Polish Orlik upgrade

The Siły Powietrzne Rzeczpospolita Polska’s – (SPRP or Air Force of the Republic of Poland) fleet of 12 legacy PZL 130 Orlik TC-I trainer aircraft is being modernised by PZL Warszawa- Okęcie to bring them up to the same standard as 16 of the SPRP’s Orlik TC IIs that are themselves being updated to Orlik TC II Advanced standard.

The work, which will result in a fleet of 28 trainers all of the same specification, began in December 2017. The last modernised aircraft will re-enter service at 42 Air Training Base, Radom, between mid-2019 and October 2020.

The completely rebuilt aircraft will have new wings, tail assemblies and a modified fuselage. The engine will be upgraded with the 748shp (559kW) Pratt & Whitney Canada PTA6-25C engine fitted with a four-blade Hartzell propeller.

The cockpit will benefit from the total replacement of existing instrumentation with a fully digital cockpit, including flight, engine, navigation and warning displays, new communication and navigation radios. As well as a terrain alert and warning system, a traffic alert and collision avoidance system will be installed. All electrical systems and wiring will be replaced and a new air conditioning system installed. The zero-timed airframes will have a projected service life of 12,000 flight hours.

The new Orliks will be serviced on an on-condition basis instead of a calendar-based schedule. They will require checks half as often as the legacy aircraft, resulting in major operating cost savings.