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FOURNIER RF-3 I-BLEK

BACK Description:

RF.3 I-BLEK owns to the "Avion Planeur" FOURNIER family, created by Renè Fournier, architect and artist.

I-BLEK is the oldest RF.3 in flying conditions: it was built in France by Alpavia in Gap-Tallard in 1963, with serial number 02 (in total 88 RF.3 were built until 1966) and it was French registered as F-BLEK. During a full refurbishment in 2007, we found, written on the wooden frame of the tail fuselage, the construction year 1963 and the signature of whom put the first fabric on BLEK.

The first flight occurred in the 5th of Sept. 1963, by the test pilot Bernard Chauvreau.

After that flight, almost 800 flight hours followed, with a new general inspection and maintenance in 1981/'82 and than a long inactivity period in Italy, without protection.
At the beginning of '90s, I-BLEK was fully restored by Pierangelo e Carlo Pietra (father and son) and received new Italian marks in the experimental class (Italian CNS, amateur built aircraft): it was the first CNS certificate issued for a restoring project and not for an ex-novo construction and the certification procedures were defined around that project by the RAI Authority (today ENAC).

After there were other BLEK owners until 2001, when the I-BLEK were acquired and maintained by Alessandro Messina, under the RAI/ENAC supervision and control.

After six year and  roughly 300 flight hours, BLEK had its last full refurbishment in the 2007/2008 period, with the help of a lot of friends around all Italy: the aircraft was fully dismounted, with fabric and paint removed, and it was re-assembled after few little repairs. The engine too was fully inspected and it received a new wooden propeller.

Actually I-BLEK has a three years validity permit to fly and it's based in flying conditions at the "Il Falco" Airfield in Mazze' (Turin, Italy).  In 2013 it was the fiftieth birthday for I-BLEK: its first 50 years.

  • Specs
  • Specs

    General characteristics

    Crew: 1
    Length: 6.00 m (19 ft 07 in)
    Wingspan: 11.30 m (37 ft 0 in)
    Height: 1.57 m (5 ft 2 in)
    Wing area: 11.2 m2 (120 sq ft)
    Aspect ratio: 10.75
    Empty weight: 240 kg (530 lb)
    Gross weight: 350 kg (771 lb)
    Fuel capacity: 38 litres (8.4 imp gal; 10 US gal)
    Powerplant: 1 × Rectimo 4 AR 1200 (VW) air-cooled flat-four piston engine, 29 kW (39 hp)
    Propellers: 2-bladed Hoffmann, 1.33 m (4 ft in) diameter

    Performance

    Maximum speed: 196 km/h; 106 kn (122 mph)
    Cruise speed: 165 km/h; 89 kn (105 mph)
    Stall speed: 72 km/h; 39 kn (42 mph)
    Never exceed speed: 210 km/h; 113 kn (140 mph)
    Range: 644 km; 348 nmi (400 mi)
    Endurance: 4
    Service ceiling: 5,500 m (18,000 ft)
    g limits: +4.4/-1.76
    Maximum glide ratio: 18:1
    Rate of climb: 3 m/s (590 ft/min)


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