Fournier RF-4

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Fournier RF-4
Fournier rf4d g-awgn motorglider arp.jpg
RF-4D
Role motor glider
National origin France
Manufacturer Alpavia / Sportavia-Pützer
Introduction 1966
Number built 159[1]
Developed from Fournier RF-3

The Fournier RF-4 is a single-seater motor glider designed by René Fournier in 1966. It is an aerobatic version of the Fournier RF-3.[2][1]

Design and development[edit]

Conceived as a motor glider and sport touring aircraft, the RF-4 was introduced in 1966. It is of all-wood construction and is fully aerobatic. The landing gear consists of a monowheel gear which retracts forward into a fibreglass cowling. The main wheel has a brake which is manually operated. There is a small steerable tailwheel and wing-mounted outrigger wheels.[3]

Operational history[edit]

An RF-4D was flown by Mira Slovak across the Atlantic Ocean while participating in the May 1969 Daily Mail Air Race. The flight won a £1,000 prize offered by the London Evening News for the best performance in the race by an aircraft under 5,000 lb (2,268 kg) gross take-off weight.[3] The main landing gear fork is an ongoing maintenance issue, with regular replacements needed.[4]

Variants[edit]

RF-4
Prototype aerobatic variant of the RF-3, three-built by Alpavia
RF-4D
Production variant, 155 built in Germany by Sportavia-Putzer, D was for Deutschland. 16 shipped to America[5]

Specifications (RF-4D)[edit]

Sportavia Fournier RF-4D

Data from In the Air:Number 230:Fournier RF-4D and Plane and Pilot[6][3]

General characteristics

  • Crew: 1
  • Length: 6.05 m (19 ft 10 in)
  • Wingspan: 11.28 m (37 ft 0 in)
  • Height: 1.57 m (5 ft 2 in)
  • Wing area: 11.3 m2 (122 sq ft)
  • Aspect ratio: 11.2
  • Empty weight: 270 kg (595 lb)
  • Gross weight: 390 kg (860 lb)
  • Fuel capacity: 38 litres (8.4 imp gal; 10 US gal)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Rectimo 4 AR 1200 (VW) air-cooled flat-four piston engine, 29 kW (39 hp)
  • Propellers: 2-bladed Hoffmann, 1.50 m (4 ft 11 in) diameter

Performance

  • Maximum speed: 196 km/h; 106 kn (122 mph)
  • Cruise speed: 177 km/h; 96 kn (110 mph)
  • Stall speed: 74 km/h; 40 kn (46 mph)
  • Never exceed speed: 249 km/h; 135 kn (155 mph)
  • Range: 644 km; 348 nmi (400 mi)
  • Endurance: 4
  • Service ceiling: 5,791 m (19,000 ft)
  • g limits: 11
  • Maximum glide ratio: 20:1
  • Rate of climb: 3.5 m/s (690 ft/min)

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b pilotfriend.com: Fournier aircraft history, performance and specifications - accessed 13 March 2008
  2. ^ Sailplane Directory: Fournier RF 5 - accessed 13 March 2008
  3. ^ a b c Plane and Pilot: 1978 Aircraft Directory, page 73. Werner & Werner Corp, Santa Monica CA, 1977. ISBN 0-918312-00-0
  4. ^ Jack Lambie (October 1979). "Cross Country in a Fournier Motor Glider". Air Progress: 50. 
  5. ^ Dann PArks (July 2014). "Switching to Glide". Sport Aviation: 96. 
  6. ^ Harrison 1968, pp. 669–670.