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FMA IAe 30 Namcu (Eagle)

Twin-Engine Escort / Heavy Fighter Aircraft

FMA IAe 30 Namcu (Eagle)

Twin-Engine Escort / Heavy Fighter Aircraft


The promising FMA IAe 30 Namcu of Argentina was doomed by the rise of the jet age following World War 2.
National Flag Graphic
ORIGIN: Argentina
YEAR: 1948
STATUS: Cancelled
MANUFACTURER(S): Fabrica Militar de Aviones (FMA) - Argentina
OPERATORS: Argentina

Unless otherwise noted the presented statistics below pertain to the FMA IAe 30 Namcu (Eagle) model. Common measurements, and their respective conversions, are shown when possible.
LENGTH: 37.80 feet (11.52 meters)
WIDTH: 49.21 feet (15 meters)
HEIGHT: 16.90 feet (5.15 meters)
WEIGHT (EMPTY): 13,691 pounds (6,210 kilograms)
WEIGHT (MTOW): 16,755 pounds (7,600 kilograms)
ENGINE: 2 x Rolls-Royce Merlin 604 V12 liquid-cooled inline piston engines developing 1,800 horsepower each.
SPEED (MAX): 460 miles-per-hour (740 kilometers-per-hour; 400 knots)
RANGE: 1,678 miles (2,700 kilometers; 1,458 nautical miles)
CEILING: 26,247 feet (8,000 meters; 4.97 miles)
RATE-OF-CLIMB: 3,280 feet-per-minute (1,000 meters-per-minute)

6 x 20mm Hispano-Suiza HS.804 autocannons

1 x 550lb bomb under the fuselage
10 x Rockets underwing (five to a wing)
Graphical image of an aircrat automatic cannon
Graphical image of an aircraft conventional drop bomb munition

Series Model Variants
• IAe 30 "Namcu" - Base Series Designation; one flyable prototype completed along with two under-construction units - all ultimately scrapped.


Detailing the development and operational history of the FMA IAe 30 Namcu (Eagle) Twin-Engine Escort / Heavy Fighter Aircraft.  Entry last updated on 7/22/2018. Authored by Dan Alex. Content ©
In 1947, the Argentine Air Force broadened its strategic reach by purchasing a fleet of 30 Avro Lincoln heavy bombers (some former RAF models) along with 15 Avro Lancasters. With this considerable air arm by South American standards, it was decided to pair the group with a new escort / heavy fighter of local design and production. Italian aeronautical engineer Cesare Pallavicino, having arrived in Argentina during 1946 in the post-World War 2 drawdown, was hired to head the new initiative and this work ultimately revealed the IAe 30 "Nancu" - a short-lived, yet very promising, single-seat, twin-engined platform which eventually saw only one example completed.

The new heavy fighter was designed in the same vein as the British de Havilland "Hornet" series in which a centralized fuselage was straddled by engines fitted to the wing leading edges (also reminiscent of the classic de Havilland "Mosquito" series of World War 2 fame). The engine of choice became 2 x Rolls-Royce "Merlin" 604 series V-12 liquid-cooled inline piston types each outputting at 1,800 horsepower. The overall appearance of the aircraft was well-streamlined from nose to tail with the pilot seated just aft of a short nose cone assembly. The tail unit utilized a single vertical fin with mid-mounted horizontal planes. The wing mainplanes were fitted well-ahead of midships and were straight in their general shape with rounded tips - each holding an engine installation driving four-bladed propeller units. Dimensions included a length of 38 feet, a wingspan of 49.2 feet and a height of 17 feet. Empty weight was 13,685 pounds against a gross weight of 16,755 pounds. Armament settled on 6 x 20mm Hispano-Suiza HS.804 autocannons (originally Oerlikon types were considered) with support for a single 550 lb conventional drop bomb held under the belly. Each wing was also to gain provision for launch rails for up to five rockets apiece.

The clean shape, coupled with the strong-performing powerplants, resulted in a maximum speed of 460 miles per hour, cruising speeds of 310 miles per hour and ranges out to 1,680 miles. It service ceiling was listed at 26,250 feet. Mission endurance was up to 5.5 hours.

