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Renard R.36

Single-Seat, Single-Engine Monoplane Fighter Prototype Aircraft

Belgium | 1939

"The loss of the sole R.36 prototype meant an end to this Renard fighter proposal for the Belgian Air Force prior to World War 2."

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 06/07/2018 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site; No A.I. was used in the generation of this content.
The Renard Brothers of Belgium failed to win a late-1920s government-sponsored fighter contest which went to the British Fairey "Firefly II" biplane, having offered their inferior "Epervier" ("Sparrowhawk")for review (the aircraft is detailed elsewhere on this site). When it came time to succeed the Firefly II in service for the Belgian Air Force, Alfred Renard put forth another attempt at an all-modern, metal-skinned monoplane fighter. This work culminated with the "R.36" single-seater which flew for the first time in 1937. However, the promising project suffered a notable setback when the sole prototype was lost in testing and the design was eventually passed on in favor of another British aircraft.

The R.36 was given all of the major traits of a modern fighter of the time: a retractable undercarriage, metal skinning/metal construction, and a wholly-enclosed cockpit. The engine was fitted to the nose in the typical way and drove a three-bladed propeller unit. The cockpit was set well aft of the nose, near midships, and featured relatively heavy framing, The wing mainplanes were rounded and positioned well-forward in the design. The tail unit incorporated the usual single vertical fin coupled with a pair of horizontal planes. The undercarriage was of a tail-dragger arrangement consistent with the period. Metal was used throughout the construction of this sleek aircraft.

Internally, power was from a single Hispano-Suiza 12Ycrs 12-cylinder V-type liquid-cooled inline piston engine outputting 910 horsepower.

As a combat warplane, the R.36 was proposed with an armament suite of 1 x 20mm autocannon mounted in the engine block and 4 x 7.7mm machine guns, two per wing which would have given it excellent firepower against both enemy fighters and bombers alike.

Engineers revised the design several times during the program's early phases which resulted in an enlarged rudder fin and a relocation of the radiator bath component. A first-flight was recorded on November 5th, 1937 and Belgian authorities liked the potential of the homegrown aircraft and contracted for forty of the type the following year, deliveries to span over the course of two years. However, the program suffered a major setback on January 17th, 1939 when the prototype was lost near Nivelles (the test pilot was killed). This was very unfortunate for some 75.5 hours had already been accumulated in the air. The R.36 project was grounded pending review and, with time and urgency passing it by, the British Hawker Hurricane was ordered by the Belgian Air Force instead - though these to be produced locally, under license, under the SABCA brand label. The R.36 project was never resuscitated.

The similar Renard R.37 and R.38 monoplane fighters were offshoots of the R.36 attempt but the German invasion of 1940 ended all hopes for these machines to make a difference in the ultimate defense of Belgium. Other R.36 related offshoots were set to include the R.40 fitted with a Rolls-Royce Merlin liquid-cooled inline engine to satisfy French interest in the fighter - this example was unfinished at the time of the Belgian surrender. The R.42 was a more daring derivative of the R.36 in that it attempted to mate two R.36 fuselages together to increase firepower and range. This endeavor also fell to naught.

As flown, the R.36 was given an overall length of 28.10 feet, a wingspan of 38.2 feet, and a height of 9.6 feet. Empty weight was 3,900lb against an MTOW of 5,445lb. The aircraft performed with a top speed of 320 miles per hour and a range out to 620 miles. Rate-of-climb was 2,625 feet-per-minute.

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Power & Performance
Those special qualities that separate one aircraft design from another. Performance specifications presented assume optimal operating conditions for the Renard R.36 Single-Seat, Single-Engine Monoplane Fighter Prototype Aircraft.
1 x Hispano-Suiza 12Ycrs 12-cylinder V-type liquid-cooled inline piston engine developing 910 horsepower and driving a three-bladed propeller unit at the nose.
320 mph
515 kph | 278 kts
Max Speed
32,808 ft
10,000 m | 6 miles
Service Ceiling
621 miles
1,000 km | 540 nm
Operational Range
2,625 ft/min
800 m/min
City-to-City Ranges
Operational range when compared to distances between major cities (in KM).
The nose-to-tail, wingtip-to-wingtip physical qualities of the Renard R.36 Single-Seat, Single-Engine Monoplane Fighter Prototype Aircraft.
28.9 ft
8.80 m
O/A Length
38.2 ft
(11.65 m)
O/A Width
9.5 ft
(2.90 m)
O/A Height
3,902 lb
(1,770 kg)
Empty Weight
5,512 lb
(2,500 kg)
Design Balance
The three qualities reflected below are altitude, speed, and range. The more full the box, the more balanced the design.
Available supported armament and special-mission equipment featured in the design of the Renard R.36 Single-Seat, Single-Engine Monoplane Fighter Prototype Aircraft .
1 x 20mm Autocannon in the engine block.
4 x 7.7mm machine guns in the wings (two per wing).
Notable series variants as part of the Renard R.36 family line.
R.36 - Base Series Designation; single prototype completed and flown; lost to accident in January of 1939.
R.40 - Proposed French fighter sale; incorporating the Rolls-Royce Merlin inline engine; left unfinished at the time of the Belgian surrender to Germany in 1940.
R.42 - Twin-fuselage variant of the R.36 attempting to mate two aircraft with a common wing and increase both firepower and range as a result; not developed.
Global customers who have evaluated and/or operated the Renard R.36. Nations are displayed by flag, each linked to their respective national aircraft listing.

Total Production: 1 Units

Contractor(s): Renard Brothers - Belgium
National flag of Belgium

[ Belgium (cancelled) ]
Relative Max Speed
Hi: 400mph
Lo: 200mph
Aircraft Max Listed Speed (320mph).

Graph Average of 300 MPH.
Era Crossover
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Showcasing Aircraft Era Crossover (if any)
Max Alt Visualization
Small airplane graphic
Production Comparison
Entry compared against Ilyushin IL-2 (military) and Cessna 172 (civilian) total production.
MACH Regime (Sonic)
RANGES (MPH) Subsonic: <614mph | Transonic: 614-921 | Supersonic: 921-3836 | Hypersonic: 3836-7673 | Hi-Hypersonic: 7673-19180 | Reentry: >19030
Aviation Timeline
1 / 1
Image of the Renard R.36
Image from the Public Domain.

Mission Roles
Some designs are single-minded in their approach while others offer a more versatile solution to airborne requirements.
Some designs stand the test of time while others are doomed to never advance beyond the drawing board; let history be their judge.
Going Further...
The Renard R.36 Single-Seat, Single-Engine Monoplane Fighter Prototype Aircraft appears in the following collections:
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