Thursday, June 30, 2011

Britain - 1918 Sopwith TF.2 Salamander

I know it is that standard dull British paint scheme. I am working on the more exuberant tan, pink and green experimental camouflage scheme and I promise to post it when I have finished it.

Britain's Late War Ground Attack Plane

Sopwith Salamander - 1918
Sopwith Salamander - 1918

The Sopwith TF.2 Salamander was a British World War I ground attack aircraft which first flew in April 1918. The war ended before the type could enter squadron service, although two were in France in October 1918.

By 1917, the use of close support aircraft had become an essential part of an infantry attack. On the German side, specialist aircraft were designed specifically for the task, such as the Halberstadt CL.II and the armored Junkers J.I – the British however relied for this work on ordinary fighters such as the DH 5, and the Camel, and general purpose two seaters such as the F.K.8. Ground fire took a heavy toll of aircrew involved, and an equivalent to the armored German machines was sought. The first British aircraft to be built specifically for "ground strafing", as close support was known, was an armored version of the Camel, known by the company as the "TF.1" (for "trench fighter"). This did not go into production, but information gained in testing it was used for the Salamander design.

Design of the Salamander, conceived as an armored version of the Sopwith Snipe, began in January 1918. The forward portion of the fuselage was a 650 lb (295 kg) box of armor plate. The rear portion was a generally similar structure to the Snipe's, but flat sided, to match the forepart. The wings and tail unit were identical with the Snipe, and the same Bentley BR2 rotary engine was fitted. This was protected by a standard (unarmored) cowling – the foremost armor plate forming the firewall.

Originally an armament of three Lewis guns was planned, as for the TF.I. Two would have fired forward and downwards through the cockpit floor, while a third would have fired upwards. In the event a conventional battery of two synchronized Vickers guns was mounted in front of the cockpit, as on the Snipe, although they were staggered, the starboard gun being mounted a few inches forward of the port one.

The prototype underwent its initial trials in April 1918, and was sent to France for evaluation on 9 May, but subsequently crashed on 19 May during test program while with No. 65 Squadron when the pilot had to avoid a tender crossing the aerodrome responding to another crash. . By this time four prototypes were flying, undergoing many of the same modifications to the tail and ailerons as the Snipe in order to correct the initially rather heavy and unresponsive controls.

Production was intended to be on a very large scale – The Air Navigation Co., Glendower Aircraft, and Palladium Motors all signed contracts to supply Salamanders, as well as the Sopwith company itself. By the end of the war, however, only 37 Salamanders were on RAF charge, and only two of these were in France. None had as yet been issued to an operational squadron.

With the Armistice, the immediate need for a specialist close support aircraft evaporated, and no squadron was ever fully equipped with the type, which had disappeared from RAF service altogether by the mid 1920s. The type was not developed, but was used in trials of various patterns of disruptive camouflage in the early post war years. One example went to America, and was apparently still in existence at McCook Field in 1926.


  1. Sopwith Salamander. (2011, April 3). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 05:15, June 30, 2011, from
  2. Bruce, Jack M., "The First British armoured Brigade", AIR International, Bromley, Kent, UK, April 1979, Volume 16, Number 4, page 185.
  3. "Jane's Fighting Aircraft of World War I". New York, New York: Military Press. 1990. pp. 87. ISBN 0-517-03376-3.
  4. Bruce, J.M. (1969). "War Planes of the First World War" (Vol.2). London: Macdonald. ISBN 0-356-01490-8.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Britain - 1915 Airco DH.1

British Air-power in the Middle East Theater - 1915

Airco D.H.1 - 1915
Airco D.H.1 - 1915

The Airco DH.1 was an early military biplane flown by Britain's Royal Flying Corps during World War I.

Geoffrey de Havilland was one of the pioneering designers at the Royal Aircraft Factory and was partially or wholly responsible for most pre-war "Factory" designs. When he left to become chief designer at The Aircraft Manufacturing Company (Airco) in 1914, his first design was strongly reminiscent of the F.E.2b, one of his last designs for the Royal Aircraft Factory. Like the F.E.2, the DH.1 was of pusher configuration, the aircraft accommodating its pilot and observer in two open tandem cockpits in the nose, the observer's cockpit stepped down below the pilot's and equipped with a machine gun. The wings were of typical fabric-covered, two-bay, unstaggered, straight, equal span design, while the stabilizer and rudder were carried on the end of a long, open-framework boom.

