Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Austria - 1917 New Profiles

Recent Profile Update

I have been concentrating on Austria at the moment. Here are just a few of the current crop of profiles. I hope you enjoy them.

This Oeffag D.III has the propeller spinner removed and no engine cover. The natural wood finish covers most of the fuselage. The turtle-deck and rudder and tail plane upper surfaces is a brown mottled scheme. The black and white stripes with angular points on the top edge makes for a memorable appearance.

This is another example of the Austrian hexagonal camouflage pattern. The engine compartment is bare metal. The white stripe on the fuselage with black stars is a nice touch. The lower wings are varnished cloth.

This example of a Phönix D-I sports a bright mottled paint scheme and distinctive skull and cross bone insignia. The iron cross wheel covers add visual interest. Note the head rest on this version.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Austria - 1918 Phönix C.I

The Mystery of the Elusive C.I

As I have said Austrian aviation during the Great War can be filled with twists and turns. It has driven many to despair trying to establish what company made which plane. Slowly but semi-surely I have tried to make sense of a bewildering amount of contradictory and down-right erroneous information.

Phönix C.I series 121

Phönix C-1 sn 121.72 - 1918
Phönix C-1 sn 121.72 - 1918

This example is painted in a two color scheme with rounded edges between colors. The tail plane is red with a white stripe. The aircraft shows both an Iron and a Maltese cross.

This example is painted in a speckled multiple color scheme The lower wing and tailplane surfaces are doped cloth. The distinctive scalloped rudder still has the old style Iron cross.

UFAG C.I series 161

UFAG C-1 sn 161.67 - 1918
UFAG C-1 sn 161.67 - 1918

The two color scheme employs the later Austrian two color saw-tooth edged camouflage. The differences between the UFAG and Phönix designs are very easy to see.

This is another flavor of the later Austrian two color saw-tooth edged camouflage. The differences the rudder construction between these UFAG examples might make you think they had different manufacturers. When in doubt look for the serial number.

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

There is much confusion surrounding Austrian aircraft identification. Part of the problem stems from the fact Camillo Castiglione owned Phönix, Hansa-Brandenburg, and UFAG as part of a monopoly. Each of these three companies built versions ot the Hansa-Brandenburg C.I. There was a certain amount of sharing of design directions. Design features used in one company's aircraft would be incorporated into the other companie's designs.

To identify the company who actually produced a particular version of the C.I you need to examin the serial number. The first part of the number is the code for the manufacturer.

  • (UFAG) Ungarische Flugzeugfabrik A.G. / Budapest: Series 161
  • (Phönix) Phönix – Flugzeugwerke Wien-Stadlau: Series 123
  • (Lloyd) Ungarische Lloyd- Flugzeugfabrik – Budapest: Series 49

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 were building under license. A conventional biplane with a rear fuselage/tailplane similar to aircraft designed by Ernst Heinkel. The C.I had a fixed trail skid 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.
  3. Grosz, Peter M., George Haddow and Peter Schiemer. "Austro-Hungarian Army Aircraft of World War I". Boulder, CO: Flying Machines Press, 2002. ISBN 1-89126-805-8.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Britain - 1911 S.E.1

Another One from the Odd Duck File

The early days of aviation design was fertile ground for strange planes. The S.E.1 was another example of the "Dancing Bear Syndrome", It did not matter how poorly the bear danced. The fact that it did dance was the miracle. Unfortunately, like a bear it can turn on the hapless handler and kill him.

At first glance trying to establish which end was the nose of the S.E.1 may seem confusing. Since it was a pusher aircraft, the pointed end is the nose sporting a canard stabilizer. The pilot sat in the fuselage section which had radiators mounted on either side for cooling the engine.

The S.E.1 (Santos Experimental) was an experimental aircraft built at the Army Balloon Factory at Farnborough (later the Royal Aircraft Factory) in 1911. Its place in aviation history is mainly that it was the first in the series of Royal Aircraft Factory designs - several of which played an important role in World War I.

In 1911 the Army Balloon Factory was not actually authorized to construct aircraft, but only to repair them. When the remains of a crashed Blériot XI monoplane belonging to the army were sent from Larkhill to Farnborough for repair, authorization for a complete reconstruction was sought, and granted.

