1917 Albatros D.V


Early Aeroplanes 1907-1918

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In 1916, Albatros-Flugzeugwerke GmbH in Johannisthal, Berlin, produced the remarkably advanced Albatros D.I. It featured a streamlined semi-monocoque fuselage, with an almost fully-enclosed 160-horsepower in-line Mercedes engine, and the propeller spinner neatly contoured into the nose of the fuselage. A sesquiplane version with narrow-chord lower wings, designated the D-III, was introduced early in 1917, and served with great success, despite the narrow lower wing being susceptible to frequent failure in prolonged dives. The Albatros D.V model was fitted with a more powerful 180-horsepower engine but was plagued by a rash of upper-wing failures. The wings were strengthened, resulting in a re-designation, the D.Va. Unfortunately, the necessary strengthening increased the weight and negated the performance advantage of the new engine. The D.V. and D.Va. also continued to experience the same lower wing failure problems in a dive like the earlier D.III. A small auxiliary strut was added at the bottom of the outer wing struts to address the issue but was not entirely successful. Approximately 4,800 Albatros fighters of all types were built during World War I. They were used extensively by the German Air Service throughout 1917 and remained in action in considerable numbers until the end of the war. Many of the highest-scoring German aces achieved most of their victories flying Albatros fighters. [National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian, Washington DC]

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Dimensions 47.5 × 34.5 cm