The type, like the F.E.2b, was designed for the 120 hp (89 kW) Beardmore 120 hp water cooled inline engine. However, all available Beardmore engines had been ordered for F.E.2b production, so the 70 hp (52 kW) Renault 70 hp aircooled V8 engine was installed instead. With this powerplant the DH.1 was underpowered - but still had a creditable performance, and was ordered into production. Airco was already occupied with later designs, so DH.1 production was undertaken by Savages of King's Lynn.

The DH.1 saw operational service only in the Middle East theatre, where a few Beardmore powered DH.1As arrived in July 1916 - these were used by No. 14 Squadron RFC as escorts for their B.E.2 reconnaissance aircraft. An Aviatik two seater was claimed by a 14 Squadron D.H.1A in August for the only known victory of the type. The last known action by a DH.1 was on 5 March 1917, when one was shot down during a bombing raid on Tel el Sheria. No. 14 Squadron became an R.E.8 unit in November 1917 - and it seems probable the last operational DH.1 had gone before that date.

The other DH.1s served in training and Home defence units in the United Kingdom, finally being withdrawn from service in 1918.


  • DH.1:101 examples powered by Renault engine
  • DH.1A:Late production model some 70 examples powered by Beardmore engine


  1. From Wikipedia Airco DH.1, ""
  2. Cheesman, E.F. (ed.) "Reconnaissance & Bomber Aircraft of the 1914-1918 War". Letchworth, UK: Harleyford, 1962.
  3. Grey, C.G. "Jane's all the world's aircraft 1919" (reprint). New York: Arco Publishing Company, 1969. ISBN 0-0001-890-1.
  4. Jackson, A.J. "De Havilland Aircraft since 1909". London:Putnam, Third edition, 1987. ISBN 0 85177 802 X.
  5. Taylor, Michael J.H. "Jane's Encyclopedia of Aviation", 1989 edition. London: Studio Editions, 1989, p. 45. ISBN 0-51710-316-8.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Project Albatros Part 5

More New Albatros D.V - D.Va Profiles

I have been on a roll again. Over the weekend I have completed over a dozen Albatros and Pfalz profiles of different types. There seems to be a never ending stream of new research material I have found to use as ideas for more profiles. I have begun working on developing a series of e-books for use on Amazon's Kindle, so all my research time should prove helpful. More news on this later.

I do like this profile. it uses a variation on the basic "Giraffe" camouflage pattern over most of the body with a red stripe. It is fun to show other camouflage paterns other than lozanges. I am not sure if the pattern carries over to the upper wing surfaces, or if they were painted the same muted pale green used on the tail planes,engine compartment, struts, and wheel covers.

This Albatros sports the distinctive red and blue of Jasta 15. The insignia is another version of the shooting star or comet theme used by many aviators on both side of the war. I was looking over an early drawing by Bob Pearson of this plane and his notes said there is speculation that the underside of the fuselage was painted pale sky blue matching the underside of the wings. If anyone finds enough evidence let me know so I can correct my version.

Yet another comet insignia (hmmm I should do a post on that topic). The striped forward fuselage section and black empanage over the varnished plywood finish made this profile interesting to do.

Britain - 1916 Parnall Scout

I think it is time for more experimental aircraft. Britain seemed to have a large number of them during the Great War. Small companies without any aviation experience all rolled up their sleeves and produced a bewildering collection of aircraft which would never enter service. They may have never flew in combat, but they do make the history of aviation colorful.

An Ill Fated Zeppelin Chaser

Parnall Scout - 1916
Parnall Scout - 1916

Parnall and Sons of Bristol initiated work on the company's first original aircraft, a single-seat anti-airship fighter to the designs of A Camden Pratt, in 1916. Intended to meet a requirement formulated by the Admiralty, this aircraft, unofficially known as the Zeppelin Chaser, was a large, two-bay staggered biplane of wooden construction. It was powered by a 260hp (194 kW) Sunbeam Maori 12-cylinder water-cooled engine and armed with a single 0.303 in (7.7mm) gun offset to starboard and firing upward at an angle of 45°. Two prototypes were ordered, but the first of these proved appreciably overweight. Although the Scout reportedly flew twice, it was considered to possess unacceptably low safety factors and was returned to the manufacturer, development being abandoned.

