|Polish Aviation Museum
(Muzeum Lotnictwa Polskiego w Krakowie)
August 10, 2023
|The museum at the former Kraków-Rakowice-Czyzyny airfield. Established in 1912 it is one of the oldest in the world. The museum opened in 1964 using four of the original hangars, after the airfield closed in 1963. The museum has a number of very rare aircraft that until 1943 were displayed at the Deutsche Luftfahrt Sammlung Museum (German Aviation Collection) in Berlin. In World War Two following the Allied bombing of Berlin in 1943 the museum was hit and many aircraft were destroyed, surviving aircraft were then swiftly moved to Poland for safe keeping. A 1930s photograph of the museum in Berlin shows that the aircraft were on display without their wings which were stacked against the hangar walls.
The Polish authorities at the end of World War Two moved them into storage as part of a technical museum collection. In 1963 the aircraft were transferred to the Museum and were held in storage for another forty years before they were put on public display.
The German Museum of Technology in Berlin has appealed to the museum without success for their aircraft to be returned. The museum has very few Polish planes from between 1918 and 1939, as most were destroyed during the Nazi German occupation of Poland.
|Aviatik C.III (C.12250/17) a scout aircraft built at the Aviatik Flugzeugwerke works in Leipzig between 1916 and 1918. This example flew with the Imperial German Air Service and is the sole survivor of the 80 built. It was found in 1945 near the town of Czarnków on the Notec River and is thought to have been with the Deutsche Luftfahrt Sammlung Museum in Berlin before many aircraft were evacuated to Poland to avoid Allied bombing. It was stored in a depot near Wroclaw and later restored in 1993 before going on display.|
|Left to right: Sopwith Camel F.1 (B7280)). Developed from the Sopwith Pup, it was the most successful aircraft of World War One. The Camel name was derived from a slight hump forward of the cockpit. They claimed more kills (1,294) of German aircraft than any other allied fighter. In January 1918 it marked the first unqualified air combat victory at night against another aeroplane, when two Sopwith Camels shot down a Gotha bomber during a raid on London. The Camel was found to be a difficult aircraft to fly due to its rotary engine that generated torque, which on take-off could only be countered with full right rudder, otherwise inexperienced pilots would incur a ground loop. During World War One, 413 Camel pilots died in action with an additional 385 pilots killed due to accidents.
From April 1, 1918, this aircraft was with 201 Squadron, Royal Air Force. After shooting down eleven enemy aircraft, on September 5, 1918, it was itself forced down landing behind enemy lines. The Germans used the aircraft for testing. By 1936 it was with the Deutsche Luftfahrt Sammlung Museum in Berlin. Today, it is one of five Sopwith Camels that survive.
Halberstadt CL.II (CL.15459/17) a German two-seat escort fighter and ground attack aircraft. It served in large numbers with the German Luftstreitkräfte (Imperial German Army Air Service) between 1917 and 1918. The CL.II was effective in the attack role during the 1917 Battle of Cambrai and the 1918 German Spring Offensive.
This sole surviving example of the 900 built, was the personal aircraft of the Commander in Chief of Luftstreitkräfte, Lt. General Ernst von Hoeppner, as such it was originally placed with the Deutsche Luftfahrt Sammlung Museum. Found abandoned in occupied Poland in 1945 without its wings, it was held in storage, before moving to the museum in 1963. It was restored between 1990 and 1993 at the museum.
LFG Roland D.VIb (D.2225/18) was designed as a scout fighter for the German Imperial Air Service (Deutsche Luftstreitkräfte) by the Luft-Fahrzeug-Gesellschaft (LFG). It first flew in November 1917. Construction utilised streamlined fuselages formed from strips of plywood, attached to a light skeleton made of multi-layer, glued formers and spruce longerons. The manufacturing process was very time-consuming. After assembly using a wooden mould, the entire fuselage was coated with a special dope resin. 350 were built, 150 with the Mercedes D.III engine and 200 with a Benz Bz.III engine, despite losing out in a fighter competition held by Idflieg at Adlershof, to the Fokker D.VII in January 1918. It is the only surviving example of this aircraft type. It was with the Deutsche Luftfahrt Sammlung Museum.
|Left to right: LVG B.IIa (B.350/17) a reconnaissance and later basic training aircraft of the Imperial German Air Service from 1915. This example was produced in 1917 at the Schütte-Lanz Luftfahrtzeugbau works in Germany and was originally with the Deutsche Luftfahrt Sammlung Museum.
