Air Enthusiast 1994-12
M.Axworthy - On Three Fronts
The first refurbished B-24 Liberator in Romanian livery at IAR-Brasov in 1944. The pilot who flew it there was awarded a medal for taking the not inconsiderable risk of flying across the massive Ploiesti anti-aircraft defences! It is thought that four Liberators were made airworthy by August 1944 in preparation for possible use.
Polish-built PZL-11Bs in the war, during which they were only used as trainers.
One of the first PZL-11Fs built at IAR-Brasov in 1937-1938 in prewar camouflage and markings. The type was already obsolete as a fighter by the time it entered combat in 1941 and was fitted with light bombs or grenade launchers for ground attack. It served as a trainer from 1942.
PZL-11F.
Бомбардировщики SM 79B из 72-й эскадрильи ВВС Румынии. В отличие от базовой, эта модификация "Савойи" оснащалась двумя, а не тремя двигателями
SM.79Bs of Escadrila 72. The original Italian tri-motor was modified to be powered by two Romanian IAR 14KIIC32 engines. The type was found to be underpowered and suffered considerable attrition in 1941.
JRS.79B1 o/Escadrila 82 in 1945. It bought its better performance at the expense of some bomb load. A total of 31 were built and served in the 1944-1945 campaigns.
JRS.79B of Escadrila 75 in 1941/1942.
Italian-built SM.79B.
JRS.79B1 with additional sideview (upper) of JRS.79B.
IAR also tested and assessed captured types. The Polikarpov I-16 was not found to be competitive with the IAR-80.
The first Fleet F-10-G.
The first Fleet F-10-G built by TAR in 1936 seen during the war years at Brasov in 1943. It is sporting the dark olive green paint that all Romanian military types were finished in. Combat types had additional broad, dark earth stripes applied to break up their outline.
Fleet F-10-G
An IAR-80 of Grup 8 Vanatori during the siege of Odessa in 1941. This was one of the first to be produced with the IAR K14 CIV 32 engine. Although lightly armed and unarmoured the IAR-80 was superior to any contemporary Italian fighter. The Macchi C200 Saetta in the foreground probably belonged to the three Ruspolli brothers. In July 1941 they had solicited permission from Mussolini to film the FARR in action and took three Saettas to the front in Basarabia. However, they couldn’t resist taking part in operations and two of the brothers were killed on August 19. Does any reader know what became of their cine film?
A total of 25 PZL-24Es were built under licence by IAR in 1939-1940. They were a transitional type between the PZL-11F and IAR-80.
PZL-24E.
Реакция ВВС Румынии на появление американских бомбардировщиков оказалась стремительной. Самолеты, подобные этим IAR 80, нанесли серьезные потери американской авиации.
The IAR-Brasov factory flight. This retained one of each major variant of IAR-80 and IAR-81 for further development and factory defence. Illustrated is the first IAR 80 (No 1) and an IAR-80B (No 227).
An IAR-80 of Grup 8 Vanatori during the siege of Odessa in 1941. This was one of the first to be produced with the IAR K14 CIV 32 engine. Although lightly armed and unarmoured the IAR-80 was superior to any contemporary Italian fighter. The Macchi C200 Saetta in the foreground probably belonged to the three Ruspolli brothers. In July 1941 they had solicited permission from Mussolini to film the FARR in action and took three Saettas to the front in Basarabia. However, they couldn’t resist taking part in operations and two of the brothers were killed on August 19. Does any reader know what became of their cine film?
In an effort to rectify the IAR-80’s lack of power, an attempt was made in 1942 to fit a Jumo 211F, as used on the JRS.79B1, to an IAR-80A airframe. However, it shook loose from its mount on its maiden flight and the project had to be abandoned.
IAR 81Cs en masse for doubtless a staged, propaganda shot.
IAR-80Bs, probably of Grup 6 in the winter of 1943-1944. The IAR-80B was the most radical redesign of the IAR-80/81 series. Some began life as the IAR 81A fighter-bomber and had a re-inforced fuselage, but all were completed as fighters.
Thirteen victory markings on the tail of an IAR-80 of Grup 8 Vanatori in late 1941. Over-scoring was rife in 1941, but even discounting exaggeration, this pilot would probably have been an ace in any air force.
IAR-81Cs in the field, Messerschmitt Bf 108 Taifun at left. The IAR-81C was the last and most common variant.
IAR-80A. This variant received two more 7.92mm machine guns and was the first fitted with the definitive IAR K14 1000A, engine, which it was never possible to develop further, and armour plate and glass to protect the pilot.
An IAR-81 fully armed with a 500kg bomb. Only 60 fighter-bombers were built. The sub-type was not a success because the aircraft’s performance was seriously compromised by the ventral bomb cradle. It was therefore rarely used as a bomber during the 1942 campaign, the only year it saw significant operational service.
The last IAR-80Cs on the IAR-Brasov production line in late 1942. This single plant developed and/or produced all types of licence-built and Romanian-designed combat aircraft. Difficulties in acquiring machine tools and materials in Axis Europe prevented its full production potential ever being realised. Despite some damage from US bombing in 1944, which the Romanians initially thought was from accidental overshoots from a raid on a nearby oil installation, production was never completely halted.
Cutaway of the IAR-81C
Top to bottom: IAR-80, IAR-80A, IAR-80B, IAR-80C
Top to bottom: IAR-81, IAR-81A, IAR-81C
A civilian registered Fi 156C-3 Storch built in Romania immediately after the war. Production had begun in late 1943 and by the time it finished in 1946 80 had been delivered.
An IAR-39 under camouflage at a forward airstrip in 1941. A flight from each army corps’ integral IAR-39 squadron was usually kept right up with the most forward troops.
A SET-produced IAR-39A of Escadrila 19. The IAR-39 was the main army co-operation type throughout the war. The last dozen were completed as glider tugs. The application of white winter camouflage seems to have been rare in the FARR.
IAR-39
IAR-81Cs in the field, Messerschmitt Bf 108 Taifun at left. The IAR-81C was the last and most common variant.
One of 124 Nardi FN305s built by SET between 1939 and 1946. The Nardi was the most advanced Romanian-built trainer. In 1944 they were ordered to be fitted with grenade launchers for ground attack. This may account for the two-colour combat camouflage.
Nardi FN.305-1.
The first SET-7K trainer, seen during the war years. This was probably a factory aircraft, as the first example of each type was usually retained for further development work. Its camouflage and markings (dark olive green with the Michael’s Cross insignia) are typical of non-combatant FARR types during the war.
A SET-7KB in wartime camouflage and markings. This was the first Romanian-designed combat aircraft to enter series production. This example is carrying the ICAR skis fitted to all fixed undercarriage, Romanian-built types in snow.
SET-7KD.
A SET-4H training and light communications seaplane. This was the only Romanian seaplane design to see service.
SET-4H
A pair of crashed IAR-27s inadvertently offering a rare plan and profile view in the same photograph. In all, 80 IAR 27s were built by SET over 1939-1942. It utilised much of the body of the Fleet F-10-G and was used for more advanced training.
IAR-27.
IAR-47 - provisional.