On the designs of A. Camden-Pratt, Parnall began work on a single-seat anti-airship fighter aircraft in 1916, initially intended to meet an aircraft specification from the Admiralty. A large, wooden two-bay staggered biplane, it was finished and initially tested in late 1916.

The Scout reportedly flew twice in late 1916 under Admiralty testing, however it was found to be heavy, slow and with few safety features. As such it was returned to Parnall in the same year and no further development progressed.


  1. Parnall Scout. (2010, September 18). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 11:50, October 28, 2010, from
  2. Parnall Scout 1916 Retrieved 11:53, October 28, 2010, from
  3. Parnall Scout Retrieved 11:56, October 28, 2010, from
  4. Parnall Scout (1916) (England) Retrieved 19:56, October 08, 2010, from
  5. Green, William; Gordon Swanborough. The Complete Book of Fighters. Godalming, UK: Salamander Books. pp. 463.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Germany - 1917 Rumpler C.IV

The Exceptional Rumpler C.IV

Rumpler C.IV - 1917
Rumpler C.IV - 1917

The Rumpler C.IV-VII were virtually indistinguishable from the outside. This aircraft flew with the unit Flieger-Abteilung(A ) 253 during the late summer of 1918. Leutnant der Reserve Hanns-Gerd Rabe flew numerous long range patrols. The aircraft's high ceiling kept it relatively safe from pursuing Allied fighters.

The Rumpler C.IV was a German single-engine, two-seat reconnaissance biplane. The C.IV was a development of C.III with different tail surfaces and using a Mercedes D.IVa engine in place of C.III's Benz Bz.IV. In addition to the parent company, the aircraft was also built by Pfalz Flugzeugwerke as the Pfalz C.I. Another variant of the basic design was the Rumpler 6B-2 single-seat floatplane fighter, with a 120 kW (160 hp) Mercedes D.III engine, built for the Kaiserliche Marine (Imperial Navy).

For a two-seater reconnaissance aircraft, Rumpler C.IV had an excellent performance, which enabled it to remain in front-line service until the end of World War I on the Western Front, as well as in Italy and Palestine. Its exceptional ceiling allowed pilots to undertake reconnaissance secure in the knowledge that few allied aircraft could reach it.


  1. From Wikipedia Rumpler C-IV ""
  2. Gray, Peter and Thetford, Owen. "German Aircraft of the First World War". London, Putnam, 1962.
  3. Munson, Kenneth. "Aircraft of World War I". London: Ian Allen, 1967. ISBN 07110 0356.
  4. Munson, Kenneth. "Bombers, Patrol and Reconnaissance Aircraft 1914-1919". ISBN 0 7537 0918 X
  5. Munson, Kenneth. "Fighters, Attack and Training Aircraft 1914-1919". ISBN 0 7537 0916 3

Friday, June 24, 2011

Germany - 1918 Pfalz D.XII

Even a Thoroughbred Can Finish in Second Place

The final year of the war produced many excellent aircraft. The Pfalz D.XII was one of the finer fighters built by the Germans. It had sleek lines and lovely curves which are pleasing to the eye. It has always been one of my favorite late war fighters.

The Pfalz D.XII was the successor to the Pfalz D.IIIa series fighter. They were received into service in late summer of 1918. It was a sturdy, agile, and well designed fighter that nearly rivaled the famed Fokker D.VII in performance. Though the D.XII was an effective fighter aircraft, it was overshadowed by the highly successful Fokker D.VII. It was not produced in great numbers due to the amount of time needed to form the plywood fuselage.


  1. "Pfalz D.XII", From Wikipedia
  2. Gray, Peter and Owen Thetford. "German Aircraft of the First World War". London: Putnam, 1962, p. 191-192, p. 504. ISBN 0-93385-271-1.
  3. Herris, Jack. "Pfalz Aircraft of World War I" (Great War Aircraft in Profile, Volume 4). Boulder, Colorado: Flying Machine Press, 2001, p. 87, pp. 101-102, p. 104. ISBN 1-891268-15-5.
  4. Van Wyngarden, Greg. "Pfalz Scout Aces of World War I" (Aircraft of the Aces No. 71). Oxford, UK: Osprey Publishing, 2006, p. 85-86, p. 88. ISBN 1-84176-998-3.
  5. Weyl, Alfred Richard. "Fokker: The Creative Years." London: Putnam, 1965, p. 322. ISBN 0-85177-817-8.
  6. Wynne, H. Hugh. "The Motion Picture Stunt Pilots and Hollywood's Classic Aviation Movies". Missoula, Montana: Pictorial Histories Publishing Company, 1987, p. 97. ISBN 0-93312-685-9.

