Caudron-Renault CR.714 Cyclone
The CR.714 had its roots in the C.561, a racing aircraft built for a competition in Paris in 1936. After two more years of development and two more prototypes (the C.710 and C.713), the C.714 was presented to the l'Armee de l'Air in 1938. Although its performance was typical for the day, the design had several advantages. First, it was primarily constructed of non-strategic materials (i.e., wood), and used a readily available engine. Second, the plane took about ½ the time to build as a MS.406 (p. W:RH42). An initial order for 20 planes was placed, with an option for 180 more.
The availability of other, faster planes (such as the MS.406, Bloch 152 and D.520) reduced the l'Armee de l'Air's affection for the plane. The production contract was reduced to 83. Five were used as trainers, six sent to Finland, and the rest used to equip French squadrons. Many CR.714s never reached combat status for want of weapons, propellers, and other equipment. In combat, the C.714 saw its most extensive action in the hands of Polish pilots of the Groupe de Chasse I/145. In the course of 5 days, the GC I/145 was credited with 7 victories, but was soon overrun by the German advance. The Germans seized 20 incomplete C.714s which were then used as trainers. The Vichy French possessed eight C.714s, but none of these aircraft saw combat.
The Cyclone burns 18.6 gallons of aviation fuel per hour at routine usage. A full load of fuel and ammo costs $24.
Subassemblies: Light Fighter chassis with Good Streamlining +3; Recon Fighter wings +2; 3 retractable wheels +0.
Powertrain: 373-kW supercharged HP gasoline engine with 373-kW prop and 45-gallon self-sealing fuel tank [Body], 4,000-kWs battery.
Occ.: 1 CS Body
Cargo: 0 Body
Armor F RL B T U
Body: 2/3W 2/3W 2/3W 2/3W 2/3W
Wings: 2/3W 2/3W 2/3W 2/3W 2/3W
Wheels: 2/3 2/3 2/3 2/3 2/3
4xAircraft LMGs/7.5mm MAC 1934 [Wings:F] (300 rounds each).
Body: Autopilot, navigation instruments, medium radio transmitter and receiver.
Size: 28'x29'x9' Payload: 0.21 tons Lwt.: 1.93 tons
Volume: 128 Maint.: 77 hours Cost: $6,783
HT: 10. HPs: 100 Body, 50 each Wing, 5 each Wheel.
aSpeed: 292 aAccel: 6 aDecel: 9 aMR: 2.5 aSR: 1
Stall Speed: 75 mph. Take-Off Run: 511 yards. Landing Run: 563 yards.
gSpeed: 222 gAccel: 11 gDecel: 10 gMR: 0.5 gSR: 2
Ground Pressure: Very High. 1/8 Off-Road Speed.
Historical wing area was 135 sf. The design was very underweight for its size. To this end, the next larger chassis was used, and armor was increased to DR 3 despite being wooden. Wing and chassis cost, weight and HPs were doubled to increase design weight. Despite all these machinations, the final weight was increased 4% to the historical. Fuel capacity was an educated guess based on historical range (559 miles) and fuel consumption. Design payload was 493 lbs; the historical value has been substituted. (An alternate source cites a payload of 772 lbs.; the plane could therefore carry additional fuel to increase design weight. However, this same source cited a smaller (336-kW) engine as well.) Design aSpeed was 309 mph. Performance calculations were based on historical values for wing area and loaded weight.
Because the chassis was increased in size to increase weight, empty VSPs in the design should be considered waste space and ignored. The wing pods for the MGs were subsumed in the wings. The design purchases 1,500 rounds of LMG ammo; the historical load-out is listed.
The C.710 (1936) was a prototype with a 336-kW engine. It had fixed landing gear. It crashed in 1938 and was lost.
The C.713 (1937) introduced retractable landing gear.
The C.720 was a trainer version with a 164-kW engine.
The C.760 (1940) featured an Italian-built 560-kW engine and six LMGs. It was burned to prevent its capture by the German advance.
The C.770 was identical to the C.760 but had a French-built 597-kW engine. It was also destroyed to prevent its capture.
The C.780 was to feature 3-bladed counter-rotating propellers. It never passed the conceptual stages.
From the Aerodrome for GURPS
© 2008 by Jim Antonicic