The P.W.S.16 was an aerobatic and intermediate trainer based on the earlier P.W.S.12 and P.W.S.14 and that was produced after the company had gone bankrupt and been taken over by the Polish government.
Work on the P.W.S.12 began in 1927, at which point it was a biplane version of the parasol wing P.W.S.11 trainer. However over the next few years the design was repeatedly modified, until early in 1931 the Polish Department of Aeronautics ordered twenty P.W.S.12 trainers. By this point it was a staggered wing biplane, with an oval cross section to the fuselage, powered by a 220hp Polish Skoda Works (Wright) J.5 Whirlwind nine-cylinder radial air-cooled engine, and a wooden framework for the fuselage. Before the twenty aircraft could be completed the order was changed to one for twenty P.W.S.14s, which was similar to the P.W.S.12, but with a welded steel tube fuselage. The existing aircraft were modified to the new specifications, and were delivered in 1932.
Unfortunately the changes to the orders, combined with the failure of other P.W.S. designs, meant that in the summer of 1932 the company went bankrupt. By 1933 it had been taken over by the Polish government, and work on the new P.W.S.16 was able to resume.
The original P.W.S.16 prototype was probably produced by modifying one of the twenty P.W.S.14s, and tested in 1933.
It was then followed by the P.W.S.16bis, which probably introduced a number of other changes, although it isn’t entirely clear what was introduced at each stage. It had a cleaner fuselage than the P.W.S.14, with a taller rear section that eliminated the need for the head-rest of the earlier model. The Townend ring used on the older machines (including the P.W.S.16) was replaced with a close-fitting long-chord NACA cowling. The fuel system was modified to allow for long periods of inverted flying.
The twenty P.W.S.16s were delivered to the training school at Deblin late in 1934. At the same time an order was placed for twenty of the P.W.S.16bis and twenty Polish built Avro Tutors, with the designation P.W.S.18. These began to arrive at the training schools over the winter of 1935-36. Both versions of the P.W.S.16 were popular, combining generally docile handling with good manoeuvrability.
The P.W.S.16 was followed into production by the P.W.S.26, which was modified to allow it to carry arms and to be used for dive bombing training. This was ordered into large scale production and became one of the main training aircraft of the Polish Air Force.
Engine: Polish Skoda Works (Wright) J.5 Whirlwind nine-cylinder radial air-cooled engine
Span: 29ft 6.75in
Length: 23ft 0.75in
Empty Weight: 1,874lb
Loaded Weight: 2,469lb