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Caudron G.4

France (1915)
Picture of Caudron G.4 Heavy Bomber Biplane Aircraft
Picture of Caudron G.4 Heavy Bomber Biplane Aircraft Picture of Caudron G.4 Heavy Bomber Biplane Aircraft
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The Cau 4B.2 faced many losses in the daylight bomber role and was relegated to the reconnaissance and fire spotting role with the Cau G.4A series.


Detailing the development and operational history of the Caudron G.4 Heavy Bomber Biplane Aircraft.  Entry last updated on 7/18/2017. Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com

The Caudron G.4 series was a twin-engine bomber platform introduced in the early years of World War 1 by the French. The system served initially with the French air force but was put to good use in the hands of British, Italian and Russian pilots thereafter. Produced in two variants (the earlier B.2 and the later A.2) the Caudron G.4 appeared to the tune of some 1,421 total aircraft.

The G.4 was developed from the similar G.3 reconnaissance series as a dedicated bomber platform. From the outset, the design centered around how much of a bombload the aircraft could maintain whilst provided for decent flight characteristics. Power was derived mainly from twin Le Rhone rotary-type engines producing some 80 horsepower each. The engines proved better than those used on the G.3 series and allowed for an additional crewmember to be seating in the nose with a defensive machine gun and a capable bomb load underwing.

The G.4 design was characterized not only by its twin-engine layout and biplane wing assembly but also by the four rudder system mounted at rear. The two-person crew consisted of a pilot and a gunner/observer. Defensive armament was limited to usually the one 7.7mm machine gun and the bombload capacity varied between 220lbs and 250lbs.


Picture of the Caudron G.4 Heavy Bomber Biplane Aircraft
Picture of the Caudron G.4 Heavy Bomber Biplane Aircraft


The appearance of the G.4 was delayed by production problems, not surprising considering the aircraft was in its relative infancy at the time and designing during wartime added a new element of thinking. The G.4 first appeared in the skies for service in 1915 as the Cau 4B.2. This particular model, however, suffered from an extremely high loss rate and would be phased from service by November of 1916. The Cau 4A.2 followed and was put to more successful use in the reconnaissance and artillery spotting role.

The Cau G.4 was produced in Britain as well as France and was used by the major Allied powers including Russia. British flyers used the type to continually disrupt seaplane and Zeppelin airship bases throughout Belgium with good success while the Italians utilized the high altitude performance of the aircraft to good effect in the Alps. The French and Russian both utilized the type in the reconnaissance role where the onboard radio proved useful in the artillery spotting role as well.






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Relative Maximum Speed Rating
Hi: 100mph
Lo: 50mph
    This entry's maximum listed speed (82mph).

    Graph average of 75 miles-per-hour.
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Unit Production Comparison
Comm. Market HI*: 44,000 units
Military Market HI**: 36,183 units
1421
1421


  * Commercial Market High belongs to Cessna 172.

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


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Origin: France
Year: 1915
Type: Heavy Bomber Biplane Aircraft
Manufacturer(s): Caudron Feres - France / A.E.R. - Italy / British Caudron Company - UK
Production: 1,421
Global Operators:
Belgium; Colombia; France; Finland; Kingdom of Italy; Imperial Russia; United Kingdom
Historical 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
Military lapel ribbon for the Cuban Missile Crisis
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 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
* Ribbons not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective campaigns/operations.
Measurements and Weights icon
Structural - Crew, Dimensions, and Weights:
Unless otherwise noted the presented statistics below pertain to the Caudron G.4A.2 model. Common measurements, and their respective conversions, are shown when possible.

Operational
CREW


Personnel
2


Dimension
LENGTH


Feet
23.49 ft


Meters
7.16 m


Dimension
WIDTH


Feet
56.43 ft


Meters
17.2 m


Dimension
HEIGHT


Feet
8.53 ft


Meters
2.6 m


Weight
LOADED


Pounds
2,932 lb


Kilograms
1,330 kg

Engine icon
Installed Power - Standard Day Performance:
2 x Le Rhone 9C rotary engines developing 80 horsepower each OR 2 x Anzani 10-cylinder radial engines developing 100 horsepower each.

Performance
SPEED


Miles-per-Hour
82 mph


Kilometers-per-Hour
132 kph


Knots
71 kts


Performance
CEILING


Feet
14,108 ft


Meters
4,300 m


Miles
2.67 mi

Supported Weapon Systems:

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Armament - Hardpoints (2):

STANDARD:
1 OR 2 x 7.7mm machine guns

OPTIONAL:
Between 220 lb and 250 lb of external ordnance (model dependent).
Variants: Series Model Variants
• Cau 4B.2 - Bomber Variant; initial production model; 220lb external ordnance limit; withdrawn from service in 1916.
• Cau 4A.2 - Reconnaissance Variant; second production model; 249lb external ordnance limit; appearing in November 1915; used primarily in artillery spotting and reconnaissance flight duties.
• Cau 4E.2 - Trainer Variant; dual-controls.
• Cau 4IB "Blindage" - Armored Variant
• Cau G.6 - Further Development of G.4 Series; redesigned with a traditional fuselage layout and empennage.