The IAR 93 Vultur (Eagle) is a single seat, twin engine, subsonic close support, ground attack and tactical reconnaissance aircraft. The program started in 1970 under original project name YUROM as a joint-venture between the Romanian INCAS institute and Yugoslavian VTJ engineers to meet requirements of both air forces.The two single-seat prototypes made simultaneous first flights on October 31 1974.The Yugoslavian aircraft was named SOKO/VTJ-J-ORAO.
There are many estimates as to how many IAR 93s were produced with figures ranging from 80 to 150.
The Romanian Air Force RoAF had a few large squadrons of IAR-93 comprising around 35 aircraft each.The plane was never a success, or at least the Romanian version.Although the same, the Yugoslavian ORAO ended to be perhaps better than the IAR-93 simply because they used all their resources well, as opposed to using simple factory workers to make the fuselage and other parts of the aircraft as it was the case in Romania.
The Iar-93 was developed in two stages: the IAR-93 A was the first variant equipped with the Rolls-Royce Viper Mk 632-41 turbojets.These engines had a thrust of 17,79 KN (4000 pounds of thrust) too small for such an aircraft.Due to lack of support from the russians, Romania turned to Great Britain for help.At the time the policy towards eastern countries was not to sell engines with a thrust greater than 4000 lb st and this is why the Viper was adopted for the IAR-93.This engine uses a lot of fuel, a lot of oil, has no pollution controlling capabilities, makes a lot of noise and is notoriously unreliable and under-powered and it’s one of the reasons for the crashes of both IAR-93 and the ORAO.
The IAR-93 B was equipped with the Viper Mk 633-47 turbojets.These engines had a thrust of 17,79 kN (4000 lb st) but offered the advantage of having an afterburner installation offering 22,24 kN (5000 lb st) which was still less than needed.
Today the IAR-93 is no longer in service with the Romanian Air Force many of them finding rest near home, at Craiova Airport.Most of them have less than 5 hours of total flight time.