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Albatros D.II

The Albatros D.II, a German fighter aircraft used during World War I, had a successful combat history within the early Jagdstaffeln units.

However, due to pilot feedback regarding limited upward visibility in the Albatros D.I model, designers Robert Thelen, Schubert, and Gnädig made modifications to address this issue.

By adjusting the positioning of the upper wing closer to the fuselage and slightly staggering it forward, along with rearranging the cabane struts, the D.II aimed to enhance the pilot’s forward view.

Despite these changes, the Albatros D.II maintained the same fuselage, engine setup, and armament as its predecessor, the D.I.

The alterations primarily focused on improving visibility without compromising the aircraft’s basic performance capabilities.

In August 1916, the Idflieg placed an order for an initial batch of 100 Albatros D.II aircraft, indicating confidence in the modifications made by the designers to address the concerns raised by pilots.

As the Albatros D.II entered service, it gradually gave way to the Albatros D.III, which further refined the design and performance of the aircraft.

The transition from the D.II to the D.III marked a progression in German fighter aircraft technology during World War I, showcasing the continuous efforts to enhance combat effectiveness and address pilot feedback for improved operational capabilities in the field.

In November 1916, Idflieg made the decision to prohibit the use of Windhoff “ear” radiators in operational aircraft due to their positioning below the engine crankcase, making them vulnerable to damage from enemy fire.

This move was prompted by the risk of a shot hitting the radiator and causing the cooling system to fail.

To address this issue, late production D.IIs began utilising a Teves und Braun “air foil shape” radiator located in the centre section of the upper wing.

However, this new design presented its own set of challenges, as a damaged or leaking radiator could potentially cause harm to the pilot by scalding their face.

Subsequent Albatros fighters, including late models of the D.III and the D.V, implemented a modification to address the safety concerns associated with the radiator placement.

The radiator was relocated to the right of the centre section of the aircraft, aiming to mitigate the risk of injury to the pilot in case of radiator damage.

This adjustment was a strategic response to the issues encountered with the previous radiator configurations, demonstrating a commitment to enhancing the safety and functionality of the aircraft.

Additionally, Oeffag, the Austrian aircraft manufacturer, produced the D.II under licence as the Albatros D.II (Oef) / Oeffag Va.53 / Oeffag series 53 for the Luftfahrtruppen.

These 16 Austro-Hungarian aircraft were equipped with a 138 kW (185 hp) Austro-Daimler engine and featured a Teves und Braun-style radiator mounted on the wing.

This collaboration between Oeffag and Albatros highlights the cooperation between different aviation companies during this period, as they worked together to adapt and improve aircraft designs for military use.


D.II (Oef) Series 53




7.35 m (24 ft 1 in)

Upper wingspan

8.5 m (27 ft 11 in)

Lower wingspan

8 m (26 ft 3 in)


2.71 m (8 ft 11 in)

Wing area

24 m2 (260 sq ft)

Gross weight

898 kg (1,980 lb)


1 × Austro-Daimler 185hp,

6-cylinder water-cooled inline piston engine,

138 kW (185 hp)


2 bladed fixed pitch wooden propeller


Maximum speed

170 km/h (110 mph, 92 kn)

Time to altitude

1,000 m (3,281 ft) in 4 minutes 30 seconds

2,000 m (6,562 ft) in 7 minutes

3,000 m (9,843 ft) in 12 minutes 30 seconds

Wing loading

37.5 kg/m2 (7.7 lb/sq ft)


0.20 hp/kg



2 × 8 mm (0.315 in) Schwarzlose machine guns.

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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