Single engine single seat fighter aircraft
Immediately prior to World War II the Belgian designer Alfred Renard produced several prototype versions of an very promising fighter such as the 910 hp Hispano-Suiza "Canon" 12 Ycrs 21 powered R.36, the 1050 hp Gnome et Rhône 14N21 radial engine powered R.37 and finally the R.38. This sleek fighter powered by a 1.050 hp Rolls-Royce Merlin II engine (giving it a maximum speed of 545 km/h at altitude) was definitely of the same category as the Supermarine Spitfire or Hawker Hurricane. It was also the only one of the Renard prototypes fighters to have worn Belgian roundels. (thus fitting our overview). On the request of the French authorities an improved version designated R.40 was being constructed when the Germans invaded Belgium. This version which was also powered by a RR Merlin was equipped with a unique pressurised and releasable cockpit. Unfortunately no Belgian series production was ordered for the very promising R.38 before the German invasion of Belgium. Wearing Belgian military roundels together with the civilian registration OO-ATK the Renard R-38 was extensively tested by Sabca chief-test pilot Burniat.
The prototype Renard R.38 seen at Evere airfield.