The most popular scale tug these days is PZL 104 Wilga
, hands down. She dominates flying fields
in every size you can imagine, from small to huge 1/3 scale one in every country where scale soaring is fully developed. Probably
I won't be wrong if Mr Frisch
takes the blame for it. His magnificent work of designing, developing and tirelessly producing every part
of this machine to the highest standards made huge influence how modern RC scale soaring discipline is put together and flown
What about full scale Wilga status.
Concept of full metal structure Wilga as STOL sport utility plane was
presented at the end of 50's. First
Wilga flew in 1962 with 195 HP
flat WN-6RB engine. Since then, Wilga went through endless modifications and changes. Second
prototype (Wilga2 - 1963) designed by A.Frydrychewicz & B. Zurawski most likely survived in the form
we know Wilga by now. The major step in the saga of Wilga development was desperate move and use of torky and heavy radial
9 cylinder Russian engine AI-14R (260HP). It required shortening the nose and beefing up the main landig gear with
wider tracking.This modification was most successful and let Wilga become world wide TUGer of choice for next 30 years. Close
to 1000 Wilga's has been produced. She is prized for uncomparable STOL ability and climb ratio. Beside towing purposes
Wilga has been used as handy reconesance, sport precision and agro plane in many countries around the world.
The Other Horse
While Wilga has been an adored plane and has the distinctive image in soaring world the everyday
horse of Poland's aeroclub fields for last 40 years was PZL 101 Gawron and his predecessor YAK 12.
Gawron towing performance is not that great but it's easy maintenace, lower exploatation costs and what is most important
multitask ability of the airframe made this plane to be more available when needed. Gawron had a large wing area and despite
less poweful motor could carry substancial amount of cargo. For hauling gliders from field to field, or take them to maintenece
facilities Gawron could carry lots of additional equipment or crew members with easy.
The only known model of PZL 101 Gawron
for towing has been build by Roman Bialoskorski from Krakow. It is powered by Zenoah 62 and will tow gliders on ZAR 2005
meet on July 3-4
There were others