Couzinet 70 / 71 Arc-en-Ciel
Developed from the Couzinet 30, the Couzinet 70 was also called Arc-en-Ciel and intended for Aeropostale's transatlantic mail service to South America. The number 3 model designated the Couzinet 70 by the company was completed at the beginning of 1932.
First flown on 11 February 1932, the aircraft was a low-wing monoplane with a fixed tailwheel landing gear. The aircraft was powered by three Hispano-Suiza 12Nb inline piston engines. The two wing mounted engines could be accessed in flight through tunnels in the wing.
Jean Mermoz the famed French pilot would fly it to Buenos Aires a year later with its inventor at his side. Upon their return in France, they would be welcomed and greeted as heroes. At the age of 29, René Couzinet was at the apogee of his glory.
After route-proving flight from Paris to Argentina by Jean Mermoz in January 1933 it was extensively modified as Couzinet 71 and entered regular service in May 1934.
Sold to Air France before being retired in 1937, the Couzinet 70 became model 71 after miscellaneous modifications, and it is the best known of all the airplanes built by Couzinet.
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