IAR 80

The IAR 80 was a Romanian World War II low-wing, monoplane, all-metal construction fighter aircraft. When it first flew, in 1939, it was competitive with most contemporary designs like the German Bf 109E, the British Hawker Hurricane and the Supermarine Spitfire. However, production problems and lack of available armament delayed entry of the IAR 80 into service until 1941. Although there were plans to replace it fairly quickly it was forced to remain in front-line use until 1944, when – even if for some aspects outdated – it still could compete under certain conditions with more modern aircraft such as the Lockheed P-38 Lightning. Through a production run of 346 units, ending September 1944, the Romanians were always striving to better the design by means of stronger engines and better armament, ending the production run with the IAR 81C. Never a match for the fast agile single-seat fighters of the Allies, the IAR 80 did have it's moments. On 10 June 1944, IAR 80s took part in one of the major air battles when the USAAF attacked Ploesti, with 36 Lockheed P-38 Lightings of the 82nd Fighter Group carrying one bomb each, escorted by 39 P-38 Lightnings of the 1st and 82 FGs. The IAR 81Cs from Grupul 6, as well as the German fighters from I./JG 53 and 2./JG 77, intercepted the large American formation. The P-38s were at a distinct disadvantage as the whole encounter took place near ground-level. According to Romanian sources the Americans lost 22 P-38s. Source: Info: Wikipedia Profile: Wings Palette

IAR 80
Roelf, Jan 19, 2010
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    Jan 19, 2010
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