Project Albatros Part 4

Albatros Aircraft in Turkish Service

While working on the Albatros Project I decided it was time to start fleshing out my profiles of Turkish aircraft. Along with a few Fokkers I began work on Albatros aircraft. I am saving a couple Gotha float planes which will be fun. Once I get those done I can begin on other aircraft to fill out the ranks of a largely ignored air force.

The Albatros B.II was an unarmed German two-seat reconnaissance biplane of the First World War. Designed by Ernst Heinkel based on his 1913 Albatros B.I, the B.II was the aircraft that brought the aircraft manufacturer Albatros Flugzeugwerke to the world's attention. When it was no longer useful in German service they were sent to Turkish units.

The Albatros C.I was an armed German two-seat reconnaissance biplane of the First World War. It was an improved version of the B.II. It gave the Turks the ability to defend themselves from enemy aircraft.

The Albatros C.III was a German two-seat general-purpose biplane of World War I, built by Albatros Flugzeugwerke. The C.III was a refined version of the successful Albatros C.I and was eventually produced in greater numbers than any other C-type Albatros. It was used in a wide variety of roles including observation, photo-reconnaissance, light-bombing and bomber escort.

The Albatros D.III was a biplane fighter aircraft used by the Imperial German Army Air Service (Luftstreitkräfte) the Turkish Air force and the Austro-Hungarian Air Service (Luftfahrtruppen) during World War I. Many of the pilots in Turkish service were German aviators sent to fight and train Turkish airmen.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Britain - 1916 Vickers F.B.19

The Vickers Company was known for a long string of mediocre fighters and one extremely well designed heavy bomber, the Vickers Vimy. Today I will write about their fighters. Vickers clung to the pusher aircraft well past the point it was obsolete. Their tractor designs were not very impressive either. Despite this fact, Vickers had the political clout to be awarded military contracts throughout the war.

The Unpopular Vickers F.B.19

Vickers F.B.19 - 1916
Vickers F.B.19 - 1916

The Vickers F.B.19 was an aircraft with several design flaws that prevented it from becoming popular, or widely used aircraft. It was relatively slow (98 mph -158 km/h), underpowered, and not at all capable of reaching higher altitudes. Its service ceiling was 16,995 ft (5,180 m).

Fifty F.B.19s were built and six were sent to France for operational evaluation. They were found to be unsuitable for the fighting conditions then evolving. A number of F.B.19s were sent to Russia. Those which were still crated on the dockside were destroyed by the Royal Navy after the Revolution but some were used by the Bolshevik forces.

Twelve examples of the Mk II, with staggered mainplanes and a 110 hp (82 kW) Le Rhône or Clerget engine, were built. Several were sent to the Middle East in a batch of twelve F.B.19s. From June 1917, these operated in Palestine and Macedonia but they were not popular and no squadron was fully equipped with the type.


  1. From Wikipedia Vickers_FB-19, ""
  2. "Virtual Aircraft Museum".
  3. Bruce, J.M. "War Planes Of The First World War: Volume Three Fighters". London: Macdonald, 1969. ISBN 0 356 01490 8.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Germany - 1917 Fokker D.V

The Forgotten Fokker Aircraft

Some times life can be rewarding. Yesterday I found information and enough graphic reference material to work up a Fokker aircraft I had only seen mentioned in passing. I love when I can fill the gaps in a narrative. (Simple pleasures for simple minds). Once I got on a roll I had the profile finished in a few hours.

The Fokker D.V was the German army designation for the Fokker M.22 biplane, ordered as a training aircraft in October 1916. It was the last in a series of closely related and generally unsatisfactory Fokker biplanes produced since the acceptance of the Fokker D.I in June 1916.

After the disappointing performance of his D.I through D.IV, Anthony Fokker resolved to produce a smaller, lighter rotary-powered design. The new prototype, designated M.21, was a development of the earlier M.17 fighter which Fokker had produced for the Austro-Hungarian Air Service. The M.21 featured a swept back upper wing to improve pilot view.

