Military Factory logo
Icon of F-15 Eagle military combat fighter aircraft
Icon of Abrams Main Battle Tank
Icon of AK-47 assault rifle
Icon of navy warships
Icon of a dollar sign
Icon of military officer saluting
National Flag Graphic

Renard R.37

Single-Seat All-Metal Monoplane Fighter Prototype Aircraft


The Renard R.37 was not yet ready when the Germans invaded Belgium in May of 1940 - the prototype was flown for the first time by a Luftwaffe pilot.

Detailing the development and operational history of the Renard R.37 Single-Seat All-Metal Monoplane Fighter Prototype Aircraft.  Entry last updated on 5/9/2018. Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©
The brothers Renard of Belgium ultimately failed in their earlier attempts to secure fighter production contracts with the Belgian Air Force prior to World War 2 (1939-1945). This included the Epervier ("Sparrowhawk") of the late-1920s and the R.36 all-metal monoplane fighter of the early-1930s (both detailed elsewhere on this site). With war against Germany imminent, there proved a sense of urgency in Belgian aero-industry to develop an in-house solution for the ultimate defense of the homeland. To this point, the air force service was stocked mainly by foreign types.

The work on the now-abandoned R.36 was not a total loss with the demise of the sole prototype in January of 1939 for its framework now made up the basis of a new all-metal monoplane fighter of all-modern design. This led to the "R.37" being formulated against the backdrop of impending invasion from neighboring Germany.

The new fighter incorporated the Gnome-Rhone 14N-21 14-cylinder air-cooled radial piston engine offering upwards of 1,100 horsepower instead of the liquid-cooled inline type of 900+ horsepower seen in the R.36 model. A vented ring was used for aspirating the large radial as an oversized spinner was set at the propeller hub to incorporate a noticeable streamlined quality. Another notable design feature was internal as some of the generated exhaust gasses were recycled in the action to produce a slight boost to overall thrust.

As a combat-centric fighter type, the R.37 was envisioned with an armament load out of 2 x 13.2mm heavy machine guns and 4 x 7.7mm medium machine guns, all mounted to the wings (unlike the R.36 which was to feature an engine-mounted 20mm autocannon as well as wing-mounted machine guns).

Outwardly, the R-37 mimicked most of the form and function of its predecessor: its wing shape (largely rounded) was similar in design and its placement well-ahead of midships was nearly identical. The cockpit was positioned at midships with limited vision and the tail unit was conventional. Metal construction and metal skinning was used throughout the aircraft. The undercarriage was retractable and of the "tail-dragger" arrangement - a common trait for fighters of the period. The noticeable difference between the R.37 and its earlier R.36 form was the large spinner situated at the nose and the oversized nose section as a whole - this forced upon the engineers to better house the larger air cooled radial engine fit.

The R.37 was put on static display in July of 1939 at Salon de Bruxelles to help showcase Belgian combat fighter mastery under the shadow of war - but at this point the sole prototype had yet to fly. Its time had run out for, in September of 1939, Germany invaded neighboring Poland to begin World War 2 (1939-1945) and, from there, Hitler turned his attentions to France and Low Countries, resulting in the fall of Belgium in May of 1940. With this, the R.37 was confiscated by the arriving and occupying Germans and, unknowingly, the prototype received its first-flight (under Luftwaffe pilot control) that same year. Beyond this seemingly successful flight, little more was had on the R.37 project for there appears to be no continuing record.

Renard was also working on a two-seat ground attacker form of the R.37 to be designated as the "R.37B" but little traction was gained on this variant prior to the German invasion. The R.38 fighter form was developed in parallel but it, too, suffered with the German invasion of 1940 and was scrapped by the occupiers.