The result was a completely new design. A tractor monoplane became a pusher biplane with large balanced fore-elevators, similar in basic layout to the Wright Flyer, but with a fully covered fuselage. Ailerons were fitted to the top wing, and twin balanced rudders were mounted behind the propeller, but out of its immediate slipstream. The only obvious component of the Blériot that found its way into the new design was its 60 hp (45 kW) E.N.V. "F" engine.

The S.E.1 made its first flight, a straight mile in the hands of its designer Geoffrey de Havilland on 11 June 1911. Further fight testing revealed control problems and the area of the front wing/elevator was adjusted to try to bring together the center of pressure and the hinge line and make the S.E.1 stable in pitch. By the beginning of August the front surface was fixed and carried a conventional trailing edge elevator. An attempt to improve the turning characteristics was made by stripping the side covering of the nacelle to reduce side area. de Havilland continued to fly the S.E.1 until 16 August. On the 18 August the aircraft was flown by someone else for the first time; the rather inexperienced pilot Lt. Theodore J. Ridge, Assistant Superintendent at the factory (who had only been awarded his Pilot's certificate the day before, and was described as "an absolutely indifferent flyer". The combination of the inexperienced pilot and the marginally controllable aircraft proved fatal - the S.E.1 stalled in a turn and spun in, killing Ridge.

No attempt to rebuild the S.E.1 was made, and the design was apparently abandoned, with no attempt to develop it. The S.E.2 of 1913 was a completely different kind of airplane - a development of the B.S.1.


  1. Royal Aircraft Factory S.E.1. (2010, May 22). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 05:35, January 12, 2011, from
  2. Jackson, A.J. (1978). de Havilland Aircraft since 1909 1978, pp. 38-9. London: Putnam Publishing. ISBN 0 370 30022 X.
  3. Jarrett, Philip (2002). "Making Flying Safer". In Jarrett, Philip. Pioneer Aircraft:Early Aviation before 1914 2002. London: Putnam. pp. 202-215. ISBN 0 85177 869 0.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Austria - 1916 Hansa-Brandenburg D.I

Another Grand Obsession

I am still picking up the pieces after an accident smashed a flash drive with all my master files and archives. While working on fleshing out the section on my main site dealing with Austrian aviation development and the Eastern Front and I discovered that I needed a new master for the Hansa-Brandenburg D.I (Type KD). My old profiles were showing their age and yesterday was the day to tackle the project. I managed to finish three masters for the major types of the aircraft and churned out ten new profiles which I like better than the old drawings I had done. I concentrated on the large tailed version today. The two other variants will have to wait till tomorrow. I am still puzzling out what the number scheme. Like all things Austrian it is seldom straight forward or simple. One battle at a time I am content with today'ss results. The sun is rising, and it is almost time for some well earned rest.

The example above is an aircraft flown by Frank Linke-Crawford when he served in Flik 12 during 1916. The red nose is a distinctive feature. The Iron Cross on the fuselage is not typical for Austrian aircraft, however it is not rare.

After a promotion Frank Linke-Crawford was transferred to Flik 41J. The pennant insignia on the fuselage is bearing the Austrian colors of red and white. Unlike many Austrian aircraft there are no serial numbers displayed records show it as being number 28.40.

This is another Hansa Brandenburg D-I flown by Frank Linke-Crawford while serving with Flik 41J. The Black and White double sun insignia is representative of the markings used on many of the aircraft serving in Flik 41J.

The Hansa Brandenburg D-I was a German fighter aircraft of World War I. It was built for Austria-Hungary, some aircraft serving to the end of the war. The D-I was a single seat, single engined biplane, of wooden construction, with plywood fuselage skinning and fabric wing skins. The wings featured an unusual “Star-Strutter” arrangement of interplane struts, where four Vee struts joined in the center of the wing bay to result in a complicated "star" arrangement. The interplane struts themselves were fabricated from steel tubes.