Fokker was enthusiastic about the new aircraft, which was highly maneuverable. After the addition of a modified cowling and stringers along the fuselage sides, the aircraft was designated M.22. In October 1916, Idflieg ordered production of the M.22 now designated as the D.V.

In October 1916 Fokker received an order for 200 D.Vs, followed by orders for another 50 in February 1917 and then a final 50 in April. These aircraft were accepted by the German army between December 1916 and July 1917. The two final orders can thus be seen as a vote of confidence in the type, at least as a trainer, arriving after the training units had had significant experience of using the type.

By the end of 1916 the German army was well aware of the quality control problems that went with any Fokker aircraft, and so one production aircraft was selected at random to undergo rigorous tests. Predictably the wings and rudder both failed these tests and had to be strengthened, but after that the type performed satisfactorily. Compared to the combat aircraft of 1917 it was underpowered, and its rotary engine meant that it did not perform in the same way as the aircraft of 1917. The D.V had a final burst of life in 1918 when the rotary powered Fokker triplane was about to enter service. By this time rotary engined aircraft were rare, as were pilots with experience of flying them, and so a number of the surviving D.Vs were sent to front line units to be used as a conversion trainer.

Production of the D.V totaled 216 aircraft


  1. Rickard, J (30 October 2007), Fokker D.V ,
  2. Fokker D.V. (2011, June 7). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 04:35, June 21, 2011, from
  3. Gray, Peter and Owen Thetford. German Aircraft of the First World War. London:> Putnam, 1962. ISBN 0-93385-271-1
  4. Leaman, Paul. Fokker Dr.I Triplane: A World War One Legend. Hersham, Surrey, UK: Classic Publications, 2003. ISBN 1-90322-328-8.
  5. Weyl, A.R. Fokker: The Creative Years. London: Putnam, 1988. ISBN 0-85177-817-8.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Germany - 1918 Albatros D.IX

Albatros Experimentals

At long last I have finished one of the last of the Albatros X-planes. Once again I am not sure what color the actual aircraft was painted, but I like color and not black and white so I will use a conjectural color scheme. If anyone knows what the correct color should be please contact me and let me know I am in error.

Albatros D.IX was a German prototype single-seat fighter built by Albatros Flugzeugwerke in early 1918. During this time Germany had its back to the wall, resources were becoming in short supply and simple cost effective aircraft were needed. The design of the D.IX was meant to streamline manufacturing. It differed from previous Albatros fighter designs by using a simplified fuselage with a flat bottom and slab sides. The wings and tail were similar to those of the unsuccessful Albatros D.VII.

Power was provided by a Mercedes D.IIIa in-line water cooled engine producing 180 hp (130 kW). The D.IX was armed with twin synchronised 0.312 in (7.92 mm) LMG 08/15 machine guns. The test flight of the prototype revealed the performance of the aircraft to be disappointing. Because of the performance report the project was quickly discontinued without any more examples being built.


  1. Albatros D.IX. (2010, May 4). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 02:02, June 18, 2011, from
  2. Albatros D.IX. The Virtual Aircraft Museum Retrieved 01:52, June 18, 2011, from
  3. Albatros D.IX. The Virtual Aviation Museum Retrieved 01:55, June 18, 2011, from
  4. Green, W. & Swanborough, G. (1994). The Complete Book of Fighters. London: Salamander Books. ISBN 1-85833-777-1
  5. Grosz, Peter M. Albatros Experimentals- Forgotten Fighters 1. Windsock Datafile Specials Albatros Productions Limited (1 Jan 1992) ISBN-10: 0948414456 ISBN-13: 978-0948414459
  6. Frederic P. Miller (Editor), Agnes F. Vandome (Editor), John McBrewster (Editor). Albatros D.IX. March 2011. VDM Publishing House Ltd. ISBN-13: 9786135508215 ISBN: 6135508210

Britain - 1917 Bristol Braemar

Triplane madness extended beyond fighter development. Several experimental bombers were built during the Great War attempting to create a heavy bomber as effective as the Caproni Ca.42. The Austrians did not have a monopoly on insane contraptions. To make matters worse for the British there were proposals for building a steam powered version of the Braemar called the Tramp. When looking at some of the strange designs which were built during the war it seems the race for air superiority was won by the nation which made the next to the last mistake. To quote a famous line from Fawlty Towers “However did they win the war?

