PZL M-260 Polish Air Wolf
Stephen Lantz has spent the last ten years battling wildfires as an Air Attack Pilot for the U.S Forest Service during the fire season.
In his free time, he loves flying his uniquely special, and very rare, Polish Air Wolf which he will be showing it at this year’s Pacific Coast Dream Machines Show, April 28 at Half Moon Bay Airport.
Lantz’ Air Wolf was built in 1997 as part of a competition request by the European Joint Task Force for a new training aircraft .
It was a joint effort between Piper Seneca and PZL Poland to design and build the aircraft.
At the outset, the Air Wolf was well received by the various European Air Forces but they eventually decided they wanted a turbine powered trainer so PZL decided to release the M-260 to civilian buyers.
The Air Wolf shares the vertical stabilizer, rudder and main landing gear with the Mewa utility plane, while the wings and tail part of fuselage are unified to some degree.
Lantz’ Air Wolf was purchased at the factory new and brought to the United States in 1997.
Only a short series of 14 Air Wolf’s have been manufactured worldwide, 8 of which were exportedto the United States, starting from 1996.
“I have not been able to find another Air Wolf flying in the U.S.,” said Lantz. “It’s a wonderful flying aircraft. It reminds me of the T-28 with its perfectly balanced controls and cockpit layout.”
The FAA certified POM has approved the Air Wolf for an array of maneuvers – rolls, loops, outside loops, spins, inverted spins, hammer head stalls , snap rolls, slow rolls, tail slides, and unlimited inverted flight.
It has a cruising speed of 175 KIAS.
The 77 year old Lantz has had a life full of aviation adventure – 5 years as a Navy Pilot, 2 tours at NAF Cam Rahn Bay in Vietnam as P-3 Orion Aircraft Commander, 38 Years as an commercial airline pilot and the last ten years Air Attack Pilot for the U.S. Forest Service during the fire season.