PZL Bielsko SZD-8 Jaskolka
The SZD-8 Jaskolka (or Swallow) high performance single-seater first appeared in 1951, two prototypes being rolled out in September and December that year; in prototype form it had a fuselage length of 22ft 1.5in but in the production version, which started coming off the line in 1954, the length was increased to 24ft 4.25in.
The Jaskolka soon began to make its mark in contest flying, and between May 1954 and May 1960 the type held no fewer than 15 world records for speed and distance.
The SZD-8L was a special version for the 1956 World Championships at St Van, France, in which one, flown by Gorzelak, took 3rd place; this version had a wing of laminar flow section, a 'butterfly'-type V-tail and wing tip end plates which had the effect of increasing the wing span as well as acting as 'bumpers'. The SZD-8L also carried 100 litres (22 Imp gal) of water ballast to permit maximum performance in varying weather conditions, and was one of the first sailplanes to employ this form of ballast.
Of conventional wooden construction, the Jaskolka has two-piece cantilever mid-set wings with single spars and fabric covering; the Fowler flaps can be lowered to 12° or 25° and air brakes are fitted in the upper surfaces. The wings are quickly detachable and the ailerons are aerodynamically balanced.
The fuselage is plywood-covered and the pilot sits over the wing leading edge, rather than in front of it, thus giving him an excellent view; the cockpit is enclosed by a moulded two-piece Plexiglas canopy the rear section of which slides back for exit and entry. A novel feature of the rear fuselage is a built-in recessed handle each side for ease of handling the Jaskolka on the ground. A semiretractable monowheel with a mechanical brake is fitted, plus a short nose skid and a tail bumper.
Altogether 80 Jaskolkas had been built when production ended in 1961.
PZL Bielsko / SZD 8 bis Jaskolka
Length: 24.344 ft / 7.42 m
Wingspan: 52.493 ft / 16.0 m
Aspect ratio: 18.8
Wing area: 146.39 sq.ft / 13.6 sq.m
Max take off weight: 782.8 lb / 355.0 kg
Weight empty: 562.3 lb / 255.0 kg
Max. weight carried: 220.5 lb / 100.0 kg
Max. speed: 108 kts / 200 km/h
Landing speed: 32 kts / 60 km/h
Cruising speed: 37 kts / 68 km/h
Wing loading: 5.33 lb/sq.ft / 26.0 kg/sq.m
Glide ratio: 26.0
Span: 52ft 6in
Length: 22ft11 l/2 in
Height: 4ft 7'/2 in
Wing area: 146.4sq ft
Aspect ratio: 18.8
Empty weight: 595lb
Max weight: 816lb
Max speed: 155mph (in smooth air)
Min sinking speed: 2.5ft/sec at 46mph
Best glide ratio: 28.5:1 at51.5mph