Low level interceptor
|First flight||October 31, 1974|
|Retired||April 9, 1998|
|Primary user||Romanian Air Force|
|Produced||1975 - 1992|
|Variants||Soko J-22 Orao|
IAR-93 "Vultur" (Eagle) is a twin-engine, subsonic, close support, ground attack and tactical reconnaissance aircraft with secondary capability as low level interceptor, built as single-seat main attack version or combat capable two-seat version for advanced flying and weapon training. It was developed as a joint Yugoslav-Romanian project in the 1970s for the air forces of both nations. The Romanian aircraft were built by I.R.Av. Craiova as IAR-93, and its Yugoslav counterpart by Soko as the Soko J-22 Orao. For Romania, the IAR-93 was intended to replace MiG-15s and MiG-17s in the fighter-bomber role.
On May 20, 1971, Romania and Yugoslavia signed the governmental agreements for the YuRom R&D programme. The program managers were Dipl. Dr. Engineer Teodor Zamfirescu for the Romanian party and Colonel Vidoje Knezevic for the Yugoslav party.
The requirements called for a light subsonic aircraft for ground attack and tactical reconnaissance missions and with low level air combat as a secondary capability. It was to be built on a simple structure, using locally produced equipment and avionics (but compatible with western components), tough (able to operate on grass or damaged runways), easy to maintain and reliable. The aircraft was of conventional twin-engine, high mounted wing monoplane configuration with all flying surfaces swept. The Rolls-Royce Viper was chosen as the powerplant, as SOKO had experience with licence-building this engine. It was originally intended that an afterburner would be developed for the Viper engines, but there were prolonged difficulties with this project, meaning that none of the pre-production aircraft featured it, and neither did early production examples. During the 1980s, both countries developed slightly different versions to take advantage of the afterburning engines that had since become available.
The Romanian single-seat prototype White 001 made its first flight which lasted 21 minutes on October 31, 1974 at Bacău (simultaneously with the Yugoslav prototype at Batajnica Air Base). The aircraft was flown by Colonel Gheorghe Stănică. On September 20, 1979 the plane was lost when, during a test flight both engines stopped and the pilot ejected. This prompted modifications to the combustion chamber (including all aircraft already delivered).
The DC (two-seat) prototype #003 first flew on January 23, 1977, and was lost on November 24, 1977 due to tail flutter. The left elevator broke off while in level flight at 500 m altitude and 1,045 km/h. The Martin-Baker Mk RU10J zero-zero ejection seats functioned well and the two test pilots ejected safely. After this event the aft fuselage structure was reinforced.
Prototype #004 crashed at Craiova Air Base on February 20, 1979 during an aerobatics demonstration. The pilot, Capt. Eng. Dobre Stan didn't manage to eject.
On August 23, 1979 three IAR-93 (#001, #002 and #005) were first presented to the public in flight during the military parade celebrating the national day of Romania at that time.
- IAR-93A: initial production version with non-afterburning Viper Mk 632-41 turbojets
15 pre-production aircraft delivered in 1979; entered service in 1981
26 built (#109-119 pre-production, #150-164 series) as single-seaters and 9 DC (two-seat) trainers (#005-008 pre-production, #180-184 series)
- IAR-93MB: MB = Motor de Baza (basic engine). This version had the fuselage of the IAR-93B but used the non-afterburning engine of the IAR-93A
delivered starting with 1982
15 single-seaters built (#201-215)
- IAR-93B: refined version with afterburning Viper Mk 633-47 engines, increased internal fuel capacity, upgraded hardpoints and revised wing, including leading edge extensions. Also, the ventral fins, inboard wing fences and forward fuselage strakes were removed
first flew in 1985; entered service in 1987
27 built as single-seater (#200, #216-241) and 7 DC (#600-606)
- Romanian Air Force (67th Fighter-Bomber Regiment and 49th Fighter-Bomber Regiment from Craiova and Ianca respectively)
- #003, November 24, 1977 The left elevator broke off due to flutter. Both pilots, Col. Gheorghe D. Stanica and Col. Petru Ailiesei, ejected safely.
- #004, February 20, 1979 at Craiova Air Base. Crashed during an aerobatics demonstration. Capt. Eng. Dobre Stan, didn't manage to eject.
- #001, September 20, 1979 Both engines stopped. Col. Ilie P. Botea ejected safely.
- #113, March 8, 1983 Maj. Crashed on landing due to pilot error. Maj Ion G. Tanase ejected safely.
- #???, August 14, 1986 G.M. Stoica (not confirmed or incomplete info)
- #602, August 25, 1992 Both pilots, Maj. Dan C. Cosaceanu and Cpt. Traian G. Neagoe, ejected safely.
