Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Germany - 1918 Albatros C.XII

A Point of Departure

It has been a busy day in the studio. I woke up at dawn in a seriously manic mad scientist frame of mind. First off I did some research on British training squadrons and their flashy paint schemes. They flew some extremely gaudy planes decorated with stripes, checks and even hexagons ( I am now officially in profile hog heaven). Next I completed three new Sopwith One and a half Strutter profiles, one in American service, one Belgian, and one Russian. and an Albatros D.V in the distinctive Jasta 18 red and dark blue paint scheme. The toughest part of the Albatros was working up the white horseshoe and four leaf clover pilot insignia. Once again I'm back working on the Albatros project and decided to share some new reconnaissance aircraft profiles and the story behind them. The year was 1918 and we are getting close to the end of the war. Albatros Flugzeugwerke developed two more reconnaissance aircraft designs before the Armistice.

Albatros C.XII Serial Number 1100 - 1918
Albatros C.XII Serial Number 1100 - 1918
Albatros C.XII  Serial Number 2156 - 1918
Albatros C.XII Serial Number 2156 - 1918
Albatros C.XII  Serial Number 9314 - 1918
Albatros C.XII Serial Number 9314 - 1918

The profiles shows the evolution of German national markings from the old style Iron Cross to more modern treatments.

Albatros C.XII From Wikipedia

The Albatros C.XII was a German military reconnaissance aircraft which saw service during the late period of World War I. It differed markedly from previous Albatros C-type aircraft by adopting an elliptical-section fuselage similar to that of the Albatros D.V. The C.XII also featured a tailplane of reduced area, but it retained the wings of the earlier Albatros C.X.

The aircraft was powered by a single 260 hp (190 kW) Mercedes D.IVa, inline water-cooled engine. The aircraft's armament consisted of: a single 0.312 in (7.92 mm) "Spandau" LMG 08/15 machine gun, fixed downward, and a single trainable 0.312 in (7.92 mm) Parabellum MG14 machine gun in the observer's cockpit

The Albatros C.XII was a sleek aircraft with clean lines. Despite the aerodynamic advantages of the design, there was no significant increase in performance achieved over the C.X. Examples remained in service until the end of the War.


  1. From Wikipedia Albatros C.XII, "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albatros_C.XII"
  2. Taylor, Michael J. H. (1989). "Jane's Encyclopedia of Aviation". London: Studio Editions. pp. 53.
  3. Grosz, Peter M. (2007). "Windsock Datafile 126 Albatros C.XII" Vol.1. Berkhamsted: Albatros Productions Ltd..
  4. Grosz, Peter M. (2008). "Windsock Datafile 129 Albatros C.XII" Vol.2. Berkhamsted: Albatros Productions Ltd..


The Angry Lurker said...

They are quite sleek looking birds but no major performance enhancement, is that new marking the first sight of the Balkan cross.

W. I. Boucher said...

I agree it is a lovely bird indeed. Even though it did not improve performance it set the stage for sleeker, more aerodynamic designs.

I had always wondered why and when Germany changed their national insignia. From what I have read it appears to be due to misidentification of the cross as an Allied cockade at long distances. I had previously suspected the reason might be it required less time and effort to paint the Balkan Cross.

On March 20, 1918 IdFlieg (Inspektion der Fliegertruppen) sent a directive to all manufacturers ordering a change of insignia from the Iron Cross to the Balkan Cross to improve the recognition of German aircraft. The gist of the order was the alteration was to be speedily carried out by April 15 of 1918.

I hope this was helpfulmy friend.



W. I. Boucher said...

@Fran, I think I might have misunderstood your question. Any cross with straight sides is a Balkan Cross. I suspect the cross with the large white border was a quick and dirty method used to cover the curved part of an already existing Iron Cross.



Paul´s Bods said...

Nice looking plane...pity Revell don´t do one. I´m painting a DIII up in the colours of Lt. Bruno Loerzer, Jasta 26, 1917...loads of masking tape and swearing :-D

W. I. Boucher said...

I know it would be a sweet kit. I have not checked to see if someone has done a limited edition. If there is one it is most likely either resin or vacuum formed Perhaps there is a paper model. Lt. Bruno Loerzer, Jasta 26 is a fun plane to paint. I would probabably cheat and use solid color sheet decal and cut stripes and snug them down with some solvaset. If you need reference for the wings and tail surfaces let me know and I can send them to you Paul.



Jacob said...

Look amazing! I love the way the nose faces down slightly. Probaly a slight sight advantage for the pilots too!

W. I. Boucher said...

That and the way the low profile engine is neatly tucked in helps keep the pilot&$39;s line of sight fairly unobstructed. It was a very well thought out design.

kingsleypark said...

Once again, lots of useful info Wil!