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IAR 316

Romania (1971)
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Type: Pilot Trainer / Light Utility Helicopter
Manufacturer(s): Industria Aeronautica Romana (IAR) - Romania
Production: 250

The Romanian IAR 316 is nothing more than a license-production copy of the French Aerospatiale SA 319B Alouette III helictoper.

Detailing the development and operational history of the IAR 316 Pilot Trainer / Light Utility Helicopter.

 Entry last updated on 8/29/2017. Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©

The Romanian IAR 316 Light Utility Helicopter was a locally-built (under license) form of the popular French-made Aerospatiale Alouette III series (SA 316B model). The Alouette III first flew in prototype form on February 28th, 1959 and saw service introduction in 1960, still maintaining an active presence in the skies today (2016). Over 2,000 of the type were eventually produced for a variety of global operators. The Romanian form itself was introduced in 1971 and saw manufacture from 1971 until 1987 with 250 units delivered. These have served in both utility and training roles for their time in the air.

IAR is the Industria Aeronautica Romana aerospace manufacturer of Ghimbav.

Because of its origins in the French design, little was changed in the local Romanian model. As Romania fell under the communist reach during the Cold War decades, the helicopter was modified to support Eastern Bloc weapons and equipment though, in both form and function, there was little separating the two designs - the single engine fit powered a three-bladed main rotor with three-bladed tail rotor, the nose section was wholly glazed over for excellent vision out-of-the-cockpit, and the tricycle undercarriage was fixed in place during flight.
The standard IAR 316 model was finalized with a Turbomeca "Artouste" IIIB series turboshaft engine of 570 horsepower. Maximum speed reached 130 miles per hour with a range out to 335 miles and a service ceiling up to 10,500 feet.

While the original IAR 316 model could be outfitted with a light weapons set, IAR engineers took to refining the product for the attack helicopter role in the IAR 317 "Airfox" offering. For this model the cockpit was completed reworked to include a stepped pilot/gunner arrangement while wing stubs were added to the fuselage sides for management of Anti-Tank (AT) missiles, rocket pods and machine guns. Beyond that, the major structure and components were retained from the original IAR 316. Despite this work, the IAR 317 failed to net any market interest and only a sole prototype was completed.

Beyond operational service with the Romanian Air Force, the IAR 316 was adopted by the Angolan Air Force.

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.

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Relative Maximum Speed Rating
Hi: 150mph
Lo: 75mph
    This entry's maximum listed speed (130mph).

    Graph average of 112.5 miles-per-hour.
Relative Operational Ranges
Graph showcases the IAR 316's operational range (on internal fuel) when compared to distances between major cities.
Aviation Era Impact
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Unit Production Comparison
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.

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Supported Mission Types
Ground Attack
Close-Air Support
Airborne Early Warning
Electronic Warfare
Aerial Tanker
Passenger Industry
VIP Travel
Business Travel
Special Forces
Crew: 2
Length: 42.06 ft (12.82 m)
Width: 36.15 ft (11.02 m)
Height: 9.74 ft (2.97 m)
Empty Weight: 2,315 lb (1,050 kg)
MTOW: 4,850 lb (2,200 kg)

Installed Power
1 x Turbomeca Artouste IIIB turboshaft engine developing 570 horsepower to a three-blade main rotor and a three-blade tail rotor.

Standard Day Performance
Maximum Speed: 130 mph (210 kph; 113 kts)
Maximum Range: 336 mi (540 km; 292 nm)
Service Ceiling: 10,499 ft (3,200 m; 1.99 mi)
Rate-of-Climb: 850 ft/min (259 m/min)

2 x 57mm rocket pods
2 x 7.62mm machine gun pods
2 x Anti-Tank Missile Launchers

Operators List
Angola; Romania

Series Model Variants
• IAR 316 - Base Series Designation; license-production copy; based on the French Aerospatiale SA 319B Alouette III series light helicopters.
• IAR 317 "Airfox" - Proposed dedicated attack helicopter variant; Turbomeca Artouste IIIB turboshaft engine; stepped two-seat cockpit; armored cockpit; stub wings; single prototype example constructed; never entered production.

Supported Weapon Systems
Graphical image of an aircraft medium machine gun
Graphical image of an aircraft machine gun pod
Graphical image of an aircraft anti-tank guided missile
Graphical image of an aircraft rocket pod