Albatros D.I

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 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.

Specifications

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)

Powerplant

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

Propellers

2-bladed wooden fixed pitch

Performance

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)

Armament

Guns

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

 

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