The Hansa Brandenburg D-I was a very unusual looking aircraft, it had a deep fuselage, which combined with the wing configuration and large engine compartment gave a poor forward view for the pilot and tended to blanket the undersized rudder, giving poor lateral stability and making recovery from spins extremely difficult.


  1. Hansa-Brandenburg D.I. (2009, December 19). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 03:06, July 2, 2010, from
  2. Angelucci, Enzo (ed.). "World Encyclopedia of Military Aircraft. London: Jane's, 1981, p. 43, p.54. ISBN 0 7106 0148 4.
  3. Gray, Peter and Thetford, Owen. "German Aircraft of the First World War". London: Putnam, 1962, p.64.
  4. Green, William and Swanborough, Gordon. The Complete Book of Fighters". New York: Smithmark, 1994, p.83. ISBN 0-8317-3939-8.
  5. Hooton, E.R. Phoenix Triumphant: "The Rise and Rise of the Luftwaffe". London: Arms & Armour Press, 1994, p.25-26. ISBN 1 85409 181 6.
  6. Williams, Anthony G. and Gustin, Emmanuel. "Flying Guns World War I". Ramsbury, Wiltshire: Airlife, 2003, p.62. ISBN 1 84037 396 2.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Germany - 1916 Aviatik D.II

Aviatik AG Experimental Fighter

Automobil und Aviatik AG made their reputation designing and building effective two seat reconnaissance aircraft. Experiments on building single seat fighters began in 1916, which yielded mixed results. Unlike the fighter aircraft produced in Austria by Aviatik-Berg (Österreichische-Ungarische Flugzeugfabrik), the German Aviatik designs never went beyond the experimental stage and entered production.

It was a fun project involving an interesting and rarely drawn aircraft. Since I have only seen black and white photos and line drawings of the aircraft the colors are conjectural. Now I can get on completing a drawing of the Aviatik D.III for future display.

The Automobil und Aviatik AG of Leipzig-Heiterblick licence-built the Halberstadt D.II as the Aviatik D.I - later known as the Halberstadt D.II(Av)in late 1916. The experience helped in developing and building first original Aviatik single-seat fighter design, designated as the D.II . The D.II was an orthodox staggered single-bay biplane with wood and fabric-covered wings. The airframe construction featured a steel tube forward section covered in a metal skin. The aft fuselage was largely skinned in plywood.

Power was generated by the 160hp Daimler D III six-cylinder water-cooled engine. The armament consisted of the standard twin forward-firing synchronized 0.312 in (7.92 mm) LMG 08/15 "Spandau" machine guns firing through the air-screw disc.

Construction of the prototype and the initial test flight took place in 1916. Unfortunately the results were not very promising when compared with other competing designs. The D.II fighter did not find favor with the Idflieg. It was not accepted for production, and further development of the design was discontinued, only the one prototype was built.


  1. Aviatik D.II 1916 The Virtual Aircraft Museum Retrieved Sept. 16, 9:07 from
  2. Aviatik D II Flying Machines Russia Retrieved Sept. 16, 9:17 from
  3. Gray, Peter and Thetford, Owen. German Aircraft of the First World War. London:Putnam, 1962.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Austria - 1918 Aviatik-Berg 30.27 and 30.29

Innovative But Not Effective

Once again I am back on fleshing out the aircraft built by Österreichische-Ungarische Flugzeugfabrik. Today's post fills in the gap between earlier designs and the 30.40 monoplane which was built in the last days of the Great War.

This Avitik is prototype 30.27 This is the same type aircraft which was used as a basis for the type 30.40 monoplane. Note the colors are conjectural. I have not found a written description of this plane. My intention was to use the least outrageous color scheme possible.

When the Aviatik-Berg type 30.27 and 30.29 appeared early in 1918 it marked a radical change in design philosophy for Julius von Berg. The design was a lighter weight aircraft with a compact profile featuring a rounded cowling and forward fuselage. Although it was not successful it pointed toward more the form which would lead to future designs.

The design of both types was wooden construction with plywood fuselage skinning. The forward section of the aircraft was covered by light metal panels, and fabric-covered wings rounded out the design. Both the Aviatik 30.27 and 30.29 were fitted with the standard Austrian armament of twin synchronized fixed forward-firing 0.315 in (8 mm) Schwarzlose machine guns.