DFW C.V (C.17077/17) is a two seat, biplane reconnaissance aircraft from 1917. It was the most produced German aircraft of World War One. Of the 2,000 built by Deutsche Flugzeug Werke (DFW), it is the only survivor built by DFW. Restored in 1999 it is displayed in Imperial German Air Service markings from 1918. It is the only survivor of over 3,000 built and was originally with the Deutsche Luftfahrt Sammlung Museum.
Albatros C.I (C.197/15) was a two seat, biplane reconnaissance aircraft. This example is displayed in German Imperial Air Service World War One markings from when it was operated in Poland for aviation radio training in Warsaw and later in Germany at an air training school. It is fitted with wooden wheels which were only used for land transport to protect the lighter spoked wheels. Probably with the Deutsche Luftfahrt Sammlung Museum it is the only surviving example of this aircraft type.
|Heinkel He-5f (D-OMIP).|
|Left to right: Heinkel He-5f (D-OMIP) was a sea based reconnaissance aircraft produced between 1926 and 1928. Ernst Heinkel established Heinkel Flugzeugwerke in 1922. They designed a series of civil and 'military' floatplanes designated He-3 to He-12. Under the Treaty of Versailles Germany was forbidden to build military aircraft however SAAB of Sweden a subsidiary of Heinkel built four He-5s. Focke-Wulf in 1929 further developed the He-5f. In Germany, the He-5 were operated by Severa and aircraft research unit which trained air and ground crews for maritime aviation. The He-5 were used for passenger transport, freight, and air sea rescue. The Royal Swedish Air Force also operated the aircraft as the S.5.
Only eight were built and this is the sole survivor. It was originally with the Deutsche Luftfahrt Sammlung Museum.
Geest Möwe IV (4 'MT141/12') was designed by German Dr. Waldemar Geest who started designing gliders in the late 1900s and built powered aircraft between 1910 and 1914. In May 1913, during 'Aeronautical Week', Swiss pilot Alberto Colombo flew the Möwe IV up to 300 meters (984 feet) while all other aircraft were grounded due to stormy weather. This is the only surviving aircraft built by Geest. It was originally with the Deutsche Luftfahrt Sammlung Museum.
|Left to right: Allgemeine Electricitäts Gesellschaft (AEG) Wagner Eule or 'Owl'. This is the only survivor of two prototypes produced by AEG in 1914, the other was destroyed by fire. It was first flown in 1915 before the project was abandoned. It was originally with the Deutsche Luftfahrt Sammlung Museum.
Levavasseur Antoinette (unknown) this all-wooden monoplane was designed and built at the Gastambide and Mengin Works in Paris by Léon Levavasseur in 1908. Hubert Latham flew a Levavasseur Antoinette from Paris to Berlin in 1909 which attracted interest by Albatros Flugzeug Werke who from 1910 started to build the aircraft under license. Hubert Latham was the first pilot to achieve an altitude of 1,000 meters (3,280 feet). He also attempted to fly across the English Channel in an Levavasseur Antoinette IV but ditched six days before Louis Bleriot succeeded in July 1909.
The example on display was in Berlin around 1910, it was originally with the Deutsche Luftfahrt Sammlung Museum.
Friedrich Etrich Taube (D-EFRI) built in 1936 by Alfred Friedrich for the Olympic Games at Berlin, it is a copy of the successful Etrich Taube built in 1910. The Taube was the first aircraft to fly from the Kraków-Rakowice-Czyzyny airfield. Found abandoned in Wielkopolska, Poland after the war it was originally with the Deutsche Luftfahrt Sammlung Museum.
