Aviation & Aerospace - Airpower 2024 - Aircraft by Country - Aircraft Manufacturers Vehicles & Artillery - Armor 2024 - Armor by Country - Armor Manufacturers Infantry Small Arms - Warfighter 2024 - Small Arms by Country - Arms Manufacturers Warships & Submarines - Navies 2024 - Ships by Country - Shipbuilders U.S. Military Pay 2024 Military Ranks Special Forces by Country

Caudron G.3

Reconnaissance / Trainer Aircraft

France | 1914

"The French Caudron G.3 reconnaissance biplane was an evolved 1914 form of the earlier G.2 series"

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 07/18/2017 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site; No A.I. was used in the generation of this content.
As was the case with most of the aircraft featured during World War 1 (1914-1918), the French Caudron G.3 was a further evolution of an existing design - the G.2 - furthered along the lines of both innovation and battlefield necessity. At its core, the aircraft was a traditional biplane with its engine mounted at front and seating for one just aft. It was used primarily in the reconnaissance role serving warplanners and ground commanders with relatively up-to-date information on enemy positions and movements while also supporting artillery-spotting and the like. The G.3 first flew in prototype form prior to the war in late-1913 and was introduced in time for combat during 1914. It went on to stock various air services beyond that of the French including the United States, Poland, and Finland.

Outwardly, the G.3 appeared a largely awkward design due to its use of a stubby, short, slab-sided centralized nacelle housing engine, fuel stores, and pilot. The nacelle sat between the upper and lower wing assemblies in the biplane arrangement with the upper wing assembly noticeably wider in span than that of the lower - this quality termed "sesquiplane", the idea being that drag between the wings was lessened during flight. Early versions of the aircraft relied on basic "wing warping" for control until ailerons were added in later production models that followed. The engine at front drove a two-bladed wooden propeller in a "puller" arrangement. No fixed, forward-firing machine guns - and hence no interrupter gear - were fitted to these early aircraft to allow for firing through the spinning propeller blades. The aircraft featured twin tailbooms which were left in their basic skeletal framework (uncovered) with twin, shark-fin-like rudders featured along with a wide-spanning horizontal plane. The undercarriage was fixed and sported two main, twin-wheeled landing gear legs under the forward mass of the aircraft. A network of struts was seen across the undercarriage for support while the wing elements were joined by parallel struts and wiring.

Article Continues Below Advertisement...
The definitive mark of the G.3 line became the G.3 A.2 which powered by a single French Le Rhone C series rotary engine of 80 horsepower output. Performance included a maximum speed of 68 miles per hour with a service ceiling of 14,100 feet. Maximum Take-Off Weight (MTOW) reached 1,580lbs. This was followed by the two-seat, dual-control G.3 D.2 which was used in training new generations of airmen - many tasting flight for the first time in their lives. The G.3 E.2 designation marked basic single-seat trainer forms and ground-running (taxiing) training was done through the specially-modified, stripped G.3 R.1 model. The G.3 L.2 was a late-model addition by Caudron which installed the Anzani 10 series radial piston engine of 100 horsepower to maximize performance in the on-going war.

While generally unarmed, some G.3 aircraft carried a machine gun or pilots flew with a personal service rifle in hand for defense. The bomb-dropping capability of the aircraft was more or less based on the pilot's own skill - small-diameter bombs simply dropped by hand over the side of the aircraft onto a target area - typically at dangerously low altitudes that opened the aircraft up to ground-based fire.

There proved no urgency in procuring the new French aircraft until war broke out in Europe during the summer of 1914. The G.3 was then ordered in number with Caudron supplying as many as 1,423 aircraft by war's end. Other local French factories pushed the complete French total to about 2,450 aircraft and additional overseas production emerged (under license) in both Britain and Italy which added 233 and 166 respectively. Escadrille C.11 of the French Air Service became the first recipient of the type which proved a very reliable, robust airframe for the reconnaissance role early in the war. Eventually some 38 French squadrons formed as users of this oft-forgotten aircraft. However, the pace at which technology advanced in the coming war years rendered the G.3 cannon fodder to the new generation of interceptors, fighting scouts, and ground-based artillery. As such, the G.3 was removed from frontline work from the middle of 1916 onwards and relegated to the training role for the rest of the war. It saw extended service in foreign militaries thereafter, the last known models flying into the early-to-mid 1920s.

Interestingly, the Germans thought enough of the French G.3 series to copy the design under the LD.3 and LD.4 (LD = "Land Doppeldecker") designations - these manufactured by Gotha. Further development by Caudron led to the G.4 line detailed elsewhere on this site. The G.4 appeared in 1915 and some 1,421 examples followed in service with France, Belgium, the United States, and others.

