The Caudron R-11 was a three-seat French bomber, which was originally intended to replace the Caudron R-4 bomber, but was only used as a reconnaissance aircraft due to its low performance.
Development and construction:
After the first Caudron R-4 aircraft were delivered to the French Air Force in the spring of 1916, it quickly became apparent that these were unsuitable as bombers and could only be used as reconnaissance aircraft.
The development of a successor model began immediately under the direction of the designer René Caudron and his engineer Delville. The concept of a three-seater was retained, the fuselage was made even more aerodynamic. The engine nacelles were lengthened on the wings to accommodate the new Hispano-Suiza engines. Other minor changes were the removal of the nose wheel and the two-legged wings.
The initial output of the engines was 180 HP each, only in a later production series this was increased to 220 HP.
A total of 5 machine guns were used as armament, two of which were directed towards the front and two towards the rear. The fifth machine gun was aimed at an angle downwards in order to be able to fight enemy aircraft that were approaching from below.
After the presentation of the first prototypes, series production began at the end of 1917, but delivery to the first French squadron did not take place until February 1918.
Use in the First World War:
First, the Escadrille R.26 squadron on the western front was equipped with the Caudron R-11 aircraft. Originally the planes were to be used as bombers, due to the low bomb load of 120 kilograms and the insufficient power, the Caudron R-11 were instead used as escorts and reconnaissance aircraft. Especially because of the large number of machine guns, the aircraft could be used effectively against enemy fighters.
Until the end of the war, the aircraft was used in another 8 French squadrons on the Western Front.
Despite the long production period up to 1922, only 370 aircraft were manufactured.
|Weight:||1.422 kilograms empty|
|Engine:||two Hispano-Suiza 8Ba with 220 HP (160 kW) (later production)|
|Maximum speed:||183 kilometers per hour|
|Range:||Max. 600 kilometers|
|Armament:||5 machine guns 7,7 mm
120 kilograms bomb load