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Encyclopedia > Albatros D.III
Albatros D.III
Type Fighter
Manufacturer Albatros-Flugzeugwerke Oesterreichische Flugzeugfabrik
Designed by Robert Thelen
Maiden flight August 1916
Primary users Luftstreitkräfte
Luftfahrtruppen
Produced 1916 to 1917
Number built approximately 1866

The Albatros D.III was a highly successful single seat, biplane fighter aircraft used by the Imperial German Army Air Service (Luftstreitkräfte) and the Austro-Hungarian Air Service (Luftfahrtruppen) during the First World War. The D.III was used by many top German aces, including Manfred von Richthofen, Ernst Udet, Erich Löwenhardt, Kurt Wolff, and Karl Emil Schaeffer. It was the preemininent fighter during the period of German aerial dominance known as "Bloody April" 1917. Image File history File links Albad3. ... An aerospace manufacturer is a company or individual involved in the various aspects of designing, building, testing, selling, and maintaining aircraft, aircraft parts, missiles, rockets, and/or spacecraft. ... Albatros-Flugzeugwerke was a German aircraft manufacturer that supplied the German airforces during World War I. The company was based in Johannisthal, Berlin, where it was founded in 1910. ... The Maiden flight of an aircraft is the first occasion on which an aircraft leaves the ground of its own accord. ... This is a list of aviation-related events from 1916: Events January January 12 - German aces Max Immelmann and Oswald Boelcke, with 8 kills, are the first pilots awarded with Pour le Mérite (the Blue Max) January 29 - the second and last Zeppelin raid on Paris inflicts 54 casualties. ... The â–¶(?) (German: air force, IPA: [luftvafÉ™]) is the commonly used term for the German air force. ... The Austro-Hungarian Air Service (Luftfahrtruppen) was the army-air force of Austria-Hungary up until the empires demise in 1919. ... Hs123 biplane. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... The â–¶(?) (German: air force, IPA: [luftvafÉ™]) is the commonly used term for the German air force. ... The Austro-Hungarian Air Service (Luftfahrtruppen) was the army-air force of Austria-Hungary up until the empires demise in 1919. ... Ypres, 1917, in the vicinity of the Battle of Passchendaele. ... Red Baron redirects here. ... Ernst Udet during World War I Ernst Udet (April 26, 1896 - November 17, 1941) was the second-highest scoring German flying ace of World War I. He was one of the youngest aces and was the highest scoring German ace to survive the war. ... Oberleutnant Erich Löwenhardt was born April 7, 1897 in Breslau, Silesia, Germany (a son of a Doctor) and was the 3rd highest victory scorer in the Luftstreitkräfte (Imperial German Army Air Service) with 54 victories during the First World War. ... Kurt Wolff (February 6, 1895 – September 15, 1917) was a German pilot during World War One. ... During the First World War, the month of April 1917 was known as Bloody April by the Allied air forces. ...

Contents

Design and production

Albatros D.III
Albatros D.III
Ernst Udet in front of his Albatros D.III
Ernst Udet in front of his Albatros D.III
Albatros D.III fighters of Jasta 11 at Douai, France
Albatros D.III fighters of Jasta 11 at Douai, France

Work on the prototype D.III started in late July or early August 1916. Although the date of the maiden flight is unknown, it is thought to have occurred in late August or early September. Following on the successful Albatros D.I and D.II series, the D.III utilized the same semi-monocoque, plywood-skinned fuselage. The D.III differed in the design of the wing. At the request of the Idflieg (Inspektion der Fliegertruppen), the wing was copied from the French Nieuport 11 sesquiplanes, which were formidiable dogfighters. The upper wing was extended while the lower wing was given reduced chord and a single main spar. The interplane struts were of a "V" configuration, instead of the previous parallel struts. For this reason, British aircrews commonly referred to the D.III as the "V-strutter." Image File history File links A_d3. ... Image File history File links A_d3. ... Image File history File links ALd3. ... Image File history File links ALd3. ... Ernst Udet during World War I Ernst Udet (April 26, 1896 - November 17, 1941) was the second-highest scoring German flying ace of World War I. He was one of the youngest aces and was the highest scoring German ace to survive the war. ... Image File history File links AlbatDIII.jpg‎ source: http://www. ... Image File history File links AlbatDIII.jpg‎ source: http://www. ... The Albatros D I was a German fighter airplane used during World War I. It was designed by Thelen, Schubert and Gnädig, in an attempt to create an airplane superior to the then-dominant Nieuport 11 (Bébé) and Airco D.H.2. ... Albatros D.II The Albatros D.II was a German fighter airplane used during World War I. It was the successor to the Albatros D.I, designed by Thelen, Schubert and Gnädig in an attempt to rectify the D.Is poor visibility. ... Monocoque (French for single shell) is a construction technique that uses the external skin of an object to support some or most of the load on the structure. ... The fuselage can be short, and seemingly unaerodynamic, as in this Christen Eagle 2 The fuselage (from the French fuselé spindle-shaped) is an aircrafts main body section that holds crew and passengers or cargo. ... The Idflieg (Inspektion der Fliegertruppen - Inspectorate of Flying Troops) was the bureau of the German War Office that oversaw German military aviation prior to and during World War I. Categories: Stub ... The Nieuport 11 was designed in response to the Fokker Scourge of 1915. ...


