Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The CD Profile Project Take One

First Look: The CD Profile Project

I have been mulling over the question of whether or not to produce a series of profile CDs. At the moment I am thinking it would be best to start with the major aircraft companies, grouping the profiles by type. I am still not sure how many profiles I can get on a disc but experiments will establish that soon enough. This is the first draft at how the profiles will appear. The layouts are subject to change. The images I have posted are at reduced color depth to keep load time online to a minimum.

Warning This is a Test!

Albatros D.XI s/n D.2208/18

I welcome your feedback on this project. You can post it as a comment, or email me. I will take all serious ideas and constructive criticism and use them to create something people want.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Italy - 1917 Società Italiana Aviazione 7B

The Unfortunate Tale of the Underwhelming S.I.A. 7B

Aircraft design was more of an art than a science during the First World War. In many posts I have written about the problems experienced by Austrian designers while laboring down dead ends. The one saving grace for Austria was the inability of Italy to develop winning fighter and reconnaissance aircraft designs. Both Italy and Austria relied on designs created by their allies. For the most part Italy built planes from French designs. These include Macchi built versions of the Hanriot H.D.1, Nieuport 11-17, and the S.P.A.D. S.VII.

As with most examples the forward fuselage is bare metal. The height of the engine cover was very problematic for pilots since it blocked his forward field of vision.The roundels have a thin white border.

A Short History of the S.I.A. 7B

The Società Italiana Aviazione 7B was designed to replace the earlier pusher planes in service with the Italian air force. The SIA 7b was tested and approved for production in early 1917. The initial production aircraft were delivered to the reconnaissance squadrons in the summer of 1917. A later version had a different fairing of the fuselage decking. the SIA 7B proved extremely disappointing. Its workmanship was bad, and it suffered from wing failure, losing its wings in flight. Another fatal problem involved the Fiat engine mounted on this model which was notoriously troublesome. It was known to suffer from backfire at the carburetor and catching fire, much to the discomfort of the air crew. After a string of many fatal accidents this design was permanently withdrawn from service in June of 1918.


  1. SIA 7. (2009, November 25). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 02:15, July 7, 2010, from
  2. Swanborough, F. Gordon & Bowers, Peter M. "United States Military Aircraft Since 1909" (Putnam New York, ISBN 085177816X) 1964, 596 pp.
  3. Taylor, Michael John Haddrick "Janes Fighting Aircraft of World War I Random House Group Ltd. 20 Vauxhall Bridge Road, London SW1V 2SA, 2001, 320 pp, ISBN 1-85170-347-0.
  4. Fahey, James C. "U.S. Army Aircraft 1908-1946" (Ships and Aircraft, Fall Church VA) 1946, 64pp.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Austria - 1917 Hansa-Brandenburg G.1

The Hansa-Brandenburg G.1 Bomber

Austria depended on German for many of their designs. That does not mean many attempts were not made to produce their own designs.Unfortunately most of their efforts did not pan out. The Hansa-Brandenburg G.1 Bomber is one of those attempts which did not exceed the performance of their German counterparts.

As with most of the examples of this type I have seen, the fuselage is varnished wood. The wings, tail plane and rudders are all varnished fabric. The aircraft is depicted as it was in early 1918, before the switch to the Baltic cross.

A Short History of the Hansa-Brandenburg G.1 Bomber

The Hansa-Brandenburg G.I was a bomber aircraft used to equip the Austro-Hungarian aviation corps in World War I. It was a mostly conventional large, three-bay biplane with staggered wings of slightly unequal span. The pilot and bombardier sat in a large open cockpit at the nose of the aircraft, with a second open cockpit for a gunner in a dorsal position behind the wings. An unusual feature was the placement of the twin tractor engines. While the normal practice of the day was to mount these to the wings, either directly or on struts, the G.I had the engines mounted to the sides of the fuselage on lattices of steel struts. This arrangement added considerable weight to the aircraft and transmitted a lot of vibration to the airframe.

