Albatros D.I

1st Flight 1916

Military Users- Luftstreitkräfte


The Albatros D.I was a German fighter aircraft used during World War I.

Although its operational career was short, it was the first of the Albatros D types which equipped the bulk of the German and Austrian fighter squadrons for the last two years of the war.

The D.I was designed by Robert Thelen, R. Schubert and Gnädig, as an answer to the latest Allied fighters, such as the Nieuport 11 Bébé and the Airco D.H.2, which had proved superior to the Fokker Eindecker and other early German fighters, and established a general Allied air superiority.


It was ordered in June 1916 and introduced into squadron service that August.

The D.I had a semi-monocoque plywood fuselage, consisting of a single-layered outer shell, supported by a minimal internal structure.


This was lighter and stronger than the fabric-skinned box-type fuselage then in common use, as well being easier to give an aerodynamically clean shape.

At the same time its panelled plywood skinning, done with mostly four-sided panels of thin plywood over the entire minimal fuselage structure, was less Labor intensive than a “true” monocoque structure.


The Albatros D.I was powered by either a 110 kW (150 hp) Benz Bz.III or a 120 kW (160 hp) Mercedes D.III six-cylinder water cooled inline engine.

The additional power of the Mercedes (Daimler) engine enabled twin fixed Spandau machine-guns to be fitted without any loss in performance.


The D.I had a relatively high wing loading for its time, and was not particularly manoeuvrable.

This was compensated by its superior speed and firepower and it quickly proved the best all-round fighter available.



Crew: 1

Length: 24 ft 3 in (7.4 m)

Wingspan: 27 ft 11 in (8.5 m)

Height: 9 ft 8 in (2.95 m)

Wing area: 246 sq ft (22.9 m2)

Empty weight: 1,426 lb (647 kg)

Gross weight: 1,980 lb (898 kg)


Power plant: 1 × Benz Bz.III 6-cyl. Water cooled in-line piston engine, 150 hp (110 kW)

Propellers: 2-bladed wooden fixed pitch


Maximum speed: 109 mph (175 km/h, 94 kn)

Endurance: 1.5

Service ceiling: 16,000 ft (5,000 m)

Rate of climb: 550 ft/min (2.8 m/s)

Wing loading: 8.0 lb/sq ft (39.2 kg/m2)


Guns: 1 × forward-firing synchronized 7.92 mm (0.312 in) lMG 08 machine gun



Albatros Fighters-Brian Knight

German Monoplane Fighters of WWI-Jack Herris.

Albatros Aircraft of WWI Volume 1, Early Two-Seaters-Jack Herris.

Albatros Aircraft of WWI Volume 2, Late Two-Seaters-Jack Herris.

Albatros Aircraft of WWI Volume 3, Bombers, Seaplanes & J-Types-Jack Herris.

Albatros Aircraft of WWI Volume 4, Fighters-Jack Herris.

Die Deutsche Luftrüstung 1933-1945-Heinz J Nowarra.

Jane’s Encyclopedia of Aviation-Michael J. H Taylor.


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