The Caudron CR.714 is a lightweight, pre-WW2 fighter aircraft, developed to be mass produced quickly and at low cost, in hopes of increasing the number of aircraft available to the French Air Force. Soon, War Thunder pilots and fans of French aviation can look forward to the addition of the CR.714 to the ranks of the newly formed French aviation tree, coming to War Thunder in update 1.73 !
The CR.174 is a member of the C.710 family of aircraft, developed by the French Caudron company in the mid 1930s. The aircraft were initially proposed as a quick solution to the lack of modern combat aircraft within the ranks of French Air Force. By nature, the C.710 series of aircraft were lightweight airframes, built out of wood. This construction allowed for the airframes to be quickly assembled and at a low cost, thus preventing an interference with the production of other French military aircraft. Initially, the aircraft was equipped with a 450 hp Renault 12R-01 12-cylinder inline engine. Due to the shape of the engine block (narrow but long), the aircraft received a long nose section and the cockpit was set back further in the fuselage. This initial prototype, designated C.710, first flew on 18 July 1936, showing promising results and potential for further developing.
Further development of the aircraft gradually increased engine power and brought several modern features to the table, such as a retractable undercarriage. The project ultimately cullminated in the CR.714 Cyclone, considered to be the definitive version of the project. The CR.714 brought with it several changes that would increase overall performance and reliability of the aircraft. Changes included the addition of an airfoil wing profile, strengthened fuselage structure and the replacement of cannon armaments with standard 7.5mm MAC machine guns. Additionally, a newer modification of the Renault engine was installed that featured a new carburettor, which allowed the engine to operate in negative G. The first orders for the new CR.714 came in early November 1938, with production starting in summer of the following year. However, once the first aircraft were introduced into service, it quickly became apparent that the CR.714 wasn’t a suitable aircraft, due to the limited capacities of its powerplant. This resulted in a quick reduction of airframe orders, which would eventually end in the complete halting of production and withdrawal from active service shortly after. However, this didn’t stop the Polish Warsaw squadron, serving in exile with the French air force to down 12 German machines in early summer of 1940. A small number of CR.714s were also exported to Finland, however, the aircraft failed to impress the Finns due to its lackluster performance and susceptibility to the harsh winter climate. In the end, despite being envisioned as a plane that would be produced in mass, rapid advancements in aviation technology simply overtook the once modern design, leading to less than 100 CR.714s being manufactured by 1940.
Fortunately for the CR.714, the future that awaits it in War Thunder looks a lot brighter than its historical past. Although the aircraft was far inferior to other contemporary designs of the time, making for some arguably unfair aerial battles during the 1940s, the CR.714 will hopefully not have this issue in War Thunder. Being placed as one of the first aircraft aspiring pilots of the French aviation research tree will be able to acquire, it will mostly face off against aircraft of other nations with similar performance, allowing pilots to show off their individual skill and flying expertise, rather than just the raw performance of the machine alone. Speaking of the CR.714’s performance, did you know that the CR.714 draws a lot of its core design from an older racer aircraft? Thanks to this, pilots of this light fighter can expect smooth overall handling, responsive controls and high top speeds. When it comes to achieving those high speeds, the 500 horsepower V-12 engine is allowing the CR.714 to reach a respectable top speed of 460 km/h at medium altitudes.
Unfortunately, those players that expected a mention of some kind of ferocious cannon armament on the CR.714 by now, may be walking home empty-handed. Though some initial prototypes of the CR.714 were in fact, armed with a pair of 20mm cannons, these were later swapped out in favour of four 7.5mm MAC machine guns, mounted in gun pods underneath the wings. Overall, the CR.714 Cyclone, thanks to its design, will provide players with a decent all-rounder in the starting ranks of the new French aviation tree. Resourceful pilots in particular, may find great interest in the Cyclone, as it truly starts to shine when being used to its full potential, and that’s not just because of the sunlight reflecting off its wing surfaces!
The C.714 Cyclone is just one of many upcoming French aircraft coming to War Thunder in update 1.73. Stay tuned to the news to find out more about some of the vehicles coming in the next major update for War Thunder! Until then!