A small initial production batch of six aircraft was delivered by March 1917, but were all grounded soon thereafter and put into storage due to a contractual dispute between the manufacturer and Flars (the Imperial and Royal Aviation Arsenal). When this was resolved, deliveries recommenced, although the size of the order was reduced, and the bombers were modified by Flars before being sent to the Divacca, on the Italian Front. Twelve aircraft were built by UFAG and differed slightly from the German-built machines.

The G.I eventually equipped three squadrons plus a replacement unit, but reports from pilots were unfavorable, especially in comparison to the Gotha G.IV that was becoming available. The Hansa-Brandenburg machine was therefore quickly relegated to training duties. In the three months that these aircraft had been at the front, they had only carried out a single successful sortie. As a footnote to the G.I's military service, the type also served as a test bed in experiments in mounting large-caliber cannon on aircraft; flying with nose-mounted 2 in (50 mm) and (separately) 2.75 in (70 mm) Skoda weapons, and a 1.46 in (37 mm) Skoda cannon mounted in the dorsal gunner's position.


  1. Hansa-Brandenburg G.I. (2010, December 19). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 06:03, March 12, 2011, from
  2. Taylor, Michael J. H. (1989). Jane's Encyclopedia of Aviation. London: Studio Editions. pp. 472.
  3. Hansa-Brandenburg Aircraft, 2010 Books LLC ISBN: 1155357191 ISBN-13: 9781155357195

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Austria - 1917 Lohner D.I 10.20 series 111

Some Times Life Just Gets Strange

Things have been hectic around the studio. I am supposedly officially retired and getting on with the work I choose. Unfortunately others I know seem to think since I am retired I have empty hours that I should fill with projects they want me to do for them. Add a internet connection issue and I have not had much chance to post or read the blogs of my friends. Hopefully things will settle down and I can get back to a normal (as normal as it gets in this madhouse) routine.

The Ill Fated Lohner D.I 10.20

I have previously posted one of the earlier prototypes of this type. I finally finished up the profile of the last incarnation of this design. Austria seemed to have a difficult time creating original designs which could compete with the aircraft of their enemies. They invested so much time and resources into inferior designs.

Lohner DI - 10.20 Type AA sn. 111.01

Lohner DI - 10.20 Type AA sn. 111.01 - 1917
Lohner DI - 10.20 Type AA sn. 111.01 - 1917

This is the original prototype, known as the type AA. Despite its sleek lines The performance left much to be desired. It was rebuilt with conventional wing struts and wires. This did yield any real advantage.

Lohner DI 10.20B sn. 111.02 - 1917

Lohner DI  10.20B sn. 111.02 - 1917
Lohner DI 10.20B sn. 111.02 - 1917

I had originally posted this profile a while ago. I include it here to show the evolution of the design. This nw build was the second attempt to solve the problems with the design. Once again the "I" struts have returned and the lines are still rather sleek. Unfortunately there was not much improvement in performance. As with the Type AA, the type B was retired.

Lohner DI 10.20 sn.111.03 - 1917

Lohner DI  10.20 sn.111.03 - 1917
Lohner DI 10.20 sn.111.03 - 1917

This is the final version of the Lohner D.I. Gone were the "I" struts and the fuselage was simplified. The rudder was smaller that the previous prototypes.

The Lohner Series 111 aircraft company was an Austria-Hungarian prototype single seat biplane built in 1917 by Lohnerwerke GmbH. The fuselage was a laminated wood construction. The wing struts were an "I" requiring no wires tor structural stability. Power was provided by an Austro-Daimler engine generating 185 hp (138 kW) The design went through several changes during the development process. Three prototypes were built. The performance of the aircraft was not an improvement on existing models already in production. Lackluster flight results led to Flars not approving the D.I for production.


  1. Grosz, Peter, the Austro-Hungarian Army Aircraft of World War One, Flying Machines Press, 2002, ISBN 1-891268-05-8