Rubik R-18 Kánya

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Rubik R-18 Kánya
Rubik R-18c Kanya HA-RUF.jpg
Role 2-seat glider tug and utility aircraft
National origin Hungary
Manufacturer Aero-Ever
Designer Ernő Rubik
First flight 1948
Number built 9

The Rubik R-18 Kánya (English: Kite) is a Hungarian light utility and glider tug aircraft. It was designed by Ernő Rubik, the father of the designer of the Rubik's Cube.


Ernő Rubik was a co-founder and the chief designer of the Aero-Ever aircraft company of Esztergom, Hungary, which was formed in 1938. He started design of the R-18 in 1944, inspired by the Fieseler Fi 156 Storch, aiming for a smaller, lighter version, which would serve both as a glider tug and a STOL utility aircraft, to carry engineers and spares to service aircraft at other airports.[1]

The aircraft has a high wing braced by V-struts, with fixed leading-edge slots and retractable camber-changing flaps. The fuselage is of mixed construction with two side-by-side seats, with an optional third seat behind them. It has a conventional braced tailplane and a taildragger undercarriage with divided axle long-stroke oleo legs for the main gear, and a fixed tailwheel.[2]


Construction started in 1946, and the first flight of the prototype, the R-18a, c/n E-524, was on 18 May 1949.[3] It was powered by a Walter Major 4-I four-cylinder inline engine of 96.9 kW (129.9 hp) driving a two-bladed wooden propeller. The aircraft was well received, and was used, for a time, by the Hungarian Air Force, registered 1-002, but was soon replaced and transferred to a flying club, registered HA-RUA.

The second aircraft, the R-18b, c/n E-525, registered HA-RUB, had a widened rear fuselage to make the occupant of the third seat more comfortable. It flew from 1949 to 1954 when it crashed.

The third and subsequent aircraft, designated R-18c, c/n E-761, registered HA-RUC, had a Walter Minor 6-III six-cylinder engine of 116 kW (155 hp), which extended the fuselage length to 7.7 m (25 ft). The cabin windows and doors were slightly redesigned, and the third seat was replaced by a 120 l (32 US gal; 26 imp gal) fuel tank. Because of problems with the Walter Minor in-line engines, all surviving R-18s were converted to licence-built Shvetsov M-11D five-cylinder radial engines of 93.2 kW (125.0 hp),[1] or M-11FR engines of 119 kW (160 hp)[4] leading to a reduced fuselage length of 7.5 m (25 ft).[5] The conversion work was done by the Central Experimental Plant at Alag, between 1955 and 1958.[6]

Construction of a metal version, the R-28 Metal-Kanya, was started but was not completed.

Operational history[edit]

The first three aircraft were considered prototypes, and they were followed by six production aircraft, all designated R-18c and built in 1953-54. They were registered HA-RUD to HA-RUI. One aircraft was fitted with skis for winter use. They continued in use until 1966 by which time all aircraft except two had crashed and/or been scrapped or withdrawn from use.

The R-18a crashed in 1949 and was subsequently used as an instructional airframe.


HA-RUG on display restored with an inline engine.

Two aircraft survive:

Specifications (R-18a)[edit]

Data from Janes All the World's Aircraft 1953-54[2]

General characteristics

  • Crew: 2
  • Length: 7.7 m (25 ft 3 in)
  • Wingspan: 11.6 m (38 ft 1 in)
  • Height: 2.08 m (6 ft 10 in)
  • Wing area: 14 m2 (150 sq ft)
  • Empty weight: 410 kg (904 lb)
  • Gross weight: 690 kg (1,521 lb)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Walter Minor 4-I 4-cylinder inverted air-cooled in-line piston engine, 119 kW (160 hp)


  • Maximum speed: 175 km/h (109 mph, 94 kn)
  • Range: 600 km (370 mi, 320 nmi)
  • Service ceiling: 6,000 m (20,000 ft)
  • Rate of climb: 300 m/s (59,000 ft/min)


  1. ^ a b "Rubik Erno". Retrieved 2017-04-08.
  2. ^ a b Bridgman, Leonard (1954). Jane's All The World's Aircraft 1953-54. Jane's All The World's Aircraft Publishing Company. p. 156.
  3. ^ Simpson, R.W. (1995). Airlife's General Aviation (2nd ed.). Shrewsbury, UK: Airlife Publishing. p. 218. ISBN 1 85310 577 5.
  4. ^ Green, William; Pollinger, Gerald (1965). The Aircraft of the World (Third ed.). London: Macdonald & Co (Publishers). p. 80.
  5. ^ a b "Goldtimer Foundation R-18 Kanya". Goldtimer Foundation. Retrieved 2017-04-08.
  6. ^ "Hungarian Gliders 1933-2000". Retrieved 2017-04-08.
  7. ^ "ABPic Photo Library". Retrieved 2017-04-08.