- #200, November 26, 1996 at Recea-Slatina. Crashed during a test flight. Cpt. Cmdr. Matei "Bebe" Constantin ejected safely.
- #210, July 9, 1997 at Craiova Air Base. Exploded on the runway during preparations for Romanian-made cluster munitions testing. 16 ground personnel died. The pilot, Cmdr. Ion Marculescu, hadn't yet approached the plane and was unharmed.
- #219, April 9, 1998 at Ghercesti, near Craiova. The forward landing gear couldn't be deployed after a test flight. Cmdr. Ion Marculescu ejected safely after exhausting the fuel and the airplane crashed a few km further. This was the last flight for the type.
Following the outbreak of the war in Yugoslavia and the UN embargo, the IAR-93 program ended in Romania in 1992, with several airframes in different stages of construction. Around 75 aircraft were still in service, a few of them being used for testing and research (#200 - first B model with afterburners, #600 (DC) - the only one fitted with canards).
The last IAR-93s were withdrawn and mothballed from the Romanian Air Force in 1998. Surviving airframes are stored at Deveselu (IAR-93A #116), Timisoara (IAR-93MB #214), and Craiova (about 60 aircraft), not flight worthy (engines and other equipment removed) and most of them are up for sale. Apparently 20 of them were scrapped until 2006, with the rest awaiting the same fate in 2007.
IAR-93s on display
- #002 (prototype DC) Muzeul Aviatiei, Bucharest
- #109 (A) Henri Coandă School courtyard, Perisor, Dolj
- #112 (A) Muzeul Aviatiei, Bucharest
- #114 (A) Muzeul Aviatiei, Bucharest
- #153 (A) at the National Military Museum, Bucharest
- #157 (A) donated by the Romanian Air Force to The Slovak Technical Museum in Košice, Slovakia on October 23, 2006
- #159 (A) in Bucharest, at the gate of I.N.C.A.S./Comoti Institut (the birh place of IAR 93 and IAR 99)
- #201 (MB) in Timisoara, on the road to Resita (45°43'8.27"N; 21°11'58.77"E)
- #205 (MB) in Orastie, at Arsenal Park
- #207 (MB) in Timisoara (45°44'4.65"N; 21°15'49.65"E)
- #208 (MB) Faur factory courtyard, Bucharest
- #215 (MB) Colonesti, Olt
- #232 (B) in the Military Technical Academy's courtyard, Bucharest
- #600 (DC) in the Air Force Academy's courtyard, Braşov
- Crew: 1
- Payload: 2,500 kg (5,512 lb)
- Length: 14.90 m (48 ft 10 in)
- Wingspan: 9.30 m (30 ft 6 in)
- Height: 4.52 m (14 ft 10 in)
- Wing area: 26.0 m² (280 ft²)
- Airfoil: NACA 65A-008 (modified)
- Empty weight: 5,750 kg (12,676 lb)
- Max. takeoff weight: 10,900 kg (22,030 lb)
- Powerplant: 2 × Turbomecanica/Orao-built Rolls-Royce Viper Mk 633-47 afterburning turbojets
- Dry thrust: 17.79 kN (4,000 lbf) each
- Thrust with afterburner: 22.24 kN (5,000 lbf) each
- Maximum speed: 1,089 km/h (680 mph)
- Cruise speed: 1,086 km/h (675 mph)
- Stall speed: 274 km/h (171 mph)
- Range: 1,320 km (825 miles)
- Service ceiling: 13,600 m (44,608 ft)
- Rate of climb: 3,900 m/min (12,800 ft/min)
- Wing loading: 419.2 kg/m² (85.9 lb/ft²)
- 2 x 23 mm GSh-23L twin-barrel cannon in lower front fuselage, below engine air intakes, with 200 rds/gun; gun camera and GEC-Marconi D282 gyro gunsight
- up to 2,500 kg (5,511 lb) on 5 pylons
- BM 500 bomb
- BEM 250 bomb
- BE 100 bomb
- LPR 122 rocket launcher
- LPR 57 rocket launcher
- PRN 80 rocket launcher
- AA-2 Atoll / R-3S AAM (license-built in Romania as A-91) - only on some IAR-93B
- only on the J-22
- VHF/UHF air-to-air and air-to-ground radio (20W transmission power)
- gyro unit (Honeywell SGP500 twin-gyro platform in ORAO)
- radio altimeter
- radio compass and marker receiver
- IFF (IAR-93B only)
- GEC-Marconi three-axis stability augmentation system, incorporating a basic bank/altitude hold autopilot and emergency wings-level facility
- Related development
- Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to IAR 93.|
- National Institute for Aerospace Research "Elie Carafoli"
- Photos of IAR-93 at Airliners.net
- More photos at aeroflight.co.uk
- Retired aircraft at 322 Aviation Maintenance Centre, Craiova
- Movie at YouTube