Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Germany - 1917 Albatros C.X

A Sleek Reconnaissance Plane for the Late War

Albatros C.X - 1917
Albatros C.X - 1917

The Albatros C.X was a very successful German military reconnaissance aircraft which saw service during the late years of World War I.

The production of the C.X model continued their commitment to producing capable reconnaissance aircraft. The C.X was designed to improve upon a successful family of aircraft by adding a more aerodynamic fuselage and improved power plants.

It was essentially an enlarged development of the C.VII designed to take advantage of the new Mercedes D.IVa engine that became available in 1917. Unlike the C.VII that preceded it in service, the C.X utilized the top wing spar-mounted radiator that had first been tried on the C.V/17. Other important modernization features included the carriage of oxygen for the crew, and radio equipment. A total of 400 Albatros C.X aircraft were built in five orders issued by Idflieg from October 1916 to January 1917.

The C.X had impressive performance numbers. The maximum speed was 110 mph (175 km/h). It was a high flyer with a service ceiling of 16,500 ft (5,000 m). The C.X also had a respectable climb rate of 660 ft/min (3.3 m/s). The C.X had a long range capabilities and staying power because of an endurance of 3 hours 25 min. Armament consisted of one fixed forward-firing synchronized 0.312 in (7.92 mm) Spandau LMG 08/15 machine gun and single trainable 0.312 in (7.92 mm) Parabellum MG14 machine gun for observer.


  1. From Wikipedia Albatros C.X,"http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albatros_C.X"
  2. Taylor, Michael J. H. (1989). "Jane's Encyclopedia of Aviation". London: Studio Editions. pp. 53.
  3. Grosz, Peter M. "Albatros C.X. Windsock Datafile 114" Berkhamsted: Albatros Productions Ltd..


The Angry Lurker said...

I like it, what's that above the engine, it's very pronounced.

W. I. Boucher said...

The big brown thing is the exhaust manifold and the tube runs to the radiator on the upper wing.

kingsleypark said...

Nice looking craft. How would they have been deployed? In their own squadrons or would they have been assigned to a fighter squadron as a reconnaissance wing?

W. I. Boucher said...

@KP: A good explanation on organization of reconnaissance aircraft is at: Historical Miniatures Journal Issue Number 5 By George Grasse

The short answer is: C-Class aircraft were formed into Flieger-Abteilung units to carry out the duties of artillery spotting (Artillerieflug), photo reconnaissance (Photoflug) and ground attack (Bombenflug), among other missions, on a routine basis.

A Flieger-Abteilung was assigned to Korps or Army for reconnaissance, artillery spotting, and aerial photography, often referred to as strategic army cooperation. A Flieger-Abteilung-Artillerie, or FA (A), unit was assigned to individual front line divisions for the same kind of work but for local, tactical purposes.

I hope that helps.


kingsleypark said...

Cheers Will! Very helpful.