The RWD 8 was designed in response to a Polish Air Force requirement in 1931 for a basic trainer aircraft. It was designed by the RWD team of Stanislaw Rogalski, Stanislaw Wigura and Jerzy Drzewiecki. The first prototype (registration SP-AKL), was flown in early 1933. It won the contest for the new Polish military trainer, against the PZL-5bis and Bartel BM-4h biplanes. It was considered a very stable and well-handling aircraft.
Since the DWL (Doswiadczalne Warsztaty Lotnicze) workshops - a manufacturer of RWD designs - had limited production capability, the Polish military decided to produce the aircraft in a nationalized factory PWS (Podlaska Wytwornia Samolotow). DWL gave away the licence free of charge, only for covering design costs. PWS produced aircraft for both military and civilian aviation, while DWL produced aircraft for civilian use only. The first PWS-built RWD 8 was flown in September 1934. These aircraft, designated RWD 8 PWS (or RWD 8 pws), differed from the original RWD 8 DWL (or RWD 8 dwl) in minor details, mainly having thinner landing gear shock absorbers and being slightly heavier and therefore slower.
Apart from standard variant, 50 aircraft RWD 8a PWS were built with an additional 95 l (25 U.S. gal) fuel tank in thicker central wing section, giving increased range. A small series was built with a rear cab covered with blinds, for blind flying training. A frame with a hook for glider towing could be attached to the aircraft. A further development of the RWD 8 was the aerobatics and training aircraft, the RWD-17.
In total, over 550 RWD 8s were built (about 80 by DWL and about 470 by PWS). Production ceased in early 1939. The RWD 8 was the most numerous aircraft manufactured in Poland up to that time. Small series of license-built produced 1935 by Rogozarski Belgrade (three aircraft).
Wikipedia RWD 8 (en)