English name: Little Spark
Export marketing name: Air Wolf

TYPE: Primary prop trainer/sportplane.

PROGRAMME: Two versions developed; first flight of first prototype (SP-PIA) with PZL-F engine 15 July 1986; first flight of Textron Lycoming-engined prototype (SP-PIB) 24 June 1987. Second prototype used as US demonstrator until destroyed on 17 August 1995. Polish certification obtained 26 October 1991; production of M-26 01 launched second quarter 1994 with initial 20 aircraft order from US distributor Melex; deliveries to USA began July 1996 with first production aircraft (N2601M). US FAR Pt 23 certification received 16 April 1998; now also has Australian certification (both for Lycoming version).

CURRENT VERSIONS: M26 00: PZL-F engine and Polish avionics. No production examples by mid-2003.
M26 01: Textron Lycoming AEIO-540-L1B5 engine and Bendix/King avionics. Most US aircraft are registered with type designation 'M2601'.
Detailed description applies to this version except where indicated.

CUSTOMERS: Initial order for M26 01 by Melex USA inc (20), of which two (fourth and fifth aircraft) delivered to Venezuelan National Guard Training Centre at Porlamar, Isla Margarita, in 1998. Short-listed by Israel Defence Force as Piper Super Cub replacement, but not selected. Sixth production aircraft to USA early 1999. Seventh production aircraft completed in August 2000 and retained in Poland; deliveries up to end of 20002 comprised four (plus second prototype and refurbished first prototype) to USA; two to Venezuela; current demonstrator; two due for delivery in early 2003 to Aeroclub of Poland, which has option for unspecified number of further deliveries.

DESIGN FEATURES: Optimised for civil pilot training and military pilot selection; also suitable as high-performance private aircraft. Selected parts and assemblies of M20 Mewa used in design of wings, tail unit, landing gear, power plant, and electrical and power systems. Fixed incidence tailplane.
Wing section NACA 652-415 (constant chord); 7° dihedral from roots; 2° incidence; leading-edges swept forward at root. Horizontal tail surfaces NACA 0009 aerofoil section; NACA 0010 for vertical surfaces.

FLYING CONTROLS: Conventional and manual. Frise ailerons, horn-balanced rudder, and elevators with starboard trim tab; single-slotted trailing-edge flaps. Control surface movements; ailerons +24/-14°, elevators +30/-28°, rudder ±35°, flaps 25° (take off) and 40° (landing).

STRUCTURE: Safe-life aluminium alloy throughout except for tips of wings and all tail surfaces, which are of composites.

LANDING GEAR: Retractable tricycle type, actuated hydraulically, with single wheel and oleo strut on each unit. Mainwheels retract inward into wings, nosewheel rearward. Nosewheel travel ±27°. Size 6.00-6 wheels on all three units; tyre pressures 3.43 bar (50 lb/sq in) on main units, 2.16 bar (31 lb/sq in) on nose unit. PZL Lucas hydraulic disc brakes on mainwheels. Parking brake.

POWER PLANT: One 224 kW (300 hp) Textron Lycoming AEIO-540-L1B5 flat-six engine, driving a Hoffmann HO-V123K-V/200AH-10 or Hartzell HC-C3YR-4BF three-blade constant-speed propeller. Two fuel tanks in each wing, total capacity 369 litres (97.5 US gallons; 81.2 Imp gallons); restricted to maximum 180 litres (47.6 US gallons; 39.6 Imp gallons) for aerobatics. Gravity fuelling point in top of each outer wing tank. Oil capacity 18 litres (4.75 US gallons; 4.0 Imp gallons).

ACCOMMODATION: Tandem seats for pupil (in front) and instructor, under framed canopy which opens sideways to starboard. Rear seat elevated 15 cm (5.9 in). Baggage compartment aft of rear seat. Both cockpits heated and ventilated; air conditioning system optional.

SYSTEMS: Two independent hydraulic systems, one operating at 154 bar (2,233 lb/sq in) for landing gear extension/retraction and one at 103 bar (1,494 lb/sq in) for wheel braking. DC electrical power supplied by 24 V alternator (50 A in M26 00, 100 A in M26 01) and 25 Ah battery.

AVIONICS: Comms: Bendix/King KX 165 radio, KT 76A transponder, KMA 24 selector panel and intercom.
Flight: Bendix/King KR 22 marker beacon receiver, KR 87 ADF and KCS 55A gyrocompass.

EQUIPMENT: Landing light in port wing leading-edge. Melex offers simulated air combat package of smoke, video guns and laser guns.

ARMAMENT: Up to 60 kg (132 lb) of ordnance on each of two underwing hardpoints; total 120 kg (265 lb).