The IAR-80 & IAR-81 - Airframe, Systems, & Equipment

Published: February 21st, 2012     
Author: Radu Brinzan
Reviewed by: 
Floyd S. Werner, Jr., IPMS# 26266
Company: SAM Publications
ISBN #: 978-1-906959-19-7
Other Publication Information: Softcover, 128 pages, historical photos, 57 side profiles, four-view drawings
Price: $23.95
Product / Stock #: Aviation Guide #3

I've loved the looks of the I.A.R.80 since the LTD model came out.  There is something about the look of the airplane that makes it look like the Hughes racer.  It is sleek and sexy and relatively unknown in the western world.

Prior to this book, there have been very few references available on the I.A.R.80.  There was a book published in Rumanian, and later French, I.A.R.80 - The History of an Unknown Fighter, which is very good.  I have a copy and the photos make it worth the price of admission.  However, I can't read it.  This book by noted Rumanian aviation historian, Radu Brinzan, fixes that. 

This softbound book contains 128 pages of high quality paper.  The photos are mostly black and white, with a two page color section.  The photos are high quality and will prove very helpful to the modeler.  There are 57 high quality side profiles which cover the evolution of camouflage and unit markings.  There are four-view drawings for nearly every configuration, along with cross-section views - everything a model manufacturer and modeler could possibly want.

The prototype took to the air in April, 1939, and, by the time hostilities broke out in Europe, the I.A.R.80 was going into production.  There were so many changes during the construction that, without this book, it is difficult to determine the version.  The whole production run is covered and the chapters are broken down as the aircraft changes.  This makes it easy to find out what version you're looking at with the serial number.  It is interesting to see the camouflage changes along with the change of the national markings.

Following the version chapters comes a chapter that summarizes the evolution.  Then comes the really important chapters for the modeler.  Each section of the aircraft is broken down in drawings and photos.  The level of detail contained here is phenomenal.  The differences between the instrument panels are just indicative of the research.  Even the smallest detail does not go unnoticed, such as the difference in headrests.  This section alone makes this book worth the purchase price.

Painting and camouflage are contained in a chapter including the effects of weathering.  The different schemes show the development of camouflage from the three-tone, to the single color and the post-war Russian colors.  The evolution of the markings again shows the level of detail that the author puts into all his work.  Finally, the theater markings and stencils are covered.  What more could a modeler or manufacturer need to make one of these beautiful airplanes?

Without a doubt, this is THE English language book for the I.A.R.80/81.  If you are only going to buy one book on the I.A.R.80/81, then this is that book.  I can't tell you how much information is crammed into here.  My hat is off to Radu for authoring such a definitive publication.  It is written with the modeler in mind and, in that, it succeeds perfectly.  Perfect drawings, excellent side profiles, and awesome detail photos.  There is nothing else you need.  This is a one stop shop.

Highly recommended

Thank to SAM Publications for the review copy and IPMS/USA for allowing me to review it.

  • Sample page 1
    Sample page 1
  • Sample page 2
    Sample page 2
  • Sample page 3
    Sample page 3