One of these wood and canvas flying marvels of the beginning of the Great War, the first flight of the Caudron G3 took place in May 1914. SIngle engined, it had a short crew nacelle, and was normally not armed. The G3 was a safe, reliable and of simple construction machine, and also forgiving with steering faults, and relatively easy to land. Owing to these virtues,it was widely used in World War I as a reconnaissance aircraft.
However, as the war progressed, its low performance and lack of armament made it too vulnerable for front line service, and it was withdrawn from front line operations in mid-1916.
The Italians also used the G3 on a wide scale until 1917, as did the British RFC, who fitted some with light bombs and machine guns for ground attack. The Australian Flying Corps operated the G3 too.
It continued in use as a trainer until well after the end of the war.
In 1921 Adrienne Bolland, a French test pilot working for Caudron, made the first crossing of the Andes by a woman, flying between Argentina and Chile in a G3.
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October 16th, 2016
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