With the same basic
design characteristics as Marcel Riffard's lightweight all-wood
low-wing cantilever monoplane racers, the Caudron C.690 was designed as
a trainer for pilots of single-seat fighters. It was similar to the
earlier C.720 design, with a large rounded fin and rudder assembly and
independent fixed cantilever main landing gear units with wheel spats,
but had a 220 hp (164 kW) Renault 6Q-03 engine in place of the 140 hp
(104 kW) Bengali Sport and it was also heavier than the C.720. The
first prototype flew in early 1936 and was followed by the second on 18
February 1936. This latter aircraft was demonstrated by the Caudron
company's flight director Christian Sarton du Jonchay in several
foreign countries, including Austria, Hungary, Romania and Yugoslavia.
Soon afterwards the first C.690 was demonstrated to Japanese, Soviet
and US air missions, resulting in one example of a Caudron
single-seater being bought by the Soviet Union and one by Japan,
although the exact types are unknown. It is thought they were basically
C.690s, but may nave had tailplanes of a more angular type as fitted to
the earlier experimental C.580 design.
official tests at Villacoublay on 10 May 1937, the first prototype
crashed, killing Caudron's chief test pilot René Paulhan. Despite this
disaster official interest continued to grow and a production series
was ordered for the Armée de l'Air. These aircraft differed from the
prototype in having a triangular shaped fin and rudder, longer landing
gear legs and fixed leading-edge slots. Production was slow to get
under way and the first C.690M aircraft did not begin flight tests
until the beginning of April 1939. These military aircraft were unarmed
but equipped with an OPL gun camera. Fifteen aircraft had been
delivered by the end of May that year, being allocated to CICs (Centres
d'Instruction à la Chasse, or Fighter Training Centres) at Salon, Dijon
and Etampes, but none remained in flying condition after the French
collapse in June 1940. One example (C.690 number 9) was concealed from
the occupying forces, and restored to flying condition after the War,
taking to the air on 12 April 1945. Repaired later after an accident,
all trace of it was subsequently lost.
Caudron C.690 - Two
prototypes and two exported aircraft powered by a 220 hp (164 kW)
Renault 6Q-03 6-cylinder inline piston engine. The two aircraft sold to
Japan and the Soviet Union are thought to have had a more angular
Caudron C.690M - The
military production version differing by having the addition of an OPL
gun camera, a triangular shaped fin and rudder, longer landing gear
legs and fixed leading-edge slots. 15 aircraft were delivered prior to
the German invasion.
Seat Advanced Fighter Trainer
Marcel Riffard of the Société Anonyme des Avions Caudron
Société Anonyme des Avions Caudron in Issy-les-Moulineaux and
Billancourt (Renault engines). In 1933 the Caudron and Renault
companies were amalgamated. In 1936 the French aircraft industry was
nationalised, but the Société Anonyme des Avions Caudron managed to
survive as an independent company.
220 hp (164 kW) Renault Bengali 6Q-05 6-cylinder inline piston engine.
Maximum speed 230 mph (370 km/h) at 6,560 ft (2000 m); economical
cruising speed 199 mph (320 km/h); service ceiling 31,825 ft (9700 m);
climb to 3,280 ft (1000 m) in 1 minute 30 seconds.
Range: 684 miles
(1100 km) on internal fuel.
equipped 1,482 lbs (672 kg) with a maximum take-off weight of 2,315 lbs
25 ft 3 1/4 in (7.70 m); length 25 ft 7 3/4 in (7.82 m); height 8 ft 6
1/4 in (2.60 m); wing area 96.88 sq ft (9.0 sq m).
OPL gun camera and standard communication equipment.
flight (C.690 prototype) early 1936; first flight (second prototype) 18
February 1936; first flight (C.690M) April 1939.
Operators: France (Armée de l'Air). A single aircraft each was sold
to Japan and the Soviet Union.