Saturday, July 23, 2011

Germany - 1918 Hansa-Brandenburg W.29

The Elegant W.29 Takes to the Air

In the last year of the Great War German Floatplane design reached a high level of sophistication. Hansa-Brandenburg had carved out a reputation for producing excellent naval aircraft including both floatplanes and flying boats. The designs produced at this time served into the 1920-1930⅝s. Finland, Norway, Denmark were some of the countries who flew the Hansa-Brandenburg W.29 and W.33 after the war.

The Hansa-Brandenburg W.29 was a German monoplane fighter floatplane manufactured by Hansa und Brandenburgische Flugzeug-Werke, which served in 1918 in the closing months of World War I. The Hansa-Brandenburg W.29 had its first flight on March 27, 1918. The fighter was deployed from bases on the North Sea coast.

The German naval air service asked for an aircraft with increased speed and firepower to counter the heavily armed Felixtowe flying boats used by the British in the North sea. In response to this request, Hansa und Brandenburgische Flugzeug-Werke designed the W.29 which was based on the aging W.12 biplane. The W.29 was specifically designed by Ernst Heinkel to replace early W.12 biplane. The monoplane configuration created much less drag, giving the W.29 a higher rate of speed.

There were several production batches of W.29's. Batch 2507-2536 were powered by the 150 hp Benz III inline water-cooled engine. Armament was a pair of Spandau guns synchronized for the pilot and a Parabellum on a ring for the observer.

The first combat for the Hansa-Brandenburg W.29 took place on July 4, 1918. Oberleutnant Friedrich Christiansen lead a flight of four W.29's which intercepted and attacked three Felixtowe flying boats. They shot down all three without a loss. Christiansen's use of the W.29 in July of 1918 was exceptional. On July 6 1918, Christiansen lead a flight of five W.29's who located and damaged the British submarine C 25. On July 31, 1918 Christiansen downed another Curtiss flying boat. By the end of the war he had 13 confirmed victories.

References

  1. Hansa-Brandenburg W.29. (2009, November 8). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 22:04, August 29, 2010, from http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Hansa-Brandenburg_W.29&oldid=324701281
  2. Jackson, Robert, "The Encyclopedia of Military Aircraft", Parragon, 2002. ISBN 0-75258-130-9
  3. Gray, Peter and Thetford, Owen. "German Aircraft of the First World War". London: Putnam, 1962.

2 comments:

The Angry Lurker said...

Nice history to this aircraft and flying boat victories.

W. I. Boucher said...

Thanks Fran. I had posted the drawing of Friedrich Christiansen's W.29 on my post Germany - Late War Monoplanes. He did have an excellent record with the W.29.