from CFI France (cfi.ifrance.com/cfi/anhist.htm)
FOURNIER PLANES HISTORY
Since the early 1960's, the
Fournier aircraft have been known under the RF logo, throughout all
countries where light and sports aviation is in practice. Their flying
caracteristics, their low operating maintenance cost, their extensive life
cycle are universally recognized and are the basis for a well deserved
reputation confirmed by very high reselling prices on the second hand
At all, René Fournier has
designed and built 12 prototypes which are described in the list below :
The first Fournier
aircrafts were characterized by their long wing aspect ratio and a single
wheeel undercarriage used for gliders. Hence, the name of
'avions-planeurs' given by their designer. Since its creation in 1960,
this new formula has been largely exploited by the competition under the
name of 'motorglider'. Alike, the Wolkswagen engine used by most of these
motorgliders was first certified for avion after demonstration by René
Fournier of its high reliability on his aircrafts.
It is as fram this moment,
when the whole motorglider movement could developp worldwide.
But the Fournier aircrafts
are not only 'avions-planeurs'. During the past 30 years, René Fournier
has also designed more classical aircraft for training, such as the RF-7,
the RF-8 and the RF-6B which is now manufactured in composite under the
name of Slingsby T-67M. The latest Fournier aircraft, the RF-47, is
designed as well for basic schooling at low cost by air clubs or private
At all, about 800 Fournier
aircraft were manufectured and sold in 35 countries around the world.
It should be also notet
that the Fournier aircrafts are amongst the most silent and economical in
the world. Hence, these were purchased by many private pilots for leasure
flight at low cost. The Fournier aircrafts can also be used in a large
number of sectors such as, among others :
Basic training and improvement for
private, commercial and military pilots.
Surveillance for civil purposes (eg.
Watching of animal reservations, fire forests detection, etc…) or
military missions as their wood and fabric structure makes them hardly
detectables by radars.
Several challenges or world
records were taken on a fournier aircraft.
- Wave flight altitude
record (11.200 meters) on a RF-3 in 1965.
Crossing over the North Atlantic from West
Germany to California on a RF-4 in 1968 and return flight in 1969 by
Mira Slovak. This RF-4, mounted with a 39 hp Wolkswagen engine, is still
now the smallest aircraft which was ever flown accross the North
Atlantic. It is now part of the Museum of Flight's collection in Seattle
Crossing of the Americas in 1971 on a
RF-5, from California to Cape Horn and return.
Crossing over the North Atlantic from
Hamburg to Oskosh (USA) on a RF-5 in 1980.
17.000 km trip from Porto Alegre (Brazil)
to Oskosh (USA) and return in 1990 on a RF-10.
2001. World tour by Gérard Moss of Swiss
origin, living in Brasil. The first to fly alone in a motor glider
around our planet. With the RF-10, n° 11, built in France in 1986.The
wings have been reinforced to support the plane increased load (video/tv
equipement and 290 liters of petrol). A 55000 km circle over 40
countries. A real achievement, fantastic, for the pilot and his plane.
René Fournier is the sole
French aircraft designer who can sign his aircraft with his own name which
is still today very well reputed in aviation. In close cooperation with
his engineers, he remains highly involved in aircraft engineering and
continues to design and study aircraft.
His latest model, the
RF-47, was considered by the French Fédération Nationale Aéronautique
as the best schooling aircraft to be used by Air Clubs.