IAR 12 / IAR 13 / IAR 14 / IAR 15 / IAR 16

The IAR 12, 13, 14, 15,16 were low-wing monoplane fighters designed in Romania between 1933 & 1934.

The aircraft were designed by the IAR design bureau in 1933 starting with the IAR 12 prototype.

Variants

IAR 12

The failure of the first fighter designed at Brașov did not discourage the energetic team of the I.A.R. Works.

Even before the second prototype of the C.V. 11 was disqualified from the fighter contest, the first details of its successor had already been laid out by Engineer-in-Chief Elie Carafoli.

A new tail with enlarged rudder was fitted to essentially the same fuselage, giving a more conventional look and offering better control during flight. As a consequence, the overall height increased by more than a meter, i.e., 40% of the original dimension.

Unlike the IAR 11 design, the wingtips were rounded, and the span had been increased as well, giving a 19.80 m2 (213.1 sq ft) wing area compared to the original 18.20 m2 (195.9 sq ft) of the C.V. 11.

An anti-crash pylon with a minuscule Venturi-tube installed at its top appeared behind the cockpit to protect the pilot in case the aircraft overturned.

The powerplant chosen for the new aircraft, named I.A.R. 12, was again a Lorraine-Dietrich 12Eb, that offered 450 h.p. (336 kW) at 1,900 r.p.m., similar to the type fitted to the first C.V. 11.

However, due to the increased aerodynamic drag, the maximum speed at ground level decreased to 294 km/h (183 mph).

This unsatisfactory result, combined with poor handling characteristics experienced during early test flights, constrained Carafoli to improve the construction and try a new engine, fitted to essentially the same fuselage, giving a more conventional look and offering better control during flight.

An anti-crash pylon with a minuscule Venturi-tube installed at its top appeared behind the cockpit to protect the pilot in case the aircraft overturned.

Such a feature on the C.V. 11 C1 could have saved the life of Cpt. Popescu on that fatal day in early December 1931.

IAR 13

The powerplant for IAR 12, was an IAR LD 450 12-cylinder W-form water-cooled in-line built under license Lorraine-Dietrich 12 Eb, that offered 450 h.p. (336 kW) at 1,900 r.p.m., similar to the type fitted to the first C.V. 11.

However, due to the increased aerodynamic drag, the maximum speed at ground level decreased to 294 km/h.

This unsatisfactory result, combined with poor handling characteristics experienced during early test flights, constrained Carafoli to improve the construction and try a new engine.

The new project, called I.A.R. 13, was essentially similar to the abandoned ’12’, except for the fin-and-rudder.

Its surface had been reduced and instead of a rounded shape it became oval.

The fuselage, wings and the anti-crash pylon had all been retained, while the undercarriage suffered minor changes.

The engine fitted to the airframe was a Hispano-Suiza 12Mc of 500 h.p. (373 kW) output at 2,200 r.p.m. that operated a two-blade, all-metal Ratier propeller.

The more powerful engine helped to boost the top speed to 330 km/h, which meant a significant 12% increase.

The overall flying characteristics were improved as well.

Nevertheless, these significant results and the demonstration flights performed by Locotenent aviator Eugen “Puiu” Pârvulescu in 1933 did not impress the senior ARR leaders, still resistant to the new idea of a low-wing monoplane fighter.

IAR 14

After rejection of IAR 12, Romanian officials did not want to discourage eventual national aircraft production.

Therefore, in early 1933, an unofficial message was forwarded from top levels to Brasov, essentially indicating that a small number of fighter-trainers would be purchased by the air force.

The I.A.R. team immediately began to work on a new type, designated I.A.R. 14, still based on the experience gained with previous designs

The airplane was designed by IAR design bureau in 1933 and was an evolution from the IAR 12 prototype.

It was a cantilever low-winged monoplane with a spatted main undercarriage with V-form legs and a single, open cockpit over the wing.

The rectangular section fuselage was of mixed metal-wood configuration, with the front half covered by duralumin sheets and the rear part with pine plywood.

The tail had been modified once more and the control surfaces were balanced.

The pilot’s head rest was not fitted with the anti-crash pylon, typical to the precedent prototypes.

The engine was mounted on welded steel bearers attached to a duralumin fireproof bulkhead.

The wings were built around twin duralumin spars and pine and plywood ribs and had plywood leading edges.

The centre section, let into the fuselage underside was duralumin covered, outer sections and ailerons fabric covered.

