PZL-Mielec is a Polish aerospace manufacturer based in Mielec, Poland. The company was founded in 1938 as the WP-2 plant of the Państwowe Zakłady Lotnicze (State Aviation Works).
After the war, the plant was rebuilt and resumed production of aircraft for the Polish Air Force. In the 1960s, the plant began to produce helicopters, and in the 1970s, it began to produce civil aircraft. In 1998, the plant was privatized and became WSK PZL-Mielec. In 2007, the company was acquired by Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation, which retained the brand name.
In 1973, with Soviet aid, Mielec designed the only jet agricultural aircraft in the world, the WSK-Mielec M-15 Belphegor, which was built between 1976 and 1981 for the Soviets. In reference to both its strange looks and relatively loud jet engine, the aircraft was nicknamed Belphegor, after the noisy demon.
The M-15 was powered by a single Ivchenko AI-25 turbojet engine, which gave it a top speed of 200 km/h. It had a maximum payload of 2,500 kg, which could be used to carry pesticides, fertilizers, or seeds.
The M-15 was first flown in 1973 and entered service with the Soviet Union in 1976. It was also exported to Poland, Czechoslovakia, and East Germany. The M-15 was a controversial aircraft. Some praised its efficiency and performance, while others criticized its high noise levels and high maintenance requirements. The M-15 was withdrawn from service in the late 1980s. Only a few examples remain in museums and private collections.