The Polish RWD -14 Czapla ( Heron ) was a reconnaissance aircraft of World War II.
In the first half of the 30s, the Polish Ministry of Defence issued a requirement for a spotter, which should replace the Lublin R -XIII. RWD suggested an evolution of the RWD -12 and was awarded the contract to build three prototypes. The first flew in 1935, but the Pratt & Whitney R -985 used proved to be too weak.
The following two machines were two local PZL G- 1620A Mors I engines and the designation RWD - 14a. They were each tested in 1936 and 1937, but both crashed due to design errors from the tail.
After several improvements to the tail section of the final prototype RWD - 14b with the stronger PZL G- 1620B Mors II drive first flew late 1937. Polish authorities were satisfied with its performance and placed an order for 65 series Czapla. Production began in mid-1938 and ended in February 1939. The aircraft were assigned to reconnaissance squadrons 13, 23, 33, 53 and 63. When Germany invaded Poland, the majority was destroyed during the fighting, only about 10 aircraft were able to escape the clutches by fleeing to Romania.
The RWD -14 was a strutted high -wing monoplane of mixed construction. The fuselage consisted of a tubular steel frame with fabric covering. The bow section was covered with sheet metal.
The wing consisted of a wooden frame and had stoffbespanntem automatic slats. For space-saving storage, the wings could be folded back. Fuselage and wings were connected by N- and V - struts. The elevator was also made of wood and was braced with I- stems.
The RWD -14 had a rigid rear -wheel drive, the rear wheel was covered with a streamlined fairing.