An Experimental Triplane Heavy Bomber

Bristol Braemar Mk.II - 1918

The Bristol Braemar was a British heavy bomber aircraft developed at the end of the First World War for the Royal Air Force. Only two prototypes were constructed.

The prototype Braemar was developed in response to the establishment of the Independent Air Force in October 1917, as a bomber capable of the long-range bombing of Berlin if necessary. A large triplane, it had internal stowage for up to six 250 lb (110 kg) bombs.

The initial design featured a unique engine installation with a central engine room housing all four engines. The engines were to be geared in pairs and power taken from the engines to the four propellers by power shafts. This design was abandoned early in development, and both the completed Braemars had a conventional engine installation, with the engines in inline tandem pairs, driving pusher and tractor propellers. However, the engine-room design was resurrected later in the Braemar's development life, for the proposed steam-powered Tramp.

The first prototype Braemar flew on August 13th 1917, with four Siddeley Puma engines of 230 hp (170 kW) each. The prototype showed generally good performance with a top speed of 106 mph (171 km/h), but there were complaints from the test pilots about the view from the cockpit and the controls, and so the next aircraft produced was an improved version designated Braemar Mk.II. The Mk.II had considerably more power, in its four Liberty L-12 engines of 400 hp (300 kW), which gave it an improved speed of 125 mph (201 km/h).

The Braemar never entered service with the RAF, and the two prototypes were the only Braemars built. The Braemar design was subsequently developed as the Pullman passenger aircraft.


  1. Bristol Braemar. (2010, November 10). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 06:38, March 8, 2011, from
  2. Barnes C.H. (1964). Bristol Aircraft Since 1910. Putnam & Company Ltd. ISBN 0-370-00015-3

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Austria - 1917 Lloyd C.V

I have been busy working on drawing up a few American Expeditionary Force aero squadron insignias and some Austrian profiles this weekend. Slowly but surely I am filling the gaps in my profile library.

A Rooster Tail Two Seat Reconnaissance Aircraft

Lloyd C.V - 1917
Lloyd C.V serial number 46.21 - 1917

The Lloyd C.V was a reconnaissance aircraft produced in Austria-Hungary during the First World War. It was a departure from Lloyd's previous reconnaissance types, which had all been based on a pre-war design. The C.V was a more compact and streamlined aircraft with an unusual wing structure.

The design was fairly conventional, except for the interplane struts. These were arranged in two sets, front and rear, with the rear sets consisting of two struts per wing, and the forward sets of only one strut per wing. When viewed from the front of the aircraft, the rear struts formed a V-shape, converging to the point where they met the lower wings. From bottom wing to top, the single forward struts sloped inwards towards the center line, matching the angle of the inboard rear struts. The fin was triangular and similar to the unit on earlier Lloyd designs, but featured an extension at the top of the rudder that reached over the top of the fixed part of the fin. With its curved leading edge and scalloped trailing edge, this rudder resembled the tail of a rooster.

The wings departed from the conventional structure of one or more spars surrounded by airfoil-shaped ribs and were built instead from ribs surrounded by longerons that stretched span-wise along the wings. This was all then covered in plywood sheeting. While this made for a strong, light structure, it also meant that repairs to damaged wings were difficult, and proved impossible to carry out in the field. Damaged aircraft were sent to depots for exchange. Another problem was that moisture trapped inside the wings had no way to escape quickly. This could cause the plywood skin to buckle or delaminate.

Lloyd built 96 C.Vs in 1917, powered by Austro-Daimler engines, while WKF built another 48 with Benz engines. The type saw only brief front-line service before being relegated to secondary duties. A number of continued in service after the war with the military forces of Poland, Hungary, and the Ukraine. In Poland, six; aircraft were operated until 1924


  1. Lloyd C.V. (2009, December 29). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 03:38, July 2, 2010, from
  2. Grosz, Peter M. (2002). "Austro-Hungarian Army Aircraft of World War One". Colorado: Flying Machine Press.
  3. Taylor, Michael J. H. (1989). "Jane's Encyclopedia of Aviation". London: Studio Editions.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Austria - 1918 Phönix C-1

It seem that I have been unduly unkind to Austrian aviation development. There were many successful designs which served them well in the air war against the Italians on the Eastern Front. Even though it entered production the Phönix C-1 served in several nation's air force. When the war ended it was built by the Swedish Army Engineer Department.

