|FIGHTER||Virtual Aircraft Museum / Poland / PZL|
A parallel development to the P.6, from which it differed essentially in having a higher-altitude engine and some steel elements in the otherwise all-duralumin fuselage structure, the P.7 was powered by a supercharged Bristol Jupiter VII.F radial affording 520hp at 3050m. The first of two prototypes, the P.7/I, was flown in October 1930, and featured a close-fitting, helmeted engine cowling, which gave place to a Townend ring on the P.7/II. Work on a pre-series batch of 10 of the P.7a fighters began in June 1931 for the Lotnictwo Wojskowe, a further 139 being subsequently ordered. The P.7a carried two 7.92mm Vickers "E" machine guns and differed from the prototypes in having a P.Z.L.-developed ring cowling, a revised cockpit, shorter ailerons and modified tail surfaces. The P.7a entered service in the winter of 1932-33, and three first line squadrons were still equipped with this type when the Wehrmacht assault on Poland was launched on 1 September 1939.