Aviation & Aerospace - Airpower 2024 - Aircraft by Country - Aircraft Manufacturers Vehicles & Artillery - Armor 2024 - Armor by Country - Armor Manufacturers Infantry Small Arms - Warfighter 2024 - Small Arms by Country - Arms Manufacturers Warships & Submarines - Navies 2024 - Ships by Country - Shipbuilders U.S. Military Pay 2024 Military Ranks Special Forces by Country

PZL P.11

Single-Seat, Single-Engine Fighter Aircraft

Poland | 1934

"The PZL P.11 was part of the valiant - though ultimately failed - defense by the Polish Air Force during the German Blitzkrieg of 1939."

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 10/22/2020 | 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 P.11 was a high-wing monoplane fighter design emerging from Polish aero industry during the interwar years. PZL ("Panstwowe Zaklady Lotnicze") managed nearly all of the primary aviation developments for the country in the pre-World War 2 years and served as its largest aircraft manufacturer. A total of 325 P.11 aircraft were eventually produced up to the time of the German invasion of Poland. The aircraft was used in the ultimately failed defense of the country as the Germans and Soviets claimed the victory. Nevertheless, the P.11 proved a handful for German pilots at times, claiming at least 100 enemy aircraft in the assault.

As with other aircraft of the early 1930s, the P.11 was something of a throwback to an earlier period of flight - its cockpit was open-air and its undercarriage fixed. An aerodynamically refined shape and metal-skinned monoplane wings made it more modern than the fabric-over-wood biplanes of the First World War. However, by the end of the decade, all world powers would eventually evolve to modern fighters featuring all-metal skin, enclosed cockpits, and retractable undercarriages - leaving such designs as the P.11 to the pages of aviation history. Regardless, the P.11 was a sound product of her time and a needed addition to the Polish defensive lines. It handled well, held comparable armament with her peers, and was an agile gunnery platform. Its armament began as 2 x 7.92mm machine guns with 500 rounds afforded to each gun.

The initial prototype was P.11/I and first flight was recorded in August of 1931. This aircraft was powered by a French Gnome-Rhone Jupiter IX ASb engine of 515 horsepower. Then followed prototype P.11/II which fitted a British Bistrol Mercury IV A of 530 horsepower under a revised cowling. The work then led to the P.11/III production prototype which carried the Bristol as its standard installation and featured revisions to her overall design to facilitate mass production at PZL. This third iteration served as the basis for the P.11b which was on order with the Romanian government. The aircraft were powered by Gnome-Rhone 9K Mistral engines of 525 horsepower (or the local Romanian I.A.R. 9K Mistral) and total production numbered fifty aircraft of this mark.

The Polish Air Force ordered the P.11/III was the P.11a and these arrived only after the Romanian order was completed. These showcased Polish Skoda Works Mercury IV.S2 engines and numbered thirty aircraft in all. The improved P.11c mark followed for the Polish Air Force and showcased a more flexible armament suite of 2 or 4 x 7.92mm machine guns.

Romanian local production added the P.11f under the I.A.R. brand label and these were completed with the 9K Mistral engines (595 horsepower) as well as 2 x 7.92mm FN Browning machine guns. The P.11g "Kobuz" was a further Polish variant intended to fill the gap between existing P.11 fighters and the upcoming P.50 Jastrzab ("Hawk") fighters. The fighter carried 4 x 7.92mm KM wz. 36 series machine guns as standard and was powered by a PZL Mercury VIII engine of 840 horsepower in a revised airframe but only existed in prototype form before the German invasion put an end to the promising program's progression.

When the Germans invaded Poland to officially begin World War 2 on September 1st, 1939, the Polish Air Force had on hand a stock of 152 P.11 fighters with 109 of these in serviceable condition. All, save for a few "four-gunners", were armed with twin machine guns and many still awaiting their radio kits. Pressed into service against a determined and veteran foe, the P.11s did not fare well against the more modern German Messerschmitt Bf 109 fighters. A P.11 was the first aircraft to be shot down in World War 2.

