Polish Aviation Museum gains unique WWII plane. This WWII plane went on display at the Polish Aviation Museum in Kraków on Friday, 70 years after victory was declared in Europe.
The Caudron-Renault CR.714 Cyclone, which was used by Poles in the defence of France, is the only fully intact example of its kind. Owing to technical faults, the French military prohibited the use of the planes. Nevertheless, in June 1940, during Nazi Germany's attack on France, Polish pilots used the planes to shoot down at least 12 enemy aircraft and three unconfirmed victories in three battles, losing nine in the air and nine more on the ground. among the aircraft shot down were four Dornier Do 17 bombers, but also three Messerschmitt Bf 109 and five Messerschmitt Bf 110 fighters.
This plane production began in the summer of 1939, and 50 of the aircraft which had been intended to serve with the Armee de I'Air were diverted to the assistance of Finland, but only six had been received by 12 March 1940, the balance being presumed to have been lost en route. It is believed that about 40 C.714s were delivered to the French air force, which, after some 90 had been built, cancelled production because of dissatisfaction with the type's rate of climb.
They were used to equip an all-Polish squadron which became known as the 'Warsaw Group' (GC 1/145), this unit seeing action against the Germans between 2-13 June 1940. Following the collapse of France, a small number were used by the Vichy French air force, and about 20 were confiscated by the Germans for use by the Luftwaffe.