PZL M26 Iskierka

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
M26 Iskierka
Role Trainer aircraft
Manufacturer PZL Mielec
First flight July 15, 1986
Status in production
Primary users US civilian aviation
Number built 14

PZL M26 Iskierka (English: Sparkle) or M26 Airwolf is a Polish trainer and aerobatic aircraft, designed at WSK PZL-Mielec (later PZL Mielec).


Design and development

The M26 Iskierka was conceived as an economical plane for civilian pilot training and primary selection of military pilots. It offers training in both VFR and IFR flying and aerobatics. Its construction is partly based upon the twin-engine PZL M-20 Mewa utility plane (Piper Seneca II, built under licence in WSK-Mielec). It shares the vertical stabilizer, rudder and main landing gear with the Mewa, while the wings and tail part of fuselage are unified to some degree. The plane is constructed according to FAR-23 rules. The main designer was Krzysztof Piwek.

The first prototype M26-00, powered by a PZL-Franklin 6A-350C1 air-cooled flat-six engine rated at 153 kilowatts (205 hp), flew first on July 15, 1986.[1] The second prototype was the more powerful M26-01 variant, powered by a 220 kilowatts (300 hp) Lycoming AEIO-540-L1B5D engine, and first flew on June 24, 1987.[2] It was tested in a military aviation school in Dęblin in 1992.

Only a short series of 14 aircraft have been manufactured, of which four remain in Poland. The plane is still offered by the PZL Mielec and is certified in the USA, Australia and Europe (EASA). In the USA it is offered under the name Airwolf or Air Wolf, and 8 were exported there, starting from 1996. In 1998 two were delivered to the Venezuelan National Guard. There are plans to fit a Walter M601 turboprop engine, for eventual customers' demand.


Metal construction low-wing monoplane, conventional in layout, metal covered. Semi-monocoque fuselage. Rectangular single-spar wings. Crew of two, sitting in tandem, under a common canopy, with double controls (student in front, instructor in rear). The rear seat is raised. The canopy is dropped in emergency. Retractable tricycle landing gear. Three-blade propeller (1.9 m diameter). Fuel tanks in wings (377 l). The plane may be fitted with a camera gun and racks for two small bombs.



General characteristics

  • Crew: 2
  • Length: 8.295 m (27 ft 3 in)
  • Wingspan: 8.6 m (28 ft 3 in)
  • Height: 2.96 m (9 ft 9 in)
  • Wing area: 14 m2 (150 sq ft)
  • Aspect ratio: 5.3
  • Airfoil: NACA652-415
  • Empty weight: 1,040 kg (2,293 lb)
  • Max takeoff weight: 1,315 kg (2,899 lb) Aerobatic mission; 1,400 kg (3,100 lb) Utility mission
  • Fuel capacity: 369 l (97 US gal; 81 imp gal) in four wing tanks; Oil capacity 18 l (4.8 US gal; 4.0 imp gal)
  • Powerplant: 1 Textron Lycoming AEIO-540-L1B5 6-cylinder horizontally-opposed air-cooled piston engine, 224 kW (300 hp)
  • Propellers: 3-bladed Hoffman HO-V123K-V/200AH-10 OR Hartzell HC-C3YR-4BF, 1.9 m (6 ft 3 in) diameter constant-speed propeller


  • Maximum speed: 330 km/h (205 mph; 178 kn) Aerobatic mission; 321 km/h (199 mph; 173 kn) Utility mission
  • Never exceed speed: 395 km/h (245 mph; 213 kn) Aerobatic mission; 371 km/h (231 mph; 200 kn) Utility mission
  • Range: 1,410 km (876 mi; 761 nmi) 30 min reserve fuel
  • g limits: +6 / -3 Aerobatic mission; +4.4 / -1.76 Utility mission at Max take-off weight
  • Rate of climb: 7.5 m/s (1,480 ft/min) Aerobatic mission; 6 m/s (20 ft/s) Utility mission
  • Wing loading: 93.9 kg/m2 (19.2 lb/sq ft) Aerobatic mission; 100 kg/m2 (20 lb/sq ft) Utility mission
  • Power/mass: 5.88 kg/kW (9.66 lb/hp) Aerobatic mission; 6.26 kg/kW (10.29 lb/hp) Utility mission