Messerschmitt Me 209 V1 (D-INJR). Specified by Hitler's Reichsluftfahrtministerium – RLM (German Air Ministry) in 1937 the Messerschmitt Me 209 V1 was a single-engine racing aircraft designed only for breaking speed records as a propaganda tool. It was powered by a DB 601ARJ twelve-cylinder, liquid-cooled V-12 engine, water cooled it would only have an endurance of 35 minutes. Flown by test pilot Fritz Wendel it achieved a new world speed record of almost 469 mph (756 km/h) on April 26, 1939. This record was not officially broken by another piston-engine aircraft until August 16, 1969, by Darryl Greenamyer flying a Grumman F-8F Bearcat.
Given the German civil registration D-INJR, it was once a part of Hermann Göring's personal collection before its transfer to the Deutsche Luftfahrt Sammlung Museum.
|Albatros L.101 (D-EKYQ) a German two-seat basic trainer that was operated by the German Air Transport School (Deutsche Verkehrsfliegerschule-DVS), a covert military-training organisation operating as a flying school it was formed in 1925. Focke-Wulf Flugzeugbau built 71 L.101 trainers between 1932 and 1933. In 1930 the prototype failed a technical competition. It was originally with the Deutsche Luftfahrt Sammlung Museum.|
|Left to right: BZ-4 Zuk or Beetle (unknown) was an experimental four seat helicopter from the Design Bureau of the Warsaw Institute of Aviation starting in 1953.
Lotnicze Warsztaty Dowiadczalne - LWD Zuch 1 (SP-BAD).
Albatros H.1 ('10114') was constructed in 1918 as a D.IV. for the Imperial German Air Force, by 1919 it was with the German Aeronautical Research Institute. In 1926 it was remanufactured as a H.1 and given the new construction number 10114. By 1936 it was with the Deutsche Luftfahrt Sammlung Museum. It is the only surviving example of this aircraft type.
|Left to right: Lotnicze Warsztaty Dowiadczalne - LWD Zak 3 (SP-AAX).
Yakovlev Yak-12 (SP-ASZ) ex Polish Air Force.
PZL-Swidnik S-4 Kania 3 (SP-PBB).
PZL TS-11 100bis Iskra (615 '012') ex Polish Air Force.
|Left to right: Tupolev Tu-2S (unknown) ex Polish Air Force.
Yakovlev Yak-11 (36) ex Polish Air Force.
|Left to right: LWD Zuraw (SP-GLB) a prototype utility and liaison aircraft of 1951.
LWD Junak 3 (14) ex Polish Air Force.
Yakovlev Yak-18 (19) ex Polish Air Force.
|PZL P.11c (8.63 'White 2'). Built in 1935 it served with the Polish Air Force. Captured by the advancing German forces in 1939, it was moved to the Deutsche Luftfahrt Sammlung Museum in Berlin. This aircraft is the only surviving example and the only surviving Polish fighter aircraft that saw combat during the German invasion of September 1939.|
|Left to right: PWS-26 (81-123/5) ex Polish Air Force.|
|Left to right: Avia B-33 (29) ex Polish Air Force.
Polikarpov Po-2LNB (02 marked 'White 4' 641-646) ex Russian Air Force.
|Left to right: Lisunov Li-2 (Douglas Dakota) (027 18439102) ex Polish Air Force.
Yakolev Yak-23 ('16 Yellow') ex Polish Air Force.
|Left to right: Curtiss 35B Hawk II (D-IRIK) a single-seat fighter. This and D-3165 which was to crash, were ordered by Hermann Göring to be used for evaluation purposes. They arrived at Bremerhaven, Germany aboard the liner SS Europa in 1933. Between 1934 and 1937 it was flown by Ernst Udet (later Luftwaffe Generaloberst) at air shows, it also attended the opening ceremony of the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin. It was later given to the Deutsche Luftfahrt Sammlung Museum.
Bücker Bü-131B Jungmann (serial unknown registered SP-AFO c/n 13113) ex Luftwaffe. This example flew with the Poznan aero club between 1946 and 1955. After retirement, it was delivered to the Museum in 1963.
|Left to right: LWD Zuch 2 (SP-BAM).|
|Left to right: RWD.21 (SP-AKG marked 'SP-BPE') from 1939. It returned from Romania after the war, as SP-AKG, it remained in service with the Warsaw Aero Club until 1950. The original RWD-21 prototype registered SP-BPE took to the air for the first time in February 1939.|
|Left to right: Zlin Z-26 Trener (SP-ARM).
