The Robin DR300 series were developments of the earlier DR.221 Dauphin and DR.250 Capitaine with a tricycle landing gear. The first variant was the DR340 Major, a tricycle landing gear version of the DR250 Capitaine which first flew on 27 February 1968, followed on 21 March 1968 by the DR315 Petit Prince, a tricycle landing gear version of the DR221 Dauphin. The DR315 was later replaced by the DR300. In 1972 an improved version, the DR400 was introduced with a forward-sliding canopy.
The wing is a distinctive feature of the Robin DR400, and is what immediately separates this aircraft visually from other similar light aircraft. It is a derivative of the earlier Jodel designs, is light, stiff and strong, with the dihedral of the outer panels imparting substantial lateral stability in flight. Being fabric covered, it presents a smooth surface to aid airflow, unhindered by the typical overlapping panels or rivets found on metal aircraft. The secret to the DR400's relatively high performance lies in the pronounced washout in the outer panels. Since they have a lower angle of attack to the airflow than the centre section, they create less drag in cruise flight. This characteristic also imbues rather benign stall behavior and the DR400 consequently does not suffer from the need to install retro-fixes like leading edge stall strips.