U.S. Air Service




Caudron G.III

Development and Operation

The French Caudron G.III was a two seat, single-engined tractor biplane, with a twin-boom tail. The end of the lower booms was used as a landing skid. It was initially built in May of 1913. Its wing spars were of ash and spruce with reinforcing strips of metal. The wings had no dihedral. The design used wing warping, rather than ailerons, for controlling movement of the aircraft. Initially, the horizontal stabilizer also used warping, but later a hinged stabilizer was added. The aircraft was used as an Army cooperation and reconnaissance machine.

In 1917 the United States Air Service of the A.E.F. purchased 192 Caudron G.III's as trainers at Tours. American cadets undergoing training as reconnaissance/observation/bomber pilots were trained on this aircraft. They were considered as relics and many were believed to have been reconstructed from wrecked aircraft. There were 50-60 G.III's at Tours in the fall of 1917, approximately 12 at Tours in January 1918, and about 42 G.III's and G.IV's available at Tours by February 1918.


Aircraft and Flight Characteristics

Caudron G.III 2-seat reconnaissance aircraft with 90 hp Anzani engine


6.40 m


2.50 m

Empty Weight

420 kg

Loaded Weight

710 kg

Maximum Speed

112 km/hr.

Wing Span

13.40 m



   To 2,000 m

18 minutes

   To 3,000 m

32 minutes


4 hrs.


Usually flown unarmed, although crew was given a standard issue rifle


  1. Davilla, J. and Art Soltan, French Aircraft of the First World War
  2. Photo from the author.

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