FW 190A-5 vs. I.A.R 81C

FW 190A-5 vs. I.A.R. 81c

  • They are both pretty similar in abilities.

    Votes: 0 0.0%

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I think I'm voting for the FW-190 purely because of armament, and engine power
Armament- IAR 81C 2x 20mm MG 151 cannons and 4x 7.92mm FN machine guns
FW-190A-5 4x 20mm cannons and 2X 7.92 mm machine guns

Engine- IAR 81C- IAR K14-1000A air-cooled 14 cylinder double-row radial, 764 kW (1,025 hp)
FW-190A-5 - BMW-801D-2, hp 1700
I always liked the I.A.R., because it was one of the few things my country actually designed and actually did a good job. I voted for it, out of patriotism, but to be hones, I think the FW190 is much better. The I.A.R. always suffered from a lack of proper armament and the issue was only solved when mounting the two 20 mm cannons, on the C version.
Fw190A5 obviously, much higher performance.
imho the results no change of many. and 81C timeline it's more near to A-5 that to A-2
It's pretty hard to find info on I.A.R. kill records. I did found out that 400 I.A.R. fighters were produced. That includes all variants A, B and C. I suspect that the C version was available towards the end and probably they weren't many available. But the I.A.R. 81 cannot be compared to the Fw190, it's more closer to the BF109 early models.
The I.A.R. 80/81 was responsible for several losses in the Ploesti oil raids. So it's not like they would be dogmeat for the FW 190's, they would have a harder time dogfighting them, but the I.A.R pilots weren't bad at that at all.

Last glory day of 6th FG.
Written by Octavian Ghita and John Crump .
Refueling of an IAR-81C from Grupul 6. Vinatore, on Popesti-Leordeni airfield, in summer of 1944. This version of the IAR is notable for its armament of two wing-mounted MG151 20 mm cannons. It is also a rare example of an IAR with a two-colour spinner. Within the text is another photo of IAR-81C preparing to defend against B-24 "Liberators".


Early morning, 10 June 1944. On airbases near Foggia, Italy, there is a bustle of activity as the sun rises. Forty-six "Lightnings" of the 82nd Fighter Group (95th, 96th, and 97th Squadrons), each carrying a 1000lb bomb and a long-range drop tank, are taking-off from Vincenzo airfield. They will be joined by forty-eight P-38's of the 1st Fighter Group (27th, 71st, and 94th Squadrons) flying as escort. One after another, nearly 100 American "Lightnings" take wing and climb to altitude. Target: Ploesti, more than 600 miles away. Mission: to attack the Romano-Americano oil refinery defended by IAR fighters of the 6th Romanian Fighter Group on Pipera and Popesti-Leordeni airbases.

The oilfields of Ploesti became top priority targets for the 15th AF during the spring and summer of 1944. Eight high altitude bombing missions had been flown between April 5th, and June 10th, with less than satisfactory results and with heavy losses due to anti-aircraft and fighters.

Romanian IAR 80 and 81 fighters had proven dangerous to Allied bombers on missions against Ploesti. The IAR-80/81 was designed in 1939, after adopting the fuselage of the Polish PZL P-24E (produced on license in Romania), with new wings and a more powerful engine. Production in Brasov's IAR plant from 1940 until January,1943 totaled more than 400 aircraft. The final variant, specifically built as a bomber interceptor, was the IAR 81C. Powered by a radial IAR K14-1000A (Gnome-Rhone) engine of 1000 HP, with a top speed of 514 km/h, and armed with 2 x 20 mm Mauser MG151 cannons and 4 x 7.7 mm Browning-FN machine guns, the IAR 81C could, in the hands of a good pilot, be a deadly adversary of heavy bombers. In the opinion of Romanian pilots, it was a good plane, maneuverable and easy to fly.

To defend the oilfields from American bombers, the IAR-81C was delivered in the summer of 1944 to some veteran groups. Among them was the 6th Fighter Group (Eskadrilles No: 58, 59, 61 and 62), leaded by Captain Dan Vizanti.

Yet by 1944, the IAR-81 fighter was overmatched in performance by both the P-38 and P-51. So the Romanians used tactics to keep P-51s from dogfighting IARs. When attacking bomber formations, German and Romanian Bf 109s occupied the escorts while IAR squadrons struck at the bombers. In this way, bomber losses ran higher than 7% on every mission.

For these reasons, Fifteenth Air Force planners decided to send P-38 "Lightnings" armed with bombs on a low altitude approach to Ploesti's oilfields, much as they had sent B-24s in low for the August, 1943 Ploesti raid. The hope was the low-flying P-38s would be able to both achieve surprise and pinpoint bomb the widely dispersed refinery facilities.

