The Hansa-Brandenburg C.I, also known as Type LDD, was a 2-seater armed single-engine reconnaissance biplane designed by Ernst Heinkel, who worked at that time for the parent company in Germany.
The C.I had similarities with the earlier B.I, including inward sloping inter-plane bracing struts.
Like other early-war Austro-Hungarian reconnaissance aircraft, such as C-types of Lloyd or Lohner, the Type LDD had a communal cockpit for its crew.
The C.I served in the Imperial and Royal Aviation Troops in visual and photographic reconnaissance, artillery observation and light bombing duties from early spring 1916 to the end of World War I.
The aircraft had good handling characteristics, and steady introduction of more powerful engines in successive production batches enabled the improvement of performance and thus the continuing front-line service.
Armament of the type consisted of a free-firing 8 mm (0.315 in) Schwarzlose machine gun at the rear for the observer, and at least in some aircraft for the pilot there was also a similar fixed, non-synchronised forward-firing gun in a pod above the top wing.
This latter weapon was replaced in later production examples by a synchronised 8 mm (0.315 in) Schwarzlose gun on the port side of the fuselage.
The normal bomb load for the C.I was 60 kg (130 lb), but some aircraft could carry one 80 kg (180 lb) and two 10 kg (22 lb) bombs.
After World War I, in 1918, 22 original Hansa-Brandenburg C.I seized by the Poles were among the first aircraft of Polish Air Force.
They were used in Battle of Lemberg and then Polish–Ukrainian War and Polish–Soviet War.
Approximately 30 more aircraft were assembled or built by the Poles afterwards in Lviv and Kraków.
During the Hungarian–Romanian War, Romania used Hansa-Brandenburg C.I airplanes captured from the Hungarian Red Air Arm.
By the end of the war, a total of 22 aircraft of this type were captured.
The aircraft were used by the Romanian Air Force until the mid 1930s.
Series 23 and 26 with 120 kW (160 hp) Austro-Daimler
Series 27 with 140 kW (190 hp) Austro-Daimler
Series 29 with 160 kW (210 hp) Austro-Daimler
Series 29.5, 129, 229 and 329 with 150 kW (200 hp) Hiero 6
Series 429 with 170 kW (230 hp) Hiero 6
Series 61, 64, 67 and 68 with 120 kW (160 hp) Austro-Daimler
Series 63 with 120 kW (160 hp) Mercedes D.III
Series 269 with 150 kW (200 hp) Austro-Daimler
Series 69 with 150 kW (200 hp) Hiero
Series 169 with 160 kW (210 hp) Benz Bz.IVa
Series 369 with 170 kW (230 hp) Hiero
Aero (Czechoslovakia) post-war
Aero A.14, Aero A.15 and Aero A.26 with Walter-built 138 kW (185 hp) BMW IIIa
Poland (post war)
In 1919-1920, fifteen aircraft, differing in construction and engines, were assembled by the Poles in Lviv RPL-III workshops, and then in 1920-1924, some fifteen were made in Kraków workshops.
Arsenalul Aeronautic (Romania) post-war
In the 1920s with the increase in need of training aircraft, the Romanian Ministry of War approved the construction of Hansa-Brandenburg C.I airplanes at Arsenalul Aeronautic from Cotroceni.
The aircraft were powered by the Austro-Daimler 160 hp engine.
It was the first large-scale aircraft production that took place in Romania.
Between 1922 and 1923, a total of 120 Hansa-Brandenburg C.I were manufactured.