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-39 reconnaissance / light bomber


In late 1937, the IAR engine factory reported that they could now supply an improved version of the IAR K14 engine, which had been chosen as the main powerplant for all new Romanian planes. Therefore, the IAR-38 was taken out of production and IAR-39's finally started rolling out of the factory.
Once again, there were no major differences between the IAR-39 and its predecessors, except the engine, which was now an IAR K14 C32 engine, mounted on a strenthenghned airframe with an enlarged wing.

IAR-39 of the 17th Reconnaissance Squadron about to take-off. Summer 1941


Later models were fitted with the more powerful IAR K14 1000A2 engine, which provided a slight boost in performance. It was realised that the aircraft needed some defensive armament so a rear facing machine gun maned by the radio man so fitted as well, whilst only two FN machine guns were mounted on the wings this time.

Initially only IAR built IAR-39's, but, since 1938, SET also begun to manufacture the plane under license, at the request of the Romanian government. At the start of the war for Romania ( which was the 22nd of June 1941 ) the IAR-39 equiped most of the observation squadrons, with one squadron even being permanently attached to the Romanian 1st Armored Division. It performed a variety of functions, from short-range reconaissance and light bomber to artillery spotter and courier plane. The aircraft saw service during the entire WW2, with some 320 being built ( 100 by IAR and 225 by SET). It was quite popular with its pilots who affectionately nicknamed it "Mos Neata" ( "Old man Neata"). Thanks to its rugged simplicity, the IAR-39 could take a lot of damage and still make it back home ; its ability to operate virtually from anywhere it could find a piece of flat ground and fly in the most adverse weather conditions made it one of the most dependable plane in ARR's arsenal.

After the war, some IAR-39's remained in service as trainers or target tugs until the late 1950's, when the survivors were scrapped and replaced by other planes.

Picture taken from the TOP GUN magazine

IAR-39 preparing for a reconnaissance mission on the east front

Technical data for the IAR-39

13.1 meters
9.6 meters
3.99 meters
Wing surface
40.3 square meters
Weight ( empty )
2177 kg
Weight ( loaded )
3085 kg
Maximum speed
336 / 350 km/h
1050 km
Maximum operational ceiling
8000 meters

IAR K14 C32 rated at 870 HP or

IAR K14 1000A2 rated at 1000 HP

3 FN 7.92 mm machine guns
Up to 288 kg of bombs ( 24 * 12 kg bombs )
Numbers produced
about 320
Serial number
1-320 ?

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