In October 1916, Albatros received an order for 400 D.III aircraft. The D.III entered squadron service in December 1916 and quickly replaced the older D.II. Two faults were identified. Early D.IIIs featured a Teeves and Braun radiator in the middle of the upper wing, where it was prone to scalding the pilot if punctured. The radiator was soon offset the the right.


More seriously, the new aircraft immediately began experiencing lower wing failures. In January 1917, Manfred von Richthofen suffered a crack in the lower wing of his new D.III. While he landed safely, the D.III was withdrawn from service for modifications. During the interim, Richthofen flew the Halberstadt D.II instead.


The cause of the wing failures lay in the sesquiplane arrangement taken from the Nieuport. While the lower wing had more than adequate strength in static tests, it was subsequently determined that the main spar was located too far aft, causing the wing to twist under aerodynamic loads. The D.III therefore could not perform steep or prolonged dives, which was a serious liability in combat. This design flaw persisted despite attempts to rectify the problem in the D.III and succeeding D.V. Albatros D.Va Captured D.Va in British markings Cockpit view The Albatros D.V was a German fighter airplane used during World War I. In April 1917, Albatros received an order from the Idflieg (Inspektion der Fliegertruppen) for an improved version of the D.III. The resulting D.V...


Apart from the lower wing failures, the D.III was considered pleasant and easy to fly, if somewhat heavy on the controls. The sesquiplane arrangement offered improved climb, maneuverablity, and downward visibility compared to the preceding D.II. Like most contemporary aircraft, the D.III was prone to spinning, but recovery was straightforward.


Albatros built approximately 500 D.III aircraft at its Johannisthal factory before production shifted to the D.V in the summer of 1917. Albatros's subsidiary, Ostdeutsche Albatros Werke (OAW), produced approximately 840 examples at its Schneidemühl factory between June and December 1917. OAW aircraft were recognizable by their larger, rounded rudders.


Peak service was in November 1917, with 446 aircraft on the Western Front. The D.III did not disappear with the end of production, however. It remained in frontline service well into 1918. As of August 31, 1918, 54 D.III aircraft remained on the Western Front.


Austro-Hungarian variants

Albatros D.III (Oeffag) series 153.
Albatros D.III (Oeffag) series 153.
Albatros D.III (Oeffag) series 253.
Albatros D.III (Oeffag) series 253.
Albatros D.III (Oeffag) series 253 fighters of the Polish 7th Air Escadrille at Lewandówka airfield in the winter of 1919-1920, during the Polish-Soviet War.
Albatros D.III (Oeffag) series 253 fighters of the Polish 7th Air Escadrille at Lewandówka airfield in the winter of 1919-1920, during the Polish-Soviet War.

In the fall of 1916, Oesterreichische Flugzeugfabrik AG (Oeffag) obtained a licence to build the D.III at Wiener-Neustadt. Deliveries commenced in May 1917. The Oeffag aircraft were built in three main versions (series 53, 153, 253) using the 185, 200, or 225 hp Austro-Daimler engines respectively. The Austro-Daimlers provided improved performance over the Mercedes D.IIIa engine. Image File history File links Albatd3. ... Image File history File links Albatd3. ... Image File history File links Oefd3. ... Image File history File links Oefd3. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Dywizjon_Kosciuszki. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Dywizjon_Kosciuszki. ... Oeffag DIII fighters of the escadrille at Lewandówka airfield in the winter of 1919-1920; the plane marked with a large I sign was flown by the escadrilles commanding officer, Cedric Faunt-le-Roy American volunteers, Merian C. Cooper and Cedric Fauntleroy, fighting in the Polish Air Force. ... Combatants Russian Soviet Federated Socialist Republic Second Polish Republic Commanders Mikhail Tukhachevsky Semyon Budyonny Joseph Stalin Józef Piłsudski Edward Rydz-Śmigły Strength 950,000 including reserves 5 million 360,000 including reserves 738,000 Casualties Unknown, dead estimated at 100,000 - 150,000 Unknown, dead estimated at...


Oeffag engineers noted the wing failures of the D.III and modified the lower wing to use thicker ribs and spar flanges. These changes, as well as other detail improvements, largely resolved the structural problems that had plagued the German fighters. In service, the Oeffag aircraft proved to be very popular, robust, and effective.


Austrian pilots often removed the propeller spinner from their planes, since it was prone to falling off. Midway through the series 153 production run, Oeffag introduced a new rounded nose that eliminated the propeller spinner. Remarkably, German wind-tunnel tests showed that the simple rounded nose improved propeller efficiency and raised the top speed by 9 mph.


