RWD (aircraft manufacturer)

RWD was a Polish aircraft construction bureau active between 1928 and 1939. It started as a team of three young designers, Stanisław Rogalski, Stanisław Wigura and Jerzy Drzewiecki, whose names formed the RWD acronym.


Jerzy Drzewiecki and Jerzy Wedrychowski by the RWD-7

They started work while studying at Warsaw University of Technology. In December 1925, with some other student constructors, they set up workshops at the Aviation Section of Mechanics Students' Club (Sekcja Lotnicza Koła Mechaników Studentów), where they manufactured their first designs. From 1926 they designed several aircraft alone (Drzewiecki JD-2 and WR-1), in 1928 they joined forces as one team, starting with RWD-1 sportsplane. Apart from building planes, J. Drzewiecki was a test pilot of their designs, while S. Wigura flew as a mechanic in competitions. In 1930 the team was moved to new workshops at Okęcie district in Warsaw, near the Okęcie aerodrome, today's Warsaw International Airport, founded by the LOPP paramilitary organization. On 11 September 1932, Stanisław Wigura died in an air crash in the RWD-6 during a storm, but the RWD name continued to be used for new designs (according to a popular story, the letter W now de facto stood for engineer Jerzy Wędrychowski, but he was not a designer). In 1933, Rogalski, Drzewiecki and Wędrychowski founded the company Doświadczalne Warsztaty Lotnicze (DWL, Experimental Aeronautical Works) in Warsaw, which became a manufacturer of further RWD aircraft. Apart from Rogalski and Drzewiecki, in a construction bureau worked designers Tadeusz Chyliński,[1] Bronisław Żurakowski, Leszek Dulęba and Andrzej Anczutin and several engineers, including Henryk Millicer.

At first, the RWD team designed and built light sportsplanes. Early designs RWD-2 and RWD-4 were built in small series and used in Polish sports aviation, including their debut at the Challenge 1930 international contest. Their next designs performed particularly well in competitions - the RWD-6 won the Challenge 1932 and RWD-9s won the Challenge 1934 international contest. The sportsplane RWD-5 was the lightest plane to fly across the Atlantic in 1933. Three types saw mass production: the RWD-8, which became the Polish Air Force basic trainer, the RWD-13 touring plane and the RWD-14 Czapla reconnaissance plane (1938).

Other important designs were the RWD-10 aerobatic plane (1933), RWD-17 aerobatic-trainer plane (1937) and RWD-21 light sport plane (1939). World War II prevented further development and serial production of later RWD designs, and put an end to the RWD construction bureau and the DWL workshops.

List of RWD designs

List of designs by RWD
Design First flight Type Seats No. built
RWD-1 1928 sports high-wing, 1 engine 2 1
RWD-2 1929 sports high-wing, 1 engine 2 4
RWD-3 1930 sports high-wing, 1 engine 2 1
RWD-4 1930 sports high-wing, 1 engine 2 9
RWD-5 1931 sports high-wing, 1 engine 2 20
RWD-6 1932 sports high-wing, 1 engine 2 3
RWD-7 1931 sports high-wing, 1 engine 1 2 1
RWD-8 1933 primary trainer high-wing, 1 engine 2 ~ 550
RWD-9 1933 sports high-wing, 1 engine 4 8
RWD-10 1933 aerobatics high-wing, 1 engine 1 23
RWD-11 1936 passenger low-wing, 2 engines 2+6 1
RWD-12 (unfinished) observation plane high wing, 1 engine 2 2 0
RWD-13 1935 sports and touring high-wing, 1 engine 3 ~100
RWD-14 Czapla 1935 reconnaissance aircraft, high-wing, 1 engine 2 65 3
RWD-15 1937 touring high-wing, 1 engine 5 6 (+10 unfinished)
RWD-16 1936 sports low-wing, 1 engine 2 1
RWD-16bis 1938 sports low-wing, 1 engine 2 2
RWD-17 1937 trainer-aerobatics high-wing, 1 engine 2 24
RWD-17W 1938 trainer floatplane, 1 engine 2 6 4
RWD-18 (19395) touring and ambulance high-wing, 2 engines 5 (1 unfinished)
RWD-19 1938 sports low-wing, 1 engine 2 1
RWD-20 1937 experimental touring high-wing, 1 engine 6 2 1
RWD-21 1939 sports and touring low-wing, 1 engine 2 4 (+10 unfinished)
RWD-22 (late 1940) torpedo floatplane project, 2 engines 3 0
RWD-23 1938 trainer low-wing, 1 engine 7 2 1
RWD-24 (late 1940) light bomber project, 2 engines 8 3 0
RWD-25 (1939) low-wing, fixed-wheels fighter project, 1 engine 1 0
RWD-26 (late 1940) trainer low-wing project, 1 engine 2 0


  1. Built as a record plane, it set off after less than 20 metres runway
  2. Derived from RWD-8
  3. Produced by the LWS, all commissioned by Polish Airforce
  4. Out of 125 ordered by the Polish Army (120) and Polish Navy (5)
  5. First flight planned in December 1939; it was one of the first two engine civilian planes in the world
  6. Based on a RWD-9 prototype, designed to test a 3-wheel gear for the RWD-18
  7. Designed as a successor of the RWD-8
  8. Land-based version of the RWD-22


  1. ^ Andrzej Glass (2003). Słownik biograficzny techników polskich, SBTP: Warsaw, p. 24: fragment of its entry about Tadeusz Chyliński: (Polish: W 1937 r. podjął prace w Doświadczalnych Warsztatach Lotniczych (RWD) jako konstr., jednocześnie kontynuowal studia. Pracował przy dok. seryjnej samolotu obserwacyjnego RWD-14 Czapla, następnie zaprojektował plat samolotu zawodniczego RWD-19, kadlub samolotu dyspozycyjnego RWD-18, łoże silnika do samolotu szk. RWD-23 i dźwigar płata samolotu myśliwskiego RWD-25. W l. 1933-38 byl czl. Sekcji Lotniczej Kola Mechaników Stud. PW.)
  • Glass, Andrzej: "Polskie konstrukcje lotnicze 1893-1939" (Polish Aviation Designs 1893-1939), WKiŁ, Warsaw 1977 (in Polish)
  • Glass, Andrzej: "Slownik biograficzny technikow polskich" (The Biographical Dictionary of Polish Engineers), SBTP, Warsaw 2003 (in Polish)

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