PZL.38 Wilk: Wolf’s Maw.

The Polish Wilk (Wolf) was conceived in the late 1930’s to fulfil a very demanding multi-purpose role (fighter-attack-bomber) role. Aerodynamically, the PZL stuff chose to scale-down of their promising PZL.37 Łoś and power it with household built 490 hp PZL Foka engines. Those engines precisely proved to be one of the main Achilles’ heels of the Wilk. The others were its structural overweight, slowness and too modest load carrying capabilities. In view of those defects, the authorities decided to cancel the project in the Spring of 1939 in favor a radial-engined powered derivative, the PZL.48 Lampart.

Pictured here the second of the just two prototypes built (PZl.38/II) with its imported 450 hp Ranger SGV-770B engines. Those American engines were employed in view of the defects of the native Foka engines. Crude engine nacelle and pedestrian Szomański two-blade fixed wooden propellers apart, that nose certainly means business with its 20 mm Wz.38 cannon and a pair of 7.92 mm PWU Wz.36 MGs. The intended production model would have been even fiercer.

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