After the failure of the IAR CV-11, the Frenchman Lucien
Virmoux took things very personal, so he left the IAR company and
returned to France. Elie Carafoli, however, was not going to give
up so easily. Even before the ARR commision had announced its decision,
he was already working on its next fighter design : the IAR-12.
Carafoli knew that the fuselage was well conceived and that
it didn't have any faults, so he kept it mostly unchanged, and started
to work on the weak points : maneuvrability and control. A new tail,
with an enlarged, round-shaped rudder, replaced the old one, giving
the plane a more conventional look and improving in-flight control.
Total height was also increased this way, by more than a meter ( over
40% of the original size ). To increase maneuvrability, the wings
were enlarged and the wingtips became round, instead of the rectangular
ones used by Virmoux.
The one new piece of equipment was the "anti-crash" pylon installed just behind the cockpit, with a Venturi-type tube
on its top. This feature was supposed to protect the pilot in case
of an emergency landing, by keeping the fuselage from crushing the
pilot if the aircraft got turned over during the landing. Indeed,
the IAR CV-11/C1's pilot had been killed exactly this way when the
prototype was lost.
A Lorraine-Dietrich engine was once again selected as powerplant
; this time it was the Lorraine-Dietrich 12Eb. It had 12 cylinders
mounted in a "W" configuration, but it could produce only
450 HP at 1900 r.p.m. It was however lighter, so engineers hoped to
achieve a higher speed than that of the IAR CV-11.
The aircraft flew for the first time in mid-1932, but this
time the test flights yielded dessappointing results. Handling characteristics
proved to be unsatisfactory, as the extra drag caused by the "anti-crash" pylon severely hindered the control surface's action. Maximum speed
at sea level also decreased to 294 km/h, mainly for the same reason.
After the initial flights, IAR engineers understood that the IAR-12 was really not capable of taking on its rivals, since it was inferior even to its predecesor. Therefore, the plane wasn't presented to the ARR, but the decision was taken to further improve it, creating a new fighter design : the IAR-13. Mayby this was going to be their big break.