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New Review: I.A.R. 81 BoPi “Dive Bomber”

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The IAR-80 is the best-known production fighter to come out of the Romanian plant during WW2 and has always had a certain fascination for me.  Developed in the 1930s as the Rumanian Air Force was working valiantly to get into the arms race then taking place in Europe, the IAR-80 featured a license-built Gnome-Rhone 14K engine and some various bits and pieces purchased from other countries, including the machine gun armament.  Despite the comparative lack of experience in such design work, the IAR-80 proved to be a relatively modern and well-thought-out design, although some fixes needed to be included during its design life, including external bracing for the rear fuselage, which had a tendency to twist during high-speed turns.

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