IAR-37 reconnaissance / light bomber
IAR-38 reconnaissance / light bomber
IAR-39 reconnaissance / light bomber
Dornier Do-17
Junkers Ju-88 D1
Potez Po-633B2
Bristol Blenheim Mark I

The IAR-37 reconnaissance / light bomber

 

In the mid 30's, the Romanian Air Force was searching for new aircrafts to replace most of its inventory. The IAR works were contacted to see if they could supply a new reconnaissance plane that could be employed as a light strike aircraft as well if oppprtunity appeared. From this demand, the IAR-37 was born, an aircraft that was to see service right until the end of the second world war.
IAR's design team started from the model of the Potez XXV light bomber, that had been built under license at IAR since 1928. The result was a straightforward, high-wing biplane with a fixed undercarriage, constructed mainly from wood . Some unusual features for a biplane of those times was the fully-enclosed cockpit and the large glazed panels fitted in the side of the fuselage. The powerplant was a IAR K14 ( 14 cylinders, air-cooled, double-row engine ) rated at 870 HP. Armament consisted of four FN 7.92 mm machine guns mounted in the wings.

The IAR-37 reconnaissance plane

 

 

 
First flights took place in mid-1936 and about 30 were built before a new version ( designated as IAR-38 ) came into production. In June 1941, two reconnaissance ( the official term was "observation" ) squadrons were equiped with the IAR-37. Also, 12 IAR-37's were fitted with Barbieri type bomb racks and converted to improvised light bombers which equipped the 18th Light Bomber Squadron.
 
All IAR-37 squadrons fought with distiction throughout the early stages of Barbarossa, but were withdrawn as soon as better planes became available. The 18th squadron was dispatched again to the front in late autumn 1942, when it joined the Romanian units fighting in the Stalingrad area. Its 5 IAR-37 fought until January 1943, when they were sent back home.
  An IAR-37 on the east front ( summer 1941 )  
Remaining IAR-37 would see service for a brief period of time in mid 1944, when some of the IAR-37's still capable of flying were armed with bomb launchers and utilised as light strike aircraft on the east front.

Technical data for the IAR-37

Wingspan
12.22 meters
Length
9.5 meters
Height
3.97 meters
Wing surface
35.7 square meters
Weight ( empty )
2219 kg
Weight ( loaded )
3060 kg
Maximum speed
335 km/h
Range
650 km
Maximum operational ceiling
8000 meters
Engine
IAR K14 rated at 870 HP
Armament
4 FN 7.92 mm machine guns
Payload
Up to 288 kg of bombs ( 24 * 12 kg bombs )
Crew
3
Numbers produced
30
Serial number
1-30

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