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PZL Swidnik SW-4

A 4-5 seat civil helicopter of conventional streamlined appearance, development began 1985 with a full-scale mockup completed in 1987. A major redesign was undertaken 1989-90, using an Allison (now Rolls-Royce) 250 engine in a more streamlined fuselage with a modified tail unit. GFRP is used for approximately 20% of the airframe, and the remainder mainly of aluminium alloy. An all-metal monocoque fuselage.
Fitted with a three-blade GFRP main rotor; arrowhead tailfin on port side, with two-blade GFRP tail rotor to starboard; narrow tailplane with small endplate fins; skid landing gear. The landing gear is able to accommodate heavy landing sink rate, of 3.1m/s by elastic deflection of cross-tubes.
Accommodation is for one pilot and up to four passengers or one stretcher patient and a medical attendant. One front-hinged and one rearward-sliding door on each side of cabin.
The first flying prototype had one 450shp / 336kW Rolls-Royce 250-C20R/2 turboshaft. Transmission rating 336kW for T-O, 283kW maximum continuous; 30 minute run-dry capability. Standard fuel capacity 500 litres in tank below main gearbox.
Prototype (c/n 600102), rolled out in December 1994, and was a non-flying testbed for ground and equipment tests; '101 was a static test airframe, '103 and '104 were flying prototypes. The first flight made by 600103 (red overall; later registered SP-PSW) was on 26 October 1996 ('official' flight three days later).
Trials in 1997 demonstrated requirement for a new rotor head design, enlarged horizontal stabiliser and more robust hydraulic system. Following 70 hours of test-flying, SP-PSW was grounded in late 1997 for installation of SAMM-designed hydraulic flight control system, with which it was then due to return to flying in 1998. Second flying prototype (yellow overall), with improved skids, exhibited statically at Paris Air Show, June 1997; registered as SP-PSZ in October 1998, but not flown until early 2001.
Some 640 hours (total) were flown by July 2002, when certification programme almost complete; domestic certificate to JAR 27 awarded 14 November 2002.
The first five production aircraft were started during the first quarter of 1999. Deliveries of these were scheduled to take place in 2003. Second prototype shown at Paris in June 2001; first at Berlin in May 2002.
According to a mid-2003 report, Swidnik considering re-engineering SW-4 with Pratt & Whitney Canada PW200 turboshafts, assembled locally by PZL-Rzeszow. Alternative powerplant is 615shp P&W PW200/9.
The Polish Air Force requirement confirmed in mid-2002 for purchase of 47 by 2010, of which seven planned to enter service in 2005 and 14 in 2006; for use in training role. Two of first five production aircraft scheduled for Polish Air Force Academy were to be delivered in 2003; next three are purchase options for commercial customers. Other orders reported from three unidentified German customers.
Cost in 2002 was US$690,000.
PZL Swidnik SW-4
Engine: 1 x Allison 250-C20R/2 turboshaft, 270kW
Crew: 1
Passengers: 4
Main rotor diameter: 9.0m
Length with rotors turning: 10.55m
Fuselage length: 8.24m
Height: 2.93m
Max take-off weight: 1700kg
Empty weight: 730kg
Max speed: 245km/h
Rate of climb: 10m/s
Hovering ceiling, IGE: 3500m
Range: 600km

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