The I.A.R. IAR-80

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The IAR-80 was the best World War II fighter produced by Romania. Derived from the Polish fighter P.24E, its performance was comparable to the Fw 190. Although built in Romania, some components had to be imported from France or Germany, which made Romania dependent on Germany after the French defeat and Delayed the development of the aircraft.

The first production batch of IAR-80 was slightly modified compared to the prototype: it is a bit elongated and the cockpit brought back. The first squadrons became operational from April 1941 and participated in the conquest of Transnistria in the summer of 1941. They participated in all the battles of the Romanian army in Stalingrad against the Allied bombing of Ploesti against the Russians From April to September 1944 and then against the Germans until the end of the war.

They were welcomed by the pilots who nevertheless complained of his lack of power and lack of firepower, a problem that will never really be solved because of the shortage of cannons in Romania. Despite their initial quality, the IAR-80s suffer from their inadequate engine. The Romanians could never lay hands on a more powerful model.

The IAR-80A model gave the complete arming of 6 machine guns thanks to the German machine-gun deliveries. It also received a more powerful and heavier engine than the original IAR-80 and had to reinforce its fuselage to compensate for these weight increases in the front.

The experience of war proved that light machine-guns alone were no longer sufficient in air combat. On the modified IAR-80B model, two light machine guns were replaced by heavy ones. Radio equipment was also improved. Twenty of the IAR-80 B were in fact IAR-81 A dive bombers completed as a hunter.

The appearance of the American Liberators over Romania obliged again to have a more consistent armament, endowing them with 20 mm guns. All IAR-80 C were also constructed from IAR-81B cells. They kept the ability to carry bombs under the wings. This was the first version to receive self-sealing tanks. Beginning in mid-1944, the IAR-80B and IAR-80C were brought to the IAR-81C arming standard, with two 20 mm Mauser guns and four machine guns. The converted aircraft took the designation IAR-80M.

Specifications : 

Design Engineer (s) Ion Grossu
Manufacturer Întreprinderea Aeronautică Română
Year (s) 1940-43
Length 8.90 m
Wing span 10.50 m
Height 3.60 m
Wing area 15,97 m²
Drive an air-cooled 14-cylinder twin-engine
IAR K.14-1000A
Power 764 kW (1025 hp)
Max speed 550 km / h at 3970 m altitude
Service height 10,500 m
Range 940 km
Empty weight1,780 kg
Max take-off weight 2,550 kg
Crew 1 pilot
Armament 4-6 machine guns or guns 

Dumping ammunition up to 425 kg bombs 

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