Originally Posted by zippome
Several countries, including most of the major combatants, looked at developing “emergency fighter aircraft”, built from non-strategic materials, prior to WWII. Look up the SAI.207 or the XP-77 in Wikipedia. Look at the bottom of the page under “comparable aircraft”. You’ll see the Caudron C.714 listed, along with a few other choices. If you check out the C-714, you’ll all the C.710 series aircraft listed, including the Arsenal VG-30 (which derived the VG-33) and the Bloch MB-700. Several of you were all over it from the beginning; you just overlooked one of the clues. Thanks; Ernie P.
The C.710 were a series of light fighter
aircraft developed by Caudron
for the French Armée de l'Air
just prior to the start of World War II
. One version, the C.714, saw limited production, and were assigned to Polish
pilots flying in France after the fall of Poland in 1939. A small number were also supplied to Finland
The original specification that led to the C.710 series was offered in 1936 in order to quickly raise the number of modern aircraft in French service, by supplying a "light fighter" of wooden construction that could be built rapidly in large numbers without upsetting the production of existing types. The contract resulted in three designs, the Arsenal VG-30
, the Bloch MB-700
, and the C.710. Prototypes of all three were ordered.
Among the numerous projects for combat aircraft developed in France in the years immediately prior to the conflict, those designed by the Arsenal de I'Aeronautique beginning in 1936, stand out from the rest. The aim was to develop a monoplane fighter of rather modest size and weight, and several prototypes were prepared. Among these, the VG-33 was the only one to go into production, on the basis of an order that foresaw the completion of no fewer than 820. In practice, however, at the time of the German invasion, only 160 were on the assembly line in various stages of completion and only a dozen or so were ready to fly. During official flight testing, the performance of this small, all-wood fighter proved to be admirable, in spite of the rather limited power (860 hp) of its engine, especially in terms of speed, at times reaching 347 mph (558 km/h).
The VG-33 derived directly from the VG-30 model, the first of the series. This project, presented in mock-up form in the summer of 1936, made its maiden flight at Villacoublay on October 1, 1938, and proved to be faster than the Morane Saulnier M.S.405. The development phase continued with the designing of the VG-31 model, characterized by reduced wing surface area, and of the VG-32, with a return to the original wing size and in which it was planned to install an American Allison V-1710-C15 engine, generating 1,054 hp (786 kw) and fitted with a supercharger. These prototypes were followed by the first VG-33, marked by a return to the original Hispano-Suiza 12Y 31 engine. The aircraft was tested in flight in the spring of 1939, and official tests began on August 11. The Arsenal fighter was a low-wing, single-seater aircraft with retractable landing gear. It was quite light and compact, but heavily armed with a 20 mm cannon and four 7.5 mm (0.295 in) machine guns in the wings.
While production of the VG-33 was launched at the Chantiers Adro-Maritimes de la Seine at Sartrouville, Arsenal went ahead with, the development phase of the project, with the aim of improving its potential still further. In the spring of 1940, a prototype appeared, designated VG-34 and provided with a 910 hp Hispano-Suiza engine: this aircraft reached a maximum speed of 327 n (575 km/h) at an altitude of 20,395 ft (6,200 m). The subsequent VG-35 prototype was characterized by even more powerful engine, while the radiator and landing gear of the VG-36 w modified. The final model was the VG-39, provided with a 1,280 hp (955 kw) Hispano-Suiza 12Z engine and characterized by its redesigned wing, capable of carrying armament consisting of six mach guns. Production programs were also prepared for this variant which was to be powered by a 1,600 hp (1194 kw) engine in the final series. The German invasion put a stop to the project.
Specifications (Arsenal VG-33)
Type: Single Seat Fighter
Design: Arsenal de I'Aeronautique
Manufacturer: Arsenal de I'Aeronautique
Powerplant: One 860 hp (642 kw) Hispano-Suiza 12Y 31 12-cylinder inverted Vee, liquid cooled, piston engine.
Performance: Maximum speed 347 mph (558 km/h) at 17,060 ft (5200 m); service ceiling 36,090 ft (11000 m).
Range: 745 miles (1200 km) with internal fuel stores.
Weight: Empty 4,520 lbs (2050 kg) with a maximum take-off weight of 5,856 lbs (2656 kg).
Dimensions: Span 35 ft 5 in (10.80 m); length 28 ft 4 in (8.64 m); height 10 ft 10 in (3.30 m); wing area 150.64 sq ft (14.00 sq m).
Armament: One 20 mm Hispano-Suiza cannon firing through the propeller hub, plus four 7.5 mm (0.295 in) MAC machine guns.
Variants:VG-30 (prototype), VG-31 (reduced wing size), VG-32 (original wing size and an Allison engine), VG-33 (production). The VG-34, 35 and 36 were prototypes with more powerful engines and the VG-39bis would have been a production model with a 1600 hp (1194 kw) Hispano-Suiza 12Z engine. But these plans never materialized.
The original C.710 model was an angular design developed from an earlier series of air racers. One common feature of the Caudron line was an extremely long nose that set the cockpit far back on the fuselage. The profile was the result of using the 336 kW (450 hp) Renault
12R-01 12-cylinder inline engine
, which had a small cross-section and was fairly easy to streamline, but very long. The landing gear was fixed and spatted
, and the vertical stabilizer
was a seemingly World War I
-era semicircle instead of a more common trapezoidal or triangular design. Armament consisted of a 20 mm Hispano-Suiza HS.9
cannon under each wing in a small pod.
The C.710 prototype first flew on 18 July 1936. Despite its small size, it showed good potential and was able to reach a level speed of 470 km/h (292 mph) during flight testing. Further development continued with the C.711 and C.712 with more powerful engines, while the C.713 which flew on 15 December 1937 introduced retractable landing gear and a more conventional triangular vertical stabilizer.
The final evolution of the 710 series was the C.714 Cyclone, a variation on the C.713 which first flew in April 1938 as the C.714.01 prototype. The primary changes were a new wing airfoil
profile, a strengthened fuselage, and instead of two cannons, the fighter had four 7.5 mm MAC 1934
machine guns in the wing gondolas. It was powered by the newer 12R-03 version of the engine, which introduced a new carburettor
that could operate in negative g
The Armée de l'Air ordered 20 C.714s on 5 November 1938, with options for a further 180. Production started at a Renault
factory in the Paris
suburbs in summer 1939
Other projected versions were the C.720 trainer
with a 75 or 164 kW (100 or 220 hp) engine, the C.760 fighter with a 559 kW (750 hp) Isotta-Fraschini Delta
engine, and the C.770 fighter with an 597 kW (800 hp) Renault V-engine. None of these reached production.
VG-33 was one of a series of fast French light fighter
aircraft under development at the start of WWII, but which matured too late to see extensive service in the Armée de l'Air
during the Battle of France
In 1936, the Ministere de l'Air established a requirement for a lightweight fighter of wooden construction which resulted in the development of the Arsenal VG 30, the Caudron C 713 and the Bloch 700. The last-mentioned type, designed by Andre Herbemont, who had been responsible for the Bleriot SPAD fighter series, was built at the former Bleriot-Aeronautique plant at Suresnes which had been incorporated in the Societe Nationale de Construction Aeronautiques du Sud-Ouest (SNCASO) on 1 January 1937, under the directorship of Marcel Bloch. Of stressed-skin construction, the Bloch 700 was powered by a Gnome-Rhone 14 M614-cylinder radial engine offering 700hp for take-off and had provision for two 20mm Hispano-Suiza 404 cannon and two 7.5mm MAC 1934 M39 machine guns. The sole prototype was destroyed at Buc after capture by German forces.