RWD 25 Sokol (Falcon)

The RWD 25 Sokol (Falcon) was a design for a light weight fighter which was to act as an operational trainer and an interceptor in emergencies.

During the later 1930s D.W.L. had a poor relationship with General Rayski, head of the Polish Air Force, who had repeated attempted to nationalise the firm. However early in 1939 he was replaced, and the new Air Force command was less hostile, and when D.W.L. approached them they were given permission to join the Sokol project.  This had developed from the P.Z.L. P.45 Sokol, a lightweight fighter that had originally been developed to supplement the increasingly obsolete P.Z.L. P.11, then as a backup in case the more modern P.Z.L. P.50 Jastrzab failed (as it indeed did).

D.W.L. produced a design for a simple fighter aircraft, using the company’s standard construction system, with a welded steel tube structure for the fuselage and wooden wings. The wings were given a high-lift aerofoil section but had no flaps, in order to make it easier to build. For the same reason it was given a fixed undercarriage, with streamlined fairings for the wheels and spats around the struts. It was to be powered by a 700-800hp Gnome-Rhone Mars double row radial engine, and armed with four 7.7mm wing mounted machine guns. No fuselage guns were carried in order to avoid the need to use synchronizing gear, another attempt to simplify the design. The wings were tapered, with a very slight taper on the leading edge and more pronounced taper on the trailing edge.

Detailed design work began in the summer of 1939, and the first prototype was expected to fly in March 1940. It was thus only at the design stage when the Germans invaded in September 1939.

Weights and Performance figures all estimates
Engine: Gnome-Rhone 14M05 Mars fourteen cylinder double row radial engine
Power: 730hp at 11,482ft
Crew: 1
Span: 34ft 5.5in
Length: 22ft 11.75in
Empty Weight:
Loaded Weight: 3,968lb
Maximum Speed: 279.6mph at 9,842ft
Range: 466 miles
Guns: Four 7.7mm machine guns

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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (8 August 2022), RWD.25 Sokol (Falcon) ,

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