The single-engine tractor Caudron G.3 was used extensively in the early war, but French designers were challenged to come up with a plane that had better power and could mount a forward-firing machine gun. Mounting twin engines and a central nacelle with a forward gunner was a natural solution, and it provided superb visibility to the observer as well: thus was born the Caudron G.4. Though they looked fragile, the G.4's were sturdy and they could be flown reliably even with one engine out.
|Designer||Gaston and Réne Caudron|
|First flight||March 1915 |
|Introduction||late spring 1915  to Nov 1915|
|Primary users|| France|
|Number built||1358+ [note 1]|
|Wingspan||17.2 m (56 ft 4 in) |
|Engine||2×80hp Le Rhône or Clerget rotaries or|
2×80-100hp Anzani radials
|Armament||front flexible Hotchkiss, Colt, Browning, or Lewis|
110 kg (250 lb) in bombs
|Max Speed||130 km/h (81 mph) to 132 km/h (82 mph)|
|Climb||1,000 m (3,280 ft) in 6:30|
2,000 m (6,560 ft) in 15:00-17:00
3,000 m (9,800 ft) in 33:00
|Ceiling||4,300 m (14,100 ft)|
|Endurance||3:30 to 5:00|
The G.4A2 carried a wireless set for artillery cooperation; the G.4B2 carried 220kg of bombs. There were also dual-control trainers (E2) and armored ground-attack versions (IB) as well as a seaplane version. Several French aces flew the G.4 early in their career, including Fonck, Dorme, and Chaput.
The RNAS imported 43 and built twelve in Britain, with missions beginning in March 1916. Italy built fifty-one under license in 1916-1917, and Russia and Romania purchased forty and forty-four respectively.
For more information, see Wikipedia:Caudron G.4.
|Availability||Maneuver||Damage||Dmg Points||Max Alt.||Climb|
Miniatures and Models
- Shapeways: Kampfflieger
- Angelucci, p.73.
- Davilla, p.149.
- Guttman, p.9.
- Lamberton, pp.216-218.
- Angelucci, p.66.
- Davilla, p.156.
- Munson, p.68.
- Guttman, p.35.
- Philpott'13, pp.379-444.
- Enzo Angelucci, ed. The Rand McNally Encyclopedia of Military Aircraft, 1914-1980. New York: The Military Press, 1983 edition. ISBN 0-517-41021-4.
- Dr. James J. Davilla and Arthur M. Soltan. French Aircraft of the First World War. Flying Machines Press, 1997. ISBN 0-9637110-4-0.
- Jon Guttman, Windsock Datafile 96: Caudron G.4. Great Britain, Albatros Publications Ltd., 2002. ISBN 1-902207-51-3
- W.M. Lamberton and E.F. Cheesman, Reconnaissance & Bomber Aircraft of the 1914-1918 War. Great Britain: Harleyford Publications Ltd., 1962. ISBN 9780900435027
- Kenneth Munson, Bombers: Patrol and Reconnaissance Aircraft, 1914-1919. New York: The MacMillan Company, 1968, Blandford Press Ltd. ISBN 978-0753721711
- Ian Philpott, The Birth of the Royal Air Force. Great Britain: Pen & Sword Books Limited, 2013. ISBN 978-1-78159-333-2