PZL-130 Orlik is a two-seat primary jet trainer which was designed and manufactured by Poland-based Panstwowe Zaklady Lotnicze (PZL) Warszawa-Okecie (now known as Airbus Military) for the Polish Air Force (PoAF). Approximately 50 Orlik aircraft are currently operational worldwide.
In September 2011, Airbus Military Polska signed an agreement with the PoAF to build an advanced version, the PZL-130 Orlik TC-II GC.
The upgraded version will feature a glass cockpit integrated with a modern avionics suite. It minimises the workload of the pilot, enhancing safety and efficiency of flight operations. It is expected to fly in 2013, with certification planned for the same year.
PZL-130 Orlik trainer variants
The PZL-130 has six variants, namely PZL-130T Turbo Orlik, PZL-130TM Orlik, PZL-130TB Orlik, PZL-130TC I Orlik, PZL-130TC II Orlik and PZL-130TC III Orlik.
The original aircraft with one Vedeneyev M14Pm piston engine
PZL-130T Turbo Orlik
Variant with a Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-25P turboprop engine
Variant with a Walter M601E turboprop engine
Variant with a Walter M601T turboprop engine
PZL-130TC I Orlik
PZL-130TC II Orlik (Garmin)
PZL-130TC II Orlik (GC)
The PZL-130T Turbo Orlik is an improved version powered by a Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-25P turboprop engine.
The PZL-130TM Orlik is equipped with a Walter M601E turboprop engine. The PZL-130TB Orlik is incorporated with a Walter M601T turboprop engine.
The PZL-130TC I Orlik features Martin-Baker Mk11 zero by zero ejection seats and modern avionics. Its maiden flight took place in 1989. The PZL-130TC II Orlik is powered by Pratt & Whitney’s Canada PT6A-25C turboprop engine and a four-blade Hartzell propeller.
PZL-130TC II Orlik (GC) MPT (Multi Purpose Trainer)
The PZL-130TC III Orlik will house an advanced avionics including a head-up display.
Orders, deliveries and design of the PZL-130 Orlik
The PoAF ordered 48 PZL-130 Orlik aircraft in 1991. About 28 PZL-130s were in service with the PoAF as of September 2011.
The aircraft is designed to supersede the existing PZL-110 Kolibers and meet the US FAR 23 regulations.
It can hover with a flight envelope of +7g and -3g. The tricycle-type retractable landing gear design enables the Orlik to operate on unprepared and semi-prepared airstrips.
The PZL-130 is designed for aerobatic training, IFR training, navigation training, formation flying, air combat training, air gunnery, ground attacks, reconnaissance, target acquisition and target towing.
Development of the PZL-130 Orlik trainer aircraft
The proposal to build the PZL-130 was raised in 1980. PZL Warszawa-Okecie started working on the design of PZL-130 in 1981.
Development commenced in 1982 with an intention to build four airframes (a static test aircraft and three flying prototypes). The maiden flight of the initial prototype took place in October 1984. The second and third prototypes went on their first flights in December 1984 and January 1985. A static test aircraft was also completed during this time.
The third prototype was initially planned to be powered by an M14Pm engine but was equipped with a PT6A-25A turboprop engine in 1985 due to delays of the former engine’s deliveries. Its maiden flight took place in July 1986. The aircraft crashed in January 1987 during its demonstration for the Colombian Air Force.
Three additional prototypes powered by the 560kW Motorlet M601D, the 410kW PT6A-25A and the 708kW PT6A-62 flew in 1989 / 1990.
The PZL-130 Orlik entered service with the PoAF in 1993.
GE BGA Turboprops M-601E (H80 turboprop)
H80 turboprop engine for small business and transport aircraft, agricultural and other machinery. It was developed at GE BGA Turboprops, which is Letňanská branch of the American company General Electric and former Walter. H80 comes directly from his predecessor M601, which is evidenced by the initial indications M601H-80’s. It is interesting that as the engine M601 was a long 35 years, the last large Czech turbine engine. The new type has over its predecessor higher performance and lower specific fuel consumption. Another important change is the improvement of properties in extreme weather conditions, particularly at high ambient temperature, or when operating at high altitudes. Translated by google – Source leteckemotory.cz *For PT6A see below
Upgrades and cockpit
Airbus Military was awarded a PLN 148m ($52.5m) contract by Poland Defence Ministry in January 2010 to upgrade 16 PLZ-130 to TC II standards. Work on the upgrade includes integration of improved winglets, advanced engines and a Garmin avionics suite.
The first upgraded PZL-130 TCII Orlik was introduced at the PZL Warszawa – Okecie facility in September 2010. The upgrade programme is planned for completion by March 2014.
