CAUDRON

Gaston and René Caudron came from Picardy farming family, but seeing Wilbur Wright fly inspired them to build large twin-engined biplane; Farcot engines did not arrive and aircraft flown as glider December 1908. On 21 September 1909 made 4 good flights at Romoutier farm with smaller biplane (25-hp Anzani). In 1910 moved to foreshore at Le Crotoy, setting up flourishing school, with factory at Rue. Fifth biplane, Type B, established layout common to most of 113 aircraft of 20 types built 1910-14: biplane, 50-hp tractor Gnome, tail carried by booms which served as landing skids. April 1914 one set record 16 hr 28 min 56 sec. May 1914 Type G became standard trainer, 1,423 by Caudron, 1,027 other French companies, 233 British Caudron and 166 AER. German advance forced move to Lyon, and René opened second factory at Issy-les-Moulineaux. March 1915 G.4 reconnaissance/bomber was enlarged G.3 with 2 engines (80-hp or 100-hp), 1,358 in France, others British Caudron and AER. June 1915 R.IV (R.4) reconnaissance biplane replaced tail booms by normal fuselage, 249 built, one killing Gaston despite protestations by young Paul Deville that structure was weak. Deville appointed technical director and produced G.6 with normal fuselage (512), R.10 and R.11 twin-engined escort fighter (370), Type O single-seat fighter, C.21 and 22 recon/bombers and C.23 heavy bomber. Post-war Deville produced C.23b airliner, C.25 20-passenger airliner, C.27 2-seater, C.31 4-seater, C.33 twin-engine 4-seater, C.39 seaplane (3 x 130-hp), C.43 transport (5 x 80-hp), C.47 (3 x 80-hp), C.51 trainer, C.57 advanced trainer, C.59 trainer (1,885 1923-8), C.60 trainer (64 Finland, 34 made there), C.61 airliner (3 x 180-hp or 2 x 260-hp), C.65 and 67 single-seaters, C.68 2-seater, C.74 transport, C.77 aerobatic trainer, C.81/82/83 derivatives of C.61, and C.91 4-seater. All this before Deville went to Dewoitine March 1923, when René Talpin designed C.92 transport, C.97 tourer, C.99/101/104 reconnaissance 2-seaters, C.109 parasol monoplane and C.120. Deville then returned, developed C.109 into 112/113/114/116/117, and designed C.127, C.161 and 168 2-seat biplanes, C.181 and 187 all-metal 3-engined high-wing monoplanes (first aircraft built at new factory/airfield at Guyancourt), C.190/191/192 low-wing monoplanes, C.230/232/233/235 2-seat biplanes, 725 of 19 versions of C.272 Luciole 2-seat biplanes, and over 240 of 26 versions of C.280 Phalène high-wing cabin monoplane. In 1933 Deville again left, and Caudron amalgamated with Soc. des Usines Renault. New chief designer gifted Marcel Riffard, manager of Renault Aviation, who put 'Caudron-Renault' on world map, especially with series of racing aircraft started with C.362, 1933, leading to C.450 and retractable-gear C.460 which set world class record 1934 at 314 mph. Late 1934 prototype, C.460 Goéland light twin-engined transport, led to many civil/military variants, total 1,702. Light types included C.480 Frégate high-wing 3-seater, C.510 Pélican ambulance/tourer, C.600 Aiglon tandem tourer (203, 1935-8), C.630 Simoun 4-seater (505, 1934-9), C.640 Typhon mailplane with racer and bomber derivatives, and, derived from racers, C.690M fighter trainer, C.714 Cyclone (63 in combat by Finland and by Polish squadrons in France), and CR.760/770/780 prototypes. CR.770 was last to fly, just once, as German troops approached. C.810/811 gliders built 1946, but firm not revived.

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