Couzinet 10 Arc-en-Ciel
At the age of 23 René Couzinet built his first airplane, the Couzinet 10, the first of the three Arc-en-Ciel built before the Second World War. The Couzinet 10, which René completed while serving as an Officer for the 34th Aviation Regiment based at Le Bourget possessed some revolutionary technical innovations for its time, such as excess reserve power, or the accessibility of the engines in flight. Those innovations however were not sufficient to convince the official service of the Air Ministry, and the certification of the airplane would be denied for a long time.
When the Arc-en-Ciel number 1 came out of the factory in 1928, the news media issued the most complimentary, and perhaps even "over done" reports. The journalists constantly bragged about the merits of this three engines, cantilever low wing monoplane, weighing 16 tons, and with a wingspan over 27 meters. The Couzinet 10 was equipped with several fuel tanks having a total capacity of over 6,000 liters and providing a range of 10,000 kilometers. Finally, this revolutionary airplane not only made the biplanes and other types antic machines, but it had a wing loading of 100 kilos per square meter whereas the official norm for the period never exceeded 50 kilos!
The Arc-en-Ciel number 1 crashed at the Orly airdrome on the 8th of August 1927. The crash resulted in the death of the pilot Maurice Drouhin and his mechanic. When about ready to leave the assembly line, the number 2 model ended up in ashes on the evening of February 17 1930 after a fire consumed the Meudon factory that industrialist Emile-Louis Letord had put at the disposition of Couzinet.
The number 3 model designated the Couzinet 70 by the company was completed at the beginning of 1932.