PZL Swidnik "Kania" ("Kitty Hawk")


In the late 1970s, P.Z.L. Swidnik, in conjunction with the Allison Division of General Motors in the USA, developed an export version of the Mil Mi-2 fitted with two Allison turboshaft engines. Given the names Kania or Kitty Hawk, they were generally similar to the P.Z.L. Swidnik Mi-2, being conversions of production airframes. The first (SP-PSA) was flown on 3 June 1979 and was intended, like the standard Mi-2, to fulfil a variety of roles. It could accommodate a pilot and a maximum of nine passengers or, alternatively, pilot and copilot plus eight passengers, and the cabin seats were removable to allow use in the agricultural or air ambulance roles. Reconfigured it could carry up to 800kg of cargo, some externally slung. The number ultimately converted (to the Kania Model 1) is believed to have totalled four prototypes plus half a dozen definitive aircraft. Earlier, in August 1978, P.Z.L. Swidnik concluded an agreement with the Spitfire Helicopter Company of the US allowing them to market a modified version of the Kania in Western countries under the name Spitfire Taurus. This differed primarily from the standard Polish version by introducing uprated Allison 250-C28 turboshaft engines, each with a take-off rating of 373kW fed by a large common intake; revised nose contours and sporting a ventral fin. However, the company has since gone out of business, and it is not known if any conversions were completed.

D.Donald "The Complete Encyclopedia of World Aircraft", 1997

PZL Swidnik Kania (Kitty Hawk)

Developed in collaboration with Allison in USA; two prototypes produced by converting Mi-2 airframes; first flight of first prototype (SP-PSA) 3 June 1979. Polish certification of the Kania was carried out in two stages.

The first took place in 1979-81 and resulted, on 1 October 1981, in a supplementary type certificate to that of the Mi-2. The second stage, concerning a considerably improved Kania Model 1 version, was carried out during 1982-86 under the leadership of Stanislaw I Markisz. Improvements included among others, redesigned cockpit and cabin layout, engine and flight controls as well as engine and transmission cowlings. On 21 February 1986 this version of the Kania was granted a separate type certificate as an FAR Pt 29 (Transport Cat. B) day and night SVFR multipurpose utility helicopter with Cat. A engine isolation.

Intended for passenger transport (with standard, executive or customised interiors), cargo transport (internal or slung load), agricultural (LV and ULV spraying/spreading/dusting), medevac, training, rescue, and aerial surveillance configurations.


Kania Model 1: Basic production model.

CUSTOMERS: Total 10 delivered by January 1999. Production may be discontinued in 2000.

DESIGN FEATURES: Three-blade fully articulated main rotor and two-blade seesaw tail rotor. Main gearbox equipped with freewheel units, oil cooling system, oil temperature and pressure gauges and switches, tacho-generator with low- and high-rpm warning, air compressor and a spare power pad of 19.1kW at 8,000 rpm. Steel engine driveshafts, each with two crowned tooth couplings. Tail rotor driveshaft of duralumin tube, with similar crowned tooth couplings and anti-friction bearings. Hoist and cargo sling attachment points standard. Transmission includes main rotor, intermediate and tail rotor gearboxes, each with individual lubrication system.

FLYING CONTROLS: Three hydraulic boosters for longitudinal lateral and collective pitch control augmentation.

STRUCTURE: Glass fibre/epoxy blades on both rotors. Conventional semi-monocoque fuselage and circular-section tailboom. Glass fibre/epoxy horizontal stabiliser at end of tailboom.

LANDING GEAR: Non-retractable tricycle type, plus tailskid. Twin-wheel castoring and self-centring nose unit; single wheel on each main unit. Stomil Poznan tyres, sizes 600 x 180 mm (main) and 300 x 125 mm (nose); tyre pressure 4.0 and 3.5 bars respectively. Pneumatic brakes on mainwheels. Metal skis and emergency flotation bags optional.

POWER PLANT: Two Allison 250-C20B turboshafts, mounted side by side above cabin; each rated at 317kW for T-O, 30 minutes twin-engine emergency power and one engine out maximum continuous power, and 276kW for normal cruise. Automatic and manual torque sharing control systems standard. Two separate fuel boost systems, each with fuel filter bypass switch, fuel pressure gauge and switch, connected by crossfeed. Standard usable fuel capacity of 600 litres, with provision for additional 423 litres usable in optional auxiliary tanks. Fuel quantity gauge and fuel reserve warning. Two separate oil systems, each with oil cooling, temperature and pressure gauges, oil filter bypass pop-up and chip warning. Each engine equipped with starter/generator, engine fuel pump effective for cruise after both boost pumps out, N1 and N2 tacho-generators, TOT gauge and switch, start counter, and 'engine out' warning. Dual engine inlet anti-icing standard, each engine compartment equipped with fire detection system and with automatic and manual fire extinguishing systems.

ACCOMMODATION: Pilot (port side), and co-pilot or passenger, on adjustable and removable front seats, each fitted with safety belt. Dual controls optional. Accommodation for up to eight more persons, on two three-person bench seats and a single or double seat at rear of cabin, all with safety belts. Seats removable for carriage of cargo (up to 1,200kg), two or four stretchers plus medical attendants, agricultural or other specialised equipment. Access to cabin via jettisonable door on each side at front (port side of sliding type) and larger passenger/cargo door at rear on port side. Pilot's windscreen wiper standard, co-pilot's optional. Cargo and stretcher tiedown points in cabin floor. Cabin soundproofing and ventilation standard; heating, carpets, double pane windows, pilot's heated windscreen, all optional. Baggage compartment at rear of cabin. Cockpit and cabin lighting standard.