Previously all of the single-seat fighters designed by Julius von Berg were fitted with Austro-Daimler inline engines.The Aviatik 30.27 and the similar 30.29, marked a departure from earlier designs. In an attempt to produce a lighter weight fighter both designs were powered by the Steyr Le Rhone 11 cylinder air cooled rotary engine producing a power rating of 160 hp (119 kW). The 30.27 and 30.29 were both initially flown with two-bladed propellers. The original engine cowling left the lowest three cylinders exposed. Later versions of both types were fitted with a four-bladed Jaray propeller and a full ring cowling.

Both prototypes participated in the D-Contest held in July of 1918. Unfortunately the 30.29 crashed when the leading-edge of the wing upper collapsed as its pilot initiated a loop. The project was canceled and the remaining airframe became the basis of the type 30.40 monoplane.


  1. Aviatik (Berg) 30.27 & 30.29 1918 The Virtual Aircraft Museum Retrieved Sept 3. 08:55 from

Friday, September 16, 2011

Germany - 1915 Aviatik C.I

Germany's Aviatik

Germany produced a wide variety of C-class Reconnaissance aircraft. They differed from the B-class in the fact they were armed with machine guns for the observer to defend the plane from attackers The C-class was used in a variety of roles from photo reconnaissance, artillery spotting and ad hoc bombers.The C-class served throughout the remaining war and evolved into different mission specific aircraft, such as ground attack planes and night bombers.

This is an example of the C.Ia which switched the position of pilot and observer to what we consider the normal arrangement. It was powered by a Mercedes D III 6 cylinder water cooled in-line engine, producing 160 hp (119 kW).

The C.II was not produced in great numbers. It was an interem design which became the C.III which was built in larger numbers. Both the C.III and C.III were powered by a Benz Bz. IV 6 cylinder water cooled in-line engine generating 200 hp (149 kW).


The Aviatik C.I was a German World War I observation aircraft built by Automobil und Aviatikwerke AG, which first came into service in September 1915 . It was the successor to the Aviatik B.I and B.II models. It was powered by a Mercedes D III 6 cylinder water cooled in-line engine, producing 160 hp (119 kW). Armament consisted of a single flexible mounted 0.312 in (7.92 mm) Parabellum MG14 machine gun,. The observer sat in front of the pilot in this model which limited the gunner's field of fire. However, the opportunity was presented for more aggressive aircrews to take an increased offensive approach in engaging enemy aircraft. The positions of the pilot and gunner were reversed in the C.Ia version. Later models, the C.II and C.III were produced in large numbers and were fitted with the more powerful Benz Bz. IV 6 cylinder water cooled in-line engine generating 200 hp (149 kW).


  1. van Wyngarden, G. "Early German Aces of World War 1". Oxford: Osprey Publishing, 2006, p.6. ISBN 1-84176-997-5
  2. Taylor, Michael J H. "Jane's Encyclopedia of Aviation". Portland House, 1989, p.88. ISBN 0-517-69186-8
  3. Gray, Peter and Thetford, Owen. "German Aircraft of the First World War". London: Putnam, 1962, pp.62—63.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Austria - 1917 Aviatik-Berg C.I

Several times I have fallen for a case of mistaken identity. Both Germany and Austria have completely different companies named Hansa-Brandenberg and Aviatik. During one of those two day site reconstruction binge I made a mistake. Luckily I have now fixed a long overdue and overlooked problem. Finding the correct information was work, but now all is well and I can move on. Now I just need to finish up more profiles of this bird.

Fragile but Nimble

In early 1917 the chief designer of this company, Julius von Berg designed the original multi-purpose airplane Aviatik-Berg CI. The C.I or "double Berg" was based on the D.I fighter. It used the same wings with a thin flexible profile, which varied depending on the speed of flight. Power was provided by either a 185 hp (138 kW) or 200 hp (149 kW) Austro-Daimler 6-cylinder water cooled in-line engine.

