Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Germany 1916 Albatros D.III OAW

It is All in the Details

When looking at Albatros aircraft pictures you may come across what appears to be a mislabeled example. You may think you are looking at a D.V but the caption reads D.III. What you are looking at is an Albatros D.III OAW. The rudder is larger and has the rounded look of the D.V. Look closer at the fuselage and you will notice the blockier form of the D.III and the difference in access doors and louvers. The D.III OAW was a late development of the original type. The changes made for a much better aircraft.

This OAW has the typical chrome nose which is the hallmark of Jasta 10. The wings and tail plane is standard mauve and green pattern with blue under surfaces.

The colors for Jasta 32b are difficult to identify. There is a wide variation in the examples available. In some of the examples the rudder is black, some white. The reddish letters are the initials of the pilot Kurt Petzina. The wings and tail plane are five color lozenge patterns dark on the top and lighter on the lower surfaces. The wheel cover in this example is the lower surface type.

Unlike the previous example Jasta 50 used a fairly consistent unit color scheme. The red and blue striped tail plane is well documented as a unit identifier. Many examples use an upper surface lozenge camouflage pattern on the rudder. Black and white personal markings were common.

In the spring of 1917, D.III production shifted to Albatros' subsidiary, Ostdeutsche Albatros Werke (OAW), to permit Albatros to concentrate on development and production of the D.V. Between April and August 1917, Idflieg issued five separate orders for a total of 840 D.IIIs. The OAW variant underwent its Typenprüfung in June 1916. Production commenced at the Schneidemühl factory in June and continued through December 1917. OAW aircraft were distinguishable by their larger, rounded rudders.


Jon said...

The Jasta 23b aircraft look very sharp. I was under the impression that the Bavarian Jastas had blue markings.

W. I. Boucher said...

@Jon, Not all Bavarian Jastas used blue as their colors. Some like Jasta 77b did use blue. It is not a hard and fast rule. That is one of the things which makes things interesting.

The Angry Lurker said...

I thought the same, same excellent work sir.