Lublin R-XIII

The factory’s first own product was a reconnaissance bomber Lublin R-VIII built in 1928. Its airliner variant, the R-IX, was constructed in a short while. In 1930, they produced a pilot series of 5 Lublin R-VIIIs, 3 of which were converted to seaplanes in 1932. At the beginning of 1929, they performed a test flight of a liaison aircraft prototype designated R-X; a pilot series composed of 5 examples was built in 1931. Prototypes of the Lublin R-IX airliner (1929) and Lublin R-XI airliner (1930) as well as its improved variant, the R-XVI, failed to meet the requirements of LOT Polish Airlines so the production was not started. However, 5 examples of an air ambulance variant R-XVI were built in 1933-1934. In 1931, they created the R-XII sport aircraft that was not put to use.
In 1930, they created the R-XIV trainer aircraft, a development of R-X. A reconnaissance variant, the R-XIII (1931), became the factory’s biggest success. In 1932-1936, 273 R-XIIIs including 19 examples of a seaplane variant on floats were produced. The last design introduced by the factory was a prototype of a two-engine torpedo bomber aircraft R-XX (1935).
Engr. Rudlicki was also running his experiments. He had the idea of a tail configuration called Rudlicki’s V-tail or a butterfly tail. They tested it in 1931 on the Hanriot H-28 and in 1933 on the R-XIX, a development of the R-XIII. Some Rudlicki’s projects were not realised. Those were an army cooperation plane R-XV (1931), a reconnaissance bomber R-XXI (1932) meant to be a development of the Potez XXV with landing gear retractable in wings and better fuselage skinning; there were also projects of a two-engine bomber biplane R-XVIII (1933) with Rudlicki’s V-tail sent to the contest and competing with planes Żubr (Bison) and Łoś (Moose), an observation aircraft R-XXI (1934) and a torpedo seaplane R-XXII (1934) – an improved R-VIII variant.
It is worth noting that the concept of the R-VIII was similar to the Potez XXV. Likewise, the arrangement of wings on R-XI and R-XVI high-wing airliners and on the R-XX torpedo seaplane was undoubtedly based on Fokkers’ wing configuration.

Lublin zdj3

In 1935, the factory employed up to 1100 people; 800 of those worked at the aviation department. Since 1934, Col. Józef Zajączkowski was managing director. Adam Haber-Włyński, Stanisław Pawluć, Antoni Mroczkowski and Władysław Szulczewski worked as test pilots.
At the end of 1935, Air Command willing to nationalise the factory cancelled the order for 50 R-XIIIFs, some of which were near completion. The aircraft were estimated as scrap and the factory declared bankruptcy on December 7, 1935. Then it was nationalised and the renewed order for the R-XIIIF enabled them to operate without debts and losses, now with a new name – Lublin Aircraft Factory.

Lublin Aircraft Factory

Upon their nationalisation on February 1, 1936, Mechanical Works E. Plage & T. Laśkiewicz in Lublin received the name Lublin Aircraft Works (Polish: Lubelska Wytwórnia Samolotów, LWS). Formally, it was a private limited company 98% of which belonged to the Podlasie Aircraft Factory (Polish: Podlaska Wytwórnia Samolotów, PWS) and 2% to Maj. Aleksandr Sipowicz so it was actually owned by State Aviation Works (Polish: Państwowe Zakłady Lotnicze, PZL). They leased the premises from Plage & Laśkiewicz, a debtor. In 1936, the factory employed 600 people and in 1938-1939 that number was 1100-1400. Maj. Aleksandr Sipowicz was managing director, Engr. Zbysław Ciołkosz was technical director replaced by Engr. Ryszard Bartel in autumn 1937; Zbysław Ciołkosz headed the study department (the construction office). Since autumn 1937, that position was taken by Engr. Jerzy Teisseyre; Władysław Szulczewski was experimental pilot.
During a short time, LWS continued testing a prototype of a seaplane R-XX; the project of a serial variant received the designation LWS-1. In 1936, the factory completed 50 R-XIIIFs building of which had been started before the nationalisation. In the same year, PZL passed to LWS the documentation on the bomber PZL.30 Żubr (designed by Ciołkosz), the first prototype of which crashed in November 1936. The plane was designated LWS-6 Żubr. Its floatplane variant, the LWS-5 for the Naval Air Squadron in Puck, was not built. They constructed another prototype, LWS-6 Żubr, and produced 15 LWS-6A in 1938-1939. In 1937, they drafted a project of a light fighter aircraft designated LWS-4 (PZL.39). In the same year, the factory completed rebuilding 47 Potez XXVs, on which they installed Jupiter radial engines instead of Lorraine-Dietrich engines. In 1937, the factory finished a prototype of the LWS-2 ambulance plane designed by Z. Ciołkosz and J. Teisseyre.
In 1938, LWS started the licensed production of the RWD-14 Czapla (Heron); 65 examples were built in 1938-1939. In 1938, they introduced a reconnaissance plane prototype LWS-3 Mewa (Seagull) designed by J. Teisseyre and Engr. Władysław Fiszdon according to the project draft by Z. Ciołkosz. In 1939, the factory started the serial production of 200 planes of that type; 30 planes was proudly announced in the middle of the year. By the end of August, some Mewas were near completion and two were ready. The factory’s last project, the LWS-7 Mewa II, was at the final stage of development when the war broke out.
In spring 1939, the expansion of the factory was started.