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PZL-104 Wilga

By Wikipedia,
the free encyclopedia,


PZL-104 Wilga
PZL-104 Wilga 35
Role Utility aircraft
Manufacturer PZL Warszawa-Okęcie
First flight 24 April 1962
Status in production
Primary user Polish military and civilian aviation
Produced 1962-
Number built 1000+

PZL-104 Wilga (Golden Oriole) is a Polish short-takeoff-and-landing (STOL) utility aircraft designed and built by PZL "Warszawa-Okęcie"; in one version or another, the Wilga has been in continuous production from 1962 to the present.

Design and development

The PZL-104 was designed mainly for use in sports aviation, especially for glider-towing and parachute training. The prototype of the initial Wilga 1 variant was first flown on April 24 1962. It used a Polish 220 hp flat engine PZL WN-6RB. The Wilga 1 revealed numerous faults, the most serious of which were that it was too heavy and the crew could not see a towed glider. As a result, the airframe was thoroughly redesigned by a team led by Bronisław Żurakowski and Andrzej Frydrychewicz, retaining only the general composition and part of wings in common with the initial design. A completely new slimmer, strengthened fuselage was provided, which offers an excellent view for the crew. Side doors open upwards and it is possible to fly with doors open for a better observation or performing parachute jumps.

The new variant, PZL-104 Wilga 2, flew first on 1 August 1963. A short production run followed (later converted to the Wilga C and Wilga 3 configurations). On December 30, 1963 the Wilga C (or Wilga 2C), an export variant for Indonesia, was flown, powered by an imported 225 hp flat engine Continental O-470. While the Wilga 2 airframe proved a successful design, the WN-6 engine was not fully reliable and did not enter serial production. As a result, it was decided to use a radial engine, the 260 hp Ivchenko AI-14R; this led to the PZL-104 Wilga 3 variant, which first flew on 31 December 1965. The new engine was more powerful, but it spoilt the previously clean and slim fuselage lines, designed for a flat engine; nonetheless, the new variant was successful. Especially high was its rate of climb - maximum 11 m/s (2,165 fpm) with minimal load. One of few flaws was relatively uneconomical engine.

PZL 104 Wilga 35A at Taupo airfield, New Zealand, in February 1992 showing rear cabin glazing arrangement
PZL 104 Wilga 35A at Taupo airfield, New Zealand, in February 1992 showing rear cabin glazing arrangement

Another variant, the Wilga 32, was an improved small series export variant with Continental flat engine, produced also in Indonesia as Gelatik. After producing 13 Wilga 3s, there were some improvements made, most notably a landing gear base increased from 2.12 m to 2.83 m to improve stability. An improved model, designated PZL-104 Wilga 35, first flew on 29 June 1967, then it entered mass production. Most numerous variant of Wilga 35 was the utility plane Wilga 35A, others were built in small numbers or remained prototypes.

From 1979 the Wilga 80 went into production, an improved model certified for the US market. In the late 1990s the PZL-104M Wilga 2000 family was developed with Lycoming flat engines and with improved aerodynamics.

Over 1000 of all types of the Wilga have been built, including 935 of the Wilga 35 and 80, which made it the most numerous-built plane of Polish design. EADS-PZL has announced on its web page, that it had decided to stop the production of the PZL-104MA Wilga 2000.


Metal construction high-wing cantilever monoplane, conventional in layout. It is covered with thin metal sheets, rifled to increase durability, retaining low mass. Semi-monocoque fuselage. Rectangular single-spar wings, fitted with slotted flaps and slats. Four seat cabin, with two large side doors, opened upwards. Conventional fixed landing gear with tail wheel. Two-blade wooden propeller. Two fuel tanks in wings (195 L/42.9IGal/51.5USGal).


