Rogozarski IK-3

The Rogožarski IK-3 was a 1930s Yugoslav low-wing monoplane single-seat interceptor fighter with retractable landing gear, and was designed by Ljubomir Ilic and Kosta Sivcev as a successor to their IK-1/IK-2 fighter. It was regarded as a generally effective aircraft, easier to handle than the contemporary Messerschmitt Bf 109E and Hawker Hurricane Mk.I.

Rogozarski IK-3
Class Aircraft
Type Fighter
Manufacturer Ikarbus
Origin Yugoslavia (Serbia)
Country Name Origin Year
Yugoslavia (Serbia) 1938
Country Name Operational Year Retirement Year
Germany View
Yugoslavia (Serbia) 1940 View
ManufacturerName Production From Production To Quantity
Rogozarski View
Ikarbus 12 View

Development of the IK-3 was initiated in 1936 as a replacement for the IK-2 parasol monoplane then is use, with the intention of providing a significant improvement in performance. Wind tunnel testing was carried out in France before being submitted to the Yugoslav Air Ministry, who approved construction of a single prototype. Construction of the IK-3 was assigned to Rogožarski A. D. in Belgrade.

The first prototype IK-3 was completed in the spring of 1938 and the first flight was achieved on April 14, 1938 powered by a Hispano-Suiza 12Y-29 liquid-cooled supercharged V12, rated at 890 hp (664 kW) for take-off and at 920 hp (686 kW) at 11,810 feet (3600 m) altitude and was armed with one 20 mm Hispano-Suiza HS-404 cannon and two 7.92 mm FN-Browning machine guns mounted over the engine. It was of mixed steel tube, wood, and fabric construction with a Messier retractable landing gear.

After the initial test flights proved successful, the prototype of IK-3 was transferred from Test group ("Opitna grupa") to the 6th Fighter Regiment where further tests were conducted. During testing on 19 January, while attempting a high speed low level pass the starboard wing structure failed causing a fatal crash, likely as a result of damage sustained during a heavy landing earlier in the day.

Subsequent investigation concluded that the failure occurred due accumulated damage on the wing spar near the wheel wells caused by several rough landings during testing. Comparative test flights during 1940 against Hawker Hurricane and Messerschmitt Bf 109E fighters, operated by the Royal Yugoslav Air Force, found the IK-3 to be an improvement over the Hurricane in general and more maneuverable than the Messerschmitt, but slower and with a poorer rate of climb.

At the beginning of the April war, only 6 of the 12 IK-3 from the first production series were operational. One aircraft was lost in a fatal accident before the war (it dived into the Danube River under power; investigators concluded the pilot had blacked out), four were grounded for scheduled services and repairs and one aircraft was undergoing modification to Series II IK-3 standard in the Rogozarski airplane factory. The six remaining IK-3s were assigned to 161st and 162nd fighter squadron (3 IK-3 each) of the 51st Fighter group. The 51st fighter group was part of the 6th fighter regiment of Royal Yugoslav Air Force which was to defend the Yugoslav capital, Belgrade. Both fighter squadrons were stationed at Zemun airport. One source states: " . . the IK-3s put up a valiant resistance against the Luftwaffe, scoring a number of "kills" before they were finally destroyed in combat." Another source claims 11 victories for the IK-3, with Narednik (Flight Sergeant) M. Semiz as most successful.

Role Fighter
Manufacturer Ikarus A.D. (parts), Rogožarski A.D(final assembly)
Designer Kosta Sivcev, Ljubomir Ilic, Slobodan Zrnic
First flight 14 April 1938
Introduction 1940
Primary user Royal Yugoslav Air Force
Number built 12

General characteristics

  • Crew: 1
  • Length: 27 ft 5 in (8.38 m)
  • Wingspan: 33 ft 10 in (10.33 m)
  • Height: 10 ft 8 in (3.23 m)
  • Wing area: 179 ft² (16.6 m²)
  • Empty weight: 4,123 lb (1,874 kg)
  • Loaded weight: 5,291 lb (2,405 kg)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Avia-built Hispano-Suiza 12Ycrs V-12 liquid-cooled engine, 920 shp (686 kW)


  • Maximum speed: 327 mph (527 km/h) at 17,715 ft (5,401 m)
  • Range: 310 miles (496 km)
  • Service ceiling: 39,370 ft (12,000 m)
  • Wing loading: 29 lb/ft² (113 kg/m²)
  • Power/mass: 0.17 hp/lb (0.29 kW/kg)


  • Guns:
    1× 20 mm Hispano-Suiza HS-404 cannon
    2× 7.92 mm FN-Browning machine guns

End notes