Last One Out
Tasked by the military with coordinating the work on the Char B, Renault presented a model of the prototype for approval in 1926. The improved tank was created while working closely with Schneider, which designed a modernized turret for the tank. The Renault-Schneider duo was the main driving force behind the new design. Another participant was the STCC (section technique des chars de combat). With their aid, Schneider's engineers improved the turret. Maurice Lavirotte, an employee of Ateliers de Puteaux (APX) was put in charge of the work on the Char B. Formally, APX had nothing to do with the Char B, and only started working on the project in the 1930s, but in practice, the company had significant influence on the development of the new tank.
The tanks were constantly improved during military trials. The suspension was altered, a pneumatic suspension and various kinds of gearboxes were tested. Radios of various types were tested as well. Tank #001, later renumbered to #101, served as a testbed for ST1 and ST3 turrets.
Similar changes happened with APX in 1936. The company's factory in Rueil-Malmaison was nationalized. The factory was renamed Ateliers de construction de Rueil (ARL), and Maurice Lavirotte was appointed as its chief designer.