Fournier RF-3

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RF-3, WNr.  39, G-BLXH, 2016
Type: Touring plane
Design country:

FranceFrance France


Alpavia SA

First flight:

March 6, 1963



Production time:


Number of pieces:

88 pieces

The Fournier RF-3 is the design of a single-seat motorized touring aircraft by the French designer René Fournier .


The RF-3 was a direct further development of René Fournier's first aircraft design Fournier RF-1 from 1960, with which he first implemented his idea of ​​an "Avion Planeur" into reality, and the subsequent Fournier RF-2 from 1962, the Fournier had further developed to meet the requirements of aviation law. With the design of the RF-3 at the end of 1962, Fournier laid down the final standard of the "Avion Planeur" for future series production. Compared to the RF-2, the RF-3 received a completely revised air brake mechanism and a reinforced landing gear. After Fournier had succeeded in convincing the French approval authority STA to grant approval as a touring and aerobatic aircraft for the RF-3 despite the Rectimo engine, which was only partially approved, Fournier was able to rely on the RF-3 for the RF-2 foregoing reinforcement of the wing structure for gliding again. As a motorized aircraft, the RF-3 was 20 kg lighter than the RF-2, which was designed for gliding.

Since most of the changes had already been tested in the second RF-2 prototype and the wing structure of the RF-3 largely corresponded to the wing of the RF-1, René Fournier decided not to build an explicit RF-3 prototype. Instead, the first production aircraft should be used for testing and approval. A break cell was also created for structural tests. The first flight of the RF-3, WNr. 1 was completed on March 6, 1963 in Gap Tallard by Gerard Tahon, who had already carried out the first flight of the RF-2. After the successful completion of the subsequent testing, the DGAC granted type approval CDN-28 for the Fournier RF-3 on June 3, 1963.


The RF-3 is a self-launching self-supporting cantilever low- wing aircraft made of wood for travel and aerobatics. The chassis consists of a retractable central wheel and a support wheel under each wing. The wing is a single-spar construction made of wood, the front part of which is planked with plywood and otherwise covered with fabric. The one-piece wing is screwed to the fuselage with four bolts. The RF-3 is powered by a four-cylinder , four-stroke , Rectimo 4AR1200 boxer engine based on the VW boxer engine with an output of 29 kW (39 hp).

Production and Marketing

Just one week after the type approval, the RF-3, WNr. 1 was presented to the public at the Paris Aérosalon in June 1963. The RF-3 was the first large-scale Fournier aircraft. Series production at Alpavia SA in Gap Tallard had already started during the testing phase by the STA in spring 1963. The first customer deliveries took place in November 1963. A total of 6 aircraft could still be delivered in 1963. Another 38 or 36 machines followed in 1964 and 1965. A total of 88 RF-3s were built by the end of RF-3 production at Alpavia SA in December 1963. Alpavia SA supplied the majority of RF-3 production to French aviation clubs .

A marketing agreement had existed between Alpavia SA and Pützer Flugzeugbau in Germany since 1964 , which guaranteed Alfons Pützer the sole marketing rights for the RF-3 in German-speaking countries. As the first RF-3 to be sold abroad, WNr. 38 entered Bonn-Hangelar on August 7, 1964 . With it, Pützer achieved the national type approval in Germany by the Luftfahrt-Bundesamt with the device identification sheet 666 on May 25, 1965. Around 20 RF-3s were delivered in Europe by Pützer Flugzeugbau and Sportavia-Pützer by the end of 1965 .

In March 1965, Alpavia SA delivered the first RF-3 to England, where Sutton Aviation presented the aircraft at the Biggin Hill Air Show. A sales partnership between Alpavia and Sutton did not come about due to the bankruptcy of Sutton Aviation.

After the WNr. 32, F-BMDK during an aerobatic maneuver, the French aviation authority withdrew its aerobatic approval from the RF-3 in the summer of 1965. Many customers lost interest in the RF-3. After the state subsidy for aircraft purchases by aviation clubs in France had already been canceled, the sales success of the RF-3 fell considerably in the second half of 1965. Alpavia SA stopped production of the RF-3 at the end of 1965 after 88 aircraft were built. A detailed overview of all 88 RF-3s built by Alpavia, as well as further information on the production of the RF-3s can be found at.

In order to achieve aerobatic approval again, Rene Fournier reinforced the structure. The new, again aerobatic design was launched in 1967 as the Fournier RF-4 .

Technical specifications

Parameter Data
crew 1
length 6.00 m
span 11.20 m
Wing area 11.0 m²
Wing extension 11.5
Wing loading Max. 31.8 kg / m²
Wing profile NACA 23015 at the root,
NACA 23012 at the wing tip
Slightest sinking 1.2 m / s at 90 km / h
Glide ratio 18th
Empty mass 240 kg
Max. Takeoff mass 350 kg
Cruising speed 160 km / h
Top speed 210 km / h (180 km / h in Germany)
Max. Rate of climb approx. 3 m / s
Engine 1 × Rectimo 4AR 1200
power 29 kW (approx. 40 PS)

See also


Web links

Commons : Fournier RF-3  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ René Fournier: Mon reve et mes combats. Edition Sier, Jan. 2005, ISBN 978-2-9519-4580-7
  2. ^ John Taylor: The Alpavia Avion-Planeur RF3 . Ed .: Jane's All the World's Aircraft Publishing Ltd. tape 1963-64 , 1963, pp. 31 .
  3. ^ Paul Zöller: Fournier aircraft. 2017, ISBN 978-3-7460-4864-2
  4. Club Fournier Germany: RF3. Accessed December 31, 2017 .