Content ©MilitaryFactory.com; No Reproduction Permitted.
Power & Performance
Those special qualities that separate one aircraft design from another. Performance specifications presented assume optimal operating conditions for the Caudron G.3 Reconnaissance / Trainer Aircraft.
1 x Le Rhone C rotary engine developing 80 horsepower.
66 mph
106 kph | 57 kts
Max Speed
14,108 ft
4,300 m | 3 miles
Service Ceiling
The nose-to-tail, wingtip-to-wingtip physical qualities of the Caudron G.3 Reconnaissance / Trainer Aircraft.
21.0 ft
6.40 m
O/A Length
44.0 ft
(13.40 m)
O/A Width
8.2 ft
(2.50 m)
O/A Height
926 lb
(420 kg)
Empty Weight
1,565 lb
(710 kg)
Available supported armament and special-mission equipment featured in the design of the Caudron G.3 Reconnaissance / Trainer Aircraft .
Usually none save for any personal weapons carried by the pilot. Bombs were released via hand-dropping over the side of the aircraft.
Notable series variants as part of the Caudron G.3 family line.
G.3 - Base Company Model
G.3 A.2 - Definitive production model
G.3 D.2 - Two-seat trained variant
G.3 E.2 - Basic trainer variant
G.3 R.1 - Ground-running training; sans fabric on wings
G.3 L.2 - Final variant; Anzani 10 radial piston engine of 100 horsepower.
LD.3 - German copy of the G.3 built by Gotha
LD.4 - German copy of the G.3 built by Gotha
Global customers who have evaluated and/or operated the Caudron G.3. Nations are displayed by flag, each linked to their respective national aircraft listing.

Total Production: 2,849 Units

Contractor(s): Caudron - France; State Factories - UK / Italy
National flag of Argentina National flag of Australia National flag of Belgium National flag of Brazil National flag of China National flag of Colombia National flag of Denmark National flag of France National flag of Finland National flag of Greece National flag of Italy National flag of the Kingdom of Italy National flag of modern Japan National flag of Peru National flag of Poland National flag of Portugal National flag of Romania National flag of Russia National flag of Serbia National flag of the Soviet Union National flag of Spain National flag of Taiwan National flag of Turkey National flag of the United Kingdom National flag of the United States National flag of Venezuela

[ Argentina; Australia; Belgium; Brazil; China; Colombia; Denmark; El Salvador; Finland; France; Greece; Guatemala; Honduras; Kingdom of Italy; Imperial Japan; Peru; Portugal; Poland; Romania; Imperial Russia; Serbia; Spain; Soviet Union; Taiwan; Turkey; United Kingdom; United States; Venezuela ]
Relative Max Speed
Hi: 100mph
Lo: 50mph
Aircraft Max Listed Speed (66mph).

Graph Average of 75 MPH.
Era Crossover
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Showcasing Aircraft Era Crossover (if any)
Max Alt Visualization
Small airplane graphic
Production Comparison
Entry compared against Ilyushin IL-2 (military) and Cessna 172 (civilian) total production.
MACH Regime (Sonic)
RANGES (MPH) Subsonic: <614mph | Transonic: 614-921 | Supersonic: 921-3836 | Hypersonic: 3836-7673 | Hi-Hypersonic: 7673-19180 | Reentry: >19030
Aviation Timeline
1 / 4
Image of the Caudron G.3
Image copyright www.MilitaryFactory.com; No Reproduction Permitted.
2 / 4
Image of the Caudron G.3
Image copyright www.MilitaryFactory.com; No Reproduction Permitted.
3 / 4
Image of the Caudron G.3
Image copyright www.MilitaryFactory.com; No Reproduction Permitted.
4 / 4
Image of the Caudron G.3
Image copyright www.MilitaryFactory.com; No Reproduction Permitted.

Mission Roles
Some designs are single-minded in their approach while others offer a more versatile solution to airborne requirements.
Some designs stand the test of time while others are doomed to never advance beyond the drawing board; let history be their judge.
Going Further...
The Caudron G.3 Reconnaissance / Trainer Aircraft appears in the following collections:
Disclaimer | Privacy Policy | Cookies

2024 Military Pay Scale Military Ranks U.S. DoD Dictionary Conversion Calculators Military Alphabet Code Military Map Symbols US 5-Star Generals WW2 Weapons by Country

The "Military Factory" name and MilitaryFactory.com logo are registered ® U.S. trademarks protected by all applicable domestic and international intellectual property laws. All written content, illustrations, and photography are unique to this website (unless where indicated) and not for reuse/reproduction in any form. Material presented throughout this website is for historical and entertainment value only and should not to be construed as usable for hardware restoration, maintenance, or general operation. We do not sell any of the items showcased on this site. Please direct all other inquiries to militaryfactory AT gmail.com. No A.I. was used in the generation of this content.

Part of a network of sites that includes Global Firepower, WDMMA.org, WDMMW.org, and World War Next.

©2024 www.MilitaryFactory.com • All Rights Reserved • Content ©2003-2024 (21yrs)