Developed by Paul Deville assisted by Rene Talpin, the Caudron C.59 intermediate trainer was a conventional un-staggered two-bay biplane of wooden construction with fabric covering. Ailerons were fitted to the upper wing only, which was also of slightly greater span than the lower, this latter surface incorporating dihedral. Power was provided by an Hispano-Suiza 8A engine with its Lamblin radiator located under the fuselage just forward of the cross-axle Vee-type fixed landing gear. The pupil was accommodated in an open cockpit under the centre-section of the upper wing, with the instructor's cockpit immediately behind it and located beneath a cut-out in the wing trailing edge. Dual controls were standard.
The prototype flew for the first time in August 1921. After extensive official tests had given evidence of robust construction, good flying qualities and reliable powerplant, the C.59 was ordered on a large scale by the French
Aviation Militaire for service in the official Et.2 category (two-seat transitional trainer). A series of seven contracts received between 1922 and 1924 resulted in more than 1,000 C.59s being delivered to the French army, with smaller batches going to the Aeronautique Maritime. The type remained in French service for 15 years and on 1 January 1936 11 examples were still in use with the Armee de I'Air. Total production reached 1,800, and many C.59s went to French civil flying schools, while others were exported. C.59s were bought by Argentina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Finland, Manchuria, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Turkey and Venezuela.