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Albatros J.I & J.II

The Albatros J.I and J.II were German armoured ground attack aircraft that were manufactured in 1918 during World War I.

The Albatros J.I was developed from the Albatros C.XII reconnaissance aircraft, belonging to the “J-class” category.

It featured the wings and tail of the C.XII, which were then attached to a new fuselage with flat sides.

The crew compartment was safeguarded by 490 kg (1,080 lb) of steel armour plate, while the engine remained unprotected.

The sides and bottom of the aircraft were constructed with a 5 mm thick chrome nickel steel plate, which was bolted onto the wooden frame.

The power source for the J.I was the 150 kW (200 hp) Benz Bz.IV engine, which provided subpar performance due to the heavy J.I airframe.

The downward-firing fixed 7.92 mm (.312 in) machine guns were specifically designed for strafing ground targets.

The Albatros J.I aircraft was specifically developed for low altitude battlefield reconnaissance and ground-attack missions, typically flying at altitudes of 50 metres (150 feet) or lower.

These aircraft were primarily assigned to Flieger Abteilungen to provide support to the Army Corps or Army Headquarters.

The German units began receiving the J.I aircraft in April 1918, and they were first deployed in the Battle of the Lys.

The crews appreciated the aircraft due to its armour protection and excellent visibility provided by the low set engine.

While the J.I aircraft proved to be operationally successful, its main drawback was the insufficient armour.

By June 1918, the newer Albatros J.II aircraft started replacing the J.I at the front lines.

However, the older J.I aircraft continued to serve until the Armistice.

Austria-Hungary purchased two of these aircraft.

After the war, the J.I aircraft remained in service with Poland, Norway, and Ukraine.

Poland became the largest post-war user of the type, operating 10 aircraft that were captured during the Greater Polish Uprising of 1918–19.

These aircraft were utilized during the Polish-Soviet war, and from September 1920 to February 1921, the Polish lent four aircraft to the Allied 1st Zaporizhska Aviation Escadrille of the Ukrainian People’s Army.





8.80 m (28 ft 10 in)


14.14 m (46 ft 5 in)


3.37 m (11 ft 1 in)

Wing area

43.0 m2 (463 sq ft)

Empty weight

1,398 kg (3,082 lb)

Gross weight

1,808 kg (3,986 lb)


1 × Benz Bz.IV,

150 kW (200 hp)


Maximum speed

140 km/h (90 mph, 78 kn)


350 km (220 mi, 190 nmi)

Service ceiling.

4,500 m (14,800 ft)

Rate of climb

2.0 m/s (400 ft/min)


2 × 7.92 mm (.312 in) Spandau LMG 08/15 machine guns fixed downward.


1 × 7.92 mm (.312 in) Parabellum MG14 machine gun for observer.

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.


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