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Thread: René Francillon

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2004

    René Francillon

    Sadly I learned (somewhat belatedly) from a friend in Florida.

    The author René Francillon has passed away.

    I'm sure quite a few folks on here have books on their shelves with his name on, or have read many an article by him. Having worked at two companies that did use some of his work (including the company that owns this forum) I can only say RIP and deepest condolences to his family

    Tim Senior

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    A bit more info.

    Having had his interest in aviation sparked by being at the receiving end of B-24s bombing occupied France when he was 7-yr old, René Francillon turned aviation into both his vocation and avocation. Most of his professional career was in the United States, working for major aircraft manufacturers and airport planning/design companies. All along, he kept developing a second career as an aviation historian, an activity that led him to author more than 50 books and 400 articles published in the United States, the United Kingdom, France, and elsewhere

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Where you wish you were.
    One of my favorite authors.
    He first came to my attention with his book (later expanded to two volumes) McDonnell Douglas Aircraft for Putnams, as well as his similar Lockheed book.

    However, it was his earlier work, Japanese Aircraft of the Pacific War, first published in 1969, where my admiration for him really began. Working with a number of Japanese experts, he put together the definative work on that nation's wartime aircraft. What I found impressive is the fact he wrote the book, which as you might expect heavily laden with Japanese phrases, in English...his second language.

    The most recent book of his that I have is a heavily illustrated book on Douglas Propliners. As a former executive for McDonnell Douglas, he inserted various observations, many of them rather humorous, into the book, making it stand far above the usual "pretty pictures and short history" coffee table book genre.

    I found his personal story touching, a wartime child finding success in America as well as sufferings loss of a spouse. I also admired the fact that the frontpiece illustration of the Lockheed book, a nice drawing of a P-38 over the French Alps, was done by his son at an early age. We don't often see examples of parental pride like that.

    Sadly, our paths never crossed professionally, and a few years ago I asked for contact information on the WIX forum so I could send him a note of appreciation, but sadly I was unsuccessful.

    RIP sir, and condolences to his family and friends.
    There are two sides to every story. The truth is usually somewhere between the two.

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