Wednesday, May 11, 2011

France - 1917 Caudron R 11

The Last French Bomber of The Great War

Caudron R 11 - 1917

The clean sleek lines of the Caudron R.11 always reminded me of old drawings of what future aircraft would look like. They could be straight out of an old Flash Gordon story. When other designers were working on boxy planes that looked lumbering and slow Caudron made planes which looked like they were fast and nimble. I used examples I had found when researching the project. So there are no surprises or improvisations on my part.

The Caudron R.11 was first used as a bomber and then used as an escort at the end of the war. This was the last bomber the French built during the war.

The R.11 was originally intended to fulfill the French Corps d'Armee reconnaissance category. Its design was similar to the Caudron R.4, but with a more pointed nose, two bracing bays outboard the engines rather than three, no nose-wheel, and a much larger tail. The engines were housed in streamlined nacelles just above the lower wing.

The French army ordered 1000 R.11s. Production began in 1917, with the first aircraft completed late in that year. In February 1918 the first Escadrille (squadron) R.26 was equipped. The last escadrille to form before the Armistice (and production ended abruptly) was R.246, at which point 370 planes had been completed.

References

  1. From Wikipedia Caudron R.11, "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caudron_R.11"
  2. Donald, David, ed (1997). "The Encyclopedia of World Aircraft". Prospero Books. ISBN 1-85605-375-X.
  3. Green, W; Swanborough, G (1994). "The Complete Book of Fighters". New York: Smithmark. ISBN 0-8317-3939-8.

3 comments:

The Angry Lurker said...

How many crew on that?

Zoe Brain said...

3 I rather think. This was an escort gunship with secondary recon and very limited bombing capability.

Pilot, front gunner, rear gunner (who also crewed the belly gun).

W. I. Boucher said...

Thanks Zoe, I was having a senior 4 in the morning moment when I commented earlier. Three it is.