On the wings of PZL-Świdnik, Leonardo's helicopter company in Poland
PZL-Świdnik, the Polish helicopter manufacturer part of Leonardo’s Helicopter Division, has over 60 years of experience and produced over 7,400 helicopters for customers in over 40 countries.
The Company is able to manage the whole helicopter production cycle, from the design to the production of fundamental components, to system integration, final assembly, delivery as well as after-sales support.
Thanks to PZL-Świdnik, Poland is one of five EU states boasting the capability to design, produce, develop and service helicopters on their own, making Poland one of the few nations to own this independent and unique strategic and industrial expertise in the sector.
W-3 PL Głuszec
The Company is a core partner of the Polish Ministry for National Defense: almost 160 PZL-Świdnik-made helicopters are in service with the Polish Armed Forces. Almost 80% of all helicopters delivered to the Polish Armed Forces in the recent decades were designed in Świdnik (SW-4 Puszczyk, W-3PL Głuszec, and W-3WA Sokół also in VIP configuration for transportation of top-ranking state officials).
PZL currently has approximately 3,300 employees, including more than 650 engineers, and cooperates with over 1,000 Polish enterprises, maintaining almost 4,500 additional jobs in the Polish economy.
The largest group of its partners is located in south-eastern Poland, and it includes members of the biggest Polish aviation cluster called Aviation Valley and of the Lublin Cluster for Advanced Aerospace Technologies.
Existing Polish-designed helicopters currently in production, namely the Sokół and the SW-4, have been particularly successful in emerging markets.
Leonardo’s Helicopter Division is working on two variants of the SW-4: the “Solo”, an unmanned helicopter, and the AW009, the civil version of the SW-4.
The “Solo” has already been part of development contracts with the UK and Italian MoDs. It also proved to be an ideal test-bed to demonstrate Leonardo’s capabilities to offer integrated solutions thanks to the involvement from both the Helicopter and Airborne & Space Systems Divisions.
The AW009 is set to achieve FAA certification by year end and several customers, including a US police force, are interested in it and its capabilities.
PZL-Świdnik also plays a crucial role in the production of airframes for all new-generation Leonardo helicopters including the AW149, AW189, AW169, the GrandNew, the AW109 Trekker, not to mention the first commercial tiltrotor set for certification in 2018, the AW609.
SW-4 Solo RUAS
PZL-Świdnik was designated as a true hub for the design, production, assembly, customization, delivery and support/training, for the AW149.
A major step forward considering this is the only new generation medium twin utility helicopter of its kind to be offered on the international market in nearly 40 years, allowing the company to stay at the forefront of helicopter innovation in the future.
PZL-Świdnik was established in 1951 and from 1951 to 1954 it manufactured wings and control surfaces for the LiM-1 (Mig-15) jet fighter. However, in 1954 the company direction changed with the start of the licensed production of the Mil Mi-1 helicopter, better known as the SM-1.
The SM-2 design was later developed by PZL-Świdnik and a total of 1,700 of these piston engine helicopters were produced. This firmly established PZL-Świdnik as one of the largest and most important manufacturers of helicopters in the world.
In 1964 licensed production of the nine-seat Mil Mi-2 light twin-turbine engine helicopter began. The Mi-2 was a great success around the world and PZL-Świdnik went on to build 5,450 of them in many variants for both commercial and military customers. Today the Mi-2 continues to be in service in Poland and around the world.
The first all new helicopter to be designed, developed and manufactured by PZL-Świdnik was the 14-seat Sokół (Falcon) in 1985. The Sokół is still in production today and is achieving significant export success due to its excellent performance and cost effectiveness.
In 1997 PZL-Świdnik started manufacturing the AW119 Koala airframe for AgustaWestland (now Leonardo’s Helicopter Division). This then expanded to the AW109 Power, AW109 LUH, GrandNew and the AW139 programmes. In January 2010 AgustaWestland became the major shareholder of PZL-Świdnik S.A. and has since implemented a programme of investment and integration with its industrial network in Italy, the United Kingdom and the United States of America.