PZL-104 Wilga 35, rear view
PZL-104 Wilga 35, rear view

PZL-104 Wilga 35A with open door
PZL-104 Wilga 35A with open door

PZL-104M Wilga 2000 of Polish Border Guard at Radom Air Show 2005
PZL-104M Wilga 2000 of Polish Border Guard at Radom Air Show 2005

PZL-104MA Wilga 2000
PZL-104MA Wilga 2000
Wilga 2
First production variant with WN-6 flat engine (small series - about 10, converted to Wilga C and 3).
Wilga 3A
Aero club aircraft.
Wilga 3S
Air ambulance aircraft.
Wilga C (2C)
Wilga 2 with Continental O-470 engine for Indonesia. 16 aircraft built in Poland, some of them assembled in Indonesia.
Wilga 3
Modified serial variant with AI-14 radial engine, 13 built (including 2 converted Wilga 2s).
Wilga 32
Wilga 3 with Continental O-470 engine for Indonesia. 6 aircraft built in Poland, 18 in Indonesia under a name Gelatik. Some were fitted as agricultural aircraft.
Wilga 35
Basic variant with AI-14 engine.
Wilga 35A
Mass-produced basic variant for sports aviation, with glider towing hook, produced from 1968.
Wilga 35H
Floatplane export variant built in cooperation with Canada, flown 30 October 1979.
Wilga 35P
Military liaison or passenger variant (without towing hook), flown in 1968.
Wilga 35R
Agricultural aircraft of 1978, with 300 l of chemicals (probably not built in series).
Wilga 35S
Air ambulance of 1968, 1 made.
Wilga 40
Variant with one-piece elevators flown in 1969, 2 prototypes only.
Wilga 80
Wilga 35 modified in accordance with FAR regulations for US market, of 1979, powered by PZL AI-14RA engine, serial production.
Wilga 80/1400 (80H)
Export floatplane variant of 1982 built in cooperation with Canada, powered by PZL AI-14RD (206 kW /280 HP) engine.
Wilga 80/550 Melex
Wilga 80 fitted with Continental flat engine in the USA, of 1992 (prototype)
Wilga 88
Development of Wilga in the 1980s, that led to PZL-105 Flaming.
PZL-104M Wilga 2000
Variant with Lycoming flat engine, modified wings and improved aerodynamics, produced from 1998.
PZL-104MW Wilga 2000 Hydro
Floatplane variant of Wilga 2000, flown on 19 September 1999.
PZL-104MF Wilga 2000
Patrol version of Wilga 2000 for Polish Border Guard.
PZL-104MN Wilga 2000
Newer version from 2001.
PZL-104MA Wilga 2000
Last variant of Wilga 2000 made in 2005, with improved aerodynamics and winglets, powered by Lycoming I0-540 300 hp engine. No longer in production.
license-built version produced in Indonesia


Wilgas are mostly used for touring aviation, glider towing and parachute training. In Poland, most were used by the Polish Aero Club and they are still basic aircraft of regional aero clubs. Polish pilots flying Wilgas have won numerous prizes in the FAI World Rally Flying and Precision Flying Championships, from 1978 to 2006.


Military Operators


For the Royal Canadian Air Cadet Gliding Program, a military-civilian partnership, as glider tow aircraft. One aircraft was purchased for testing with the intention of purchasing more, however with the end of the production of this aircraft, the aircraft used by the Air Cadets is now being sold.


Civilian Operators

Specifications (Wilga 35A)

Data from

General characteristics

  • Crew: 1
  • Capacity: 3
  • Length: 8.10 m (26 ft 6 in)
  • Wingspan: 11.12 m (36 ft 5 in)
  • Height: 2.96 m (5 ft 8 in)
  • Wing area: 15.50 m² (166.85 ft²)
  • Empty weight: 900 kg (1984 lb)
  • Gross weight: 1300 kg (2868 lb)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Ivchenko AI-14RA air-cooled 9-cylinder radial piston engine, 194 kW (260 hp)


  • Maximum speed: 195 km/h (121 mph)
  • Range: 670 km (416 miles)
  • Service ceiling: 4040 m (13,255 ft)
  • Rate of climb: 5.5 m/s (1082 ft/min)

See also

Related development

Comparable aircraft

External links

Text from Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License; additional terms may apply.

Published in July 2009.

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