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The sports aircraft manufacturer Sportavia-Pützer GmbH & Co. KG was founded in 1964 by Alfons Pützer together with the French Société Alpavia and the French aircraft designer René Fournier . Between 1964 and 1981, partially revised licensed buildings of the RF-4 , RF-5 and RF-6 by René Fournier were built on the Dahlemer Binz in the Eifel . The company has been owned by Rhein-Flugzeugbau GmbH (RFB) in Mönchengladbach since 1969 . Aircraft construction at Sportavia was discontinued in 1981 and the Sportavia location was then integrated into the parent company RFB.


Pützer Flugzeugbau (prehistory)

Alfons Pützer had been running the wood processing company Alfons Pützer KG in Bonn since the late 1940s, which manufactured wood models and production forms for industrial use, as well as wooden assemblies. Alfons Pützer started aircraft construction at Alfons Pützer KG in 1953 in a separate aircraft construction department. Pützer aircraft have been built in Bonn on Bornheimer Strasse since the 1950s and brought to the airfield in Bonn-Hangelar by truck for their first flight. At the Aerosalon in Paris in 1963, Alfons Pützer's attention was drawn to the Fournier RF-3 by René Fournier , which was presented by Antoine d'Assche by the French aircraft construction company Alpavia . In 1964, Pützer received several RF-3s, with which he initially obtained traffic approval in West Germany from the Federal Aviation Authority and began selling the RF-3s in German-speaking countries.

In October 1964, Alfons Pützer commissioned his long-time employee, Klaus Kruber, to set up a branch on the Dahlemer Binz glider airfield near Schmidtheim. From 1965 Kruber operated a small repair shop for Pützer aircraft with staff from the area around the airfield and looked after the aircraft of the Luftwaffe sport flying groups here. Due to the limited growth opportunities in Bornheimer Straße and the laborious road transport of the planes to Hangelar, Pützer also held talks with the community of Schmidtheim about the complete relocation of his operations to Dahlemer Binz.

Alpavia SA (prehistory)

Antoine d'Assche's French aircraft construction company Alpavia SA has been producing René Fournier's Fournier RF-3 at the small Alpine airfield in Gap Tallard since 1963. With the Alpavia production, d'Assche primarily served the demand from the francophone-speaking area. When Alfons Pützer took over the marketing of the RF-3 in German-speaking countries from 1964 and sales partnerships were also established in England and Finland, the production facility in Gap Tallard proved to be too small. Since the small alpine village could not provide any expansion options for Alpavia for various reasons, d'Assche began looking for an alternative location in France. Due to the large number of smaller sport aircraft manufacturers in France, however, d'Assche was unable to find financial support for the establishment of a new company from regional or state agencies. After Alfons Pützer had received promises of federal German funding for the establishment of an aircraft construction company in the structurally weak Eifel region on the Dahlemer Binz, d'Assche and Pützer decided to merge Alpavia SA and the aircraft construction department of Alfons Pützer KG in a new joint company.

Sportavia-Pützer GmbH & Co KG (1966–1969)

In the same year Alfons Pützer and Antoine d'Assche founded Sportavia-Pützer GmbH & Co KG together with a few other, smaller partners in Schmidtheim. Alfons Pützer brought his aircraft construction department from Alfons Pützer KG into the new company, while Antoine d'Assche handed over the production operations from Gap Tallard to Sportavia. As a distribution company, Alpavia SA remained in France under the sole ownership of Antoine d'Assche. René Fournier was connected to Sportavia-Pützer via license agreements for the series production of his aircraft designs and carried out development work on behalf of Sportavia-Pützer.

By 1967 a 1000 m² assembly hall, a workshop hall with 2000 m² and a warehouse of 500 m² as well as a four-story office block were built on the Dahlemer Binz. In addition to series production, a maintenance center for René Fournier aircraft and other sports and motor glider aircraft was set up. Aircraft construction on the Dahlemer Binz began as early as 1966 with the assembly of 3 Elster B and 4 Elster C. While the assemblies were being delivered, covering, painting, final assembly, entry and delivery took place on the Dahlemer Binz.

After the Alpavia operations in France were closed, the necessary equipment for the series production of Fournier aircraft came from Gap Tallard to Dahlemer Binz in May 1966. The first Fournier aircraft were assembled on the Dahlemer Binz in January 1967.

