Text: Detlef Billig - FLIEGERREVUE
The only airworthy PZL M-21 Dromader Mini in Germany
The online auction house eBay ever again makes for a surprise. This was years before the auction of the old Gulf caused by the future Pope Benedict XVI.
Headlines. Now, the new acquisition by the pilot's colleagues, 1. Chairman of
the “Flugsportgruppe Airbus Bremen“ and entrepreneur Fritz Koldehofe by the media.
Wanted: a child's toy
Actually, the passionate Yak-pilot looked on the Internet a pilot
flying an attraction for the children in Hellwege, near Bremen. He'd found
on eBay, an agricultural aircraft for 6000 euros.
M21 in Celle
The owner, an entrepreneur in Celle, needed room for a new production hall and
wanted to be his - until then, as a separate eye-catcher for his specialty
company serving ignition devices - old agricultural aircraft. The first attempt
failed on the Internet, recalls Fritz. “That was not then auctioned off to the start
price of 6,000 euros. After the end of the auction, I have mailed the seller again, and
we both agreed on a price of 3500 euros.“ Fritz Koldehofe admits to have not known what he
had actually purchased, as it was supposed to be for the children who wanted to play in it.
The first surprise occurred on the clearance of the aircraft. Fritz received plus two
briefcases with technical documents, test reports and flight logs. The aircraft was
designated therein as PZL M-21. The agricultural aircraft Dromader M-18A (English: dromedary)
with 1000-hp engine of the former Interflug was to him indeed a concept, but M-21 ...?
Found: a rare aircraft
Shortly after the purchase of research employed in Poland and the help of a translator made
it clear: The aircraft is one of only two existing prototypes of a PZL constructed geometrically
smaller version of the M-18 Dromader. Just like this without the second seat for the fly station
mechanic that the Interflug version of the M-18A wanted to express. It was clear after the first
inspection, that the aircraft was in relatively good condition, could be restored to airworthy
condition in the back and probably would be much more value. This “Dromader Mini“ has to be 150
kilograms load capacity, and the weaker, but not as much fuel-guzzling, 600-horsepower engine (441 kW)
of type PZL-3S. This engine is actually a veteran of 1946. He has served as an AI-26 is in the helicopter
Mil Mi-1 and manufactured under license in Poland for a long time. Ultimately, he was installed in the
“reducer“ version with gearbox at the request of the Inter Flight engineers are already Kruk PZL-106 BR.
PZL had developed as a time in the CMEA favorite aircraft company for the construction of agricultural aircraft,
three variations of the very successful M-18 Dromader. This smaller Dromader Mini and an M-24 Super Dromader
called execution for 2000 kg payload. Both got beyond the prototype stage, not because of the need for such
aircraft was apparently not present. The M-24 Super Dromader had its maiden flight 1987. After four prototypes
(SP-PFA, PFB-SP, SP-PFC, SP-PFD) were built, the plane did not go into production. Smallest variant, „Dromader
micro“ called, came with a 500 kg payload beyond the planning stage are not looking. From the M-21 Dromader
mini arisen only two copies. The first, ex-No. 1ALP01-01, with the license number SP-PDM, today stands
as a museum piece on the premises of PZL Mielec (EPML). It had its maiden flight June 1982.
The second engine plant no. 1ALP01-02, SP-PDN, was built in 1985 and apparently came years ago on the
aforementioned companies in Celle, before it was offered for sale on the Internet.
First, the machine was dismantled in January 2008 in Celle, professionally and with the transport of equipment
Koldehofe own company for demolition, excavation and transport launched in May to Poland PZL.
transportation to Mielec
With the prior manufacturer was able to communicate quickly and Fritz both benefited from a restoration of the machine.
In Mielec was built specially for temporary hangar and was now retired former designer located at the beginning of
reconstruction with word and deed.
M21 before the temporary hangar
“It was a first-class collaboration“ said Fritz, the progress of the work surveyed in person twice.
In Poland, first-rate work has been done - each part has been dismantled, tested and well-conserved re-installed.
“I have learned that as the brake on the main landing gear of the machine from car Polski Fiat is ...
“The first impression from the present state of the machine is excellent and Koldehofe M-21 looks like new.
After all, some 50,000 euro has put the entrepreneur in the overhaul. But it was worth it - the cell has only a total
flight time (TT: Total Time) of 316 flight hours (Fh) behind and the remaining original engine has been running well since
his first 768 GO Fh.
Presentation in Germany
August 2009 then landed the Dromader Mini with a PZL factory pilot at the wheel after 2.5 Fh at the airfield in Weser-Wümme Hellwege.
Landing after the release into the Weser Wümme
Fritz was the moving it a little moist around the eyes, as he knows his single-seater yellow-coated engine with a new
registration mark “foxtrot kilo“ (RC - even for Fritz Koldehofe stand) was born. The Polish restorers had inspired him to
prepare an extraordinary joy. Thanks to European Directives, this can operate in Germany. That same day he allowed himself
to instruct the machine on the ground and the pilot again asked for a traffic pattern so that he could study its landing technique.
Launched under the critical gaze of then to his first solo flight lasted eight minutes, first with this machine, because a
trainer machine doesn’t exist. Everything worked perfectly. Fritz was able to use his flying experience of 200 Fh on tail wheel
M21 before PZL106 the Yak-meeting
planes, especially his Yak-50, and immediately came clear with the large and heavy aircraft. A little persuasion of his
colleagues from the pilot “Yakrotte“ enough, and he ventured on the 21st August to the Yak-meeting in Roitzschjora near
Leipzig. There, after his fourth landing on the M-21 and almost six Fh after the GO of the aircraft in Poland, of course,
he was enthusiastically greeted, and the plane caught all sorts of attention. Right next to there Dieter Gehling had his
PZL-106BR Kruk with dual controls turned off, so that there were two exceptional work planes of viewers and experts are
thoroughly compared and photographed.
Fritz hopes that he can demonstrate his machine with a boom sprayers in the typical work of an agricultural airplane flight at the airport Weser Wümme.
Although it already offers there € 150,000, Fritz Koldehofe would not lend his unique being.