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Albatros C.IV

The Albatros C.IV, also known as the L.12, was a reconnaissance aircraft manufactured by Albatros Flugzeugwerke in 1915.

This single-engined biplane was developed based on the Albatros C.III, sharing several components with its predecessor.

However, despite its initial design similarities, the C.IV was eventually replaced by the more advanced C.V model.

In terms of design and development, the C.IV retained the fuselage, landing gear, and tail section of the C.III.

Nevertheless, Albatros made significant modifications to the wings and cockpit layout, positioning the pilot in the rear cockpit.

Despite these changes, the expected improvements did not materialise during testing in 1916.

Consequently, the project was discontinued in favour of the Albatros C.V, a more promising prototype.

Equipped with a forward-firing LMG 08/15 machine gun and a rear-firing Parabellum MG14 machine gun, the Albatros C.IV was armed for combat.

However, its limited success in testing led to its eventual abandonment in favour of the C.V model.

The C.IV’s brief existence in German military aviation history highlights the continuous pursuit of innovation and improvement during World War I.





8 m (26 ft 3 in)


12.4 m (40 ft 8 in)


3.1 m (10 ft 2 in)

Wing area

41.2 m2 (443 sq ft)

Empty weight

798 kg (1,759 lb)

Gross weight

1,240 kg (2,734 lb)


1 × Mercedes D.III Inline piston engine,

118 kW (158 hp)160PS


Maximum speed

140 km/h (87 mph, 76 kn)

Cruise speed

125 km/h (78 mph, 67 kn)



Service ceiling

3,200 m (10,500 ft)



1×7.92mm LMG 08/15


1×7.92mm Parabellum MG14



German & Austro-Hungarian aircraft manufacturers 1908–1918-T C Treadwell.
German Aircraft of the First World War-Peter Gray & Owen Thetford.
Flugzeug Publications, Die Deutsche Luftwaffe 1914 – Heute.
The World’s Great Bombers: 1914 to the Present Day-C Chant.
Windsock Worldwide Vol.25, No.5 – September October 2009.
Albatros Aircraft of WWI Vol.1: Early Two-Seaters-Jack Herris.
Albatros Aircraft of WWI Vol.2: Late Two-Seaters-Jack Herris.
Albatros Aircraft of WWI Vol.3: Bombers, Seaplanes J Types-Jack Herris.
Albatros Aircraft of WWI Vol.4: Fighters-Jack Herris.


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