All Oeffag variants were armed with two 8 mm Schwarzlose machine guns. In most planes, the guns were buried in the fuselage. Late in the series 253 production run, the guns were relocated on top of the fuselage decking. In service, the Schwarzlose proved to be somewhat less reliable than the LMG 08/15, mainly due to problems with the synchronization gear. The Schwarzlose also had a poor rate of fire. The Maschinengewehr Patent Schwarzlose M.07/12 is a Austria-Hungarian heavy machine gun, standard machine gun of the Austro-Hungarian Army throughout World War I. Similar looking to the Maxim gun derived machine guns such as the Vickers, it was a simpler design using a single spring compared to...


Oeffag built approximately 526 D.III aircraft between May 1917 and the Armistice. After the Armistice, Poland acquired 38 series 253 aircraft, as well as several German machines, and operated them in the Polish-Soviet War of 1919-20. They were primarily employed in ground attack duties. The Poles thought so highly of the D.III that they sent a letter of commendation to the Oeffag factory. The newly formed Czechoslovakian air force also obtained and operated several Oeffag machines after the war. Combatants Russian Soviet Federated Socialist Republic Second Polish Republic Commanders Mikhail Tukhachevsky Semyon Budyonny Joseph Stalin Józef Piłsudski Edward Rydz-Śmigły Strength 950,000 including reserves 5 million 360,000 including reserves 738,000 Casualties Unknown, dead estimated at 100,000 - 150,000 Unknown, dead estimated at...


Specifications (D.III)

General characteristics

  • Crew: one
  • Length: 24 ft 0 in (7.33 m)
  • Wingspan: 29 ft 6 in (9.00 m )
  • Height: 9 ft 6 in (2.90 m)
  • Wing area: 254 ft² (23.6 m²)
  • Empty: 1,532 lb (695 kg )
  • Loaded: 1,949 lb (886 kg)
  • Maximum takeoff: 2,105 lb (955 kg)
  • Powerplant: 1 x 170 hp Mercedes D.IIIa

The Mercedes D.III, or F1466 as it was known internally, was a 6-cylinder, liquid cooled inline aircraft engine built by Daimler and used on a wide variety of German aircraft during World War I. The initial versions were introduced in 1914 at 160 hp, but a series of...

Performance

  • Maximum speed: 108.5 mph (175 km/h) at sea level
  • Range: 480 miles (300 km)
  • Service ceiling: 18,044 ft (5,500 m)
  • Rate of climb: 886 ft/min (270 m/min) (3.75 minutes to 3,280 ft/1000 m)
  • Wing loading: 7.7 lb/ft² (37.5 kg/m²)
  • Power/mass: 0.08 hp/lb (130 W/kg )

Armament

MG08 with optical sight. ...

Operators

Austria-Hungary, also known as the Dual monarchy (or: the k. ...

References

  • Connors, J. Albatros Fighters In Action (Aircraft No. 46), 1981, ISBN 0-89747-115-6.
  • Grosz, P., Haddow, G. & Schiemer, P. Austro-Hungarian Army Aircraft of World War I, 2002, ISBN 1-89126-805-8.

Related content

Related development: D.I - D.II - D.IV - D.V


Comparable aircraft:


Designation sequence: D.I - D.II - D.III - D.IV - D.V - D.VI - D.VII - Dr.I - D.VIII - D.IX - D.X - Dr.II - D.XI - D.XII - The Albatros D I was a German fighter airplane used during World War I. It was designed by Thelen, Schubert and Gnädig, in an attempt to create an airplane superior to the then-dominant Nieuport 11 (Bébé) and Airco D.H.2. ... Albatros D.II The Albatros D.II was a German fighter airplane used during World War I. It was the successor to the Albatros D.I, designed by Thelen, Schubert and Gnädig in an attempt to rectify the D.Is poor visibility. ... The Albatros D.IV was designed to test a geared version of the 160 hp Mercedes D.III engine. ... Albatros D.Va Captured D.Va in British markings Cockpit view The Albatros D.V was a German fighter airplane used during World War I. In April 1917, Albatros received an order from the Idflieg (Inspektion der Fliegertruppen) for an improved version of the D.III. The resulting D.V... Albatros D.VI was the designation given to a prototype single-seat twin-boom pusher biplane built in 1917. ... The Albatros D.VII was a prototype single-seat fighter biplane flown in August 1917. ... The Albatros Dr.I was a variation on the design of the D.V fitted with three pairs of wings. ... Albatros D.IX was the designation given to a single prototype single-seat fighter biplane built in early 1918. ... The Albatros D.X was a prototype single-seat fighter biplane developed in 1918 in parallel with the D.IX. It used the same slab-sided, flat-bottomed fuselage (a departure from previous Albatros designs) but was powered by a 195 hp Benz Bz. ... The Albatros Dr.II was a prototype single-seat fighter triplane, the sole example of which flew in the spring of 1918. ... The Albatros D.XI was a single-seat fighter biplane first flown in February 1918. ... The Albatros D.XII was a single-seat fighter biplane first flown in March 1918. ...


 
 

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