Private Flying LAA/BMAA/BGA/BPA The sheer pleasure of flight.


Old 26th Sep 2007, 06:04
  #1 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: The 'Bat Cave' @ HLP in the Big Durian Indo
Age: 58
Posts: 781
Pzl 104

Anyone have any ownership or flying experiences with the PZL 104 and 105 ?

They are reasonably cheap to buy where I am and I'm considering buiying one for short hops of 100 to 200 miles

I think 500+ mile flights would be a bit tedious

Last edited by aseanaero; 26th Sep 2007 at 07:48.
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Old 26th Sep 2007, 09:51
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Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: London
Posts: 179
Think there was one parked at North Weald some time ago - hideous things...
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Old 26th Sep 2007, 10:59
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Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Devon
Posts: 9
PZL 104 -Wilga

The Wilga is a very capable plane in the right hands. I bought one earlier this year and have put it on the G reg. On the ferry flight to the UK cruise 80 kts @46 lit ph

The build quality is fantastic and although it is not the prettiest it certainly attrcts attention.
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Old 27th Sep 2007, 02:03
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Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Norfolk
Posts: 1,033
Yeah - and you ghet a free ladder to get up to the cockpit

Seriously though I have towed behind one and they go up like a homesick angel even with a heavy two seater behind.

And rough fields are no issue at all for them.

I think you can have a lycoming conversion too now if you don't want the radial on the front.

Wilma80 - what are they like to fly ? - the vis looks good.

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Old 27th Sep 2007, 02:38
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Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: oz
Posts: 20
it is a great glider tower....... but a little maintenance intensive (like most of the radial engines of its era)
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Old 27th Sep 2007, 10:36
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Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: New South Wales
Posts: 1,793
Here are some pics of Devon from Wilma's Wilga, taken a few weeks ago. It is quite the ugliest aircraft ever to leave the ground, but the visibility and performance are extraordinary.

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Old 27th Sep 2007, 21:12
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Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Norfolk
Posts: 1,033
Fabulous and really agricultural ! - vis is almost like a helo from some angles

Is it noisy though with that huge radial and prop combo ?

And is it a comfortable ride with those link undercarriages ?
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Old 27th Sep 2007, 21:55
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Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: New South Wales
Posts: 1,793
Surprisingly, it is not that noisy and the undercarriage can absorb enormous punishment. It is a most impressive aircraft.
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Old 28th Sep 2007, 08:39
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Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Europe
Posts: 23
Wilga don't know such thing like "too much altitude". With glide ratio 5.5 at best you have wide variety of glide paths. Add full flaps and you're hanging on seatbelts. After releasing the tow at you get to ground very quickly , reduce manifold to bottom of green arc ( 450 mm Hg ) go for 200-210 km/h and VSI stops after reaching lover limit of -10 m/s and stays there . And you're friendly to engine too thanks to wonderful device that covers cylinders.

It is no issue to have ground roll of 200-300 feet thanks to Wilga low approach speed of around 100 km/h ( 54 knt ) and big drag. I'm still to shy to try method of even shorter ground rolls,we call it umbrella. You go for full flaps and speed of 80-90 km/h , at this speed you've 3point attitude. Just before touchdown add some power to produce ground cushion

Be sure to watch your ground roll and don't let her go to one way or another because you will end up with wing catching the ground. I have never landed Wilga on tarmac but I've heard some horror stories about that and when I had a choice I always went for grass.

Towing performance depends from one machine to other. This season I've flown Wilga
with rather poor performance , in hot summer days with 2seater 20 % of time vsi was showing descent ( on climb power ) Engine was fine with smooth running , good mags & sparks but maybe it didn't develop 260 hp. Without use of thermals tow to 1200m took 20 min ( something good for hour builders I used thermals as a help and tow time were reduced to 15 min.

She can be real maintenance hog. This year I've flown one Wilga for whole summer season ( 80 hrs and 650 landings ) I had :

- fouled sparks
- toe brake spring broke
- cylinders covers not fully opening ( random issue )
- air valve malfunction , so sometimes there was no pneumatic pressure to start the engine so hand propping went back to action
- oil leaking from top covers of valve rods , dripping onto exhaust. It created some nice "air show mode"

There time limits on airframe , engine and prop , so maintenance cost are rather high. Many aeroclubs in Poland sells Wilga in very good condition for a price of scrap. They just don't have money to keep'em running. Take a look ( allegro in Poland is something like ebay in US ) :

from description :

Very good paint , hangared . Complete instruments. Mnfcd 1972 , TT 2643 h 38 ' , 41h left till next airframe overhaul.

Buy now price: 7300 euro and no offers
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Old 30th Sep 2007, 21:12
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Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Norfolk
Posts: 1,033
Is that a variable pitch prop of constant speed unit ?
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Old 1st Oct 2007, 05:24
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Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Hong Kong
Age: 61
Posts: 22
I've flown a Wilga 80 in Thailand off grass and tarmac with a safety pilot (he was very busy on the rudder on tarmac, quite busy on grass). Strips were short and rough but the Wilga does not need much runway.
Noisy, and prop goes the other way. I found I needed a constant left rudder cruising.
Putting prop to fine when setting up for an approach really slowed us down fast - prop became a big brake at lower RPM. Mechanical flaps a la PA28 but positioned above and left of the left seat.
Not that much head room for the taller pilot because of the spar above the seats. Good visibility - we flew doors off.
Maneuverable when turning after a back-track: hold one wheel with toe-brakes, stick forward, open throttle briefly - the tail lifts up and the aircraft turns around one wheel - tail drops back as soon as the throttle is reduced again. I found I needed a lot of pull to hold the tail down during the run-up checks.
Agricultural is the word. A checklist and more on related pages:
I enjoyed the experience and will do it again sometime.
Not an aircraft I'd plan on touring in unless my requirements included landing at short/rough strips.
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Old 1st Oct 2007, 12:56
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Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: The 'Bat Cave' @ HLP in the Big Durian Indo
Age: 58
Posts: 781
I like the Wilga for a few reasons

1. They are relatively cheap

2. They are a tail dragger

3. They remind me of a poor man's Pilatus Porter , I flew 300 hrs in the Porter and I loved it , ok the Wilgas not a turbine but it looks like it would be just as much fun to fly

Footnote : descents in the Porter , flight idle , 38 degrees nose down and 120 kts = 6,000 fpm

We used to turn downwind at 10,000ft , base at 6,000ft and finals at 3,000ft (private airfield) , I could drop a load of skydivers at 12,000 ft and be on the runaway in 2 1/2 mins , the meat missiles took 3 mins to get down

Last edited by aseanaero; 1st Oct 2007 at 15:09.
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