Sunday, June 5, 2011

Austria - 1915 Lohner B.VII

The Battle for the Site From Hell

I got sidetracked away from the Albatros project and started work on some Austria-Hungarian profiles. I have needed to get some original content finished as I slowly replace the last of the material I have not drawn. I am down to less than a dozen aircraft to complete and it will be 100% original profile art. After that I can start adding more articles on rare birds which I have previously roughed out and laid out the profiles.

For approximately 16 months I have been working on a serious remodeling of what I call the site from hell. The project is an over 1000 page monster I had started it in 1999. The site was definitely showing its age. The best way to handle it was complete demolition and start from the ground up using standard friendly code. Hopefully I can soon push ahead on some of the sections that need fleshed out for so long. I am not sure it will ever be complete, but it won't be from lack of trying.

Austria-Hungarian Reconnaissance Aircraft on the Italian Front

Lohner B.VII - 1915
Lohner B.VII - 1915

The unarmed Lohner B.VII and its armed derivative the C.I were military reconnaissance aircraft produced in Austria-Hungary during World War I. They were the ultimate developments in a family of aircraft that had begun with the B.I prior to the outbreak of war, and were the first members of that family that proved suitable for front-line service during the conflict. Like their predecessors, the B.VII and C.I were conventional biplanes with characteristic swept-back wings.

The B.VII appeared in August 1915 and finally provided a machine suitable for service use. These were used to conduct long-range reconnaissance missions over the Italian Front, as well as occasional bombing raids, carrying 180 lb (80 kg) of bombs internally. Many B.VIIs in operational service were equipped with machine guns on flexible mounts for the observer, and this led to the armed C.I version being produced at both the Lohner and Ufag factories.

Aside from its factory-installed armament, the C.I also sported a streamlined cowling around the engine, whereas the B-types had their cylinders exposed to the airstream. Notable missions carried out by these aircraft included the raid on the Porta Volta power station in Milan on 14 February 1916 (a 378 km/276 mi round trip for 12 B.VIIs) and Julius Arigi sinking an Italian steamer at Valona in a B.VII in 1916.

Production of all versions ceased in 1917, and all were withdrawn from service soon afterwards.

Thanks to EastwoodDC at Giant Battling Robots for the shout out.


  1. Lohner B.VII. (2009, August 26). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 03:29, July 2, 2010, from
  2. Chant, Christopher (2002). "Austro-Hungarian Aces of World War 1". Oxford: Osprey.
  3. Grosz, Peter M. (2002). "Austro-Hungarian Army Aircraft of World War One". Colorado: Flying Machine Press.
  4. Gunston, Bill (1993). "World Encyclopedia of Aircraft Manufacturers". Annapolis: Naval Institute Press.
  5. Murphy, Justin D. (2005). "Military Aircraft: Origins to 1918". Santa Barbara: ABC-Clio.
  6. Taylor, Michael J. H. (1989). "Jane's Encyclopedia of Aviation". London: Studio Editions.


kingsleypark said...

With the size of the engine, how on earth was the pilot able to see what was in front of him? Particularly when landing?? Was the engine offset to one side?

The Angry Lurker said...

Beautiful piece of kit, a flying monster and what kinsleypark said.

W. I. Boucher said...

@ Fran, thanks I'm glad I got busy and worked those two yesterday.

The engine is large and many times not covered, however there were a lot of cases where the engine was covered with a fairing. The boxy structure above the engine is a rectangular shaped radiator, which makes the situation even worse. It is a center-line arraignment without any offset. Many early aircraft and some later ones had this problem. The Austrians seemed to have it more than most. Their Lloyd FJ 40.05 was even worse when it came to visibility for the pilot. One problem was many designers were not pilots. There are exceptions to that rule, and you can see they designed from a pilot's perspective. Which was one of the reasons why Anthony Fokker was so successful.