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Caudron R.11

France (1918)
Picture of Caudron R.11 Escort Fighter / Light Bomber  / Reconnaissance Aircraft
Picture of Caudron R.11 Escort Fighter / Light Bomber  / Reconnaissance Aircraft

The Cau R.11 appeared in the last year of the war and evolved from armed reconnaissance to bomber escort.


Detailing the development and operational history of the Caudron R.11 Escort Fighter / Light Bomber / Reconnaissance Aircraft.  Entry last updated on 8/5/2016. Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com

The Caudron R.11 was initially developed as an armed reconnaissance platform for the French Air Service and found its niche as a fighter escort during World War 1 (1914-1918). The aircraft was managed by a crew of three - a pilot and two machine gunners - and was of a large two-engine configuration with biplane wing arrangement - essentially a heavy fighter before the category ever existed. The R.11 was based on the existing R.4 twin-engined reconnaissance line though with an all-new, more streamlined nose and fuselage assembly and revised tail unit. Design of the aircraft was attributed to Paul Deville and achieved first flight in 1917. The initial French unit to receive the R.11 was Escadrille R.26. The aircraft series went on to see combat service throughout the final months of World War 1 and continued in active service until around 1922. Some 370 examples were produced despite a wartime order of 1,000 aircraft being issued. Appropriately, the end of the war in November of 1918 signaled a curtailing of orders.

The R.11 featured many refinements over preceding bomber-type aircraft utilized during the war. The 2 x 220 horsepower Hispano-Suiza engines (powering two-bladed wooden propellers) were housed in aerodynamically-refined nacelles, a design feature that would later become synonymous with all aircraft during the interwar years leading up to World War 2 (1939-1945). The fuselage was given a well-streamlined shape, contrasting the slab-sided, boxy designs of previous years. The R.11 also featured a large-area tail structure for added stability. Its undercarriage was of a typical "tail-dragger" arrangement utilizing two large, fixed landing gear legs each managing two landing wheels. The aircraft was defensed by no fewer than 5 x 7.7mm Lewis machine guns on trainable mountings to engage enemy aircraft at various angled. In the light bombing role, the R.11 carried an ordnance load of just 265 pounds, all externally. The crew of three were all positioned along the fuselage in three individual open-air cockpits with the pilot situated between the top and bottom biplane wing assemblies. The rear gunner was behind him and a bow gunner was found at the extreme forward end of the aircraft. The wings were of equal span with three bays and parallel struts.

The R.11 reported a maximum endurance of 3 hours and could manage a service ceiling up to 19,500 feet. Its top speed was 114 miles per hour from its twin engine output and aerodynamic design. The aircraft was eventually delivered to French squadrons R.46, R.239, R.240, R.241, R.242 and the R.246 and some stock fell to the American Expeditionary Force (AEF). The R.11 holds the distinction of becoming the last French production aircraft of World War 1, also forming the final French squadron (R.246) of the war.

Caudron also developed the R.12 based highly on the R.11 design though this form was never adopted. The R.14 emerged in the fighting of August 1918 and overtook any further design of the R.12.

The Caudron concern was founded in 1908 and produced military aircraft for both World War 1 and World War 2, producing over 4,000 aircraft for World War 1 service alone. It was absorbed by Renault in 1933 and the name survived into the mid-to-late 1930s.

Any available statistics for the Caudron R.11 Escort Fighter / Light Bomber / Reconnaissance Aircraft are showcased in the areas immediately below. Categories include basic specifications covering country-of-origin, operational status, manufacture(s) and total quantitative production. Other qualities showcased are related to structural values (namely dimensions), installed power and standard day performance figures, installed or proposed armament and mission equipment (if any), global users (from A-to-Z) and series model variants (if any).






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 Rating
Hi: 120mph
Lo: 60mph
    This entry's maximum listed speed (114mph).

    Graph average of 90 miles-per-hour.
Aviation Era Impact
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Useful in showcasing the era cross-over of particular aircraft/aerospace designs.
Unit Production Comparison
Comm. Market HI*: 44,000 units
Military Market HI**: 36,183 units
370
370


  * Commercial Market High belongs to Cessna 172.

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


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Supported Mission Types:
Air-to-Air
Interception
Unmanned
Ground Attack
Close-Air Support
Training
Anti-Submarine
Anti-Ship
Airborne Early Warning
MEDEVAC
Electronic Warfare
Maritime/Navy
Aerial Tanker
Utility/Transport
Passenger Industry
VIP Travel
Business Travel
Search/Rescue
Recon/Scouting
Special Forces
X-Plane/Development
National Flag Graphic
National Origin: France
Service Year: 1918
Classification Type: Escort Fighter / Light Bomber / Reconnaissance Aircraft
Manufacturer(s): Caudron - France
Production Units: 370
Global Operators:
France; United States
Structural - Crew, Dimensions, and Weights:
Unless otherwise noted the presented statistics below pertain to the Caudron R.11 model. Common measurements, and their respective conversions, are shown when possible.

Operational
CREW


Personnel
3


Dimension
LENGTH


Feet
27.89 ft


Meters
8.5 m


Dimension
WIDTH


Feet
38.71 ft


Meters
11.8 m


Dimension
HEIGHT


Feet
9.51 ft


Meters
2.9 m


Weight
EMPTY


Pounds
3,135 lb


Kilograms
1,422 kg


Weight
LOADED


Pounds
4,773 lb


Kilograms
2,165 kg

Installed Power - Standard Day Performance:
2 x Hispano-Suiza 8Ba liquid-cooled in-line engines developing 220 horsepower each.

Performance
SPEED


Miles-per-Hour
114 mph


Kilometers-per-Hour
183 kph


Knots
99 kts


Performance
CEILING


Feet
19,521 ft


Meters
5,950 m


Miles
3.70 mi

Armament - Hardpoints (4):

STANDARD:
5 x 7.7mm (0.303") Lewis machine guns on flexible mountings
.
OPTIONAL:
Up to 265 lb of external stores.
Visual Armory:

Graphical image of an aircraft medium machine gun
Variants: Series Model Variants
• Cau R.11 - Base Series Designation
• Cau R.12 - Experimental variant based on the R.11 but fitted with larger engines.
• Cau R.14 - Variant of the R bomber series appearing in August of 1918.