PZL (Państwowe Zakłady Lotnicze – State Aviation Works) was the main aircraft manufacturer in Poland. With the fall of communism, the company was divided and some years ago Airbus Military acquired for EADS part of it, which since then is called EADS PZL.
This week I visited EADS PZL facilities both in Warsaw (where they produce C-295 outer wings, most of Airbus Military electrical harnesses, PZL-130 Orlik trainer airplane…) and Mielec (where the aviation services unit is located) in which was my first visit to Poland ever.
Frankly, I found Warsaw a quite nice place to live even though we could visit the old town only by night. We especially liked the couple of good restaurants we visited: Fukier (apparently the restaurant of choice of Felipe Gonzalez, Madeleine Albright, Naomi Campbell and us, of course) and U Kucharcy (where traditional Polish food is cooked in between the tables where customers are seated).
EADS PZL ZUA, the aviation services unit in the South of Poland (Mielec) operates dozens of aircraft in fire fighting and agriculture missions in places ranging from Sudan, Iran, Egypt, Chile… This unit is made up of a different class of people; adventurous pilots and mechanics that learn a language in few weeks and off they go to their next assignment in another corner of the world living by the aircraft in tents at ad-hoc built “bases” close to forests. Enjoy this video of a PZL M-18 Dromader in a demonstration flight:
I loved this visit. It was impressive to see the tens of Antonov 2 and PZL Dromaders, and we were offered a flight around the skies of Mielec in a Piper Seneca V, which I had the chance of piloting for a while.
To my fellow EADS workers: if you have the chance of spending some time working for PZL, do not doubt it, go for it.