W-3PL Głuszec Helicopter

The W-3PL Głuszec is a variant of PZL W-3 Sokół helicopter. The PZL W-3 Sokół helicopter is a Polish medium-size, twin-engine, multipurpose helicopter manufactured by PZL-Świdnik (now AgustaWestland Świdnik). The W-3 Sokół ('Falcon') is the first helicopter to be fully designed and serial-built in Poland.

W-3PL Głuszec HelicopterWork on the project was started at WSK PZL Świdnik in 1973 by the team of Stanisław Kamiński. The Sokół made its first flight on 16 November 1979, and has since been certificated in Poland, Russia, the US and Germany. It was designed to meet the demands of a military and civilian aviation of the Soviet Union, which was planned to be its major user. Following a development program, low rate production of the Sokół commenced during 1985. Certification to US FAR Pt 29 standards was granted in May 1993, while German certification was granted in December of that year.

The Sokół is of conventional design and construction, with two PZL-10W turboshaft engines, which are based on the PZL-10S - licensed Russian designed TVD-10B turboprops that power the Polish-built An-28. Composites are used in the three-bladed tail and four-bladed main rotors.

The Sokół is offered in a number of variants and is capable of performing a typical range of helicopter missions, including passenger transport, VIP, cargo, EMS, medevac, firefighting and search and rescue. The 100th Sokół was completed in June 1996, one of the most recent version is the W-3PL Gluszec.

Since 2003, four W-3WA helicopters were used by the Independent Air Attack Group of the Polish forces in Iraq. In total eight helicopters were deployed until 2008. One of them crashed in an accident near Karbala on 15 December 2004. More details