- PZL W-3 Sokół
name=PZL W-3 Sokół
caption=One of W-3 Sokół armed versions, "Airshow 2005" in
type=Multipurpose utility helicopter
status= In service
Polish Armed Forces
Czech Air Force Myanmar Air Force
variants with their own articles =
The W-3 "Sokół" ('Falcon') is the first helicopter to be fully designed and serial-built in Poland, and is PZL's most promising sales prospect in the near future.
Work on the project was started at WSK PZL Świdnik in
1973by the team of Stanisław Kamiński. The Sokół made its first flight on November 16 1979, and has since been certificated in Poland, Russia, the US and Germany. Following a fairly protracted development program, low rate production of the Sokół commenced during 1985. Initial sales of the general purpose Sokół were within Poland and in the Eastern Bloc, before the collapse of Communism allowed PZL Swidnik to broaden its sales base. To do this PZL Swidnik developed the improved W3A Sokół aimed at achieving Western certification. Certification to US FAR Pt 29 standards was granted in May 1993, while German certification was granted in December of that year.
The Sokół is of conventional design and construction, with two PZL-10W turboshafts, which are based on the PZL-10S - licensed Russian designed TVD-10B
turboprops that power the Polish-built An-28. Composites are used in the three-bladed tail and four-bladed main rotors.
The Sokół is offered in a number of variants and is capable of performing a typical range of helicopter missions, including passenger transport, VIP,
cargo, EMS, medevac, firefightingand search and rescue.
The 100th Sokół was completed in June
*Iraq War (March 2003-present)Since
2003four W-3WA were used by the Independent Air Attack Group ( _pl. Samodzielna Grupa Powietrzno-Szturmowa) of the Polish forces in Iraq. One of them (serial number 360902) crashed in an accident near Karbalaon 15 December 2004. Three soldiers died, three were wounded. [ [http://www.money.pl/archiwum/wiadomosci_agencyjne/pap/artykul/proces;pilota;sokola;rozbitego;w;iraku;-;wyrok;za;miesiac,2,0,229890.html Proces pilota Sokoła rozbitego w Iraku - wyrok za miesiąc ] ]
externalimage|topic=Interestinfg W-3 variants:|align=right|width=190px
http://www.lotnictwo.net/foto.php?id=123615 W-3RR Procjon #0720]
http://www.lotnictwo.net/foto.php?id=127824 W-3PSOT #0816]
http://www.airfoto.pl/index.php?module=Photos&action=Single&id_ph=52127&size=2 W-3PL "Głuszec" #0901]
http://www.lotnictwo.net/foto.php?id=112527 W-3WA #0911 Tallil Air Base, Iraq]
http://www.lotnictwo.net/foto.php?id=112668 four W-3WA Tallil Air Base, Iraq]
Civil production versions.
;W-3 "Sokół":Basic civil multi-purpose version.;W-3A "Sokół":Version with certificate FAR-29.;W-3AS "Sokół":W-3 airframe converted to W-3A standard.;W-3A2 "Sokół":Version with two-axsis Smith SN 350 autopilot.;W-3AM "Sokół":Civil version with floats.
Military production versions.
