Saturday, May 21, 2011

Germany - 1918 Albatros D.XI

It's been a busy day. A morning of dealing with tech support issues and beating my head against the wall. I needed sleep but I recharged my self spending the rest of the day working up a new master for the Albatros D.III, I'll post some of the new drawings next week. I took a break, ate lunch and made some wing drawings. It was time to play around with how I want to work them into my blog.

Albatros Experimental Aircraft of 1918

Albatros D.XI - 1918
Albatros D.XI - 1918
Albatros D.XI Upper Wing top and bottom surfaces
Albatros D.XI Upper Wing top and bottom surfaces
Albatros D.XI Lower Wing top and bottom surfaces
Albatros D.XI Lower Wing top and bottom surfaces

The Albatros D.XI was a German single-seat fighter biplane; and the only Albatros fighter to be powered by rotary engine (the 60hp Siemens-Halske Sh.III). The Albatros D.XI presented a departure from customary wire braced Albatros designs by using struts instead of cables to brace the wing cellule.

The wings had unequal spans with the upper planes having greater span than the lower ones, and were braced by I-struts with an aerofoil cross-section, additional rigidity being provided by twinned diagonal struts from the base of these to the top of the fuselage, located where the "landing wires" of a normal wire-braced biplane would be. The use of a rotary engine requireded a large-diameter propeller and a correspondingly tall undercarriage. The D.XI was armed with the same twin 0.312 in (7.92 mm) Spandau LMG 08/15 machine guns employed on other Albatros fighters.

Two prototype aircraft were ordered and built (2208/18 and 2209/18). Construction of the first prototype, 2209/18, was completed in March 1918 but engine supply problems meant the aircraft did not begin flight testing until May 1918. D.XI 2209/18 participated in the in the Second Fighter Competition (used to allow front line pilots to provide input into future fighter selections) in June 1918, and put up an unexceptional performance before crashing on landing due to its high undercarriage and short fuselage. This contributed to Idflieg (German Flying Inspectorate) eliminating the D.XI from production consideration, especially considering other aircraft entering production had priority for the Sh.III engine.

Albatros continued development work, and the second prototype, 2208/18, which had larger ailerons, a four bladed prop and a shorter undercarriage to assist landing, participated in the Third Fighter Competition. Even with these modifications, the control response was too docile, although other flight characteristics were good. Again the D.XI was not selected for production, and the last of the prototype airframes was destroyed by the allies in early 1920.


  1. Albatros D.XI. (2010, May 4). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 20:26, July 10, 2010, from
  2. Das Virtuelle Luftfahrtmuseum
  3. Albatros D.XI (1:48) by: Brad Cancian AeroScale retrieved 7/11/2010 2:02:57 AM
  4. Green, W.; Swanborough, G. (1994). "The Complete Book of Fighters". London: Salamander Books. ISBN 1-85833-777-1.


Jacob said...

Its a pity ao many prototypes were destroyed after the first wwI. I really think it was a setback in aviation knowledge..

W. I. Boucher said...

@Jacob, The treaty of Versailles was very harsh on the Germans. It forced them to destroy many aircraft. Once something is designed the knowledge and test data live on. In many cases the experimental world war one plane was ahead of it's time. The design ideas evolved once more powerful engines, better construction methods and material were developed. I see it as a loss for historians and museums.

The Angry Lurker said...

I like its short stubby look, really nice piece of kit.