Foreign planes built under license
IAR designs
IAR-11 and IAR CV-11 fighter
IAR-12 fighter
IAR-13 fighter
IAR-14 fighter-trainer
IAR-15 fighter
IAR-16 fighter
IAR-37 reconnaissance / light bomber
IAR-38 reconnaissance / light bomber
IAR-39 reconnaissance / light bomber
IAR-80 fighter
IAR-81 fighter-bomber

The IAR-15 fighter


After the IAR's efforts finally paid off once they received the order for the IAR-14, Elie Carafoli was ready once again to start working on new fighter design. The result was the IAR-15 fighter, undoutably the finest of all his creations and the one aircraft of its pre-IAR 80 creations that could take on anything the world could throw at him.
Like all previous designs, the new airframe was also built from a combination of wood and metal and covered with duralumin sheets and pine plywood. This time the fuselage was also to suffer major changes together with the tail, wings, undercarriage and the engine. The cross section of the forward fuselage became round with a long-chord engine cowling, whilst the rear fuselage was enlarged in diameter and reinforced. A NACA type ring was mounted in the nose, covering the engine. The tail's shape and profile were modified from a round one to a triangular one. For the first time, the undercarriage was changed, becoming aerodynamically cleaner, since it consisted of a single strut with wheel spats mounted near the wing roots and, also for the first time, the tail "ski" was replaced by a small wheel.
Wings were shortened to just 11 meters and the wingtips were rounded furthermore to improve airspeed and maneuverability. It was suggested to fit the plane again with the infamous "anti-crash" pylon, but because of its notorious bad influence a rounded knob was mounted behind the pilot's head rest instead.
Several of the powerplants previously used were suggested, but the end Carafoli chose to abandon the classical in-line engines since they were either too heavy or simply not powerful enough for a fighter. Instead, a Gnome-Rhone 9Krse, nine-cylinder, radial engine rated at 600 HP at 4000 meters , was fitted to the prototype with very good results. As armament, the aircraft retained the standard pair of two synchronized Vickers 7.7 mm machine guns firing through the propeller common for all early IAR fighter projects. Each machine gun had a good 500 rounds supply of ammunition.


The aircraft made its first flights in early 1934 and right from the beginning it demonstrated its outstanding qualities. With a top speed of 375 km/h in level flight, the IAR-15 was very fast for its time and climbing speed was excellent as well, with just 8 minutes needed to reach a 5000 meters altitude.
  The IAR-15 fighter  
Maneuverability was also good, although it wasn't yet equal to that of the nimble PZL P-11. The IAR-15 was, without doubt, capable of intercepting any bomber of the day ; furthermore, test pilots and engineers alike stated that their fighter had shown itself to be more than a match for any other monoplane or biplane fighter in service at that time.Unfortunately, the ARR leaders, although they appreciated the aircraft's capabilities, didn't believe that their fighter squadrons needed it. With the PZL P-11 in service for less than a year, it was believed that it would be too difficult and too expensive to have two different types of fighters in service at the same time. Only five ( or six ) IAR-15 were ordered instead of the large orders that the IAR had expected. They were manufactured between 1934-1935, with only a couple of modifications : a three-blade metal propeller replaced the original two-blade wooden airscrew, and additional instruments were fitted on the instrument panel.

The IAR-15 fighter

Technical data for the IAR-15

11 meters
Wing area
19 square meters
7.76 meters
2.7 meters
Weight ( empty )
1215 kg
Weight ( loaded )
1650 kg
Maximum speed at 4000 meters
375 km/h
Climbs to 5000 meters
8 minutes
600 km
Maximum operational ceiling
10500 meters
Gnome-Rhone 9Krse rated at 600 HP
2 Vickers 7.7 mm machine guns mounted in the nose
Numbers produced
Serial numbers
1-5 (6?)

Hosted by