While largely outmoded, P.11s held inherent maneuverability over their aggressors and could exact a fair amount of damage in turn when holding the advantage. Rough field operations were also a part of the aircraft's battlefield forte and drove home the rugged and robust qualities of the Polish design. However, its early 1930s heritage eventually betrayed it for losses against its German foes proved heavy though Polish pilots did manage their fair share of kills in P.11s.

By the end of the invasion, combat attrition had lessened the number of available P.11s in service. Poland was eventually split in two by the conquering Germans and Soviets. Some of the remaining Polish P.11 stock was handed to the Romanians for continued service. With their best fighting days behind them, the aircraft line served no more than as trainers or less while being succeeded by more modern mounts.

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 P.11a Single-Seat, Single-Engine Fighter Aircraft.
1 x Polish Skoda Works Mercury IV.S2 engine delivering 497 horsepower.
242 mph
390 kph | 211 kts
Max Speed
26,247 ft
8,000 m | 5 miles
Service Ceiling
435 miles
700 km | 378 nm
Operational Range
2,625 ft/min
800 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 P.11a Single-Seat, Single-Engine Fighter Aircraft.
24.8 ft
7.55 m
O/A Length
35.2 ft
(10.72 m)
O/A Width
9.4 ft
(2.85 m)
O/A Height
2,529 lb
(1,147 kg)
Empty Weight
3,594 lb
(1,630 kg)
Design Balance
The three qualities reflected below are altitude, speed, and range. The more full the box, the more balanced the design.
Available supported armament and special-mission equipment featured in the design of the PZL P.11 Single-Seat, Single-Engine Fighter Aircraft .
2 OR 4 x 7.92mm machine guns (model dependent)
Notable series variants as part of the PZL P.11 family line.
P.11 - Base Series Designation
P.11/I - First Prototype; Gnome-Rhone engine
P.11/II - Second Prototype; Bristol engine
P.11/III - Pre-Production Prototype; Bristol engine.
P.11a - Initial Production Model Designation; Bristol Mercury IV S2 radial piston engine.
P.11b - Export P.11 to the Romanian Air Force; Gnome-Rhone 9Krsd Mistral engine of 595 horsepower.
P.11c - Final Production Variant; redesigned fuselage and wings.
P.11g "Kobuz" - Single Prototype Model; enclosed cockpit; fitted with Bristol Mercury VIII of 840 horsepower.
IAR P.11f - Romanian license production model designation of P.11c mark.
Global customers who have evaluated and/or operated the PZL P.11. Nations are displayed by flag, each linked to their respective national aircraft listing.

Total Production: 325 Units

Contractor(s): PZL - Poland / Industria Aeronautica Romana (IAR) - Romania
National flag of Hungary National flag of Latvia National flag of Poland National flag of Romania National flag of the Soviet Union

[ Hungary; Latvia; Poland; Romania; Soviet Union ]
Relative Max Speed
Hi: 300mph
Lo: 150mph
Aircraft Max Listed Speed (242mph).

Graph Average of 225 MPH.
Era Crossover
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Showcasing Aircraft Era Crossover (if any)
Max Alt Visualization
Small airplane graphic
Production Comparison
Entry compared against Ilyushin IL-2 (military) and Cessna 172 (civilian) total production.
MACH Regime (Sonic)
RANGES (MPH) Subsonic: <614mph | Transonic: 614-921 | Supersonic: 921-3836 | Hypersonic: 3836-7673 | Hi-Hypersonic: 7673-19180 | Reentry: >19030
Aviation Timeline
1 / 1
Image of the PZL P.11
Image from the Public Domain.

Mission Roles
Some designs are single-minded in their approach while others offer a more versatile solution to airborne requirements.
Some designs stand the test of time while others are doomed to never advance beyond the drawing board; let history be their judge.
Developments of similar form-and-function, or related, to the PZL P.11 Single-Seat, Single-Engine Fighter Aircraft.
Going Further...
The PZL P.11 Single-Seat, Single-Engine Fighter Aircraft 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)