An Austrian Success Story

Phönix C-1  Serial Number 121.72 - 1918
Phönix C-1 Serial Number 121.72 - 1918

The Phönix C.I was an Austro-Hungarian First World War reconnaissance and general-purpose Biplane built by the Phönix Flugzeug-Werke.

The Phönix C.I was the first original design developed by the Phönix Flugzeug-Werke It was based on the Hansa-Brandenburg C.II that Phönix was building under licence. A conventional biplane with a rear fuselage/tailplane similar to aircraft designed by Ernst Heinkel. The C.I had a fixed trailskid landing gear and was powered by a Hiero 6-cylinder inline piston engine, it had two tandem open cockpits for the pilot and observer/gunner. The company built 110 C.Is and then entered service with the KuKLFT in early 1918. After the First World War 30 aircraft were built by the Swedish Army engineering department but they were fitted with a 220 hp (164 kW) Benz inline engine.


  1. Phönix C.I. (2010, September 19). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 13:40, March 25, 2011, from
  2. The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Aircraft (Part Work 1982-1985). Orbis Publishing.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Germany - 1917 Hannover CL.III

Hanover's Ground Attack Aircraft

Hannoversche Waggonfabrik did not design or produce many types of aircraft during the Great War, however the CL.III was a very successful plane. The aircraft had a production run of 617 planes. The top wing configuration also allowed the observer to fire a pair of ring-mounted 7.92 mm (0.323 in) LMG 08/15 machine guns into the forward arc. They supplemented the pilot's single machine gun fire making the forward arc a very dangerous place to be.

The Hannover CL.III was a German military aircraft of World War I. It was a two-seat multi-role aircraft, primarily used as a ground attack machine. Like the other Hannover “light-C-class”, or “CL” designated aircraft designed by Hermann Dorner, it included an unusual biplane tail, allowing for a greater firing arc for the tail gunner. Until the introduction of the aircraft, such tails had only been used on larger aircraft.

Compared to the preceding CL.II, the CL.III had redesigned ailerons with aerodynamic balance areas that overhung the wingtips, a modification that provided greater maneuverability, especially at the low levels that the CL.III was expected to be operating at in its new ground-attack role as the Schutzstaffeln (escort squadrons) were reassigned as Schlactstaffeln (battle squadrons). It was also intended that it should use the excellent Mercedes D.III engine, but the Idflieg gave priority for these engines to fighter production, and most CL.IIIs were produced with the same Argus engine that the CL.II had used. The Argus engined variant was designated CL.IIIa.


  1. From Wikipedia Hannover Cl.II, ""
  2. Grosz, Peter M, "Hannover Cl.III Windsock Datafile No.23", Albatros Publications, 1990. ISBN 0-948414-27-8

U.S.A - 1918 Curtiss Model HA-2

The Flawed Dunkirk Fighter

Sometimes a design looks better on paper than in real life. This was the case with the Curtiss HA-2 float plane. This bulbous aircraft seemed to have a lot of good things going for it. A powerful Liberty V-12 engine and plenty of firepower supplied by four 0.30 in (7.62 mm) machine guns. Stability issues and unfortunate accidents slowed development. By the time the kinks had been worked out of the design the war ended along with a need for the aircraft.

The Curtiss HA (sometimes Dunkirk Fighter) was an American biplane seaplane designed by Captain B.L. Smith of the United States Marine Corps, and built by Curtiss Aeroplane and Motor Company.

The HA was a two-seat biplane with a central float and balancing floats on the wingtips. The fuselage was wood with a fabric covering. The plane was powered by a Liberty 12 engine in the nose. The prototype was ordered in December 1917, and its first flight was on 21 March 1918. During testing the aircraft proved very unstable, with an overly heavy tailplane. The aircraft was destroyed in a crash.

Two more prototypes were ordered, designated HA-1 and HA-2. the HA-1 was constructed of salvaged parts from the original, but its tailplane and radiator were redesigned, and its wings were moved further aft. The HA-1 caught fire during a flight. The HA-2 had a wider wingspan, and performed better, but as the war was almost over, no production order was received.


  1. Curtiss HA. (2010, August 20). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 03:54, January 16, 2011, from
  2. Angelucci, Enzo (1987). The American Fighter from 1917 to the present pp 116-117. New York: Orion Books.