From Scramble - The Aviation Magazine
Wytwórnia Sprzętu Komunikacyjnego „PZL-Rzeszów” Spółka Akcyjna,
ul. Hetmanska 120
35-078 Rzeszow, Poland
tel: +48 17 854 66 00
fax: +48 17 862 07 50
In April 1937 professor Wladyslaw Danielecki, the senior assistant from Ferroconcrete Professorship and Bridges Department at Lwow Technical University was offered a position of manager having the task to build the Aviation Engine Plant No 2 in Rzeszow.
The National Aviation Company from Warsaw was the investor and the Ministry of Military Affairs - the organizer. The excavations of Aviation Plant no. 2 in Rzeszów began few months later with ground work over 21 hectares near the Wislok river and 10 hectares for the safety zone. 60 million zlotys were allocated for constructions and for workshop equipment installation. Prominent representatives of the Government, including the creator of the Central Industrial Region, Vice Minister Eugienusz Kwiatkowski often visited the construction site.
The main shop was the first one to be built (current W53 shop) followed by the Storehouse and the Tooling Shop building. The tooling shop became functional in the second half of 1938. The same year began the tooling production and in 1939 the first production of components and aviation assemblies took place. In the short period between 1938 - 1939, the piston engines were built under the license of the "Walter Czech Company", adopted by the Polish aviation industry and marked as the PZInz "Major"as well as the engines under the license of the "Bristol" British company – marked as "PEGASUS XX".
On September 9, 1939 the factory was seized by Germans. The factory was divided between Flugmotorenwerke Reichshof GmbH (incorporated by the Ernest Henschel aviation company from Kassel) and Daimler Benz from Stuttgart (the company used the factory for the maintenance of aviation engine on the East Front). In 1941 the companies employed two thousand people and produced parts and overhauled military aircraft engines as DB-606A.
On August 2, 1944, the factory was taken over by the Soviet military aUTCority under the command of an engineer, Colonel Siergiej W. Worozbiejew. In July 1945 the control of the company was passed over to the Polish aUTCorities and for the next 4 years the company was named the National Aviation Factory Engine factory No.2, being under the control of the Central Management of Military Industry. In that period besides supplying the wide range of non-related aviation products such as: machine tools, cutting tools tractor parts and trucks, it performed mainly overhauls of either parts or whole Soviet engines.
In 1948 the Company completed the order from Sweden which was to overhaul 24 aviation piston engines, the Jumo 211 ABD/GH of 1200 HP. The production of the MD-11D was under Soviet license, and later the MD-11FR version, used for Jak 18, CSS - 13 aircraft and Junak - 2, Junak - 3, Zak -Zuch aircraft was designed by Tadeusz Soltyk. The five cylinders radial engines were of 125 and respectively 150 HP.
The period between 1950-1952 played an important role in the life of the company marking the production of turbine engines under Soviet license. New shops were built: a forging shop in 1951 and an aluminum foundry in 1952. In the following years new shops appeared on the Company’s map: machining shop, assembly shop, sheet metal shop and others. The company’s first own design was born, which was a prototype of the turbojet engine under the TO-1 symbol designed by Tadeusz Mirski (1956-1958) and his team.
In spite of the fact that it did not obtain the required production level, the prototype helped to attain experience, performing complex researches of some engines and assemblies. In 1955 the company’s own design production of the FIS speedway motorcycle, well known in Europe, started. In 1957 the production of SM-1 helicopter gearbox was implemented which, with seven cylinders radial engine Lt-3 produced until 1958, was used as a power plant for the SM - 1 helicopter produced by WSK Swidnik.
Within the framework of the second production, engines were manufactured for the Mikrus car, drilling machines, crop spraying equipment, cream separators, textile machines, machine tools... cutlery.
Between 1960-1961, the prototype shop for aircraft engines was built. It is be produced the HO-10 jet based on developed prototype, which was the first engine used on the TS-11 Iskra military trainer. In 1961 the Company started the production of the Asz-62R piston engine. After 1964, the implementation of the Mi-2 helicopter engine production began A further expansion of the factory took place. Between 1966-1970 the demand for aircraft production was rising. The outside shops were customary.