SYSTEMS: Hydraulic system, with pressure gauge and switch, standard. Compressed air system, with accumulator and system gauges, standard. Ventilation standard, with individually controllable fresh air outlets; Casey cabin heaters optional, with individual control of hot air flow and central control of overall cabin temperature. DC electrical system based on two 28V 150A starter/generators and a 25Ah Ni/Cd battery, with ground power receptacle. Ground/battery power, battery overtemperature and ‘generator out' warnings standard. A 16kVA AC generator and/or 115V 250A static inverter are optional; this AC system is equipped with AC generator and AC 115V warnings. Dual fire detection and extinguishing systems for engines standard. Electric de-icing of main and tail rotor blades (including icing and 'system out' warnings) optional.

AVIONICS: Wide range of AlliedSignal Silver Crown Series III com/nav available at customer's option.
Comms: Single VHF transceiver standard. HF, second VHF, transponder (with or without altitude encoder) and audio panel optional.
Flight: Magnetic compass, gyrocompass and HSI standard. Options include digital ADF, RNav/VORI receiver, VOR/LOC converter, marker beacon receiver, DME, VOR2 receiver and radar altimeter.
Instrumentation: Attitude indicator, ASI, turn and slip indicator, altitude indicator, rate of climb indicator and mechanical clock standard.
Mission: Polish Border Guard aircraft equipped with day/night (TV/FLIR) observation system, NVG cockpit and datalink.

EQUIPMENT: Standard equipment includes dual anti-collision lights, navigation lights, portable fire extinguisher, tool kit and first aid kit. Fluorescent tube cabin lighting and/or individual lights optional. According to mission, the Kania can be equipped with an 800kg capacity stabilised cargo sling; 120kg capacity hoist (275kg); stretchers and casualty care equipment; or equipment for a variety of agricultural duties. Polish Border Guard aircraft have Spectrolab SX-5 searchlight and HLU-100 loudspeaker system.

Jane's Helicopter Markets and Systems

The Kania is an example of the interest shown by the Communist bloc in trying to sell its aeronautical products to the western world. On August 12, 1978, for example, the Polish aircraft export agency Pezetel signed an agreement with the Spitfire Helicopter Company of Media, Pennsylvania for the latter to sell in western markets the Mil Mi-2 general-purpose helicopter built by WSK-PZL Swidnik as the Taurus II. At the same time, thought was given to the production of an Mi-2 variant with American engines, and this has emerged as the Kania (or Kitty Hawk).

The engine selected for the Kania is the ubiquitous Allison 250 turboshaft. WSK-PZL Swidnik have worked closely with the Detroit Diesel Allison Division of the General Motors Corporation on the installation of the two 250-C20B turboshafts, to ensure optimum location at minimum weight. Each of the engines is rated at 420shp for take-off and 30 min, 400shp maximum continuous running, and 370shp maximum cruising power. Fuel tankage remains unaltered, compared with that of the Mi-2, at 600 litres, with provision for another 480 litres in optional auxiliary tanks.

Accommodation is provided at the front of the cabin for a pilot and co-pilot or passenger, on separate seats, with eight more passengers seated on two three-abreast benches and one double or two single seats at the rear of the cabin. The Kania is intended as a general-purpose helicopter, and so the seating is removable to allow the carriage of freight, agricultural equipment and litters. Access to the cabin is gained by a small door on each side of the forward fuselage, and a larger door on the left side of the passenger compartment's rear. To suit the type to western markets, the Kania is provided with a comprehensive array of western avionics. These include dual instrument lighting systems, pilot's cabin extension light and an adjustable landing light. Among the optional avionics are a King KWX-50 digital weather radar, and a KRA-10 radar altimeter. Standard instrumentation includes King KX-175BE com/nav, KR-85 digital Automatic Direction Finding equipment and KT-76 transponder. An interesting optional feature is a 16k VA AC generator for de-icing the pilot's windscreen and cabin heating and air conditioning.

The smaller size of the Allison 250-C20B, compared with the Isotov GTD-350P used on the Mi-2, has made possible a smaller engine installation, and the opportunity has also been taken to recontour the nose. Rotor diameter has been increased by 6cm compared with the 14.5m of the Mi-2. The overall effect has been a reduction in empty weight of 262kg, though maximum take-off weight falls by only 150kg.

Despite the lower power of the American engines, the performance of the Kania is comparable with that of the Mi-2 except in range, where the Kania appears to be superior by a small margin.

Bill Gunston "The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Commercial Aircraft", 1980

Technical data for PZL Swidnik "Kania"

Engine: 2 x Allison 250-C20B turboshaft, rated 314kW at take-off, main rotor diameter: 14.56m, length with rotors turning: 17.41m, height: 3.75m, take-off weight: 3550kg, empty weight: 2140kg, cruising speed: 210km/h, service ceiling: 4000m, range with max payload: 497km