As the American P-38s (now a dozen fewer in number due to planes returning home for mechanical problems), changed course for the final approach their targets, they neared Pipera airbase, near Bucharest. Even though the fighter bombers were flying at 50 meters altitude, German radar had detected the formation. Partly due to the early hour of attack, Romanian Fighter Headquarters assumed the purpose of the mission was to hit the fighter bases.

East of Bucharest, on the deck, the "Lightnings" began seeing a variety of Luftwaffe aircraft, heading south past the P-38s on either side. Just after 71st Squadron of 1st FG dropped their auxiliary tanks at the initial point, the first two flights found six twin engine German bombers over an airfield and shot them down. A moment later the squadron was jumped by the IARs. Even though the 82nd pilots had been ordered not to engage any enemy planes on the way in to the target, an Me 210 and He 111 were destroyed and an unidentified single-engine fighter was claimed as a probable. More details we can discover in German reports:

Shortly before the "Lightnings" entered the target area, they were intercepted by the Messerschmitt Bf 109s of JG 53 "Pik As", commanded by Knight's Cross holder Major Jürgen Harder (64 victories). The 1st and 3d Staffeln had been scrambled from Targsorul-Nou, an airbase to the southwest of Ploesti, at 08:05am . 20 minutes later, they were followed by 2./JG53. At around 08:35, just as the bomb-carrying "Lightnings" of 82nd FG started climbing to prepare their attack, the two first Staffeln fell upon them. Leutnant Hans Kornatz (1./JG 53) claimed a P-38 as his 32nd victory at 08:40, witnessed by Unteroffizier Ulrich Zemper. The German fighters didn't follow the "Lightnings" into the Flak-fire over the target area, but waited for the Americans and attacked them as they turned for home.

A further number of victories were claimed:

Rank - Pilot Staffel Time Remarks
Gefreiter Heinz Hommes 1./JG53 09:16 his kill No. 1
Gefreiter Meyer 2./JG53 09:18 his kill No. 2
Leutnant Rupert Weninger 1./JG53 09:23 his kill No. 17
Leutnant Erich Gehring 2./JG53 09:24 his kill No. 4
Unteroffizier Willi Dreyer 1./JG53 his kill No. 4

During this combat, one Bf 109 G-6 was shot down: Gefreiter Helmut Köditz was killed as his "white 3" went down in the vicinity of Brosteni. A second Bf 109 G-6 made a successful belly-landing with minor battle damage at Horsesti.

Then, the 1st FG ran into trouble. Enemy fighters mistakenly identified as "Fw-190s" pounced on the leading 71st Squadron. The interceptors were actually Romanian IAR-80s and IAR-81s.

At 5:53 a.m., 10 minutes before the attack, Romanian captain Dan Vizanti (15 kills) and the pilots of 6th Group had moved to position in a waiting zone, northwest of Bucharest. Five minutes later, ground control confirmed the attack was impending - "The target is our airfield! Go get 'em, boys!"

The 28 IAR fighters made one pass through the American group. The low altitude didn't offer a chance for dogfighting. The P-38's tried to spread their formation, but there was no time - - the battle was over in less than four minutes.

American pilot Herbert "Stub" Hatch of the 71 Squadron, 1st FG tallied five kills in the melee, emptying his guns while wracking his P-38 thru the swirl of fighters. Meanwhile, the Romanian pilots had a field day. Within that brief timespan, the Romanians claimed 14 "Lightnings" of the 1st FG (by its records). The hardest-hit 71st Squadron was reduced to a single flight of four. Hatch was one of the few survivors of the 71st. By American accounts, the combat was in a shallow valley filled with more than 40 aircraft, with airplanes erratically trying to avoid each other, and many hitting the ground.

Meanwhile, the 82nd FG "Lightnings" dropped their bombs over the oil fields, hitting a cracking plant, a huge storage tank and three refinery units. The 82nd listed nine aircraft lost in the action, for a total between the two fighter groups of 23 planes: 30-percent of the attacking force.
After the raid, the U.S. formation was intercepted by other German fighters, including Messerschmitt 110s, probably from NJG 100. Lt. Col. Ben A. Mason Jr., Deputy Group Commander of 82nd FG, shot down one of the Bf 110s. On this raid, Lt. Merrill Adelson of 96th FS claimed the destruction of the Me 210 and the He 111, plus the destruction of an unidentified single-engined fighter, while another 96th FS pilot, Lt. John Sognia claimed a Bf 109. Lt. Lee Lette of the 97th FS claimed an Hs 126. The dogfight with JG-53, almost wiped out the 71st FS.

