Caudron-Renault history

Caudron-Renault RafaleRenault Rafale

Caudron-Renault Rafale - a name, a spirit, a story

Rafale, a name, a spirit, a story

A legendary aircraft, the Caudron-Renault Rafale had all the genetic traits of our new vehicle: unique technology, boldness, agility and design. Renault Rafale pays homage to the performance-dedicated expertise, technologies and vision that all stem from our aviation history.


air, rail, road

Renault played a pioneering role, developing engines for cars, trains and aircraft.


a step into aeronautics

Fascinated by aviation and the world of amateur air racing, Louis Renault buys out the Caudron company and creates the Caudron-Renault company.

Caudron-Renault Rafale - history
Caudron-Renault Rafale - history
Caudron-Renault Rafale - design
Caudron-Renault Rafale - history
Caudron-Renault Rafale - history

a success story

This pioneering spirit, this taste for going above and beyond, was already very much in evidence in the 1930s, when the 'aces' of aviation were Hélène Boucher, Maryse Bastié, Madeleine Charnaux, Maryse Hilsz... 

Caudron-Renault Rafale - Hélène Boucher

Hélène Boucher


Hélène Boucher, a prodigious aviator, signs a contract with the young Caudron-Renault company in June 1934. 

She went on to achieve many feats: a 621 mile world record for light aircraft; an all-category 62 mph international speed record; a 621 mile record with an average speed of 254 mph.


On 8 July 1934, she finishes second in the Angers 12-hour race after flying her Caudron-Rafale alone for twelve hours straight. One month later, at the controls of a 140 hp Caudron-Renault monoplane, she sets the female world record with a speed of 277 mph!

and so many other records...

Maryse Hilsz

A strong-willed woman of action, Maryse Hilsz held numerous speed and distance records. On 30 December 1938, she broke the distance record for flying non-stop in a category 1 plane, in a Caudron Simoun, by flying to Port Etienne (Mauritania) from Istres - a flight of 2,007 miles.

Madeleine Charnaux

Hired by Caudron-Renault, she was the first ever female pilot to become qualified in poor visibility flying. She soon went on to break a number of records at the controls of her Rafale, including the women's and overall 621 mile speed records, the 62 mile duo record and then the solo record. 

Maryse Bastié

She was the first French woman aviator to set multiple women's records. Barely a month after Jean Mermoz disappeared, she crossed the southern Atlantic from Dakar to Natal in 12 hours and 5 minutes, flying solo aboard a 220 hp Caudron Simoun, setting a female world speed record for the route.

Caudron-Renault Rafale - history

audacity, emotion, success

Like F1® today, sports aviation in the 1930s was a laboratory for cutting-edge research and development. High standards, innovation and going the extra mile are values that have stood the test of time; they are reflected today in our offices, our factories and our products. Renault Rafale is a striking example of this.