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Aircraft of the Week / Month: IAR-80

Questions and discussion about creating aircraft. Flight dynamics, 3d models, cockpits, systems, animation, textures.

Re: Aircraft of the Week / Month: IAR-80

Postby Thorsten » Fri Oct 07, 2011 12:00 pm

Well, this has been coming for a while - I hope Emilian doesn't mind that it's so late in the sequence - the reason is that I don't only want to do one vintage warbird after another, although that seems to be the class of airplane which attracts detailed modelling...



The IAR-80 greets the user with a highly detailed 3d cockpit and detailed modelling of not only the main instrument panel, but also the surrounding interior. Especially the view down to the pedals is certainly impressive.


All switches and gauges are fully functional. The IAR-80 supports a lot of procedures - a realistic engine start and warming phase, emergency operation of the landing gear in the case of an engine failure or guns are fully implemented. Engine instrumentation here carries meaning - the pilot must take care of the engine, otherwise it fails if it is not operated properly.

The exterior model is likewise done with a lot of attention to detail.


Fine structures on the wings and on the fuselage are modelled using a normalmap, propeller, gear, flaps and control surfaces are all fully animated, and there is engine smoke on startup or when the engine starts getting problems. As far as the modelling goes, the IAR-80 is certainly one of the best and most detailed aircraft in Flightgear. Unfortunately, that also means a solid workload for the GPU.

Flight characteristics

The IAR-80 has many characteristics of a WW-II warbird: It is somewhat difficult to take off and decelerate due to a tendency for ground loops, and the propeller torque makes it a bit unstable on takeoff. A particular problem of this plane is that one really needs to take care not to let the propeller touch the runway by the time the aircraft tail starts coming up, otherwise the flight is over before it has really begun.

Once in the air, the IAR-80 is quite nimble and a joy to fly. It is somewhat less powerful than the P-51D which shows in top speed or steep climbs, but it turns impressively fast.

Approch and landing is just a bit easier in my opinion than in the P-51D, although decelerating the plane once on the runway is, for a keyboard and mouse setup, just as difficult. As many warbirds, the IAR-80 probably works much better with joystick and pedals.

My personal wishlist

Not really much, actually. It's one of the planes which seem fairly complete, and one really has to take history lessons to see what is missing.

Things to experience

Try ctrl+c when you don't know what an instrument is supposed to show or what a lever does - you'll get to see this:


A very neat feature!
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Re: Aircraft of the Week / Month: IAR-80

Postby i4dnf » Fri Oct 07, 2011 12:29 pm

No, I don't mind at all of it being late, I mind that the "things to experience" list is too short :P.
(I was begining to worry though ... ).

Thank you for the review :).
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Re: Aircraft of the Week / Month: IAR-80

Postby Johan G » Sat Oct 08, 2011 12:35 pm

Thorsten wrote in Fri Oct 07, 2011 12:00 pm:Try ctrl+c when you don't know what an instrument is supposed to show or what a lever does...

Very neat indeed! Having descriptions like that is very handy, should probably be recommended practice even. :D
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Re: Aircraft of the Week / Month: IAR-80

Postby Sealbhach » Sat Oct 08, 2011 1:24 pm

The IAR-80 in Flightgear is a very fine piece of work, and also has an Autostart added recently. It can sometimes be frustrating trying to get engines to start by following a tutorial.

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