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The PZL P.50 Jastrzab (Hawk) was an experimental stressed skin metal monoplane fighter, developed by Poland immediately before the German invasion of early September 1939.

Development

The P.50 was designed under the leadership of Wslewolod Jakimiuk as a successor to the PZL P.11. The first prototype, the P.50/I, made its initial flight in February 1939, powered by an 840 hp Bristol Mercury engine and armed with a quartet of wing mounted 7.92 mm Wz 36 machine guns. An initial batch of 30 examples, designated Jastrzab A, were under construction at the time of the invasion.[2]

A second prototype was intended to serve as development aircraft for the more advanced Jastrzab II. Designated P.50/II, this featured a revised rear fuselage, a pair of 20mm cannon supplementing the machine guns, pilot armour and fitment for a 1,375 hp Bristol Hercules engine, which had not been installed at the time of the German assault. [N 2]

The first prototype was shot down during the invasion by Polish AA gunners, who assumed the aircraft was German.[3]

References

Notes

  1. Details relate to the Jastrzab A. Performance figures are estimated
  2. Production examples of the P.50/II were intended to have a 1,200 hp P.Z.L. Waran radial engine.[2]

Sources

  1. PZL 50 entry on Avistar
  2. 2.0 2.1 Green, William and Gordon Swanborough. Complete Book of Fighters. Salamander Books. 2001. ISBN 1-84065-269-1 Page 488
  3. Gunston, Bill. Illustrated Directory of Fighting Aircraft of World War II. Salamander Books. 1988. ISBN 0-86101-390-5 Page 151

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