Caudron R.11 / R.12 / R.14
Designed by Paul Deville, the Caudron R.11 (mis-identified in Jane's 1919 as the Caudron R.II) was initially intended as a reconnaissance aircraft for the French Air Force, but went on to serve the role of fighter escort instead. 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 wings were of equal span with three bays and parallel struts. The wing spars had a steel tube and ribs of timber and plywood. The ailerons were only on the upper wing. The rudder horn was fitted with a weight compensation. Cable control from the steering column and pedals were fitted. The R.11 was powered by two 220 horsepower Hispano-Suiza engines housed in streamlined nacelles, and featured a large-area tail structure and two large fixed landing gear. In the first ten series machines Hispano-Suiza engines were installed 8Bda (210 hp). In the production process R.11 used different versions of the engine Hispano-Suiza, and the aircraft structure, and systems were constantly amended.
The fuel system allowed both motors to use any fuel tank. Fuel tanks placed at the rear of the engine nacelles, could be dropped in flight if on a fire.
Armament was 5 x 7.7mm Lewis type machine guns in various positions and the bombload was just 265 pounds of external stores. The crew of three were all positioned in the fuselage with the pilot between the top and bottom wing assemblies in three individual open-air cockpits, a rear gunner behind him and a bow gunner in the extreme forward of the aircraft. Installed in the rear gunner cab were redundant aircraft controls.
First flying in May 1917, the French army ordered 1000 R.11s. Production began in 1917, however, due to lack of engines, which mainly went to fighters, the production of unfolded very slowly, and the first aircraft were completed late in that year. Two were handed over to the RFC for trials. In February 1918 the first Escadrille (squadron) R.26 was equipped. By April 1918 a total of 20 had been completed.
By early July 1918, eight French bomber squadrons were equipped. The last escadrille to form before the Armistice (and abrupt end of production) was R.246, at which point 370 planes had been completed.
The R.11 served with the R.46, R.239, R.240, R.241, R.242 and R.246 French Escadrilles. It holds the distinction of becoming the last French production aircraft of World War 1, also forming the final French squadron (R.246) of the war, and served until July 1922.
The most famous at the front were the R.11 A3 - plane escort bombers, with mostly Breguet 14 weapons which could be up to 5 machine guns. These aircraft usually had the best school graduate gunners, and one of them, Sergeant Vitalis, shot down eight German aircraft.
Some were operated by the American Expeditionary Force.
The Caudron R.12 was an experimental version of the R.11, with larger Hispano-Suiza 8Fb 300 hp engines. Development ended when the Caudron R.14 variant appeared in August 1918. The R.14 had great speed and powerful armament installed: 37-mm "Hochkiss" gun and a Lewis machine gun, but it was heavy and clumsy and unsuccessful arrangement of the cockpit gave a bad review.
Engines: 2 x Hispano-Suiza 8Ba, 160 kW (210 hp)
Propellers: 2-bladed wooden fixed pitch
Upper wingspan: 17.92 m (58 ft 10 in)
Lower wingspan: 16.9 m (55 ft 5 in)
Wing area: 54.25 sq.m (583.9 sq ft)
Length: 36 ft 11 in / 11.25 m
Height: Height: 2.7 m (8 ft 10 in)
Empty Weight: 3,135lbs (1,422kg)
Maximum Take-Off Weight: 4,773lbs (2,165kg)
Fuel capacity: 220 l (48 imp gal; 58 US gal)
Maximum Speed SL: 114mph (183kmh; 99kts)
Maximum speed 5,000 m (16,000 ft): 167.3 km/h (90.3 kn; 104.0 mph)
Service Ceiling: 19,521 ft (5,950m)
Time to 2,000 m / 6,600 ft: 8 min 6 sec
Time to 3,000 m / 9,800 ft: 14 min 18 sec
Time to 5,000 m / 16,000 ft: 39 min
Endurance: 3 hours
Armament: 5 x 7.7mm / 0.30 in Lewis machine guns
Bombload: 265lb external
Engines: 2 x Hispano-Suiza 8Bba, 215 hp
Wingspan: 17.92 m
Wing area: 54.25 sq.m
Length: 16.97 m
Height: 2.80 m
Empty weight: 1422 kg
Normal takeoff weight: 2167 kg
Maximum speed: 183 km / h
Cruising speed: 165 km / h
Endurance: 3 hr
Maximum rate of climb: 250 m / min
Practical ceiling: 5950 m
Long-range reconnaissance, differed from the base model, the lack of bomb armament, built in series.
Caudron R.11BN 3
Night bomber, with the same engines as a small series.
Bomber, serial machine. By the end of the war was to be built 145 copies of R.11, but the front has got only 49, two more cars were handed over to the American Expeditionary Corps. The machine was built after the war.
Version R.11 of 1918 installed engines Hispano-Suiza 8Fb 300 hp
R.11 enlarged version of the model. The prototype was presented in August 1918. The aircraft was equipped with engines Hispano-Suiza 8Fb, which originally was supposed to be installed on R.12 model. The armed 37-mm gun Hotchkiss machine guns supplemented Lewis.