PZL TS-11 Iskra


PZL TS-11 Iskra
TS-11 Iskra
TS-11 Iskra bis DF at Radom Air Show 2005
Role Trainer aircraft
Manufacturer PZL-Mielec
First flight 5 February 1960
Introduction 1964
Primary users Polish Air Force
Indian Air Force
Produced 1963-1987
Number built 424

The PZL TS-11 Iskra (English: Spark) is a Polish jet trainer aircraft, used by the air forces of Poland and India. It is notable as the main trainer plane of the Polish Army, the oldest jet plane still in service in Poland - and one of the most reliable.

Contents

Development

TS-11 Iskra bis B - front view

The aircraft was designed in response to a Polish Air Force requirement for a jet trainer. The main designer was Tadeusz Sołtyk - hence a designation letters TS. The new plane was the first jet aircraft designed in Poland. Work started in 1957, the first prototype powered by an imported British Armstrong Siddeley Viper 8 of 7.80 kN (1,750 lbf) was flown on February 5, 1960. The next two prototypes, with a Polish copy of the Viper engine named the WSK HO-10 engine were flown in March and July 1961.

The new plane fulfilled requirements and, after tests, was accepted for the Polish Air Force as the TS-11 Iskra bis A, produced since 1963. From about 1966, the aircraft were produced with a new Polish-designed engine WSK SO-1 with thrust of 9.80 kN (2,200 lbf). From 1969, WSK SO-3 engines with longer time between overhauls were used and later improved version WSK SO-3W with thrust of 10.80 kN (2,425 lbf).

Design

TS-11 Iskra bis B

All-metal jet trainer plane, conventional in layout, with mid-wings. Wings are trapezoid-shaped, with leading edge swept at small angle. Air intakes in wings. Single jet engine has an exhaust under a boom with tail fin, which gives the plane an unusual silhouette. The two crewmen have ejector seats. The aircraft has no radar (apart from the TS-11R). It can be fitted with photo cameras.

Poland is currently developing the new TS-11S Iskra (Spark) for future jet trainer. It will be equipped with new avionics, strengthened structures and a more powerful engine.

HUD mounted in PZL TS-11F Iskra (MSPO 2008).

Operational history

TS-11 Iskra MR of Biało-Czerwone Iskry aerobatic team

In 1964, the TS-11 prototype beat four world records in its class, among others the speed record of 839 km/h (524 mph). The Iskra competed as the standard jet trainer for the Warsaw Pact, but due to a political decision[citation needed], the Czechoslovakian Aero L-29 Delfin was chosen. Poland became the only Warsaw Pact country using the Iskra. 424 aircraft were built by 1987, when production ceased. 50 aircraft Iskra bis D were exported to India in 1975, then further 26 in the 1990s.

In 2002, Poland still had 110 TS-11s, including 5 TS-11Rs. The Iskra became Polish first and only jet trainer so far - the programme for a successor, the PZL I-22 Iryda (later designated M-93 Iryda), failed for several reasons and few were built. In Indian service, Iskra was withdrawn by December 16, 2004 (during service 7 were lost, killing 4 crew).

In 2011, Poland had less than 79 ( total number of school airplanes - TS-11, PZL-130) operational Iskras' according to official data.[1]

From 1969 TS-11s have been used by the Polish aerobatics team, initially called "Rombik", and currently "Biało-Czerwone Iskry" ("White-and-Red Iskras").

Variants

Polish TS-11 Iskra R
TS-11 Iskra bis A
Two-seat jet trainer aircraft. The Iskra bis A was the first production model.
TS-11 Iskra bis B / TS-11 Iskra 100
Two-seat jet trainer aircraft, with four underwing pylons to carry weapons.
TS-11 Iskra bis C / TS-11 Iskra 200 Art
Single-seat reconnaissance plane from 1971. It had a camera in the lower fuselage and increased fuel capacity. Only 5 were built in 1972, in 1983 were converted to trainers.
TS-11 Iskra bis D / TS-11 Iskra 200 SB
Two-seat jet trainer aircraft from 1973. Fifty of those aircraft were built for the Indian Air Force with bigger payload.
TS-11 Iskra bis DF
Two-seat trainer-reconnaissance plane from 1974. It can carry armament, plus three cameras.
TS-11 Iskra R
Two-seat naval reconnaissance plane, equipped with a surveillance radar, RDS-81. Six aircraft converted in 1991.
TS-11 Iskra BR 200
Single-seat attack and reconnaissance plane prototype from 1972, did not enter production.
TS-11 Iskra MR
TS-11 with modernized avionics according to ICAO standards and operated in the Biało-Czerwone Iskry aerobatics team since 1998.
TS-11 Iskra Jet / TS-11 Spark
After being withdrawn from service, it was disarmed and sold to private users in the USA, Australia and others countries as a warbird valued for its double seats and easy handling.
TS-11F Iskra
Proposition of modernisation of TS-11 made by Instytut Techniczny Wojsk Lotniczych, as training jet preparing pilots to operate on F-16 C/D Block 52+[2]

Operators

TS-11 Iskra MR of Biało-Czerwone Iskry team
 India
 Poland

Specifications (Iskra bis D)

Unguided rocket pod on external pylon of TS-11 Iskra R
Nose of TS-11 Iskra R, barrel of 23mm cannon is visible

Data from Jane's All The World's Aircraft 1976-77 [4]

General characteristics

  • Crew: Two - student and instructor
  • Length: 11.15 m (36 ft 7 in)
  • Wingspan: 10.06 m (33 ft 0 in)
  • Height: 3.50 m (11 ft 5½ in)
  • Wing area: 17.5 m² (188 ft²)
  • Empty weight: 2,560 kg (5,644 lb)
  • Loaded weight: 3,734 kg[5] (8,215 lb)
  • Max takeoff weight: 3,840 kg (8,470 lb)
  • Powerplant: 1 × WSK SO-3 turbojet, 9.81 kN (2,205 lbf)

Performance

Armament

  • 1x 23 mm NS-23 or NR-23 cannon in the nose
  • 4 underwing pylons, up to 400 kg (880 lb) of bombs or unguided S-5 rocket pods Mars-4 (4 rockets) or Zeus-1 gun packs.

See also

Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era

References

  • "Poland's Veteran Spark". Air International, March 1979, Vol 16 No. 3. Bromley, UK:Fine Scroll Publishing. pp. 126–131.
  • Taylor, John W.R. (editor). Jane's All the World's Aircraft 1976-77. London:Macdonald and Jane's, 1976. ISBN 0-354-00538-3.

External links

External links


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