PZL Swidnik has unveiled two projects based on the further development of its W-3 Sokol utility helicopter design.

The Sokol-2 would maintain commonality with its predecessor, but feature enhancements including new five-blade main and four-blade tail rotors, new gearboxes and either LHTEC T800- or Turbomeca Ardiden-series engines, enabling improved hover performance. It will also have an open architecture glass cockpit and autopilot.

Sokol-2 - PZL Swidnik 
© PZL Swidnik
The Sokol-2 features numerous design enhancements

Maximum take-off weight would be 7,000kg (15,400lb), including an increased payload of 2,700kg, with a cruise speed of 150kt (280km/h) and an 870km (470nm) range.

Tests on the new main rotor design will start in 2011, and PZL Swidnik says all older Sokols could be rebuilt to the new standard.

The company has also released details of a new SW-5 project, also based on the Sokol. Now in its design phase, the transport will have a MTOW of 7,500kg, rear ramp and a retractable landing gear.

Although visibly resembling the baseline SW-3 and to use the main rotor and some transmission elements from the Sokol-2, the new aircraft will have a composite fuselage structure and have an increased payload of 3,200kg. Maximum speed will be 172kt and cruise performance up to 164kt, with a 925km range.

 SW-5 - PZL Swidnik
© PZL Swidnik
The planned SW-5 transport would introduce a rear ramp

The aircraft would be capable of carrying 14 fully equipped troops in its transport configuration, or up to nine stretchers in a combat search and rescue fit. Other planned models include an armed version with rocket launchers, plus variants for missions including special forces support, electronic warfare/intelligence, maritime patrol and anti-submarine/anti-surface warfare, equipped with two torpedoes or air-to-surface missiles.

PZL Swidnik is also eyeing a market for civilian versions. Eighteen passengers could be carried in a high-density configuration, it says, with a possible VIP version to carry six people. Other roles could include air taxi, emergency medical service, firefighting and search and rescue tasks.

Source: Flight International