I was already excited to see the IAR 80 and 81 series coming to the IL-2 Great Battles Series but my excitement has jumped up a notch as the team at 1CGS has revealed that this Collector Plane is coming packed with quite a few variants. We’ll get into it with this latest update.
The Romanian aeronautical industry produced multiple variants of the IAR 80 and 81 series fighter during the course of WWII. Some of those changes was in armament variations with a variety of Belgian FN machine guns giving way to German sourced MG151/20 cannons later on. The type also saw modifications that included a lengthened airframe and wing. IL-2 Great Battles intends to offer all of the major variations if today’s developer diary is any indication.
We now have a list of variants:
- I.A.R.80-A serie 106-150 : fighter armed with six 7.92mm FN Browning MGs firing German rounds (base model).
- I.A.R.80-B series 181-200 : fighter armed with four 7.92mm and two 13.2mm FN Browning MGs firing 13.2mm Hotchkiss rounds.
- I.A.R.80-M : fighter armed with two 7.92mm FN Browning MGs and two 20mm MG-151/20 German guns.
- I.A.R.81 series 151-175 : fighter/bomber armed with six 7.92mm FN Browning MGs and capable to deliver up to three bombs with up to 400 kg total weight. The underbelly bomb mount had a special parallelogram mechanism for dive bombing that prevented a released bomb from hitting the propeller. In addition, the flaps on this dive bomber modification had larger angle range, serving as ad-hoc air brakes.
- I.A.R.80-B series 212-230 : fighter armed with four 7.92mm and two 13.2mm FN Browning MGs firing 13.2mm Hotchkiss rounds (base model).
- I.A.R.80-C series 251-290 : fighter armed with two 7.92mm FN Browning MGs and two 20mm MG-151/20 German guns.
- I.A.R.81-C series 301-450 : fighter/bomber armed two 7.92mm FN Browning MGs and two 20mm MG-151/20 German guns and capable to deliver up to three bombs.
Most of these variants will likely be sorted out through the modifications panel that the series has used in the past for other types that have featured a wide variety of armament (such as the Hurricane Mark II) but I suspect that the long version will be a distinct version offered separately.
Whatever the case, this project looks like it’s making good progress. The update notes that this Collector Plane has been primarily put together through the efforts of Ivan Shirshov (3D model) and Martin =ICDP= Catney and that there is encouragement for other third parties to come forward and offer their services to produce other airplanes for IL-2 Great Battles.
With just a few weeks left in 2022 it seems unlikely that we’ll see this plane come out this year but it does look like it’s in a good place for inclusion sometime in the early part of 2023.