MSPO 2016: Orlik – A Turboprop Simulator of the F-16
During the Kielce MSPO Defence Exhibition, Airbus Defence & Space showcased the project related to the TC-II MPT upgrade package dedicated for the PZL-130 Orlik turboprop trainer aircraft. The airframe offered by the PZL “Warszawa-Okęcie” facility is a military turboprop trainer which is to fuse low operational costs, providing the level of training proper for the lead-in training programme designed for the pilots of fast jets.
At the moment, the Polish Air Force operates 28 PZL-130 Orlik trainers. Up until 2013, 16 examples of this aircraft have been upgraded to the TC-II Garmin standard, featuring a new wing, Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6 750 HP engine, four-blade Hartzell propeller, and additional avionics.
At the moment, Airbus Defence & Space proposes that further modernization works are carried out so that the trainer, the roots of which date back to the 1980s, receives a glass cockpit avionics suite from the MPT (Multi-Purpose Trainer) variant. Such equipment would allow the student-pilots to effortlessly make their transition to the M-346 Master and F-16C/D Jastrząb jet aircraft.
According to the arguments made by the manufacturer, the training requirements form a need to implement the glass cockpit avionics, so peculiar of the 4th and 5th generation fighters, at the second stage of the pilot’s training programme. Using a turboprop aircraft at this stage of the training would make it possible to limit the operational costs.
TC-II MPT version of the Orlik features glass cockpit avionics including MFD and HUD displays, controlled by a computer which receives the commands from UFCP and HOTAS systems, and which is also coupled with the navigation and communications suites. All of the systems listed above have analogous modes of operation and are designated identically to those used in the Polish F-16 fighter aircraft. The open architecture of the avionics also makes it possible to expand the whole suite with more functionalities, such as the IFF system or third MFD.
The equipment installed on the aircraft, including the armament and Doppler radar simulating systems, make it possible to train the pilots in air-to-air and ground attack scenarios, also in adverse weather conditions and at night. PZL-130 Orlik TC-II may also act as a flying simulator of combat sorties. Source defence24.com
The digital glass cockpit of the PZL-130 Orlik accommodates two flight crew members, a student pilot and a flight instructor in tandem seat configuration. It is enfolded by an oval-shaped glass canopy to render clear visibility. The cockpit is equipped with two Martin-Baker zero-zero ejection seats, head-up display, mission computer and multifunctional displays.
Front seat – Image: defence24.comRear seat – Image: defence24.comRear seat – Image: defence24.com
Martin-Baker Mk 11L ejection seats
Martin-Baker Mk 11L ejection seats.
Engine, propeller and performance
The PZL-130 Orlik is powered a Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-25C turboprop engine rated at 560kW of output power. It also features a five-bladed Hartzell propeller which can rotate at a constant speed of 2,200rpm.
The engine is incorporated with a single-stage centrifugal compressor, reverse flow combustor, a multistage axial, a single-stage compressor turbine, epicyclic speed diminution gearbox and digital electronics engine controls.
Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-25C turboprop engine
(A-11 to A-140)
* Powers are approximate values at take-off. Available at sea level, standard day, static conditions, uninstalled.
** Dimensions are approximate values.
*** Equivalent Shaft Horsepower: includes estimated equivalent contribution of exhaust thrust.
The PZL-130 can climb at the rate of 14.8m/s. The maximum and cruise speeds of the aircraft are 480km/h and 456km/h respectively. The stall speed is 120km/h. The maximum range is 2,200km and the service ceiling is 9,800m.
Specifications (PZL-130TC II Orlik)
- Crew: 2
- Length: 9.3 m (30 ft 6 in)
- Wingspan: 10 m (32 ft 10 in)
- Height: 3.53 m (11 ft 7 in)
- Wing area: 14.56 m2 (156.7 sq ft)
- Empty weight: 1,825 kg (4,023 lb)
- Gross weight: 2,400 kg (5,291 lb)
- Max takeoff weight: 2,950 kg (6,504 lb)
- Powerplant: 1 × Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-25C turboprop, 560 kW (750 shp)
- Maximum speed: 550 km/h (342 mph; 297 kn)
- Cruising speed: 490 km/h (304 mph; 265 kn)
- Range: 2,200 km (1,367 mi; 1,188 nmi)
- Service ceiling: 10,000 m (32,808 ft)
- Rate of climb: 14.4 m/s (2,830 ft/min)
- Hardpoints: 6 with a capacity of 700 kg (1,500 lb),
Main material source airforce-technology.com
Revised Mar 23, 2017