Up until the mid-1970s, Fournier aircraft of the type Fournier RF-4 and Fournier RF-5 were mainly built on the Dahlemer Binz . In the first few years most of the production was transferred to Alpavia for the French market. Several changes in the exchange rate from DM to Francs made it almost impossible to sell aircraft built in Germany in France until the end of the 1960s. Antoine d'Assche then separated in 1969 from his financial stake in Sportavia-Pützer. Alpavia SA remained Sportavia's sales partner for France until it went bankrupt in 1971.

Sportavia-Pützer and RFB (1969–1981)

Antoine d'Assche's shares in Sportavia-Pützer GmbH were acquired by the aircraft construction company Rhein-Flugzeugbau GmbH in Mönchengladbach in 1969 , with whom the remaining partner Alfons Pützer had already been working on the plastic aircraft development LFU 205 since 1963. For Rhein-Flugzeugbau GmbH, which is based on metal construction, the Sportavia aircraft construction company, which specializes in wood construction, was less of interest. The associated plastics workshops of Pützer Kunststofftechnik were of greater importance for the new partner. In the seventies, Sportavia also gained importance as a sales organization for RFB. After thinking about the sale of the RFB Sirius motor gliders by Sportavia at the end of the sixties , Sportavia was to market the RFB Fanliner developed with Grumman in Europe. In essence, however, Fournier aircraft remained the backbone of series production on the Dahlemer Binz even after the takeover by RFB.

After the approval of the Fournier RF-7, which was designed as a purely motorized aircraft and based on the RF-4, failed in the early 1970s, René Fournier created the Sportavia RF-6 wooden motorized aircraft in a conventional design with nose landing gear. There were differences of opinion between René Fournier and Alfons Pützer about the use of this aircraft. While René Fournier produced the RF-6B as a two-seat trainer aircraft in his Avions Fournier SA founded in 1974 independently of Sportavia-Pützer, he designed the RF-6C for Alfons Pützer until 1973, a family touring aircraft with two fully usable seats in front and two additional auxiliary seats mainly for children in the rear part of the cabin. In the early 1970s, Pützer and Fournier also came to a different point of view when it came to the further development of the RF-4 and RF-5, which were already in series production. While René Fournier pursued the concept of the simple, efficient motorized travel aircraft, Alfons Pützer wanted both aircraft types to be more geared towards the needs of glider pilots. At Sportavia-Pützer in the 1970s a development team was created around Manfred Küppers, who developed further developments in the form of the Sportavia RF-5B and the RFB-Sportavia RS-180, largely independently of René Fournier. With the disc aircraft construction , Sportavia-Pützer derived the improved motor glider variant Sportavia Fournier disc SFS-31 Milan based on the Fournier RF-4 . In addition, from the early 1970s, Sportavia-Pützer took over part of the successful motor glider production of the Scheibe SF 25 , which was a direct competitor to its own RF-5. Through the sales partnership with the Grumman American Aircraft Corporation, Alfons Pützer gained further independence from the developments of René Fournier.

In the mid-1970s, the collaboration between René Fournier and Sportavia-Pützer had largely come to a standstill. After the series production of the Fournier RF-5 as well as the Sportavia further developments Sportavia RF-5B and SFS-31 had also been discontinued at Sportavia-Pützer in the mid-1970s, the commercial success of the RF-6C at Sportavia was relied on from 1977 -Pützer further developed RFB-Sportavia RS-180 Sportsman. However, due to multiple delays in the development of the RS-180 and the strengthening of the DM exchange rate, this aircraft proved to be almost unsaleable. At around the same time, the distribution agreement with Grumman American Aircraft suddenly ended in the fall of 1978 when Grumman sold its travel aircraft division. From 1979 Sportavia only had one RS-180 production line, which, however, turned out to be almost unsaleable. At the beginning of 1981, Sportavia ceased all aircraft production. As early as 1977 RFB had acquired the remaining company shares in Sportavia-Pützer from Alfons Pützer. The “Sportavia” brand was withdrawn from the market in 1981. The Sportavia location on the Dahlemer Binz was integrated into Rhein-Flugzeugbau GmbH as a Dahlem branch.

RFB branch Dahlem (1981–1988)

In the following years, the workshops on the Dahlemer Binz were particularly important. They were used for numerous aircraft manufacturers, u. a. Airbus and Lockheed manufactured supplier components in series. The Dahlemer Binz also remained as a maintenance company for Fournier aircraft within Rhein-Flugzeugbau. The branch on the Dahlemer Binz was also active in special wood construction. Mockups were created for the training of cabin crews and wooden model replicas in original scale of Eurofighters and helicopters as exhibition models for MBB.

