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IAR-15 Warbird Information


National origin: Romania
Manufacturer: Industria Aeronautica Romana (IAR)
Designer: Elie Carafoli
First flight: 1933
Number built: 5

The IAR 15 was a low-wing monoplane fighter designed in Romania in 1933.

The IAR 15 was designed by Elie Carafoli for the Romanian Air Force. It was a lightly armed low wing cantilever monoplane with a radial engine, fixed undercarriage and open cockpit.


After the first firm order for IAR 14 was finally placed. The sustained efforts of Elie Carafoli and his team paid dividends. With production started and a small profit secured, Dipl.-Eng. Carafoli decided to take a clean sheet of paper and try something new. The result, called I.A.R. 15, became undoubtedly the most elegant of the Carafoli sextet. The employment of a classical in-line engine, with cylinders in V or W configuration, was abandoned and instead a radial powerplant was considered. Accordingly, the front fuselage suffered major redesign. The cross section became round, a NACA ring covered the Gnome & Rhxne 9Krse engine, which offered a maximum output of 600 h.p. (447 kW) at 4,000 m. The new nine-cylinder radial could propel the aircraft to a top speed of 375 km/h at 4,000 m and climb to 5,000 m in only 8 minutes. The ceiling was pushed up to 10,500 m and the radius of action of 600 km was adequate as well. The I.A.R. 15 could intercept any major bomber type in service at the time.

Alongside the new front fuselage section, other structural changes had been implemented as well.The cross section of the rear fuselage was enlarged and reinforced. The fuselage was a steel tube structure covered with dural forward of the cockpit and fabric aft. The tail profile was once more redesigned, this time becoming a triangle shape. was also built of steel tube and dural covered. . An aerodynamically improved single strut undercarriage featuring elegant wheel spats was fitted near the wing roots and a small wheel replaced the previous tail ski. Instead of the crash-pylon featured on earlier models, a rounded knob appeared behind the pilot's head rest. The wings were more rounded and shortened to 11.00 m, giving a 19.00 m total area, were built around two dural spars with a mixture of wood and metal ribs. The open cockpit was aft of the wing trailing edge. The undercarriage was wide track, with vertical wire braced and faired legs carrying spatted main wheels.

Power was from a IAR 9K licence-built Gnome-Rhxne 9K engine of 450 kW (600 hp) enclosed in a NACA cowling. In the first prototype this drove a two bladed wooden airscrew, but later machines had three bladed metal propellers.

Five prototypes were built. Tests showed that the IAR 15 was as fast as competing aircraft, chiefly the PZL P.11, but less manoeuvrable and no orders other were placed.

Operational history

In all aspects, the I.A.R.-15, test flown in early 1934 by 1st Lt. Alex. Papana, was a good match for other monoplane fighter types of its time, such as the Dewoitine D.500 of L'Arme de l'Air, the Boeing P-26 "Peashooter" of the U.S. Army Air Corps or the Polikarpov I-16 of the Voyenno-vozdushnyye sily. The speed capability of the I.A.R.15 was adjudged excellent and it established a national altitude record of 11631m in 1936.




Data from Grey 1972, pp. 230-231c

General characteristics

Crew: 1
Length: 7.76 m (25 ft 5 in)
Wingspan: 11.00 m (31 ft 6 in)
Height: 2.7 m (8 ft 10 in)
Wing area: 19.00 m (204 ft)
Empty weight: 1,215 kg (2,673 lb)
Gross weight: 1,650 kg (3,630 lb)
Powerplant: 1 x IAR 7K licence-built Gnome-Rhone 9Krse 9-cylinder supercharged radial, at 4,000 m (13,120 ft), 450 kW (600 hp)


Maximum speed: at 4,000 m (13,120 ft) 375 km/h (233 mph)
Service ceiling: 10,500 m (34,400 ft)
Rate of climb: to 5,000 m (16,400 ft) 10.4 m/s (2,050 ft/min)


Two 7.7mm Vickers fixed machine guns firing through propeller

IAR-15 Pictures

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Source: WikiPedia

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