Moose can fly: WWII bomber recreated as functional scale model

Known as “Moose”, the PZL.37 was a twin-engined aircraft produced in Poland in 1938-1939 and now there is a functional scale replica, thanks to the dedication of Paweł Buczkowski, an aviation aficionado from the southeastern Polish city of Lublin.

Upon its introduction to service, the PZL.37 medium bomber was commonly considered to be not only the most modern and effective weapon possessed by Poland and also one of the most advanced bombers operational around the globe.

As of mid-1938 onwards, the interest of various nations in potential export sales of the PZL.37 grew exponentially, which came in response to this highly favourable reception. Additional variants of the aircraft were developed for the export market, such as the PZL.37C (which was to be powered by a pair of Gnome-Rhone 14N-0/1 radial engines).

The Łoś was extensively used in the defence of Poland during the rapid invasion of Poland by Nazi Germany in September 1939. On 1 September 1939, the Polish Air Force had roughly 86 PZL.37s in total, but less than a half of those actually saw active combat use due to aircraft being used by training units, being in maintenance or having been held in reserve.

The bombers suffered from a high attrition rate due to lack of fighter protection, and the final Polish combat missions were performed on September 19, 1939. During October 1940, around 26-27 of the PZL.37s that had been evacuated from Poland were seized by the Romanian government and 23 of these aircraft were subsequently used by the Royal Romanian Air Force, including offensive missions against the Soviet Union.

There are no surviving PZL.37 aircraft but nonetheless, Mr Buczkowski from Lublin dedicated over 18 months to eventually assemble a functional scale model of the aircraft. The replica comes equipped with two petrol engines rendering the replica airborne.