Albatros D.III

The Albatros D.III was a biplane fighter aircraft used by the Imperial German Army Air Service during World War I.

A modified license model was built by Oeffag for the Austro-Hungarian Air Service.

Development of the prototype D.III started in late July or early August 1916.

The date of the maiden flight is unknown, but is believed to have occurred in late August or early September.

Following the successful Albatros D.I and D.II series, the D.III utilized the same semi-monocoque, plywood-skinned fuselage.

However, at the request of the Idflieg, the D.III adopted a sesquiplane wing arrangement broadly similar to the French Nieuport 11.

The upper wingspan was extended, while the lower wing was redesigned with reduced chord and a single main spar.

V shaped interplane struts replaced the previous parallel struts.

For this reason, British aircrews commonly referred to the D.III as the “V-strutter.”

After a Typenprüfung on 26 September 1916, Albatros received an order for 400 D.III aircraft, the largest German production contract to date.

The Idflieg placed additional orders for 50 aircraft in February and March 1917.

Specifications

Crew

1

Length

7.35 m (24 ft 1 in)

Upper wingspan

9 m (29 ft 6 in)

Lower wingspan

8.73 m (28 ft 8 in)

Height

2.8 m (9 ft 2 in)

Wing area

20.56 m2 (221.3 sq ft)

Empty weight

710 kg (1,565 lb)

Gross weight

987 kg (2,176 lb)

Powerplant

1 × Austro-Daimler 200hp 6-cylinder water-cooled in-line piston engine, 150 kW (200 hp)

Propellers

2-bladed fixed-pitch wooden propeller

Performance

Maximum speed

188 km/h (117 mph, 102 kn)

Wing loading

48.1 kg/m2 (9.9 lb/sq ft)

Power/mass

0.20 kg/hp

Armament

Guns

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

 

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