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Albatros D.V & D.Va

The Albatros D.V was a fighter aircraft used by the Luftstreitkräfte during World War I.

The D.V was the final development of the Albatros D.I family and the last Albatros fighter to see operational service.

Despite its well known shortcomings and general obsolescence, approximately 900 D.V and 1,612 D.Va aircraft were built before production halted in April 1918.

The D.Va continued in operational service until the end of the war.

In April 1917, Albatros received an order from the Idflieg for an improved version of the D.III.

The resulting D.V prototype flew later that month.

The D.V closely resembled the D.III and used the same 127 kW (170 hp) Mercedes D.IIIa engine.

The most notable difference was a new, fully elliptical cross-section fuselage which was 32 kg (71 lb) lighter than the partially flat-sided fuselage of the earlier D.I through D.III designs.

The new elliptical cross-section required an additional longeron on each side of the fuselage and the fin, rudder and tail plane initially remained unchanged from the D.III.

The prototype D.V retained the standard rudder of the Johannisthal, built D.III but production examples used the enlarged rudder featured on D.IIIs built by the Ostdeutsche Albatros werke (OAW).

The D.V also featured a larger spinner and ventral fin.

Compared to the D.III, the upper wing of the D.V was 121 mm (4.75 in) closer to the fuselage, while the lower wings attached to the fuselage without a fairing.

The D.V wings were almost identical to those of the standard D.III, which had adopted a sesquiplane wing arrangement broadly similar to the French Nieuport 11.

The only significant difference between wings of the D.III and D.V was a revised routing of the aileron cables that placed them entirely within the upper wing.

Idflieg conducted structural tests on the fuselage but not the wings of the D.V.

Early examples of the D.V featured a large headrest, usually removed in service, because it interfered with the pilot’s field of view.

The headrest was deleted from the second production batch.

Aircraft deployed in Palestine used two wing radiators, to cope with the warmer climate.

Idflieg issued production contracts for 200 D.V aircraft in April 1917, followed by additional orders of 400 in May and 300 in July.

Initial production of the D.V was exclusively undertaken by the Johannisthal factory, while the Schneidemühl factory produced the D.III through the remainder of 1917.





7.33 m (24 ft 1 in)


9.05 m (29 ft 8 in)


2.7 m (8 ft 10 in)

Wing area

21.2 m2 (228 sq ft)

Empty weight

687 kg (1,515 lb)

Gross weight

937 kg (2,066 lb)


1 × Mercedes D.IIIaü, piston engine,

150 kW (200 hp)


2 bladed wooden propeller


Maximum speed

186 km/h (116 mph, 100 kn)


350 km

Service ceiling

5,700 m (18,700 ft)

Rate of climb

4.17 m/s (821 ft/min)

Time to altitude

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



2 × 7.92 mm (0.312 in) LMG 08/15 machine guns.


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