RWD.13 (6 registered SP-BNU) ex Romanian Air Force. Stanislaw Rogalski, Stanislaw Wigura and Jerzy Drzewiecki (RWD) were three young engineers, who in the 1930's, designed a series of sport aircraft.
Cessna UC-78 Bobcat (43-31827 registered SP-GLC) ex USAAF. Polish Airlines (LOT) utilised 21 Cessna Bobcats from 1945 to 1949. SP-LEM the only survivor and given to the Institute of Aviation (Instytut Lotnictwa) at Warsaw and re-registered SP-GLC and used until 1962. In June 1953, two record-setting parachute jumps from altitudes of 4600 m and 4800 m were made from this aircraft. After retirement from service in 1967 it was donated to the Museum.
|Caudron CR.714C1 Cyclone (CA-556) ex Finnish Air Force. It is one of only two surviving examples and the only complete airframe.|
|Left to right: Supermarine Mk.LF16e Spitfire (SM411 marked 'TB995 ZF-O').
Saro AOP.12 Skeeter (XL767) ex Army Air Corps.
North American T-6G Texan (51-14728 marked '92983 TA-983') ex US Air Force.
|Left to right: De Havilland FB.6 Vampire (J-1142) ex Swiss Air Force.
De Havilland FAW.21 Sea Venom (XG613) ex Royal Navy.
|BZ-1 GIL (SP-GIL). Constructed in 1950, it was the first Polish experimental helicopter.|
|Left to right: PZL SM-1 (SP-SAD) ex Institute of Aviation (Instytut Lotnictwa) at Warsaw.
PZL TS-8 (0309) ex Polish Air Force.
PZL M-4 Tarpan (SP-PAK) a trainer and sports aircraft prototype from the 1960s, designed in WSK-Mielec
|Left to right: Albatros B.IIa (B.1302/15) Originally with the Deutsche Luftfahrt Sammlung Museum.
Yakovlev Yak-17W (02 registered SP-GLM) ex Polish Air Force.
PZL TS-11 200SBbisD Iskra (1415 'W-1741') ex Polish Air Force.
PZL-105 Flamingo (SP-PRC) a short-takeoff-and-landing (STOL) utility aircraft designed by PZL (Warszawa-Okecie), only two prototypes were built, both are now at this museum.
|Left to right: Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-19PM (905) ex Polish Air Force.
Sud Alouette III (V-257) ex Swiss Air Force.
McDonnell Douglas F-4E Phantom (67-0260 'SP') ex US Air Force.
Bell CH-136 Kiowa (136255) ex Canadian Air Force.
|Left to right: Mil Mi-4ME (617 '6') ex Polish Air Force.
Mil Mi-2URP (4316) ex Polish Air Force.
Mil Mi-2M2 (05) ex Polish Air Force.
Mil Mi-2T (0216) ex Polish Air Force.
|Left to right: Mil Mi-2FM (2121) ex Polish Air Force.
Mil Mi-2CH (6048) ex Polish Air Force.
Antonov An-26 (1508) ex Polish Air Force.
Tupolev Tu-134A (103 registered SP-LHB) ex Poish Air Force.
|Left to right: WSK-Mielec AN-2R (SP-WMK).
WSK-Mielec M-15 Belphegor (0603 c/n 1S006-03) a single-engine three-seat agricultural jet biplane aircraft produced by the Polish manufacturer WSK PZL-Mielec.
|Left to right: PZL-106 Kruk.
WSK PZL-Swidnik Mil-2R (SP-SAR).
|Left to right: PZL-Okecie PZL-106BS Kruk (SP-PBK c/n 05005).
PZL-Okecie 101A Gawron 2 (SP-WAK).
|Northrop F-5E Tiger II (00852) ex Vietnam Air Force.|
|Left to right: Dassault Mirage 5BA (BA-03) ex Belgian Air Force.
SEPECAT Jaguar GR.1 (XX730 'EC' later 8952M) ex 6 Squadron Royal Air Force.
LTV A-7P Corsair II (5502) ex Portuguese Air Force.
Republic F-84F Thunderstreak (FU-36 '036') ex Belgian Air Force.
|Left to right: Dassault Mystere IVA (146 '8-MC') ex French Air Force.
