
Cruise speed: 120 km/h
Stall speed: 67 km/h
Range: 750 km
Crew: 1, pilot
Capacity: 1, passenger or co-pilot
RWD 16 bis
Wingspan: 11.0 m
Length: 8.5 m
Height: 2.07 m
Wing area: 14.95 sq.m
Empty weight: 385 kg
MAUW: 615 kg
Payload: 230 kg
Top speed: 180 kph
Cruise speed: 155 kph
Minimum speed: 70 kph
Climb rate: 3.1 m/s
Ceiling: 4150 m
Range: 700 km
Takeoff dist: 140 m
Fuel burn: 16 lt/hr
Endurance: 4.5 hr
Engine: Avia 3, 65 hp