The production of side-products was terminated. The obsolete products, which did not meet the world standard requirements, were moved to other factories. Into an open place now, more advanced products were introduced, and often developed .In 1966 the Company started producing modern turbo shaft GTD-350 engines of 400HP and WR-2 helicopter gearboxes for the Mi-2 helicopters. In production was also the SO-1 jet engine developed by the Aviation Institute and later the upgraded SO3 version for the TS-11 military trainer.
In the 1960's, the company started the production of turbochargers for automotive, rail and marine applications under the license of the following companies: "Holset", "Napier", "Brown - Boveri", "Schwitzer". It also produced torsional vibration dampers for piston engines, high pressure gear hydraulic pumps, electro discharge and electrochemical machine tools.
In the 1970's, the next stage of intensive development of WSK took place; new affiliated shops were established in Zolynia, Dynow and Bartkowka. In 1973 the new cast iron foundry was completed. In 1975 the production of PZL-3S engine for the PZL-106 Kruk agricultural aircraft started. In 1977 the production of the PZL-Franklin engine and Vulcan couplings began and the following year, the drill shanks and Renk gearpboxes were manufactured.
In 1976 through the PHZ PEZETEL, the long-term contract with Pratt & Whitney Canada was signed for the production of a wide range of parts for the PT-6A engines, parts and assemblies for the PW-100 and PW-200 as well as for other engines. In 1996 an extension contract was signed for the next ten years.
Since 1980, further equipment modernization as well as implementation of new products took place. The SO-3 jet engine was replaced in 1981 by the modernized SO-3W. In 1984 the PZL-3SR piston engine production based on company’s own documentation was implemented for the engine used on the agricultural aircrafts "PZL - 106AR Kruk" and "PZL - 106BR Kruk". In 1984 the production of the TWD-10B turboprop engine for the AN-28 aircraft started.
Since 1986, the production of PZL-10W engine started, which with its W-3 main transmissions is the powerplant for the PZL "Sokol" helicopter. The development of the aviation production has been supported by the continuos improvement within the production techniques.
In the 90's, the ten thousand employees of the parent factory and its affiliates entered a downturn period, as the perspectives for producing aircraft engines, looked bleak. The crisis of the domestic automotive industry and the collapse of the Eastern market, to which WSK exported about 75% of its production, were in great danger. However, due to the complex restructuring program the Company returned to its international recognition as a completely new organization. New products have been put into production, and new business relations have been established. A lot of attention has been paid to product competitiveness.
In 1994 the Notarial Act transformed WSK into the Treasury Stock Company. In 2001 the modern plating shop with sewage treatment plant was finished. On September 21, 2001 the selling contract of 85% of shares of WSK to United Technologies Holding S.A. was signed. On March 11, 2002, the block of shares in the Ministry of Treasury was given to new owner. Simultaneously, the decision of making available 15% of shares to the aUTCorized employees was taken, being effective beginning with July 1. On December 7, 2001, WSK became the winner of the 5th edition of the Polish Environment Leader Contest for the new plating shop achievements.
A new superior operational quality developed at WSK, resulting in the quality certificate ISO 9001 and many others such as JAR-145 and JAR-21G. Among the recent undertakings can be mentioned: special tests and development of the K-15 engine, development of the K-16 jet engine, endurance testing of the Franklin engines, research and development of the SW-4 helicopter main transmission system, design and development of the smoke generating unit, modification of the existing torsional vibration dampers into a new and modern design, introduction of new techniques in the casting processes, etc. Not only this but, further ambitious projects and developments are under way.
On March 11, 2002 WSK "PZL-Rzeszow" S.A. became a part of United Technologies Corporation.
- Lt-3 turboshaft engine
- used in PZL SM-1 and PZL SM-2 helicopters
- GTD-350W turboshaft engine
- used in PZL Mi-2 helicopter
- HO-10, SO-1, SO-3 and SO-3W jet engines
- used in TS-11 Iskra jet trainer
- PZL-3S turboprop engine
- used in PZL-106 Kruk agricultural plane
- PZL-10S (TWD-10B) turboprop engine
- PZL-10W turboshaft engine
- used in PZL W-3 Sokół helicopter
- GTD-350W2 turboshaft engine
- used in PZL Mi-2 plus helicopter
- K-15 jet engine
- used in PZL I-22 Iryda jet trainer
- F100-PW-229 jet engine
- used in Lockheed F-16 C/D bl 52 multirole fighter