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Old 12th June 2020, 07:49
Maciej Góralczyk Maciej Góralczyk is offline
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Caudron Renault CR.714 Cyclone. The Ultimate Story - Belcarz/Rys/Stenman/Strzelczyk/Holda - Stratus/MMP books

This book was published by Stratus/MMP in the autumn of 2019, but I only recently got my copy. The title ‘Caudron Renault CR.714 Cyclone. The Ultimate Story’ may sound ambitious, but the expectations it raises are certainly fulfilled. Chapter 1 consists of 70 pages devoted to the origins and development of Caudron’s sport, trainer and fighter aircraft, with several photos and 1/72 scale drawings documenting various designs of Marcel Riffard and his staff. The Caudron factory airfield at Guyancourt, where the CR.714s were assembled, is also described. However, the most interesting part of this chapter deals with the Soviet interest in Caudron aircraft and their subsequent purchases and tests in the USSR, of which I was completely unaware. Chapter 2 is a one hundred pages long technical description of the Cyclone, which includes numerous drawings, dozens of photos taken during the restoration of the two surviving examples (more precisely, one complete airframe and one fuselage) and several 3D renderings created by Marek Rys. The whole material is very impressive and you won’t find many aircraft monographs covering these aspects in such detail. Chapter 3 is dedicated to the service of the ‘Cyclone’ with the Polish Air Force, which was the only one to actually fly this aircraft in combat. In result of several years of research conducted by Bartlomiej Belcarz, we get a detailed study of the operations performed by Polish pilots, listings of aircraft flown by them, readiness and combat reports, and amazing photo studies of all documented examples, which are supplemented by accurate colour profiles (in many cases, in multiple views) mostly created by Karolina Holda. Some other aircraft used by GC 1/145 or just captured together with the Caudrons are also shown on photos and profiles. Then comes a short chapter authored by Kari Stenman, who described the short Finnish episode of the CR.714. The last chapter deals with the camouflage and markings of the ‘Cyclone’. This subject is interesting on its own and well covered here, but the part of this chapter discussing the camouflage colours, along with the presented results of examination of the preserved CR.714 c/n 8538 during its restoration in Cracow, are particularly worth attention of anyone interested in the subject of the French pre-WW2/early WW2 aircraft colours, which unfortunately has rather been neglected and poorly served by the authors thus far. The colour measurements taken and described by Marek Rogusz may not be the last word on this theme and are affected by some limitations (paint degradation, the specific construction and resulting painting system of the CR.714, the equipment used), but they certainly give more accurate information on the colours than the few other sources available thus far. In this regard, let’s hope that the original paint sample chart (at least one example is known to survive) will someday be made available for a study of a serious paint researcher, or the original paint formulas are discovered. All in all, this 456 page book is undoubtedly a labour of love, and I wish that more aircraft receive such treatment by the historians and researchers. Kudos to Bartlomiej Belcarz, Marek Rys, Kari Stenman, Franciszek Strzelczyk, Karolina Holda and all other people involved in creating this excellent publication.

Video preview courtesy of the publisher:

Some sample photos I've taken:

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Old 12th June 2020, 18:57
edwest2 edwest2 is offline
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Re: Caudron Renault CR.714 Cyclone. The Ultimate Story - Belcarz/Rys/Stenman/Strzelczyk/Holda - Stratus/MMP books

I am very impressed with the pages shown. The layout and art direction is very professional, with sufficient white space. I would describe the size and placement of photos as lavish and informative.

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