;W-3T "Sokół":Basic (unarmed) transport variant used by Polish, Czech and
Myanmar Air Force.;W-3P "Sokół":Military passenger version used by Polish Navy.;W-3S "Sokół":VIP transport version used by Polish Air Force.;W-3W "Sokół":Armed version, with twin 23mm GSz-23Ł cannon and four pylons for weapons used by Polish Land Forces.;W-3WA "Sokół":Same like W-3W but based on new W-3A airframe, used by Polish Land Forces.;W-3R "Sokół":Medical evacuation version used by Polish and Czech Air Force.;W-3RL "Sokół":Land search and rescueversion used by Polish Air Force.;W-3RM "Anakonda":Navalized search and rescueversion used by Polish Navy.;W-3WARM "Anakonda":Same like W-3RM but based on new W-3A airframe. Used by Polish Navy.;W-3PSOT / W-3PPD "Gipsówka":W-3PPD was a flying command centre variant (PPD stands for "Powietrzny Punkt Dowodzenia" - "Airborne Command Post"). In 2006 this variant received new digital battlefield (after modernization helicopter is able to guide artillery equipped with Topaz fire control system) and observation systems and was adopted by Polish Land Forces Aviation under new name W-3PSOT (PSOT stands for "Powietrzne Stanowisko Obserwacji Terenu" - "Airborne Observation Post"). This variant is equipped with pylons for weapons (same like in W-3W) but has no 23mm fixed canon. Used by Polish Land Forces.;W-3RR "Procjon":Radioelectronic reconnaissance version (RR stands for "Rozpoznanie Radioelektroniczne" - "Radioelectronic Reconnaissance"). Used by Polish Land Forces.
Prototypes and proposals
Prototypes and proposals that were not adopted by Armed Forces.
;W-3B "Jastrząb":Proposed armed version with guided AT rockets. Never build and never used by Polish Army.;W-3K "Huzar":Proposed armed version with guided AT rockets. Modification of Kentron company tested in
South Africain early 1990s.;W-3L "Sokół Long":Proposed stretched version seating up to 14 passengers, mockup only.;W-3MS "Sokół":Proposed gunship version;W-3U "Salamandra":Armed version, with avionics and armament from Mi-24W. Only one built, later converted into transport variant and sold to Myanmar.;W-3U-1 "Aligator":Proposed anti-submarine version.;W-3WB "Huzar":Proposed armed version with guided AT rockets. Never build and never used by Polish Army.;W-3WS "Sokół":Proposed gunship version. Głuszecupgrade program
"Głuszec" (Polish for "
Capercaillie") is a PZL W-3 upgrade program to bring Sokół to XXI century standards. The first prototype (s/n: 360901) should be delivered to Polish Land Forces Aviation this year. "Głuszec" improvements over standard W-3WA variant::* new digital avionics system:* multi-function display (MFD) based cockpit:* engines with Full Authority Digital Electronics Control (FADEC):* head-up display (HUD):* forward looking infrared (FLIR) imager:* new defense systems (IR countermeasure and Chaff/Flare dispenser):* all new electronic system integrated around new Mission Computer:* air conditioning and composite armor for pilots cabin:* new weapons: 12,7mm WKM-B machinegun in moving turret (instead of fixed 23mm canon):* new guided missiles; SPIKE ER Helicopter Weapon System:* new unguided rockets pods with 70mm rockets (compatible with Hydras):* probably new ATGMs (not confirmed):* new main rotor (first prototye 0901 is using old rotor)
;W-3PL "Sokół":New armed transport/combat support variant for Air Cavalry unit. Polish Army ordered 22 helicopters in this variant as an upgrade of existing W-3W / W-3WA airframes.
;W-3CSAR "Sokół":Special transport/search and rescue variant equipped with advanced observation and enchanted survivability systems. Polish Army ordered 4 helicopters in this variant to support (C)SAR and special operations.
Czech Air Forcereceived 11 W-3A aircraft in exchange for 10 MiG-29 fighters.;IRQ
Iraqi Air Forcereceived two W-3A (serialled 370912 and 370914) aircraft in 2006 but contract was rejected and both helicopters were returned to PZL Świdnik and sold to Polish Air Force.;MYA
Myanmar Air Forcereceived 13 aircraft - 12 W-3 and 1 W-3UT.;POL
Polish Air Force
** "36. Specjalny Pułk Lotnictwa Transportowego"
*Polish Land Forces Aviation
** "47. Szkolny Pułk Śmigłowców"
** "66. Dywizjon Lotniczy"
** "3. Eskadra Lotnictwa Transportowo-Łącznikowego"
** "Samodzielna Grupa Powietrzno-Szturmowa" operating in Iraq.
GROMspecial forces operated one W-3SP (serial 390510) aircraft.
