The L.O.O.T.M. Archive

Lust Object of the Month

June 2008

This WWII Romanian fighter plane is on display at The Military Aviation Museum in Bucharest, which is the capital city of Romania.

  More here:


An IAR on the wrong end of a Yak encounter.

During the early months of WWII, Romania developed an indigenous monoplane fighter.  The IAR 80 was a sleek, retractable aircraft with long fuselage lines and a 1000 HP radial engine.  It also carried six large-caliber machine guns and was highly maneuverable, making it a potent weapon.

After Romania was occupied by Germany the IAR fighters were pressed into service by the Luftwaffe.  One is even believed to have shot down a B-24 during the raid on the Ploesti oil fields.

The IAR 81 was the follow-on model, some of which were armed with four machine guns and two cannon.  Other models were equipped with hard points for carrying drop tanks or bombs.  There was a two-seat version of the IAR 80 that was produce in limited numbers--they remained in use after WWII.

    The LOOTM for June, the IAR 80/81.  Enjoy!

Additional information on the June LOOTM - IAR Fighters from a Romanian reader.

NOTE:  Please see the interesting facts we received from George Bunea about our June LOOTM.  George is 53 years old, and lives in Bucharest, Romania.

 Thank you George for your excellent input to our website!

During WWII, there were MANY American bombing raids over Romanian oil fields of Ploiesti and even over Bucharest.

And there were A LOT OF Liberators shot down by A LOT OF Romanian IAR 81 fighter planes and by the Romanian army AA gunners.

In fact, many American pilots were frightened by IAR 81 due to the simple fact that they always believed that it was Focke Wulf 190 and not just a Romanian fighter plane. And if you will refer to some American war archives, you will find out that IAR 81 fighter planes were only outnumbered by the American fighter planes, but not defeated! At one point, they

(Romanian pilots and planes) were just a few, against too many!

What I have to say is that, unfortunately, I do not know why that picture does not have the real colors, that is, when you go to that museum (as I did myself) you realize that the colors in the picture are not the ones you see by you own eyes.  Another information is that this plane was built in the same place where IAR 81 were built during WWII.

They used the original drawings that were found in an archive, after so many years.(short after finishing the plane construction , the originals just vanished and no one knows where they are now).  They also used all the information they could gather from the Romanian pilots that were still alive at that time.

When the Russians came here at the end of the war, they have taken every plane, every piece of bolt and nut, all the machinery, drawings , specialists and transported everything to Russia by train. Then they ordered that all remaining IAR 81 be scrapped. Afterwards, Romania wasn't allowed for decades to built another planes. 

That was the time when a joke was created by the Romanians - a joke for which many of them were put in jail for decades:

QUESTION:  "Do you know the principle of Mendeleev?Ē

ANSWER:    ďNothing is lost, everything is transported!"

I would like to search in my collection of magazines and send you some more information about this fighter plane and it's history.  But please let me know if you agree to receive such information.  If your answer will be positive, I will also send you some scanned images with its drawings, components, etc.

Thank you again for your attention and please let me know if you wish to know more about IAR 81. By the way, I forgot to mention that am Romanian, I am 53 years old and I live in Bucharest, Romania.


George Bunea

WWII Romanian Fighter IAR 81

  • Deliberately ignored by aviation historians

  • Always considered by the American airmen as being the FW190

  • Itís initial camouflage scheme strictly followed the British camouflage scheme of Hawker Hurricane.

Among many other plane makes, The Royal Romanian Air Force also had six Hawker Hurricanes and one Lancaster bomber plane;

Curiosity:  As far as I was told, at the time when war was declared between the England and Germany, two crews - one German and the other English - were each trying to assemble their planes -  Messerschmidts and Hurricanes - in two nearby hangars located in Bucharest Baneasa Airport, Romania. But nothing happened between the two crews of people.

 Luftwaffe pilots test report:

  • Take off and landing are very good. Itís 20-30 km slower than Messerschmidt Bf109E. the climb to 5000 m is equivalent. In a dive itís outclassed by Bf109E as it lacks  an automated propeller pitch regulator. Itís a fighter adequate to modern needsĒ.

My note: the propeller pitch regulator was added by the factory due to this test report.

Useful Romanian site: click the English flag and search the IAR model kit ad books and CDs in English language


  • Empty weight: 4850 lbs

  • Max. loaded weight:6570 lbs

  • Max. speed at 22,965 ft:342 mph

  • Climb time to 16,405 ft:6,20 min

  • Range: 453 miles

  • Wingspan: 32 ft 1 in

  • Length: 32 ft

  • Height: 11 ft 10 in

  • Engine: IAR 14K -1100 HP

  •        14 cylinder air cooled, double row, radial

  • Armament: 2 x 20 mm Mauser or Ikaria guns

  •        4 x 7,92 mm Browning FN machine guns