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Frank Piasecki exhibition — home


1915 — 1996      mechanical engineer, sports pilot, aircraft designer

He came from a middle class family in Warsaw. He studied at the Faculty of Mechanics at Warsaw University of Technology. In 1936-1937, he worked in the construction office at PZL, participating in the design of the PZL.37 Łos bomber and the PZL.46 Sum reconnaissance aircraft and bomber. In 1939 he joined the DWL in Warsaw, where he participated in work on the RWD-21 sports aircraft, the RWD-22 seaplane, and the RWD‑25 fighter.

In September 1939, he participated in the evacuation of aircraft from the factory. After reaching the West, he took flight training in France and the UK. In 1941-42 he worked in the PSP Office of Instruction and Translation in Blackpool. Between 1942-45, he studied at the Faculty of Aviation at Imperial College (University of London). By 1944 he was working at the Airspeed aircraft factory in Esher designing the Ambassador airliner (23 built). From 1947, he was employed at the Percival factory in Luton, where he prepared nine tail versions for the P.40 Prentice training aircraft (422 built). He also developed a preliminary design for the Percival P.56 Provost training aircraft (461 built), which was developed into the P.84 Jet Provost training jet (505 built).

Because he was unable to find suitable employment in Europe, in 1950 he moved to Australia, where until 1960 he worked at the Government Air Factory in Melbourne designing the Jindvik target jet and Malkara antitank rocket. In 1960, he was chief engineer and technical manager at the Victa factory. He refined his design for the Victa Airtourer 100, which, together with its sister version the Airtourer 125 was built from 1962 to 1966 in a series of 172. After the collapse of the Victa plant, the Victa Airtourer was taken over by New Zealand’s AESL, which launched the production of a two-seater training version - the CT-4 Airtrainer (series of 114) - used by the Australian, New Zealand and Thai militaries. A total of 286 aircraft were built in this family.

In 1967, Millicer started lecturing on aerodynamics and aircraft construction at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology.

The aircraft: Percival P.56 Provost