** "1. Dywizjon Lotnictwa Marynarki Wojennej"
** "28. Eskadra Lotnictwa Marynarki Wojennej"
** "29. Eskadra Lotnictwa Marynarki Wojennej"
Law Enforcement operators
Saxonybought 2 W-3A (serialled 370503 and 370708 and registered respectively D-HSNA and D-HSNB) aircraft.;POL
Polish Border Guard;flag|Ras al-Khaimah
Ras Al Khaimah Policeoperated W-3A (serial 370515) aircraft.;KOR
Daegu Fire Departmentoperated W-3A (serial 370802) aircraft.
Choong Nam Fire Departmentreceived W-3AM (serial 370814) aircraft.
Eliworkbought one W-3AM (serial 370705, I-SOKL)and one W-3AS (serial 310314, I-SOKO) aircraft.;NGR
Okada Airbought one W-3 (serial 310413) aircraft registered as 5N-UYI.;POL
Lotnicze Górskie Pogotowie Ratunkowe" received W-3RL (serial 370502) aircraft.
Petrobaltic Gdańskbought W-3RM (serial 390513) aircraft.
PZL Świdnikowns several aircraft for test duties.
Tatrzańskie Ochotnicze Pogotowie Ratunkowe" received W-3A (serial 370507) aircraft.;POR
Helibravooperated one W-3AM aircraft registered as CS-HFA.;RUS
PANH Companybought W-3 (serial 310801) aircraft.;RSA
Deneloperated one W-3K aircraft registered as ZU-AGU.;KOR
Helikoreabought W-3A (serial 370509) aircraft.
Citi Airbought W-3AM (serial 370514) aircraft.;USSR
Aeroflotoperated 20 aircraft, most were transferred to Heliseco company.;ESP
Helibravobought W-3A2 (serial 370508) and W-3AM (370705) aircraft.
Hispanica de Aviacion" bought 9 aircraft - 5 W-3AS, 3 W-3AM and 1 W-3A.;VNM
T.C.T. Bay Dich Vu Vietnambought W-3AM (serial 370804) aircraft.
plane or copter?=copter
jet or prop?=prop
crew= 1 or 2 (pilots or pilot and flight engineer)
capacity= 12 passengers
**SAR: three medical attendants and eight rescued survivors
**Air Ambulance: four stretchers and one medical attendant
**EMS: one stretcher and medical attendants
**Executive: five or six passengers
length main= 14.21 m
length alt= 46 ft 8 in
span main= 15.70 m
span alt= 51 ft 6 in
height main= 5.14 m
height alt= 16 ft 10 in
area main= 193.6 m²
area alt= 2,034 ft²
empty weight main= 3,850 kg
empty weight alt= 8,488 lb
loaded weight main=
loaded weight alt=
*Max sling load weight: 2,100 kg (4,630 lb)
useful load main= kg
useful load alt= kg
max takeoff weight main= 6,400 kg
max takeoff weight alt= 14,110 lb
engine (prop)=WSKPZL Rzeszów
type of prop=
number of props= 2
power main= 670 kW
power alt= 900 shp
max speed main= 260 km/h, 161 mph
max speed alt= knots
cruise speed main= 234 km/h, 145 mph
cruise speed alt= 131 knots
never exceed speed main=
never exceed speed alt=
range main= 745 km
range alt= 402 nm, 463 mi)
*Aux. fuel range: 1,290 km, 801 mi, (696 nm)
ceiling main= 5,100 m
ceiling alt= 19,680 ft
climb rate main= 10 m/s
climb rate alt= 2,008 ft/min
loading main= kg/m²
loading alt= lb/ft²
power/mass main= W/kg
power/mass alt= hp/lb
* [http://www.helicopter-database.net PZL W-3 Production List]
* [http://www.helicopter-database.net/photo.php PZL W-3 Photo Gallery]
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