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Poland's PZL P.11, fighter

Design

The PZL P.11 was designed by Zygmunt Pulawski. The P.11 was based on the PZL P.7 fighter that was first developed in 1930.

Cockpit

The cockpit was small, unarmored, and only provided a small windscreen.

Engine

The first engine used in the P.11 was the Gnome-Rhône radial. This was replaced by a license built British Mercury VIS.

Undercarriage

The fixed undercarriage of the P.11 was fixed, but very strong.

The tail was a spring loaded skid.

Wing

The high parasol wing was innovative when it came into production. This allowed the P.11 pilots to outmaneuver the less agile German aircraft.

Prototype

The PZL P.11/I prototype first flew in August 1931. The PZL P.11/II prototype first flew in December 1931.
The PZL P.11 first flew in September 1931.

Production

The P.11a first flew in June 1933. The first production version was the P.11b.

  • Prototypes: 3
  • P-7: 153
  • P.11a: 30
  • P.11b: 50
  • P.11c: 175
  • Total: 258, 300, 330
  • P.11f: 80
    • Produced by: IAR (Romania)

Variants

  • P-7: Had Skoda built Bristol Jupiter VIIF (485 HP) engine. Could go 170 mph / 274 kph.
  • P-7a: Entered service in 1932 - 1933.
  • P.11/I: Prototype. Had Gnome-Rhône built Jupiter IX.ASb engine.
  • P.11/II: Prototype. Had Mercury IVA engine. This was later replaced by a Gnome-Rhône Mistral (Jupiter) engine.
  • P.11/III: Prototype. Had Mercury engine.
  • P.11:
  • P.11a: Had Skoda built Bristol Mercury VI engine.
  • P.11b: First production version with two guns. Entered service in 1935. Had IAR built Gnome-Rhône 9K (525 HP) engine. Was built for Romania.
  • P.11c: Had Skoda built Bristol Mercury VIS.2 engine.
  • P.11f: Romanian built version. Had Gnome-Rhône 9Krse engine.
  • P.11g: Prototype for final production version. Was to be powered by a Mercury VIII engine (840 HP). First flew in August 1939.
  • F.24: Improved version made for export. These were sent to Bulgaria, Greece, Romania, and Turkey.
  • P.24: Improved version that was only made for export.

Usage

The PZL P.11 was used by Poland and Romania.

Against Germany

Outnumbered and up against better aircraft the PZL P.11s helped shoot down 125 / 126 German aircraft.

There were six regiments that had 128 P.11s. Within three days they lost 46. PZL P.11 units lost a total of 114 of their own fighters.

Romania

Romania imported 50 P.11bs.

IAR in Bucharest built 120 P.11fs of their own.

Specifications

  PZL P.11
Type Fighter
Crew 1
Engine (Type)  
Cylinders  
Cooling  
Net HP  
Propeller blades 2
Dimensions  
Span  
Length  
Height  
Wing area  
Weight  
Empty  
Loaded  
Performance  
Speed at sea level  
Climb  
Service ceiling  
Range  
Armament  
  PZL P.11a
Type Fighter
Crew 1
Engine (Type) Bristol Mercury
Skoda Mercury IVS2
Cylinders Radial, Radial 9
Cooling  
Net HP 500, 575
Propeller blades 2
Dimensions  
Span  
Length  
Height  
Wing area  
Weight  
Empty  
Loaded  
Performance  
Speed at sea level  
Climb  
Service ceiling  
Range  
Armament  
Fuselage 2: MGs
2: 7.7 mm MG
  PZL P.11b
Type Fighter
Crew 1
Engine (Type) Gnome-Rhône 9Krsd Mistral (Juniper)
Cylinders Radial 9
Cooling  
Net HP 670
Propeller blades 2
Dimensions  
Span  
Length  
Height  
Wing area  
Weight  
Empty  
Loaded  
Performance  
Speed at sea level  
Climb  
Service ceiling  
Range  
Armament  
Fuselage 2: 7.7 mm MG
  PZL P.11c
Type Fighter
Crew 1
Engine (Type) PZL Mercury VS2
Skoda Bristol Mercury VIS.2 piston
OR PZL Mercury VIS2
Cylinders Radial, Radial 9
Cooling  
Net HP 500, 645
VS2: 600
VIS2: 645
Propeller blades 2
Dimensions  
Span 35' 2"
10.72 m
Length 24' 9", 24' 9.25"
7.55 m
Height 9' 4", 9' 4.25", 9' 4.5"
2.85 m
Wing area  
Weight  
Empty 2,529 lb
1,147 kg
Loaded 3,960 lb, 3,968 lb
1,800 kg
Performance  
Speed at sea level VIS2: 185 mph
VIS2: 298 kph
Speed @ 18,000' /
5,500 m
242 mph
390 kph
Speed @ 18,050' /
5,500 m
242 mph
VIS2: 242 mph
390 kph
VIS2: 389 kph
Climb VIS2: 2,440'/minute
VIS2: 744 m/minute
Climb to 16,400' /
5,000 m
6 minutes
Climb to 16,405' /
5,000 m
6 minutes
Service ceiling 26,250'
VIS2: 26,245'
8,000 m
VIS2: 8,000 m
Range 435 miles
VIS2: 435 miles
700 km
VIS2: 700 km
Armament  
Fuselage 2: 7.7 mm MG
Under wings 2: 7.7 mm MG
2: 7.7 mm KM Wz33 MG
Bombs - under wings 110 lb
50 kg

Sources:

  1. Aircraft of World War II, General Editor: Jim Winchester, 2004
  2. Fighting Aircraft of World War II, Editor: Karen Leverington, 1995
  3. Aircraft of WWII, Stewart Wilson, 1998
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