The fixed tail was built of pine and plywood-covered, the moving surfaces duralumin with fabric cover.

The aircraft was equipped with the IAR LD 450 powerplant, produced under license by IAR, that also equipped the IAR 12.

The first flight took place in June 1933. In September 1933, an order for 20 aircraft was placed.

IAR 15

The sustained efforts of Elie Carafoli and his team paid dividends when the first order for IAR 14 was finally placed.

With production started and a small profit secured, Dipl.-Eng. Carafoli decided to try something new.

The result was the I.A.R. 15.

The inline engine was abandoned and instead a radial powerplant was substituted.

Accordingly, the front fuselage underwent a major redesign.

The cross-section was rounded and an NACA ring covered the 600 h.p. (447 kW) Gnome & Rhône 9Krse engine.

With the new nine-cylinder radial the aircraft attained a top speed of 375 km/h at 4,000 m and could climb to 5,000 m in 8 minutes.

The ceiling was raised to 10,500 m and an endurance of 600 km was possible.

The I.A.R. 15 could intercept any contemporary major bomber type.

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 was redesigned again, this time to a triangular shape and was also built of steel tube and dural-covered.

An aerodynamically improved single strut undercarriage featuring wheel spats was fitted near the wing roots and a small wheel replaced the previous tailskid.

Instead of the crash-pylon featured on earlier models, a rounded knob appeared behind the pilot’s headrest.

The wings were rounded and shortened to 11.00 m, giving 19.00 m² total area, and 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 had a wide track, with vertical wire braced and faired legs carrying spatted main wheels.

Power was from an I.A.R. 9KIc40 licence-built Gnome-Rhône 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 other orders were placed.

The I.A.R. 16

Developed in parallel with the I.A.R. 15, the model ’16’ featured for the first time an all-metal airframe structure, covered with duralumin sheets, plywood and fabric.

It resembled the I.A.R. 14 more closely than the I.A.R. 15, being inferior to the latter.

The fuselage outlines followed the ’14’s, as did the wings, although their area was increased to 20.30 m2.

The tail section, as usual, was redesigned, the rear part this time becoming rounded.

The two-strut undercarriage of the I.A.R. 14 was retained as well, and the tailskid appeared again.

A new British radial engine, the Bristol Mercury IV S2, of maximum 560 h.p. (418 kW) output at 4,500 m, was experimented with.

The powerplant was covered with a narrow Townend ring and individual exhaust pipes were fitted to each of the nine cylinders.

The typical feature of this model was a large propeller cone fitted to a Bristol-made two-blade wooden airscrew.

Due to the larger wings and all-metal fuselage structure the empty weight increased to 1,430 kg, giving a relatively high, 70.14 kg/m2 wing load, that increased further during flight, taking also into consideration that the all-up weight was 1,650 kg.

The usual armament, comprising two 7.7 mm Vickers machine guns, featured on all early I.A.R. fighters, was employed, this time placed in the wings and firing outside the propeller arc.

The British engine offered an impressive maximum speed of 342 km/h at 5,000 m that could be reached in 6 ½ minutes, while the ceiling was established at 10,000 m.

Specifications

(IAR 14)

Crew

1

Length

7.37 m (24 ft 2 in)

Wingspan

11.7 m (38 ft 5 in)

Height

2.6 m (8 ft 6 in)

Wing area

20.3 m2 (219 sq ft)

Empty weight

1,255 kg (2,767 lb)

Gross weight

1,552 kg (3,422 lb)

Fuel capacity

230 l (61 US gal; 51 imp gal)

Powerplant

1 × IAR LD 450 W-12 water-cooled piston engine,

340 kW (450 hp) (Lorraine 12Eb)

Propellers

2-bladed Ratier wooden fixed-pitch propeller

Performance

Maximum speed

294 km/h (183 mph, 159 kn) at sea level

265 km/h (165 mph; 143 kn) at 5,000 m (16,404 ft)

Minimum speed

110 km/h (68 mph; 59 kn) at sea level

Endurance

2 hours 10 minutes

Service ceiling

7,900 m (25,900 ft)

Time to altitude

5,000 m (16,404 ft) in 10 minutes 27 seconds

Wing loading

76.5 kg/m2 (15.7 lb/sq ft)

Power/mass

0.2163 kW/kg (0.1316 hp/lb)

Armament

Guns

2 x 7.7 mm Vickers machine guns firing through the airscrew.

 

 

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