PZL.43A | Mirage Hobby 1:48

In 1936, in connection with Bulgaria’s desire to purchase PZL.23 Karaś aircraft, but with the more powerful Gnôme-Rhône 14 Kfs engine they purchased in France, Eng. Henryk Malinowski developed a modified version of the PZL.23 Karaś aircraft with this engine. The modified aircraft was designated PZL.43.

The greater weight of the engine used in the aircraft forced the designer to increase the length of the fuselage in the middle of the cabin – to the benefit of its look, as well. The new aircraft also received a modified crew cabin, more glass, oval instead of trapezoidal. This aircraft received a new GR three-blade metal propeller. Its armament was also strengthened by introducing a second machine gun for the pilot.

12 aircraft were purchased on April 9, 1936 by Bulgaria. They were delivered to Bulgaria in April and May 1937. These aircraft have gained a good reputation among Bulgarian pilots. Then, on March 31, 1938, the Bulgarian government bought further 42 aircraft, except that they were to be aircraft with a more powerful Gnôme-Rhône 14N01 engine. These aircraft were designated PZL.43A. The machines were to be delivered to Bulgaria by the beginning of August 1939. However, the delivery was delayed, and by the end of August 1939 only 36 aircraft were sent to Bulgaria, while the last six were almost ready for shipment, but the outbreak of war meant that they were not sent.

In 1940, Bulgaria received another one from the Germans. It was a plane captured by the Germans in Warsaw. Later in October 1939 they transported it to the Luftwaffe Technical Institute in Rechlin, and after its examination and renovation at the PZL plant in Mielec, they finally transferred it to Bulgaria.

These aircraft were used by Bulgarian aviation throughout the entire World War II, including combats with the partisans.

In Bulgarian aviation, PZL.43 aircraft remained until the beginning of 1945. The last ones were scrapped in the summer of 1946.

On September 1, 1939, six PZL.43A aircraft prepared for shipment to Bulgaria were unpacked and assembled. Some of these planes (4?) were sent to the field airport at Bielany, where on 4 September 1939 they were taken over by pilots of the 41st reconnaissance squadron of the Modlin Army. These aircraft performed reconnaissance and combat flights, attacking columns of German troops in the area of ​​army operations. However, all of them were destroyed by the Germans. The last of them crashed on September 12, 1939, during landing at the airport in Brest on the Bug, the aircraft was already damaged after being shot at by Messerschmitt Bf 109E.

Now the kit. Mirage Hobby did a fine job as regards the project but the quality of molds is mixed. Some parts are excellent (fuselage, interior), some not that good (wings), some just poor (like the engine cowling, which was a short shot). Overall, a demanding kit recommended to at least medium experienced modelers. Severe problems with the paint masks are still visible, despite my efforts to recover (when I removed the masking tape, most of the framing paint pulled off with the tape, and the tape itself left some remains of glue…).

Painted with Hataka paints, rivetted, added photoetched parts from Eduard in the interior, and the gun tubes from Aber.

So, after four years of struggle, here it is. Hope you like it.

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