P.Z.L. P.49 Mis (Teddy Bear)

The P.Z.L. P.49 Mis (Teddy Bear) was a more advanced version of the P.37 twin engined bomber, but the prototype hadn’t been completed when the Germans invaded and all work on the type was destroyed before it could fall into their hands.

P.Z.L. P.37 Los (Elk) from the left
P.Z.L. P.37 Los (Elk) from the left

The P.Z.L. P.37 Los (Elk) was the most advanced aircraft in Polish service in 1939, and was a twin engined monoplane bomber, with a well streamlined design and able to operate with 1,000hp engines. The first prototype made its maiden flight in the summer of 1936, and it was soon ordered into production.

At the same time work began on its success, the P.49 Mis (Teddy Bear). During 1937-38 the detailed designs were produced. The new aircraft would be able to take 1,200hp-1,600hp engines, with the 1,375 Bristol Hercules and 1,400hp Gnome-Rhone 14N50/51 engines initial candidates.

Work on a wooden mock-up was approved, and construction of the prototypes began in the winter of 1938-39. By September 1939 the wings of the first prototype, P.49/I, had been completed, and the parts for the fuselage were ready to be assembled. However when the Germans surrounded Warsaw the prototype was destroyed and the designer’s wife burnt all of the plans in the oven at a bakery.

The P.49 would have been similar to the P.37, with a low mounted wing carrying the twin engines, and a larger version of the twin fin tail used on most of the P.37s. However it would have been much more heavily armed. The P.37 carried three 7.7mm machine guns, in nose, dorsal and ventral positions. The P.49 would have been armed with twin 7.7mm guns in the nose, twin 7.7mm guns in a retractable ventral gondola which would have been operated by the weight of the gunner and a hydraulically operated dorsal turret. Exactly what guns to carry in the turret was under discussion, with a 37mm Hispano-Oerlikon cannon, six machine guns or a combination of a 20mm cannon and two machine guns under consideration.  

The plan had been for the P.49/I to make its maiden flight early in 1940 and enter production late in 1940. However the Polish high command turned against the P.37 in 1939, and it is unlikely that the P.49 would have entered production, at least for the Polish air force.

Engine: Bristol Hercules
Power: 1,375hp each
Normal loaded weight: 25,350lb
Maximum Speed: 323.1mph (Hercules engines)
Range: 1,864 miles
Guns: Twin machine guns in nose and ventral positions, undecided guns in dorsal turret
Bomb load: Up to 4,850lb

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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (9 November 2021), P.Z.L. P.49 Mis (Teddy Bear), http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/weapons_PZL_P49_mis.html

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