Robin DR400

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DR400
DR400.jpg
DR.400/160 Major
Role Four-seat light aircraft
Manufacturer Avions Pierre Robin
First flight 1972
Number built 1292+
Developed from Robin DR.200

The Robin DR400 is a wooden sport monoplane, conceived by Pierre Robin and Jean Délémontez. The Robin DR400 first flew in 1972 and is still in production. The current model is designated 'DR401'. It has a tricycle undercarriage, and can carry four people. The DR400 aircraft have the 'cranked wing' configuration, in which the dihedral angle of the outer wing is much greater than the inboard, a configuration which they share with Jodel aircraft. This model is considered easy to fly by many and quiet during flight due to its wooden frame.

Development[edit]

The Robin DR300 series were developments of the earlier DR.221 Dauphin and DR.250 Capitaine with a tricycle landing gear. The first variant was the DR340 Major, a tricycle landing gear version of the DR250 Capitaine which first flew on 27 February 1968, followed on 21 March 1968 by the DR315 Petit Prince, a tricycle landing gear version of the DR221 Dauphin. The DR315 was later replaced by the DR300. In 1972 an improved version, the DR400 was introduced with a forward-sliding canopy.

Design[edit]

1969-built CEA DR315 Petit Prince

The wing is a distinctive feature of the Robin DR400, and is what immediately separates this aircraft visually from other similar light aircraft. It is a derivative of the earlier Jodel designs, is light, stiff and strong, with the dihedral of the outer panels imparting substantial lateral stability in flight. Being fabric covered, it presents a smooth surface to aid airflow, unhindered by the typical overlapping panels or rivets found on metal aircraft.

The secret to the DR400's relatively high performance lies in the pronounced washout in the outer panels. Since they have a lower angle of attack to the airflow than the centre section, they create less drag in cruise flight. This characteristic also imbues rather benign stall behavior and the DR400 consequently does not suffer from the need to install retro-fixes like leading edge stall strips.

Variants[edit]

DR.315 Petit Prince
A development of the earlier DR221 with a tricycle landing gear and powered by a 115hp Lycoming O-235-C2A engine.
DR.330
An experimental DR.315 fitted with a 130hp Continental O-240-A engine in 1970.
DR.340 Major
A development of the earlier DR250 with a tricycle landing gear and powered by a 140hp Lycoming O-320-E2A engine.
DR.360 Chevalier
DR.340 with a solid cabin roof and a 160hp Lycoming O-320-D2A engine.
DR.300-108 2+2
Replacement for the DR.315 with improved landing gear and either two or four seats.
DR.300-120
Four-seat DR.300 with a 120hp Lycoming O-235-L2A engine.
DR.300-140
DR.300 with a 140hp Lycoming O-235-E2A engine.
DR.300-180
DR.300 with a 180hp Lycoming O-360-A3A engine.
A DR.300-180R equipped for aerotowing
DR.300-180R
Glider tug version of the DR.300-180.
DR.400-100 Cadet
Two-seat version of the DR.400-108
DR.400-108 Dauphin 80 2+2
DR.300-108 with forward-sliding canopy
DR.400-120 Petit Prince
DR.300-120 with forward-sliding canopy
DR.400-120 Dauphin 2+2
Petit Prince with extra cabin windows.
DR.400-125
DR.400-120 with a 125hp Lycoming O-235-F engine
DR.400-140 Earl
DR.300-140 with forward-sliding canopy
DR.400-140B Major 80
DR.400-140 with a 160hp Lycoming O-320-D2A
DR.400-160 Chevalier
Original designation for the DR.400-140B
DR.400-180 Regent
DR.300-180 with forward-sliding canopy, later models have extra cabin windows.
DR.400-180 Regent III
A Nouvelle Generation DR.400
DR.400-180R Remorqueur
DR.400-180 glider tug with clear canopy
DR.400-180RP Remo 212
DR.400-180R fitted with a 212hp Porsche PFM 3200 engine and 3-bladed propeller
DR.500-200I President
DR.500-200I President, fitted with a 200hp Lycoming IO-360 200CV

Operators[edit]

 France

Specifications (DR.400/180 Regent)[edit]

Data from The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Aircraft (Part Work 1982-1985), 1985, Orbis Publishing, Page 2799

General characteristics

  • Capacity: 4
  • Length: 6.96 m (22 ft 10 in)
  • Wingspan: 8.72 m (28 ft 7¼ in)
  • Height: 2.23 m (7 ft 3¾ in)
  • Wing area: 14.20 m2 (152.85 ft2)
  • Empty weight: 600 kg (1323 lb)
  • Gross weight: 1100 kg (2425 lb)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Lycoming O-360-A flat-four piston engine, 134 kW (180 hp)

Performance

  • Maximum speed: 278 km/h (173 mph)
  • Range: 1100 km ( miles)
  • Service ceiling: 4715 m (15,470 ft)

Media appearances[edit]

A 1991 Robin DR.400-180 Regent (G-MIFF[1]) appeared in the TV show Escape to the Country (presenter: Jules Hudson) in 2009, with the part-owner taking a show subject, interested in flying, for a flight over East Sussex.

References[edit]

  1. ^ G-MIFF, Air-Britain, accessed 17 November 2013
  • Exavia Ltd (Exeter, United Kingdom)- article "A DR400 Buyers' Guide"
  • The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Aircraft (Part Work 1982-1985), 1985, Orbis Publishing, Page 2799
  • R.W.Simpson, Airlife's General Aviation, Airlife Publishing, England, 1991, ISBN 1-85310-194-X