The IAR fighters pilots returned triumphantly to their airbase, which was unscathed. Romanian accounts list one plane shot down, one other heavily damaged and two lost in a collision in the first moment of the attack for total losses of 4 planes and 3 pilots. Yet for the whole 2nd Fighting Flotilla this was a happy day - - no bombs were dropped on the airfield and dozens of enemy fighters were downed.

Returning P-38 pilots claimed to have destroy more than 30 opponents. From a history of the 82nd FG: "The IAR pilots claimed quite a few P-38s that day. The 1st Fighter Group was eventually credited with 26-3-6 enemy aircraft in this and other air actions on June 10th, but the price was extremely high: 14 of its 39 pilots were MIA, 9 of them from the 71st Squadron." The 82nd claimed enemy aircraft losses of 8-1-2 and suffered its own losses of 8 pilots MIA and 10 "Lightnings" destroyed.

Despite the battering of 10 June, the 82nd flew support the next day for a B-24 mission to Constanta. In coming weeks, the 15th Air Force would continue to bomb Ploesti with eleven more high altitude raids, but would stop just before the Russians overran Bucharest. And whatever successes there were in these attacks, came at high cost.

By the evening of 10 June, no one could have said this was to be the last victorious battle for Romanian aviation against the "Alliati". The final two months to 23 August, 1944 the day of armistice with the Allies, would prove to be a dramatic period for the Romanian hunters. They would be decimated in the further raids that summer - - with 56 top pilots killed or wounded. And survivors would have no calm or peace, as they were sent with some 260,000 other men to fight the ground war against Germans in Hungary, Czechoslovakia and Austria.

From 1941 to 1944, the American Air Forces lost 399 planes in Romanian skies. 1100 aviators were killed or MIA and 1400 were captured. On Romanian side more than 15.000 civilians were killed or wounded during 'anti-oil' actions.

For Luftwaffe forces in Romania coming days after 10 June 1944 appears very bitter... The fighters of the Fifteenth Air Force soon managed to revenge themselves. On 23 June, they claimed 24 enemy fighters over Romania. Twelve fell before the guns of 52 FG "Mustangs", the last being the Group's 102nd victory in a thirty day period. On this day, Major Herschel Green, the leading U.S. ace in the Mediterranean theater, scored his 15th kill as he shot down a Bf 109, possibly Feldwebel Heinz Sieg of 1./JG 53. The Fw 190 F of 4./SG 2 and II./SG 10 took the hardest punishment. 4./SG 10 lost three pilots (including the Staffelkapitän and ground-attack veteran, Knight's Cross holder Hauptmann Günther Müller, who was killed in the Fw 190 F-8 "white 13" on his 900th combat sortie). 4./SG 10 recorded four Fw 190 F-8 shot down with two pilots killed and one wounded. 31 GF's Lt. John J. Voll, who evetually would become the top scorer in the Fifteenth Air Force, scored his first victory (of 21 by the end of the war) with one of these Fw 190s. Among the successful I./JG 53 pilots on 10 June, Rupert Weninger was shot down and killed by Mustangs on 24 June; four days later, Erich Gehring and Willi Dreyer were shot down and wounded.


List of Romanian pilot kills:
Cpt. av. Dan Vizanti (Group commander) - 2
Cpt. av. Petre Constantinescu - 1
Lt. av. Dumitru Baciu - 1
Lt. av. Mircea Dumitrescu - 2
Slt. av. Eugen Ianculescu - 2
Adj. Maj. av. Dumitru Ilie - 2
Adj. av. Constantin Dimache - 1
Adj. av. Ioan Dimache - 2
Adj. av. Gheorghe Tutuianu - 2
Adj. av. Gheorghe Cocebas - 2
Adj. av. Ion Husea - 1
Adj. av. Gheorghe Zamfir - 1
Adj. av. Aurel Vladareanu - 1
Adj. av. Petre Coteanu - 1
Adj. av. (r) Ioan Nicola - 1
Adj. av. (r) Ilie Lepadatu - 1
The group lost 4 airplanes and their pilots and 7 were damaged.
Thanks for the info Welch. I found the website myself but that doesn't offer any info about the kill ratio of the I.A.R. fighters. Also the records of the flotillas cannot be taken into account, due to the fact that many pilots were using Bf109's as well as I.A.R.'s.
Yes, it's a pity there isn't more info on the I.A.R fighters. There is more on Italy and Finland in WWII for some reason.

Most of the info was probably lost when Russians took control of the country .Everybody was eager to destroy any info that the Russian might use against them. It's a crying shame, since my country had excellent pilots and they should be remembered properly.

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