Concept

PZL Mielec

Summary
PZL Mielec (Polskie Zakłady Lotnicze - Polish Aviation Works), formerly WSK-Mielec (Wytwórnia Sprzętu Komunikacyjnego) and WSK "PZL-Mielec" is a Polish aerospace manufacturer based in Mielec. It is the largest aerospace manufacturer in postwar Poland. In 2007, it was acquired by Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation, which retained the brand name. Between 1948 and 2014, the company manufactured approximately 15,600 aircraft. Between 1938 and 1939, a factory was built in Mielec, designated PZL WP-2 (Wytwórnia Płatowców 2—Airframe Factory no. 2), which was a division of PZL in Warsaw (Państwowe Zakłady Lotnicze—State Aviation Works), the biggest Polish aviation works, but production was only starting there at the outbreak of World War II. In March 1939, manufacturing commenced of the first aircraft — PZL.37 Łoś bombers, assembled from components delivered from the PZL WP-1 factory in Warsaw. There were 700 workers at that time. During World War II, Mielec was occupied by the Germans, starting 13 September 1939. During the occupation, the factory became a part of Heinkel works, among others producing tailfins of Heinkel He 111 bombers, and repairing Junkers Ju 52 aircraft. There were 5500 workers in 1944. In July 1944, the withdrawing Germans took away all the machines and equipment. Mielec was seized by the Soviet Army on 6 August 1944. At first, the factory was governed by the Soviets as a repair works. On 22 July 1945, it was handed back to Polish control. The factory in Mielec was renamed to Państwowe Zakłady Lotnicze (PZL) - Zakład nr 1 (State Aviation Works, No.1 plant), and turned into a state-owned factory. At first, it undertook aircraft repair works, and produced mostly non-aviation items, such as bus bodies, scales, etc. The first aircraft constructed in Mielec was a simple trainer PZL S-1, flown on 15 November 1945, of which only one unit was built (this was the second aircraft built in Poland after the war). The factory in Mielec produced aircraft mostly under license, or designed in other Polish bureaus.
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