Fournier began design of the RF-6 Sportsman in December 1970, and construction of the prototype started fourteen months later at the Sportavia-Pützer works. The Sportsman was a departure from previous Fournier designs, which had mostly been Avion-Planeurs. Of conventional design and all-wood construction, the aircraft had a fixed tricycle undercarriage and high lift flaps on the wing. The cabin featured two seats side-by-side with dual controls plus seats for one or two passengers in rear of cabin.
Powered by an 125 hp Lycoming O-235 four-cylinder horizontally-opposed piston engine, and registered D-EHYO, the prototype made its first flight at Dahlem-Schmidtheim on March 15, 1973. For production the aircraft was redesigned by Manfred Schliwa, fitted with an 180 hp engine and glass fiber reinforced covering, it was designated RS-180 (S denotes Schliwa). The following data relate to the pictured prototype, which was destroyed in May 1977.
Span: 33 ft 10 in (10.30 m)
Length: 23 ft 0.5 in (7.02 m)
Height: 7 ft 9 in (2.36 m)
Wing area: 135 sq.ft (12.57 sq.m)
Weight empty: 1,168 lb (530 kg)
Loaded weight: 1,984 lb (900 kg)
Max speed: 155 mph (250 kmh) at sea level
Cruise speed: 130 mph (210 kmh) at sea level
Landing speed: 37 mph (60 kmh)
Climb: 750 ft (228 m)/min
Service ceiling: 15,750 ft (4,800 m)
Range: 520 mls (840 km)