Last 20th April I was invited to Radom air base to represent PZL in the celebrations of the 20th anniversary of the Polish Air Force aerobatics team.
20 years of the Orlik aerobatic team
As manufacturer of the Orlik it was an honor for PZL to participate in these celebrations and also a great opportunity to exchange directly with our customers.
The members of the aerobatics team are some of the best in Poland, and they bring our Orlik to its limits. I was proud to hear from the leader of the aerobatics team that we make a reliable aircraft: “Never one failure in over 200 demonstrations, you make good aircraft” was his message to us during his speech.
I could also discuss with one of the instructors of the pilot school, who uses the Orlik to train cadets. I learnt that the flight characteristics of Orlik really help the pilot “feel” the controls. This feature is appreciated, even if this makes it a demanding aircraft for pilots to fly, because it provides a good training for the cadets.
There was also praise for the latest changes in design to improve the handling qualities of the aircraft. They “go in the good direction”, was the feedback.
And there was one fundamental message that was repeated again and again by everyone I spoke with, be it pilots, instructors, head of the base and the high-ranking officials that participated in the event: Our customer absolutely need us to fulfil our commitments and deliver their aircraft on time.
Why? Because today most of their aircraft are in PZL premises in Okecie, undergoing the modernization program. As a result, the capabilities of the school and the acrobatic team are very limited. This is particularly problematic this year because of the celebrations for 100th anniversary of Polish aviation.
I promised that we would do our best effort, and that we would not fail them. This is a big responsibility for our team.