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RFB / Rhein-Flugzeugbau GmbH

Founded in 1957, RFB obtained a license from Rhein-West Flug to build the RW-3 Multoplane in 1957, flying the first production aircraft in 1958 and following with a small batch.

Built and flew the RF1 six-seat STOL transport in 1960; with two Lycoming engines geared to drive single pusher propeller in a wide-chord duct.

In 1968, VFW-Fokker acquired 65% of shares in RFB, and in 1969 RFB acquired a percentage holding in Sportavia company. Company became busy with military contracts for overhaul, and target towing for some years.

Built in collaboration with Grumman-American the Fanliner two-seat light aircraft with Wankel rotary engine, first flown in 1973. It was re-engined in 1976 with a Dowty Rotol ducted propulsor. Based on the Fanliner's promise, the Federal German Government awarded a contract for two Fantrainer prototypes with ducted fan engines, first flown in 1977 and 1978. In the 1970s German interest in general aviation was maintained by one or two smaller companies, but there has also been quite a large R&D investment by Rhein Flugzeugbau, in ducted-fan propulsion for a new generation of lightplanes represented by its Fanliner.

Production Fantrainer 400s and 600s were ordered only by Thailand, the first (a 600) flying in 1984 and most assembled in Thailand from kits. Projected Fantrainer 800 did not enter production; neither did the proposed Tiro-Trainer with a turbofan engine. Company ceased trading in 1997.

 

 


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