Mary and Steve See’s IAR 823

Mary and Steve See’s IAR 823

US Specialty Insurance Company

The IAR-823 is a civil and military trainer aircraft built in Romania from 1974 until 1983. It is a conventional low-wing monoplane with retractable tricycle undercarriage. The pilot and instructor sit side-by-side, and a bench seat fitted behind them. The type was adopted by the Romanian Air Force as a primary trainer, and was also supplied to Romanian and Hungarian aeroclubs and the national flying school of Angola.

IAR-823 is the brainchild of Romanian design engineer Radu Manicatide. The design was completed in 1970, at IMFCA Bucharest (Institutul de Mecanica Fluidelor si Cercetari Aerospatiale – Institute of Fluid Mechanics and Aerospace Research). The prototype’s construction began in autumn 1971 at ICA Brasov (now IAR Brasov). This plane, serialled 01, flew for the first time on 10 June 1973. The second plane built participated at the Farnborough Air Show in September 1974, registered YR-MEA.

It is a conventional low-wing monoplane with retractable tricycle undercarriage. Usually a crew of 2 – student and instructor seated side by side. Three more seats are available in the back, bringing the maximum to 5 people, including the pilot(s). This configuration can be replaced by one pilot, a stretcher for one wounded and a paramedic, or one pilot with 500 kg of freight. The last aircraft produced for the Romanian Air Club, registered YR-MEL, was displayed at Le Bourget 1985. Although not envisioned to be used in combat, the aircraft has 2 underwing hardpoints, stressed for 100 kg each. Total maximum allowed weight of external stores is 200 kg.

In total 78 planes were produced, with the last built in 1983. The first deliveries took place in 1974. The main customer was the Romanian Air Force, which needed to replace the IAR-813 in the basic flight training role.

Initially they were assigned to the 20th Regiment at Boboc, subsequently some were transferred to the 19th Regiment on the grass airfield at Focsani. Small numbers of aircraft were delivered to the Romanian Air Club at various bases.

12 IAR-823s were deployed to Negoge, Angola as part of “Operation Sirius” in February 1981. There the Romanians were based at the ENAM (national military flight school). Flight training began on 18 May 1981, with the first solo sortie of an Angolan trainee taking place on 30 July 1981. Although the 823s could be lightly armed, no combat missions were flown, only training ones. A fatal crash occurred on 6 July 1981 when Lt-Cdr. Gheorghe Preda and Angolan student Ruy Nelson died. In December 1982 the Romanians returned home while the remaining 11 IAR-823 were handed over to the Angolan Air Force.

Operations with the IAR-823 became a problem in the early 90’s: the fuel required for the type was no longer produced in country and had to be imported from Greece, at a time when budget problems plagued the Air Force. There is no official date for the IAR-82823’s retirement from service, but it seems that it was grounded in the 1995-96 timeframe.



Registration Number Date of Manufacture
N129GC 1980
Aircraft Role Nickname
Primary Trainer/Liaison
Aircraft Type: Wingspan:
ICA Brasov IAR 823 10.00 m (32 ft 9¾ in)
Overall length: Empty weight:
3.15 m (27 ft 3½ in) 950 kg (2,094 lb)
Gross weight: Fuel capacity:
1,500 kg (3,307 lb) 360 litres (95 US gallons; 79 Imp gallons).
Oil capacity Engine type:
11 litres (12 Quarts) 1 × Lycoming IO-540-G1D5, 216 kW (290 hp)
Propeller type: Max Speed
Hartzell D/W 9350-4.6 HC-92-WK-1, 2-blade, 2.24m (88 inch) dia. 310 km/h (167 kts, 192.5 mph)
Rate of Climb Cruise Speed
7.5 m/s (1475 ft/min) 290 km/h (156 kts, 180 mph)
Service Ceiling Number of Crew
5,600 m (18,375 ft) 1
Armament Bomb Load
7.62mm machine gun pod caliber 7.62x54R – Romanian designed BEM-100 – 100 kg general purpose bomb
Number Built Number Surviving
78 48 in U.S., overseas exact number unknown



Grass Field Takeoff at Gaston's White River Resort Landing at Pineville, LA Panel


While the engine was being overhauled in 2009 the inboard fuel tanks were re-skinned to address chronic fuel leaks. Also, the steel firewall rivets were replaced with Monel rivets and all structural components forward of the firewall were refurbished.

Restoration Images

Port Side Inboard Tank New Tank Skins and Refurbished Engine/Nosewheel Structure IAR 823


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