The beginnings of the Institute of Aviation

The Institute of Aviation Technical Research – the today’s Institute of Aviation was created on 1st August 1926 in Warsaw. What were the beginnings of our aviation history in the years 1918-1926? Enjoy reading!

In December 1918 in the Air Navigation Section at the Ministry of Military Affairs the Department of Science and Technology, directed by Colonel Eng. Jan Wroczyński, was established. The leadership over the department was taken by a succession by the officers: Lt. Eng. Mieczysław Pietraszek, Sec. Eng. Gustaw Mokrzycki and Col. Jan Stachowski.

In 1919, the department was renamed to the Department of Scientific and Technical Training (based in the Royal Castle in Warsaw). It was incorporated to Aviation Department at the Ministry of Military Affairs created in 1920.

The first task of the Department was to develop technical descriptions and instructions of aviation equipment, which was a conglomerate of different types of aircraft inherited from the invaders and purchased during the Polish-Bolshevik war in 1920 – French, British, Italian and German. Another task was to nominate establishments in which it was possible to produce aircraft.

After the war and demobilization the Department faced new problems. Intentions to take aviation production resulted in organizational and personnel changes. Successive heads of the Department were Major Stanislaw Sarnowski and Eng. Klemens Filipowski.

In November 1921, the Department was transformed into Wojskowa Centrala Badań Lotniczych (Military Central for Aviation Research), and for its boss was appointed Lt.-Col. pil. Zdzislaw Zych-Płodowski. His extensive knowledge, perspective view and huge horizons in the field of aviation were the basis of the development of the Central. It was organizationally linked with the 4th Department of the Air Navigation Services at the Ministry of Military Affairs and conducted surveillance of aviation production, testing and commissioning of aviation equipment. Starting in 1922, it had a chemical and metallographic laboratories. They conducted tests on metals, fuels, lubricants and other materials used in aviation to establish standards for these materials.

In 1922 from the Military Central for Aviation Research was separated the Management of the Central Aviation Workshops, which led supervision over producing aviation equipment and reception of the produced ones. In 1923, it issued instructions to military control, which in its essential elements were in force for years, even after the Second World War. Heads of the institutions were as followed: Major Eng. pil. Stanisław Stec, Lt. Col. obs. Eng. Janusz de Beaurain and Colonel Hipolit Łossowski.

On the 1st of August 1926 the Military Central for Aviation Research was renamed to the Institute of Aviation Technical Research and this date is the starting point in the history of the Institute of Aviation.


Fragment of the publication: „80 lat Instytutu Lotnictwa” [80 years of the Institute of Aviation] – Jerzy Grzegorzewski and Tadeusz Królikiewicz, Scientific Library of the Institute of Aviation, Warsaw 2006, p. 9.