Mil Mi-24V (717) ex Hungarian Air Force.
|Left to right: Lockheed CF-104 Starfighter (R-855) ex Royal Danish Air Force.
Saab J-35J Draken (35520 '14') ex F10 Wing Swedish Air Force.
Saab AJSF-37 Viggen (37954) ex Swedish Air Force.
Cessna A-37B Dragonfly (87916) ex Vietnam Air Force.
|Left to right: Republic F-105D Thunderchief (59-1822) ex US Air Force.
Aero L-29 Delfin (3241 '41') ex Czech Air Force.
Fouga CM-170R Magister (458 '5-MF') ex French Air Force.
|Left to right: Sukhoi Su-22M-4 (3305) ex Polish Air Force.
Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-23MF (120) ex Polish Air Force.
|Left to right: Sukhoi Su-20 (4242) ex Polish Air Force.
Sukhoi Su-22UM-3K (304) ex Polish Air Force.
Sukhoi Su-22M-4 (3005) ex Polish Air Force.
|Left to right: Sukhoi Su-7U (116) ex Polish Air Force.
Sukhoi Su-7BKL (806) ex Polish Air Force.
Sukhoi Su-7BM (06) ex Polish Air Force.
|Left to right: Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21US (4401) ex Polish Air Force.
Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21U-400 (1217) ex Polish Air Force.
|Left to right: Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21MF (6504) ex Polish Air Force.
Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21R (1125) ex Polish Air Force.
Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21PFM (01) ex Polish Air Force.
|Left to right: Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21PF (1901) ex Polish Air Force.
Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21F-13 (809) ex Polish Air Force.
|Left to right: Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21PFM (4205) ex Polish Air Force.
Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21PF (2004) ex Polish Air Force.
|Left to right: Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21bis (9204) ex Polish Air Force.
Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21M (2003) ex Polish Air Force.
Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-29GT (4115) ex Polish Air Force.
|Left to right: Sukhoi Su-7BM (01) ex Polish Air Force.
Sukhoi Su-7BKL (807) ex Polish Air Force.
|Left to right: PZL Lim-6M (606) ex Polish Air Force.|
|Left to right: PZL Lim-6MR (618) ex Polish Air Force.|
|Left to right: PZL Lim-6bis (105) ex Polish Air Force.
PZL Lim-5 (1023) ex Polish Air Force.
|Left to right: PZL Lim-5R (1414) ex Polish Air Force.
PZL SBLim-2 (304) ex Polish Air Force.
PZL SBLim-2A(2004) ex Polish Air Force.
|Left to right: PZL SBLim-2 (018) ex Polish Air Force.
PZL Lim-2 (1230) ex Polish Air Force.
|Left to right: PZL Lim-1 (712) ex Polish Air Force.
PZL TS-11 bisB (1007) ex Polish Air Force.
|Left to right: Ilyushin Il-28R (72) ex Polish Air Force.
Ilyushin Il-28U (S3) ex Polish Air Force.
|Left to right: Yakovlev Yak-40 (037) ex Polish Air Force.
Antonov An-2T (5705) ex Polish Air Force.
Mil Mi-4A (511) ex Polish Air Force.
|Left to right: PZL MD-12F (SP-PBL c/n 0004) a photographic version of the MD-12 airliner.
VEB-14P (3078) ex Polish Air Force.
|Left to right: Aero 45 (SP-LXH)
Aero L-60 (1101) ex Czech Air Force.
Let L-200A Morava (SP-NXA).
|Left to right: PZL TS-11 bisB Iskra (0730 '1' c/n 1H0730) ex Polish Air Force.
PZL TS-11 bisDFR Iskra (1909) ex Polish Air Force.
PZL TS-11 200SBbisD Iskra (1409) ex Polish Air Force.
|Left to right: PZL I-22 (0305).
Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21UM (9349) ex Polish Air Force.
Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21MF (9107) ex Polish Air Force.
|Left to right: PZL-130TC1 Orlik (011 registered SP-PCE) ex Polish Air Force.
PZL-130TC1 Orlik (013) ex Polish Air Force.
Mil Mi-8S (620) ex Polish Air Force.
PZL Kania (SN-51XP 'G020') ex Polish Police (Policja).