Developed in parallel with the R-37, the R-38 was
essentially similar to the R-36 apart from having a
1030hp Rolls-Royce Merlin II engine. It was originally
proposed with wings of two different sizes, but the sole
prototype retained a similar wing to that of the R-36 and
R-37. Armament comprised four wing-mounted 7.7mm
or 13.2mm machine guns. The R-38 flew for the first
time on 4 August 1939, and gave excellent results
during its test programme, which was still in process when German forces occupied Belgium. The sole prototype
was flown to Bordeaux when the final collapse of
Belgian resistance became inevitable, but was
scrapped after capture in France by German forces.
| Take-off weight||2600 kg||5732 lb|
| Empty weight||1950 kg||4299 lb|
| Wingspan||11.64 m||38 ft 2 in|
| Length||8.80 m||29 ft 10 in|
| Height||2.90 m||10 ft 6 in|
| Wing area||20.00 m2||215.28 sq ft|
| Max. speed||545 km/h||339 mph|
| Range||1350 km||839 miles|
Three prototypes of this fighter were built, one with an Hispano-Suiza engine, one with a Gnome-Rhone air-cooled radial engine, and one with a British Rolls-Royce Merlin engine (shown here). None of them went into production, since the Belgians decided to order Hawker Hurricanes instead. Even if this fighter had been chosen for production, it seems doubtful that either the French or the British would have been able to spare enough engines for export to Belgium to complete them. After WW-II began in 1939 these aircraft engines were in great demand in both countries.
|Géonet Michel, 19.11.2013|
Paul Burniat, Chief-Pilot at the SABCA (constructor), flew the plane during the tests. The first flight was the 4th of augustus 1938 at Evere.
Paul Burniat said : "The flight capabilities and performance of this plane place it between the Hurricane and the Spitfire».
As the R-36, the R-38 was very easy to construct and the cost of the plane (without motor) was only half of the Spitfire
Immatriculé OO-ATK le 22 juin 1939 sous le numéro 473, il fut présenté aux autorités belges le 18 juillet.
beautiful aircraft shame it got scrapped.
Belgian resistance became inevitable, but was scrapped after capture in France by German forces.
that's the most beautifuls fighter that i saw
Do you have any comments about this aircraft ?