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Romano Ro 90


Dated in concept by comparison with other contenders designed to meet the 1933 Marine Nationale requirement for a single-seat float fighter, the R-90 proffered by the Chantiers Aeronavale Etienne Romano was a twin-float single-bay equi-span staggered biplane of mixed construction, the fuselage being of welded steel-tube and the wings of wood.

Powered by a 720hp Hispano-Suiza 9Vbrs nine-cylinder radial, the R-90 was flown in August 1935, attaining a speed of 352km/h at 3500m. During the following October, it was re-engined with a smaller-diameter 14-cylinder HS 14Hbrs two-row radial enclosed by a longchord NACA cowling. At the same time, the volume of the floats was increased and more substantial floatbracing struts were provided.

At the request of the Services Techniques, the prototype was again re-engined, this time with a liquid-cooled 12-cylinder HS 12Ycrs-l rated at 900hp at 1900m. A 20mm cannon was mounted between the cylinder banks, and, in this form, the R-90 could exceed 400km/h in level flight. It flew with the HS 12Y engine in October 1937, but in the previous March, the Marine Nationale had selected the Loire 210 to meet its requirement, and subsequent testing of the R-90 was related to the clandestine development of a shore-based version specifically for the Spanish Republican government.

Max take-off weight: 1990 kg / 4387 lb
Empty weight: 1642 kg / 3620 lb
Wingspan: 8.88 m / 29 ft 2 in
Length: 8.67 m / 28 ft 5 in
Height: 3.93 m / 13 ft 11 in
Wing area: 21.00 sq.m / 226.04 sq ft
Max. speed: 368 km/h / 229 mph
Range: 650 km / 404 miles


Romano R-90



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