Aircraft / Aviation Vehicles & Artillery Small Arms Warships & Submarines Military Ranks Military Pay Chart (2024)
Aviation / Aerospace

Caudron G.3

Reconnaissance / Trainer Aircraft [ 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.

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.©MilitaryFactory.com
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.©MilitaryFactory.com
Note: The above text is EXCLUSIVE to the site www.MilitaryFactory.com. It is the product of many hours of research and work made possible with the help of contributors, veterans, insiders, and topic specialists. If you happen upon this text anywhere else on the internet or in print, please let us know at MilitaryFactory AT gmail DOT com so that we may take appropriate action against the offender / offending site and continue to protect this original work.


Service Year

France national flag graphic



Caudron - France; State Factories - UK / Italy
(View other Aviaton-Related Manufacturers)
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
(OPERATORS list includes past, present, and future operators when applicable)
Surveil ground targets / target areas to assess environmental threat levels, enemy strength, or enemy movement.
Developed ability to be used as a dedicated trainer for student pilots (typically under the supervision of an instructor).

21.0 ft
(6.40 m)
44.0 ft
(13.40 m)
8.2 ft
(2.50 m)
Empty Wgt
926 lb
(420 kg)
1,565 lb
(710 kg)
Wgt Diff
+639 lb
(+290 kg)
(Showcased structural values pertain to the base Caudron G.3 production variant)
Installed: 1 x Le Rhone C rotary engine developing 80 horsepower.
Max Speed
66 mph
(106 kph | 57 kts)
14,108 ft
(4,300 m | 3 mi)

♦ MACH Regime (Sonic)
RANGES (MPH) Subsonic: <614mph | Transonic: 614-921 | Supersonic: 921-3836 | Hypersonic: 3836-7673 | Hi-Hypersonic: 7673-19180 | Reentry: >19030

(Showcased performance specifications pertain to the base Caudron G.3 production variant. Performance specifications showcased above are subject to environmental factors as well as aircraft configuration. Estimates are made when Real Data not available. Compare this aircraft entry against any other in our database or View aircraft by powerplant type)
Usually none save for any personal weapons carried by the pilot. Bombs were released via hand-dropping over the side of the aircraft.

Supported Types

Graphical image of an aircraft conventional drop bomb munition

(Not all ordnance types may be represented in the showcase above)
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

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 pioneering aircraft
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 Ukranian-Russian War
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

Images Gallery

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.

Disclaimer | Privacy Policy | Cookies

2024 Military Pay Chart Military Ranks DoD Dictionary Conversion Calculators Military Alphabet Code Military Map Symbols

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; site is 100% curated by humans.

Part of a network of sites that includes GlobalFirepower, a data-driven property used in ranking the top military powers of the world, WDMMA.org (World Directory of Modern Military Aircraft), WDMMW.org (World Directory of Modern Military Warships), SR71blackbird.org, detailing the history of the world's most iconic spyplane, and MilitaryRibbons.info, cataloguing military medals and ribbons. Special Interest: RailRoad Junction, the locomotive encyclopedia.

©2023 www.MilitaryFactory.com • All Rights Reserved • Content ©2003-2023 (20yrs)