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Albatros D.I

The Albatros D.I, a German fighter aircraft utilised during World War I, had a brief operational career.

It was the initial model of the Albatros D series, which became the primary aircraft for German and Austrian fighter squadrons in the final two years of the war.

Featuring a semi monocoque plywood fuselage with a single layered outer shell supported by a minimal internal structure, the D.I was both lightweight and robust compared to the fabric skinned box type fuselage commonly used at the time.

The panelled plywood skinning, consisting of mostly four-sided panels of thin plywood over the entire minimal fuselage structure, required less labour than a “true” monocoque structure.

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 D.I could accommodate twin fixed Spandau machine-guns without sacrificing performance, thanks to the additional power of the Mercedes (Daimler) engine.

Despite its relatively high wing loading and limited manoeuvrability, the D.I excelled in speed and firepower, establishing itself as the top all-round fighter of its time.





24 ft 3 in (7.4 m)


27 ft 11 in (8.5 m)


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)


1 × Benz Bz.III,

6-cyl water-cooled inline piston engine,

150 hp (110 kW)


2-bladed wooden fixed pitch


Maximum speed

109 mph (175 km/h, 94 kn)



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)



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

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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