|Manufacturer||Państwowe Zakłady Lotnicze|
|Primary Role||Medium Bomber|
|Maiden Flight||13 December 1936|
Contributor: C. Peter Chen
ww2dbaseThe PZL.37 Los ("Moose") bombers were designed by Jerzy Dąbrowski. When the prototype flew in late 1936, it was among the world's more advanced medium bombers with a relatively high bomb load and having the versatility of being able to operate from rough airstrips. The second prototype was accepted, and the first 10 were produced in 1938 as the PZL.37A variant. The next 19 production models, noted as the PZL.37A bis variant, differed from the first 10 in that they had two vertical stabilizers at the tail. The main production variant, the PZL.37B, was the result after the successful twin-tail variant. Production began in autumn of 1938, and by the time the European War began, about 90 were in service with about 30 being assembled.
ww2dbaseFor export purposes, PZL.37C and PZL.37D variants were designed with Gnome-Rhone 14N-0/1 and Gnome-Rhone 14N-20/21 engines, respectively; the engine change was because the license-built Bristol Pegasus engines were only allowed to be used in Poland. 20 were ordered by Yugoslavia, 15 by Bulgaria, 30 by Romania, and 25 by Turkey. The outbreak of the European War, however, meant none of these countries received them. Belgium purchased the right to build them under license, but the European War also prevented them from actually starting production.
ww2dbaseWhen Poland entered the war, PZL.37 bombers of the Bomber Brigade survived the initial onslaught of the German Luftwaffe because they were deployed in rural airstrips instead of the major military airbases. Starting on 4 Sep 1939, they attacked German armored columns in day attacks. Although they did slow the advance of the German 16th Armored Corps, the bombers, with the typical 1930s defensive armament of only 3 machine guns, easily fell victim to German interceptors. The last combat flight took place on 16 Sep, after which 26 or 27 of the surviving PZL.37 bombers were evacuated to Romania. In Oct 1940, the Romanian military confiscated the Polish PZL.37 bombers, and 23 of them were deployed to the Romanian 4th Bomber Group. After a few were lost in crashes due to Romanian pilots' inexperience with them, 15 of them were used to bomb Kiev and Odessa during the Axis invasion of Russia. They were withdrawn to the rear in Oct 1941 due to lack of spare parts, and remained in a training role until they served in combat briefly in Apr 1944. When Romania switched sides to join the Allies on 1 Sep 1944, German aircraft destroyed 5 of the remaining PZL.37 bombers on the ground.
Last Major Revision: Jun 2007
|Machinery||Two Bristol Pegasus XX radial engines rated at 940hp each, license-built by PZL|
|Armament||1x7.92mm nose machine gun, 1x7.92mm rear upper machine gun, 1x7.92mm underbelly machine gun, 2,580kg of bombs|
|Wing Area||53.50 m²|
|Weight, Empty||4,935 kg|
|Weight, Loaded||8,880 kg|
|Weight, Maximum||9,105 kg|
|Speed, Maximum||412 km/h|
|Rate of Climb||4.70 m/s|
|Service Ceiling||7,000 m|
|Range, Normal||2,600 km|
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Joachim von Ribbentrop, German Foreign Minister, Aug 1939
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