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Caudron G.6

Reconnaissance / Light Bomber / Escort Fighter Aircraft


The Caudron G.6 brought along the design of the earlier G.4 with an all-new fuselage arrangement.

Detailing the development and operational history of the Caudron G.6 Reconnaissance / Light Bomber / Escort Fighter Aircraft.  Entry last updated on 8/5/2016. Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©
The French aviation concern of Caudron continued to evolve their serviceable G-series reconnaissance-minded biplanes during World War 1 (1914-1918). The G.3 of 1913-1914 emerged from the original prewar G.2 and from this also came the G.4 of 1915 (detailed elsewhere on this site). The G.6 model followed and this retained the G.4's recognizable twin-engine layout and sesquiplane biplane wing arrangement (the upper wing being of great span than the lower to reduce drag between the units) as well as the two-seat cockpit nacelle at center but added a more conventional tail unit and more defined fuselage shape. Gone were the skeletal, uncovered tailbooms of the original offering and, in their place, was a tubular fuselage with integral empennage mounting a sole vertical tail fin and applicable horizontal surfaces. The main wings remained with their dual bay arrangement, each assembly also holding its own engine nacelle with engines driving two-bladed propeller units. The nose section was faired over in a nicer streamlined fashion for aerodynamic efficiency. The undercarriage carried the twin-legged, four-wheeled tradition of earlier Caudron aircraft.

The G.6's design was attributed to one Paul Deville and a first flight was achieved during 1916. Service entry was in 1917 and the aircraft managed a tenure into the final months of the war as a reconnaissance platform. Additional service saw the line used in the artillery-spotting role to help improve general accuracy of ground-based artillery crews. G.6s were also pressed into the fighter escort role alongside heavier, slower bomber types and found success there as well. Approximately 512 Caudron G.6 aircraft were built with these serving solely with the French Air Service (the "Armee de l'Air') across an impressive 40 squadrons. During a 1916 three-month span alone, G.6 crews of Escadrille Caudron No. 46 claimed as many as thirty-four German aircraft - a notable feat for this much-forgotten aircraft line.

The G.6 featured its crew of two - a pilot and an observer - seated in tandem across open-air cockpits. The aircraft carried 2 x Le Rhone 9Jb engines of 130 horsepower output each allowing for a maximum speed of 96 miles per hour, a service ceiling of 15,500 feet, and a rate-of-climb near 865 feet per minute. Mission endurance was up to 2.5 hours which gave the aircraft good "legs" in the European Theater.

By this time in the war, Caudron aircraft were being outfitted with modest weaponry for both offensive sorties and defensive measures. 1 or 2 x 0.303 Lewis machine guns were set upon a trainable mount in the rear cockpit for the observer to manage. The guns provided a reach around the aircraft's critical "six" quadrant, the area behind the aircraft most vulnerable to attack by intercepting aircraft. The G.6 series was also cleared to carry up to 200lb of external drop ordnance - suitable for engaging ground targets of opportunity as the crew found them. Of course, such bombing runs were typically held at low-level and opened the crew and aircraft alike to dangerous ground-based fire.

Caudron continued their work in the biplane aircraft field throughout the war. In 1918, the French introduced the Caudron R.11 which utilized a similar rounded, streamlined fuselage, single tail fin, and biplane wings to serve as a reconnaissance platform, light bomber, and escort fighter.

Caudron produced over 4,000 aircraft for World War 1 service. It was later absorbed under the Renault banner in 1933.


YEAR: 1917
MANUFACTURER(S): Caudron - France
LENGTH: 28.22 ft (8.6 m)
WIDTH: 56.50 ft (17.22 m)
HEIGHT: 9.68 ft (2.95 m)
EMPTY WEIGHT: 2,072 lb (940 kg)
MTOW: 3,197 lb (1,450 kg)
POWER: 2 x Le Rhone 9JB engine developing 130 horsepower each.
SPEED: 93 mph (150 kph; 81 kts)
CEILING: 15,502 feet (4,725 m; 2.94 miles)
RANGE: 217 miles (350 km; 189 nm)
RATE-OF-CLIMB: 865 ft/min (264 m/min)

2 x 0.303 (7.7mm) Lewis machine guns on trainable mount in rear cockpit.

Up to 220 lb of external stores.
Graphical image of an aircraft medium machine gun
Variants / Models

• G.6 - Base Series Designation

Our Data Modules allow for quick visual reference when comparing a single entry against contemporary designs. Areas covered include general ratings, speed assessments, and relative ranges based on distances between major cities.

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Relative Maximum Speed
Hi: 100mph
Lo: 50mph
This entry's maximum listed speed (93mph).

Graph average of 75 miles-per-hour.
City-to-City Ranges
Graph showcases the Caudron G.6's operational range (on internal fuel) when compared to distances between major cities.
Aviation Era
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Pie graph section
Useful in showcasing the era cross-over of particular aircraft/aerospace designs.
Unit Production (512)
Comm. Market HI*: 44,000 units
Military Market HI**: 36,183 units

  * Commercial Market High belongs to Cessna 172.

  ** Military Market High belongs to Ilyushin Il-2.

Altitude Visualization
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Supported Roles
Ground Attack
Aerial Tanker
A2A=Air-to-Air; UAV=Unmanned; CAS=Close Support; ASW=Anti-Submarine; AEW=Airborne Early Warning; MEDEVAC=Medical Evac; EW=Electronic Warfare; SAR=Search-Rescue
Commitments / Honors
Military lapel ribbon for Operation Allied Force
Military lapel ribbon for the Arab-Israeli War
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Britain
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Midway
Military lapel ribbon for the Berlin Airlift
Military lapel ribbon for the Chaco War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cold War
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Military lapel ribbon for the Falklands War
Military lapel ribbon for the French-Indochina War
Military lapel ribbon for the Golden Age of Flight
Military lapel ribbon for the 1991 Gulf War
Military lapel ribbon for the Indo-Pak Wars
Military lapel ribbon for the Iran-Iraq War
Military lapel ribbon for the Korean War
Military lapel ribbon for the 1982 Lebanon War
Military lapel ribbon for the Malayan Emergency
Military lapel ribbon representing modern aircraft
Military lapel ribbon for the attack on Pearl Harbor
Military lapel ribbon for the Six Day War
Military lapel ribbon for the Soviet-Afghan War
Military lapel ribbon for the Spanish Civil War
Military lapel ribbon for the Suez Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for the Vietnam War
Military lapel ribbon for Warsaw Pact of the Cold War-era
Military lapel ribbon for the WASP (WW2)
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 1
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 2
Military lapel ribbon for the Yom Kippur War
Military lapel ribbon for experimental x-plane aircraft
* Ribbons not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective campaigns/operations.

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