Aviation & Aerospace Vehicles & Artillery Infantry Small Arms Warships & Submarines Military Ranks U.S. Military Pay Special Forces DoD Dictionary (Alpha-to-Zulu) Military Alphabet Code

PZL SW-4 Puszczyk (Tawny Owl)

Light Utility Helicopter (LUH)

Poland | 2002

"The PZL SW-4 serves the modern Polish Air Force in the helicopter trainer role and also appears as the civilian-minded AW009 and optionally-piloted SW-4 Solo forms."

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 03/06/2022 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site; No A.I. was used in the generation of this content.
The PZL SW-4 is a light-weight, single-engine helicopter of Polish origination. It is manufactured under the storied PZL-Swidnik brand label and can be used to accomplish a variety of over-battlefield missions as well fulfill various civilian market / industry rrequirements. A first-flight in prototype form was recorded on October 29th, 1996 and series introduction occurred in 2002. The series remains in active service, flying solely with the modern Polish Air Force. Production has been ongoing since 1996.

This Light Utility Helicopter (LUH) is in the same class as the American MD Helicopters MD500 series, the Bell 206, and the Eurocopter Colibri - all three helicopters detailed elsewhere on this site.

The SW-4 has a relatively basic, conventional design showcasing clean lines and a streamlined appearance. The cockpit seats two side-by-side with a compact, three-person passenger cabin integrated directly aft. The engine sits behind and over the cabin and used to drive a three-bladed composite main rotor and twin-bladed tail rotor unit offset to port side. The drive shaft servicing the latter is housed within the tail stem structure which seats a vertical dorsal and ventral fin as well as horizontal planes used in flight control. The helicopter sits atop a simple twin-skid undercarriage, keeping maintenance requirements low. The cockpit sports redundant flight controls for both pilot positions and features a shared instrument panel. A center console divides the two crew spaces and vision out-of-the-cockpit is exceptional due to the liberal use of window panels across the forward section of the fuselage.

Dimensions of the SW-4 include a running length of 34.7 feet, a main rotor diameter of 29.5 feet, and a height of 10 feet - overall a relatively compact footprint for a helicopter of this class. Empty weight is 2,315lb with a Maximum Take-Off Weight (MTOW) reaching 4,000lb.

Power is derived from a single Rolls-Royce 250-C20R/2 series turboshaft engine develop 451 horsepower, driving the helicopter to speeds of 160 miles-per-hour. It can reach an altitude in excess of 17,000 feet and a range out to 490 miles. Rate-of-climb is 2,030 feet-per-minute.

Forty total helicopters in the series have been built to date (2022) with some 24 taken into service by the Polish Armed Forces where they serve as helicopter trainers. The civilian market form, appearing in 2016, is designated as "AW009". The SW-4 "Solo" is an optionally-piloted version of the helicopter and a joint development between PZL and helicopter powerhouse AgustaWestland. Work on this form was begun in 2011.

Content ©MilitaryFactory.com; No Reproduction Permitted.
Power & Performance
Those special qualities that separate one aircraft design from another. Performance specifications presented assume optimal operating conditions for the PZL SW-4 Light Utility Helicopter (LUH).
1 x Rolls-Royce 250-C20R/2 turboshaft engine developing 451 horsepower driving three-bladed main rotor and two-bladed tail rotor (facing port side).
162 mph
260 kph | 140 kts
Max Speed
17,060 ft
5,200 m | 3 miles
Service Ceiling
491 miles
790 km | 427 nm
Operational Range
2,030 ft/min
619 m/min
City-to-City Ranges
Operational range when compared to distances between major cities (in KM).
The nose-to-tail, wingtip-to-wingtip physical qualities of the PZL SW-4 Light Utility Helicopter (LUH).
34.7 ft
10.57 m
O/A Length
29.5 ft
(9.00 m)
O/A Width
10.0 ft
(3.05 m)
O/A Height
2,315 lb
(1,050 kg)
Empty Weight
3,968 lb
(1,800 kg)
Design Balance
The three qualities reflected below are altitude, speed, and range. The more full the box, the more balanced the design.
Notable series variants as part of the PZL SW-4 Puszczyk (Tawny Owl) family line.
SW-4 "Puszczyk" - Base Serries Designation.
SW-4 "Solo" - Optionally-piloted variant of 2016; joint-development with AgustaWestland.
AW009 - Civilian-market form.
Global customers who have evaluated and/or operated the PZL SW-4 Puszczyk (Tawny Owl). Nations are displayed by flag, each linked to their respective national aircraft listing.

Total Production: 40 Units

Contractor(s): PZL-Swidnik - Poland
National flag of Poland

[ Poland ]
1 / 1
Image of the PZL SW-4 Puszczyk (Tawny Owl)
Image from official Leonardo marketing materials.

Going Further...
The PZL SW-4 Puszczyk (Tawny Owl) Light Utility Helicopter (LUH) appears in the following collections:
Disclaimer | Privacy Policy | Cookies

2024 Military Pay Scale Military Ranks U.S. DoD Dictionary Conversion Calculators Military Alphabet Code Military Map Symbols US 5-Star Generals WW2 Weapons by Country

The "Military Factory" name and MilitaryFactory.com logo are registered ® U.S. trademarks protected by all applicable domestic and international intellectual property laws. All written content, illustrations, and photography are unique to this website (unless where indicated) and not for reuse/reproduction in any form. Material presented throughout this website is for historical and entertainment value only and should not to be construed as usable for hardware restoration, maintenance, or general operation. We do not sell any of the items showcased on this site. Please direct all other inquiries to militaryfactory AT gmail.com. No A.I. was used in the generation of this content.

Part of a network of sites that includes Global Firepower, WDMMA.org, WDMMW.org, and World War Next.

©2024 www.MilitaryFactory.com • All Rights Reserved • Content ©2003-2024 (21yrs)