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Albatros W.4

The Albatros W.4, a German floatplane based on the Albatros D.I fighter, featured new wing and tail surfaces with a larger span than its predecessor.

A total of 118 units, including prototypes, were manufactured between June 1916 and December 1917.

Initially deployed in the North Sea and Baltic regions, the aircraft later transitioned to a role as a training plane.

The W.4 was equipped with the same 120 kW (160 hp) Mercedes D.III engine as the D.I, housed within a similar fuselage design.

The first production batch of W.4 planes were armed with a single Lmg 08 7.92 mm (.312 in) machine gun, while subsequent models were outfitted with two guns.

Between September 1916 and December 1917, a total of 118 aircraft, including three prototypes, were constructed for combat operations by the W.4.

This aircraft was utilised in both the North Sea and the Baltic Sea, showcasing impressive speed and agility for a floatplane.

The W.4 often outperformed enemy seaplanes in terms of armament, except when facing the heavier flying boats of the Royal Navy.

Eventually, it was overshadowed by faster twin-seat floatplanes from competitor Hansa-Brandenburg.

The W.4’s final role was as a trainer aircraft.





8.5 m (27 ft 11 in)


9.5 m (31 ft 2 in)


3.65 m (12 ft 0 in)

Wing area

31.6 m2 (340 sq ft)

Empty weight

790 kg (1,742 lb)


1 × Mercedes D.III,

6-cylinder water cooled inline piston engine,

120 kW (160 hp)


2 bladed fixed pitch wooden propeller


Maximum speed

158–160 km/h (98–99 mph, 85–86 kn)


3 hours

Service ceiling

2,890 m (9,480 ft)

Time to altitude

1,000 m (3,281 ft) in 5 minutes



1 or 2 × forward firing 7.92 mm (.312 in) LMG 08 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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