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The AEG R.I, also known as the Riesenflugzeug 1, was a unique bomber aircraft from World War I that was manufactured by AEG.

Unlike other multi-engined aircraft, the R.I had a distinct design feature.

Instead of directly connecting the propellers to the engines and mounting them in nacelles, all the engines were housed within the fuselage.

The propellers were turned using a system of drive shafts.

In 1916, a single prototype of the R.I was completed and successfully flew.

It showcased impressive manoeuvrability during its initial flights.

However, tragedy struck on September 3, 1918, when a newly assembled propeller, which had not been given enough time for the glue to cure, disintegrated.

The resulting vibrations caused the complex transmissions and shafting that connected all four engines to both propellers to tear loose.

This, in turn, severed a centre section strut, leading to the breakup of the aircraft.

Unfortunately, all seven crew members on board lost their lives in the accident.

Although plans were in place for the production of seven more AEG R.1 aircraft (R.21, R.22, R.59, R.60, R.61, R.62, R.63, and R.64), only R.21 was completed, and R.22 remained partially unfinished when the war came to an end.



19.5 m (64 ft 0 in)


36 m (118 ft 1 in)


6.35 m (20 ft 10 in)

Wing area

260 m2 (2,800 sq ft)

Empty weight

9,000 kg (19,842 lb)

Gross weight

12,700 kg (28,000 lb)

Fuel capacity

2,750 litres (605 Imp.Gall.)


4 × Mercedes D.IVa,

6-cylinder water-cooled inline piston engines,

194 kW (260 hp) each


2 x 2-bladed, 5.2 m (17 ft 1 in) diameter



5 × 7.92 mm (.312 in) machine guns


Up to 3,800kg (8,377lb).

AEG Aircraft of WWI-J Herris.
German Aircraft of the First World War-P Gray & O Thetford.


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