IAR-80 fighter
IAR-81 fighter-bomber
PZL P-11f fighter
PZL P-24E fighter
Hawker Hurricane I fighter
Messerschmitt Bf-109E
Messerschmitt Bf-109G
Heinkel He 112B fighter

The PZL P-24E fighter


In 1936, the last PZL P-11f had been delivered only an year earlier, but the Romanian Air Force realised that the aircraft which had been a state-of-the-art fighter in 1931 was hopelessly outclassed by the new emerging designs. Therefore, they started once again to look for a new plane to equip their fighter squadrons.

Several aircraft were taken into consideration, but the Polish PZL company won again, this time thanks to their PZL P-24A fighter. The aircraft was a development of the P-11, but this time with a closed cokpit, a new radial engine, a new 3-bladed, all-metal propeller and a reinforced fuselage, that allowed engineers to mount engines of up to 1000 HP. Armament was also improved, the P-24 being one of the first fighters in the world to be equiped with 20 mm cannons. The other parts of the plane remained mostly unchanged.

Romanian officials came into contact with the PZL P-24 for the first time at the International Airshow in Paris, on November 1934, after the aircraft had set a world speed record for radial engine fighters of 414 km/h. In mid June 1936, the Superior Council of National Defense, who had decided to buy a new type of fighter was informed by the Technical Department of the Undersecretary of Air that the P-24 could reach a top speed of 430 km/h at 4250 meters. Impressed by the figures, the Council considered that the plane will be improved furthermore by equipping it with the IAR K14 powerplant, and that a great deal of time could be spared, since the prototype was ready for demostrations between the 20th and the 30th of August, so it gave its agreement for placing an order. It was late 1936 when a contract was signed, stating that 5 planes would be purchased from PZL, whilst 40 more would be built by IAR works.

A Romanian PZL P-24E on the ground

At the start of the war, the 61st and 62nd Fighter Squadrons, who were equipped with P-24E's, were given the task of defending the capital and the Ploiesti oilfields against isolated Soviet air attacks, which they did until August 1941, claiming over 30 kills during this period. After this, they were sent to take part in the siege of Odessa, where they didn't met much of an opposition. Since it became obvious that the P-24's were totally outclassed, they were sent back home and used as advanced trainers for the rest of the war.
The PZL P-24E was a high-wing, single-seat monoplane with a fixed undercarriage and fully enclosed cokpit. It shared many components with the PZL P-11, such as the rear fuselage, the wings and the horizontal tailplanes, while the engine and the cannon mounts were new. The P-24E was powered by a IAR K14 C36 , 14 cylinders, radial engine, rated at 940 HP , which drove an wooden, two bladed propeller. It must be said that many of the P-24E's features were eventually incorporated into the IAR-80 fighter.

Technical data for the PZL P-24E

10.70 meters
7.6 meters
2.7 meters
Weight (empty)
1332 kg
Weight ( loaded )
2000 kg
Maximum speed ( at 4000 meters )
408 km/h
700 km
Maximum operational ceiling
10000 meters
IAR K14 C36 rated at 940 HP
Two Vickers 7.9 mm machine guns and two Oerlikon FF 20 mm cannons
Up to 40 kg of bombs
Numbers produced
Serial number

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