Aviostar, EIS Aircraft GmbH (1988-present)

In April 1988 Aviostar GmbH acquired the RFB branch in Dahlem from Manfred Zboril. After the takeover of RFB by Albert Blum's ABS International at the beginning of the nineties, the Dahlem location was taken over again by ABS. As ABS Aircraft GmbH , the now independent company on the Dahlemer Binz survived the collapse of the parent company ABS International and the former parent company Rhein-Flugzeugbau. Until 2014, the headquarters of EIS Aircraft GmbH was still on the Dahlemer Binz, before it was relocated to Euskirchen due to a labor shortage .

Together with Gomolzig, at the beginning of the 90s at ABS Aircraft GmbH, René Fournier took up the idea of ​​further development and renewed series production of the Fournier RF-9 . Due to the bankruptcy of the parent company ABS, there were two individual pieces of this further development.

Sportavia production

Between 1966 and 1982 Sportavia-Pützer built a total of 554 aircraft.

A detailed overview of all 413 Fournier aircraft built by Sportavia-Pützer can be found at

Aircraft production on the Dahlemer Binz began in 1966 with the final assembly of 7 Pützer Elster B / Cs (see above), which were used to build up experience on the Dahlemer Binz. Instead of the RF-3, which was exclusively produced by Alpavia in Gap Tallard, production of Fournier aircraft began in January 1967 with the further developed Fournier RF-4, the prototypes of which were still made by Alpavia in 1966. By 1969 a total of 156 RF-4D had been built on the Dahlemer Binz. Independently of René Fournier, the SFS-31 Milan emerged as a successor to the RF-4D from a collaboration with the disc aircraft construction company at Sportavia. Of these, another 12 aircraft were built between 1969 and 1972. Between 1969 and 1975 the two-seater Fournier RF-5 was also built in series at Sportavia-Pützer with a total of 135 aircraft. From the RF-5, Sportavia-Pützer developed the RF-5B Sparrowhawk, which is geared towards glider flying and 80 more aircraft were built between 1971 and 1977. Five more RF-5 and RF-5B were completed as test vehicles under the names Sportavia S-5 and Sportavia C-1 in the early 1970s. The last Fournier aircraft built by Sportavia were the different variants of the RF-6 and RS-180, of which a total of 23 were built between 1972 and 1981. Probably two kits of the Fournier RF-7 were already made on the Dahlemer Binz before this development was abandoned.

In addition to the production of Fournier aircraft, Sportavia-Pützer was also involved in the license production of the SF-25 disc from the beginning of the 1970s, of which a total of 126 aircraft were built on the Dahlemer Binz between 1970 and 1976. After Rhein-Flugzeugbau took over the Sportavia shares from d'Assche, a marketing of the RFB Sirius by Sportavia was under consideration. Since the construction of a series production of the metal motor glider Sirius would have been too complex for the Sportavia, which specializes in wooden construction, series production was abandoned. Sales figures for Grumman American Aircraft Corporation between 1968 and 1977 in Europe are not available.

The RF-6C or RS-180 was the last aircraft type produced by Sportavia. Production was stopped in 1981 due to sluggish sales. The location on the Dahlemer Binz was then a maintenance location and production facility for aircraft components. At the later ABS Aircraft GmbH, two more Fournier RF-9s were modified on the Dahlemer Binz in the early 1990s. However, the planned start of series production of the ABS RF-9 did not take place

Aircraft types

Sportavia production

Sportavia projects

Sportavia sales

See also




Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Paul Zöller, Hanns-Jakob Pützer: Pützer aircraft. Dec. 2018, ISBN 978-3-7481-2096-4
  2. ^ Rene Fournier, Mon rêve et mes combats , 2003, ISBN 978-2951945807
  3. ^ Flight International: Building the RF4. March 30, 1967. Retrieved September 7, 2017 .
  4. ^ Paul Zöller: Fournier aircraft; Page 110 .
  5. ^ Paul Zöller: Rhein-Flugzeugbau GmbH and Fischer flight mechanics . 1st edition, 2016, ISBN 978-3-7431-1823-2
  6. ^ Schleiden Local Court: Commercial Register . 1992.
  7. Model Aviator: Prototype documentation Fournier RF-9. Retrieved December 29, 2017 .
  8. ^ Paul Zöller: Fournier Airplanes , 2017, ISBN 978-3-7460-4864-2