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Wojskowe Warsztaty Szybowcowe WWS-1 Salamandra / IS-A Salamandra
IS-A Salamandra in the Polish Aviation Museum in Kraków
As the head of the W.W.S. (Wojskowe Warsztaty Szybowcowe - Military Glider Workshops), Wacław Czerwiński designed the W.W.S. 1 Salamandra single-seat training glider during the mid-1930s. Built in Poland from 1936, the excellent handling properties, ideal for the solo training methods then in use, led to mass production in various workshops throughout Poland.
W.W.S.1 Salamandra in Finnish Aviation Museum
Construction of the Salamandra was entirely of wood with fabric covering on wings and tail unit. The fuselage consisted of a plywood covered nacelle for the single seat cockpit, with a wire-braced open strut rear fuselage supporting the cruciform style tail-unit. The high mounted wire braced wings were supported by struts from the bottom of the fuselage to approx 1/5 span. Wooden skids under the tail and fuselage nacelle comprised the undercarriage.
W.W.S.1 Salamandra in Finnish Aviation Museum
First flying in 1936, the most notable feat by a W.W.S. 1 Salamandra, in Poland, was an 11hr 15min flight by Buraka, between Brasław and Wilno, on 22 Aug 1938. Another marathon flight of 23 hours took place in Romania with a licence built version piloted by G. Braescu.
Before the war the WWS 1 was exported to Yugoslavia, Finland and Estonia.
During World War II, almost all Polish gliders and their technical documentation were destroyed or lost. After the war there was only one Salamandra left, kept hidden during the occupation, and it was decided to resume its production. Due to lack of blueprints, the design was reverse engineered in the IS (Instytut Szybownictwa - Gliding Institute). Five were built in March 1947 by the IS workshops as the first gliders in Poland after the war.
In 1948 a serial production resumed as IS-A Salamandra 48 in workshops in Jeżów. It was followed by improved variants Salamandra 49 and 53, produced also by other state-owned aviation factories throughout Poland, among others WSK Okęcie. After the war, 223 IS-A were built for Polish aero clubs, where they were used until 1962.
W.W.S.1 Salamandra OH-SAA
The later versions introduced airbrakes in the wings (Salamandra 49) and a windscreen (Salamandra 53). In Salamandra 53 there was introduced a bigger horizontal stabilizer, next retrofitted to earlier versions.
On 29 December 1956 there flew an export version Salamandra 53A – around 50 were exported to China, and a licence production started there. In China there was also developed a primary trainer two-seater variant, without a cockpit. In Yugoslavia there was built a similar glider Čavka, and in Finland - PIK-5. After migrating to Canada as a refugee, Czerwiński designed a modified Salamandra as the Czerwiński Sparrow, as well as an improved Sparrow designated Czerwiński Robin.
In 2017 one Salamandra was built in the Gliwice Aero Club, to original plans.
W.W.S. 1 Salamandra
Production aircraft from 1936.
Wingspan: 12.48 m (40 ft 11 in)
Wing area: 16.9 m2 (182 ft2)
Wing profile: Göttingen-378
Aspect ratio: 9.2:1
Length: 6.48 m (21 ft 3 in)
Height: 2.3 m (7 ft 6 in)
Empty weight: 110 kg / 243 lb
Gross weight: 190 kg / 418 lb
Maximum speed: 150 km/h (93 mph)
Maximum glide ratio: 15.2:1 @ 56 km/h (30 kts / 35 mph)
Rate of sink: 0.81 m/s (159.5 ft/min)
IS-A Salamandra
Reconstructed postwar version from 1947
5 built (SP-320 - SP-324).
Empty weight: 140kg / 309lb
Gross weight: 225kg / 496lb
IS-A Salamandra 48
1948 version
775 built (first - SP-580)
IS-A Salamandra 49
1949 version
With strengthened construction, equipped with air brakes
93 built (first - SP-825)
IS-A Salamandra 53
1953 version
With enlarged horizontal stabilizer, windscreen and other improvements
50 built. (first - SP-1224)
IS-A Salamandra 53A
1956 export version for China
Around 50 built plus licence production.

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