PZL-Swidnik W-3A Sokol: Buyer’s and Investor’s Guide

Helicopter Guide

PZL-Swidnik W-3A Sokol at Helitech 2011 (Credit: Terry Spruce)

The PZL-Swidnik W-3A Sokol is a multi-purpose, twin engine helicopter, built by PZL-Swidnik (now AgustaWestland Swidnik) in Poland. The helicopter was primarily built for the Polish military but has been more recently used for fire-fighting. Sokol is the Polish word for Falcon. The helicopter can be fitted with an external cargo hook that can also carry a Bambi bucket and as a rescue hoist.

Missions: Search and Rescue, EMS, medevac and fire-fighting

First Flight: 16 November 1979

World fleet: over 150 (all variants)

Category: Twin-engine


Maximum speed (Vne):  260 kmh

Maximum cruise speed (Vh): 238 kmh / 129 kts / 148 mph

Maximum range: 745 kms / 402  nm / 463 miles


Maximum take-off gross weight: 6,400 kg / 14,110 lbs

Empty weight:  3,850 kg / 8,488 lbs

Payload: 2,100 kg / 4,630 lbs

Useful Load:  2,550 kg / 5,621 lbs

Passengers (crew): 14 (2) or 4 stretchers with one attendant