The PZL / Swidnik SM-1 utility helicopter first appeared in 1955 built in the Soviet Union by the Mil design bureau. The SM-1 helicopter taken under license by Poland, only subassemblies and the case were built in this country. As for the SM-2 helicopter, besides the subassemblies, also the propulsion engine was designed under license. These engines built in Poland for SM-2 helicopter were called Lit-3 and assembled at PZL company from Rzeszow city. If needed, the SM-2 helicopter has had a capacity of 135 liters in addition to its 240-liter initial fuel capacity. The oil engine capacity of the Lit-3 engine on the SM-2 helicopter was 28 liters. The SM-2 helicopter also had a compartment with carbon dioxide agent and ethyl bromide against fire extinguishing on board.

Originally, the Mi-1 helicopter executed the first test flight on September 20, 1948, and entered serial production since 1953. All 2694 type models were manufactured, of which the Soviet Union made 1014 units and under the Polish license confirmed by their archives, between 1955 and 1965, with 1680-1684 pieces in total. In the media press and then on the Internet, it was perceived that the first helicopter arrived in Romania in the summer of 1956 was of type Mi-4 and with military registration "white 0127". However, this type of helicopter was considered to be a medium-heavy class at that time. It is worth mentioning that the first light helicopter to enter the Romanian aviation was the PZL / Swidnik SM-1/300 type with the "YR-SMA" civil registration as early as September 14, 1959. SM-1/300 Helicopter "YR-SMA" has been civilian since 1960 at the Trust for Raising and Recovering Truffles (abbreviated TAVS) in Tulcea. The first two PZL / Swidnik SM-2 types for the Romanian army appeared in Pipera Aviation Regiment 108 starting with the 1962 year. In 1965, SM-2 helicopters for the army were moved along with the SM-1 types at the 94th Regiment helicopters from Alexeni, where the first and only squadron of the light commercial utility helicopters was set up. In the Romanian aviation, there were only variants of SM-1 and SM-2 of Polish manufacture and not from Soviet-made production. While the SM-1 version assumes that there were only six copies of the 94 Alexeni Regiment, the SM-2 version is known from the Polish archives that five pieces have been delivered to the Romanian army. It was specified in various sources that the type SM-1 would have survived three specimens, namely "white 01", "white-blue 04" and "white 29", of which physically confirm the existence of only two specimens SM-1, but not the "white 01".

The first physically confirmed version of the SM-1 variant was the 600 "blue 04", being exposed until 2006 in the airplane fleet of the former IRMA 3 Industrial Highschool, currently called "Henry Coanda". In fact, the painted "blue 04" is actually "white 29", which has reached the Restoration Park in the courtyard of the Aviation Museum in a deplorable condition. The second identified PZL / Swidnik SM-1/600 helicopter is "white 04" from the former Pipera military airbase, also in extremely precarious condition.

Type PZL / Swidnik SM-1 variant 300 "white YR-SMA" TAVS Tulcea, with the S1B02011 series, was removed from civil aviation equipment on January 4, 1966 and later scrapped. It should be remembered that the SM-1 variants 300 and 600 were different in the life hours of the main rotor blades and were different at the size of the side windows behind the main cab. Of the PZL / Swidnik SM-2 type, built by Poland in 86 pieces, can be confirmed in Romania the "white 16", appeared in the 1972 "Parasutistii" artistic film with Florin Piersic movie star and corresponding to the S203016 series. The next type identified is the SM-2 at Pipera airbase, which has the tail number very hard to recognize. About this SM-2 helicopter, it was perceived that it would be "white 70", but it is very likely to actually have the number "white 20" on the tail and to associate with the construction series S203020. The other three SM-2 helicopters that the Romanian army had the S203007, S203008 and S203017 series respectively. SM-1 and 2 helicopters before to be withdrawn from operational duty in early 1974 were seen at Bobocu school airbase. After this, they were replaced with French license IAR-316B Alouette-III, equipped with turboshaft engines.

In the 1970s to the early 1980s, the National Military Museum, which during the communist era was called the Central Military Museum, had extensive space for some unique types of planes and helicopters closed in a hangar not accessible to the public, they could see from outside, among other ancient exhibits of World War II and immediately after, various types of aircraft, including the Mi-4 "white 127" helicopter. There are rumors that the Communist regime had the intention in the mid-1980s to bring a large part of the museums into one place.

The SM-2 helicopter was produced in four basic versions:

SM-2 passengers - the variant had a cabin adapted to carry 5 people. This version was also used for patrol activities as well as for the observation and coordination of artillery fire.

SM-2 school - the variant was adapted for pilot training. In the front of the cabin there were two seats next to each other: for the student and instructor. The cab was equipped with a dual control system.

SM-2S sanitary - a variant adapted to the injured patient transport. The victim was transported to the cabin on the right, where the doctor could monitor the patient's health.

SM-2D - a version equipped with a winch with a load capacity of 120 kg and a lifting speed of 0.6 m / s, located outside the driver's cab on the right. This version has been used to rescue over water and land areas. What does not specify many specialty books is that the SM-2D has a slightly longer anticup rotor tail compared to the classic version and located lower and the fuselage also was longer.

The failure to export only six copies of the SM-2 helicopter (one in the former Czechoslovakia and a total of five units in Romania) was due to the fact that at the performance level it was much weaker than the main SM-1 type. The SM-2 variant also had major problems with the carburetor due to a failure of the intake manifold design.

Photo gallery legend:

In pictures 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7: The SM-1/600 helicopter photographed by the article author between 1991-93 at Aeronautical High School Henry Coanda, former Industrial no. 3, IRMA.

Picture no. 8, the "blue 04" painted helicopter, which is actually "white 29" in the courtyard of the Aviation Museum. Unknown author.

Pictures no. 9 and 10, the PZL / Swidnik SM-1 and SM-2 board instruments. Author unknown pictures.

Picture no. 11, screenshot of SM-2 "white 16" from the movie "Parasutistii", production 1972 with Florin Piersic movie star.

Pictures no. 12, 13, 14, screenshot Pathe from the Air Parade of 23 August 1969 with the SM-2 helicopter formation.

Pictures no. 15, 16, helicopter PZL / Swidnik SM-1/600 during different periods of TAVS Tulcea in the works of stufaris in Sahaua Vilcovului. Photo author: unknown

Picture no. 17, the PZL / Swidnik SM-1 "white 04" helicopter at the base of Pipera. Unknown Photo Host

Picture no. 18, SM-1 "white 04", SM-2 "white 20" and an unidentified Mi-4. Unknown Photo Host.

19, 20 screenshots from the 1977 Production Explosion with SM-2 Helicopter in Flight.

Picture no. 21, article from a Polish magazine with Romanian civilian aviators Tarom.

Picture no. 22, the classic Lit-3 engine of the SM-2 helicopter. Unknown Photo Host

Picture no. 23, the SM-1 with position and landing lights graphic illustration, taken from a flight manual.


  • Crew: 1 + 2 passengers or 250 kg cargo (SM-2: 1 + 3-4 passengers or 450 kg cargo)
  • Rotor diameter: 14.35 m
  • Length: 12.09 m
  • Height: 3.30 m
  • . Empty weight: 1.700 kg
  • Normal flight weight: 2.140 kg
  • Maximum takeoff weight: 2.330 kg (SM-2: 2600 kg)
  • Propulsion: 1 classic Ivchenko AI-26V piston engine with a power of 575 hp


  • Maximum speed:: 185 km/h (SM-2: 170 km/h)
  • Flight distance: 430 km (SM-2: 310 km))
  • Service Ceiling:: 3.500 m (SM-2: 2700 m)

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