Caudron C.280 Phalene
|TOURING MONOPLANE||Virtual Aircraft Museum / France / Caudron|
The Caudron C.280 Phalene (Moth), conceived by Paul Deville as an air tourer, was a high-wing strut-braced cabin monoplane in a similar category to its British opposite number, the de Havilland Puss Moth.
The C.280 prototype made its maiden flight in March 1932 with the company's chief test pilot, Raymond Delmotte, at the controls. Its potential was obvious and it performed well: built to a total of over 240 in numerous versions it remained in production for some six years. Many examples were sold to private owners in a large number of European countries, as well as on the home market. Military versions, the C.400 and C.410, served with the Armee de I'Air. Phalenes were selected for a number of long-distance staged flights and thus obtained considerable publicity in the aviation press of the time.
The original version was a three-seat aircraft with two seated side-by-side in the front of the cabin and the third occupant behind them. Hinged access doors on each side swung up when opened to clip to the under-surface of the wings. A baggage compartment was located aft of the cabin. Each panel of the fabric-covered wings was of parallel chord and thickness and braced by a pair of streamlined duralumin struts. The entire wing trailing edge was hinged, the outer sections forming the ailerons and the inner sections folding upwards to enable the wings to be folded.
The rectangular-section fuselage was plywood-covered as far as the cabin, with fabric covering aft. Each main unit of the divided landing gear had an oleo-pneumatic strut, low-pressure tyres were standard and differential brakes fitted. The strut-braced horizontal tail-plane, elevators and rudder were of spruce framework while the fin was of welded steel tube.
The prototype and the other four early examples bearing the main C.280, designation were each powered by a single 90kW de Havilland Gipsy II four-cylinder inline engine.