AEG R.I

The AEG R.I or Riesenflugzeug 1 was a four-engine biplane bomber aircraft of World War I manufactured by AEG.

The R.I was unusual for a multi-engine aircraft in that rather than connecting propellers directly to the engines and mounting the engines in nacelles, the R.I carried all its engines within the fuselage and turned its propellers via a system of drive shafts.

A single prototype was completed and flew in 1916.

Initial flights were quite successful, the aircraft being considered very manoeuvrable, but on 3 September 1918, a newly assembled propeller, which had not been given sufficient time for glue to cure, disintegrated.

The vibrations resulting from that failure caused the complex transmissions and shafting connecting all four engines to both propellers to tear loose, which then cut a centre section strut, resulting in the breakup of the aircraft, killing all seven crew on board.

Of the seven further AEG R.1 aircraft planned or under production when the war ended, only R.21 was finished and R.22 partially complete.

Specifications

Length

19.5 m (64 ft 0 in)

Wingspan

36 m (118 ft 1 in)

Height

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.)

Powerplant

4 × Mercedes D.IVa 6 cyl, water cooled inline piston engines, 194 kW (260 hp) each

Propellers

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

Armament

Guns

5 × 7.92 mm (.312 in) machine guns

Bombs

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

 

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