In late 1947, the Argentine government commissioned for three prototypes as the "IAe 30". The first example came online in June of 1948 and a first flight was recorded a month later on July 17th. Subsequent testing revealed a very capable, high-performance piston-powered aircraft with good handling characteristics. The prototype set a South American level speed record of 403.89 (650 kmh) miles per hour during a test flight from Cordoba to the capital city of Buenos Aires - a record still standing today (2015). This feat was achieved with the engines running at just 60% of power - showcasing the potential of this new fighter.

The aircraft was also eventually being broadened along two other lines - one as a jet-powered version (powered by 2 x Rolls-Royce Derwent turbojets of 3,500 lb thrust each) similar to the Gloster Meteor jet fighter already in service with the Argentine Air Force and the other as a two-man light bomber / heavy attack aircraft similar in scope to the classic de Havilland Mosquito (neither of these designs were furthered beyond what was already the established IAe 30 form).

Despite the mounting confidence in the IAe 30 Nancu product, there came a decided shift in the Argentine direction with the advent of the jet age and mounting financial constraints heading into the 1950s. As more and more world powers turned to turbojet developments, Argentina was forced to follow suit and invested in the IAe 27 "Pulqui" prototype which became Latin America's first turbojet-powered offering. While failing in its intended goal, this line was bettered in the ultimately-abandoned "Pulqui II" venture which was based on the wartime German Focke-Wulf Ta 183 "Huckebein" jet fighter (detailed elsewhere on this site).

This left the IAe 30 out in the lurch with no real investors and thus the IAe 30 project was retired in 1948. The aircraft did continue to fly for a short while longer until, in 1949, it suffered damaged during a hard landing. Formal cancellation came in April of 1949 and the three prototypes were scrapped. Despite its good performance (by World War 2 standards), the IAe 30 (and the entire Argentina bomber fleet) would most certainly have been made quickly obsolete by jet-powered developments.

The IAe 30 received its "Namcu" name from an eagle species native to the region of Patagonia making up the southern end of the country of Argentina.


Our Data Modules allow for quick visual reference when comparing a single entry against contemporary designs. Areas covered include general ratings, speed assessments, and relative ranges based on distances between major cities.

Image of collection of graph types

Relative Maximum Speed
Hi: 500mph
Lo: 250mph
This entry's maximum listed speed (460mph).

Graph average of 375 miles-per-hour.
City-to-City Ranges
Graph showcases the FMA IAe 30 Namcu (Eagle)'s operational range (on internal fuel) when compared to distances between major cities.
Aviation Era
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
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Pie graph section
Useful in showcasing the era cross-over of particular aircraft/aerospace designs.
Unit Production (3)
Comm. Market HI*: 44,000 units
Military Market HI**: 36,183 units

  * Commercial Market High belongs to Cessna 172.

  ** Military Market High belongs to Ilyushin Il-2.

Altitude Visualization
Small airplane graphic
Supported Roles
Ground Attack
Aerial Tanker
A2A=Air-to-Air; UAV=Unmanned; CAS=Close Support; ASW=Anti-Submarine; AEW=Airborne Early Warning; MEDEVAC=Medical Evac; EW=Electronic Warfare; SAR=Search-Rescue
Commitments / Honors
Military lapel ribbon for Operation Allied Force
Military lapel ribbon for the Arab-Israeli War
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Britain
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Midway
Military lapel ribbon for the Berlin Airlift
Military lapel ribbon for the Chaco War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cold War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cuban Missile Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for pioneering aircraft
Military lapel ribbon for the Falklands War
Military lapel ribbon for the French-Indochina War
Military lapel ribbon for the Golden Age of Flight
Military lapel ribbon for the 1991 Gulf War
Military lapel ribbon for the Indo-Pak Wars
Military lapel ribbon for the Iran-Iraq War
Military lapel ribbon for the Korean War
Military lapel ribbon for the 1982 Lebanon War
Military lapel ribbon for the Malayan Emergency
Military lapel ribbon representing modern aircraft
Military lapel ribbon for the attack on Pearl Harbor
Military lapel ribbon for the Six Day War
Military lapel ribbon for the Soviet-Afghan War
Military lapel ribbon for the Spanish Civil War
Military lapel ribbon for the Suez Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for the Vietnam War
Military lapel ribbon for Warsaw Pact of the Cold War-era
Military lapel ribbon for the WASP (WW2)
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 1
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 2
Military lapel ribbon for the Yom Kippur War
Military lapel ribbon for experimental x-plane aircraft
* Ribbons not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective campaigns/operations.

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