YEAR: 1940
STATUS: Cancelled
MANUFACTURER(S): Renard Brothers - Belgium
LENGTH: 27.56 ft (8.4 m)
WIDTH: 38.22 ft (11.65 m)
HEIGHT: 9.51 ft (2.9 m)
EMPTY WEIGHT: 3,990 lb (1,810 kg)
MTOW: 5,512 lb (2,500 kg)
POWER: 1 x Gnome-Rhone 14N-21 14-cylinder air-cooled radial piston engine developing 1,100 horsepower and driving a three-bladed propeller unit at the nose.
SPEED: 317 mph (510 kph; 275 kts)
CEILING: 32,808 feet (10,000 m; 6.21 miles)
RANGE: 621 miles (1,000 km; 540 nm)
OPERATORS: Belgium (cancelled); Nazi Germany (tested)

2 x 13.2mm Heavy Machine Guns (HMGs) in wings (one per wing).
4 x 7.7mm Medium Machine Guns (MMGs) in wings (two per wing).
Graphical image of an aircraft medium machine gun
Graphical image of an aircraft heavy machine gun
Variants / Models

• R.37 - Base Series Designation; lone prototype completed and flown in 1940; unknown fate.
• R.37B - Proposed two-seat ground-attacker form of the R.37 fighter model.

Our Data Modules allow for quick visual reference when comparing a single entry against contemporary designs. Areas covered include general ratings, speed assessments, and relative ranges based on distances between major cities.

Image of collection of graph types

Relative Maximum Speed
Hi: 400mph
Lo: 200mph
This entry's maximum listed speed (317mph).

Graph average of 300 miles-per-hour.
City-to-City Ranges
Graph showcases the Renard R.37's operational range (on internal fuel) when compared to distances between major cities.
Aviation Era
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Useful in showcasing the era cross-over of particular aircraft/aerospace designs.
Unit Production (1)
Comm. Market HI*: 44,000 units
Military Market HI**: 36,183 units

  * Commercial Market High belongs to Cessna 172.

  ** Military Market High belongs to Ilyushin Il-2.

Altitude Visualization
Small airplane graphic
Supported Roles
Ground Attack
Aerial Tanker
A2A=Air-to-Air; UAV=Unmanned; CAS=Close Support; ASW=Anti-Submarine; AEW=Airborne Early Warning; MEDEVAC=Medical Evac; EW=Electronic Warfare; SAR=Search-Rescue
Commitments / Honors
Military lapel ribbon for Operation Allied Force
Military lapel ribbon for the Arab-Israeli War
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Britain
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Midway
Military lapel ribbon for the Berlin Airlift
Military lapel ribbon for the Chaco War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cold War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cuban Missile Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for pioneering aircraft
Military lapel ribbon for the Falklands War
Military lapel ribbon for the French-Indochina War
Military lapel ribbon for the Golden Age of Flight
Military lapel ribbon for the 1991 Gulf War
Military lapel ribbon for the Indo-Pak Wars
Military lapel ribbon for the Iran-Iraq War
Military lapel ribbon for the Korean War
Military lapel ribbon for the 1982 Lebanon War
Military lapel ribbon for the Malayan Emergency
Military lapel ribbon representing modern aircraft
Military lapel ribbon for the attack on Pearl Harbor
Military lapel ribbon for the Six Day War
Military lapel ribbon for the Soviet-Afghan War
Military lapel ribbon for the Spanish Civil War
Military lapel ribbon for the Suez Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for the Vietnam War
Military lapel ribbon for Warsaw Pact of the Cold War-era
Military lapel ribbon for the WASP (WW2)
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 1
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 2
Military lapel ribbon for the Yom Kippur War
Military lapel ribbon for experimental x-plane aircraft
* Ribbons not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective campaigns/operations.

Site Disclaimer  |  Privacy Policy  |  Cookies  |  Site Map Site content ©2003-, All Rights Reserved.

The "Military Factory" name and logo are registered ® U.S. trademarks protected by all applicable domestic and international intellectual property laws. All written content, illustrations, and photography are unique to this website (unless where indicated) and not for reuse/reproduction in any form. Material presented throughout this website is for historical and entertainment value only and should not to be construed as usable for hardware restoration, maintenance, or general operation. We do not sell any of the items showcased on this site. Please direct all other inquiries to militaryfactory AT

Part of a network of sites that includes GlobalFirepower, a data-driven property used in ranking the top military powers of the world, and, the World Directory of Modern Military Aircraft.

Facebook Logo YouTube Logo