The test flights were generally successful. The top-notch pilots appreciated the speed and maneuverability of these machines. However, less skilled pilots preferred the more manageable, but less nimble, Hansa-Brandenburg C.I. One issue was the large wing loads putting stress on the aircraft and the C.I had a relatively high landing speed making landing on the short front-line runways difficult.

The C.I had a very reasonable performance and was built in considerable numbers by five several factories: Aviatik (Series 37 and 137), Lloyd (Series 47), Lohner (Series 114 and 214), WKF (Series 83 and 183) and MAG (Series 91) . In total more than 500 copies of the machine were built. Only its inherent structural weakness prevented it from receiving the acclamation that might otherwise have come its way. Nevertheless, it remained operational until the end of the war on the Italian-Austrian front.

Several schemes were used for armament on the C.I. Due to the urgent need for aircraft the first series were armed with one 0.315 in (8 mm) Schwarzlose machine gun fired by the pilot attached to a pivoting mount, fastened to the fuselage which allowed firing over the wing. There were versions which used a wing mounted "baby coffin" style gun pod. Some had a synchronized forward gun mounted in the fuselage, close to the engine. The observer fired into the rear arc with a ring mounted 0.315 in (8 mm) Schwarzlose machine gun.

The serial number scheme for Austro-Hungarian aircraft follows a format where the first numbers indicates the manufacturing company and production batch, while the numbers after the decimal point refers to the individual aircraft's place within the batch. Unlike the German system, there is no indication of the year in which construction took place

  1. Aviatik (Berg) C.I 1917 The Virtual Aircraft Museum
  2. Aviatik (Berg) C I Their Flying Machines
  3. Green, William. Great Book of Fighters: An Illustrated Encyclopedia of Every Fighter Aircraft Built and Flown Zenith Press (November 14, 2001) ISBN-10: 0760311943, ISBN-13: 978-0760311943
  4. Cowin, Hugh. German and Austrian Aviation of World War I: A Pictorial Chronicle of the Airmen and Aircraft that Forged German Airpower (Osprey Aviation Pioneers 3). Osprey 2000 ISBN 10: 1841760692 / 1-84176-069-2 ISBN 13: 9781841760698

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Austria - 1918 Aviatik-Berg 30.40

A Late War Austrian Monoplane

It is always good when you learn something new. The one thing I love about the history of Austrian aviation is finding rare aircraft which are not well known or documented. Sometimes things appear deceptively simple on the surface but as you dig deeper you find a complicated story of variations of a basic type which were built by other companies who were licensed to manufacture them. Each company left their own mark on the design. There are times when a single aircraft is produced which you only know the serial number and not the story to be told.

Today I am writing about an example of one of a kind designs. Julius von Berg shifted away fom the heavier in line engine powered designs and began experimenting on more compact light weight aircraft powered with rotary engines to reduce the overall weight. After a failed attempt at creating light weight biplane fighters von Berg took elements from the 30.27 and 30.29 and built a modrn looking parasol type monoplane. It arrived too late in the war to be more than a footnote.

The paint scheme was basically monochrome. The sharp edged sawtooth camouflage pattern was used in several late war Austrian designs. The metal forward section sports circular tooling marks over the whole surface. Even though the design was late war it carried the Iron Cross on the wings and rudder.

A parasol monoplane derivative of the Aviatik 30.27, the Aviatik 30.40 was powered by a similar 160hp Steyr Le Rhone 11-cylinder rotary engine, and only one prototype was built and flown during the summer of 1918. The Aviatik 30.40 was of wooden construction. The forward fuselage was covered by light metal panels and the remainder of the fuselage was ply covered. The wing had fabric skinning, and steel-tube bracing struts were employed



  1. Aviatik (Berg) 30.40 1918 Retreived Sept 3. 08:45 from
  2. Aviatik (Berg) 30.40 1918 Virtual Aircraft Museum Retreived Sept 3. 09:05 from
  3. Aviatik Berg Scout The Aerodrome Forum Retreived Sept 3. 09:15 from
  4. Grosz,Peter M. Haddow, George. Schiemer, Peter. Austro-Hungarian Army Aircraft of World War One p.156-157. Flying Machines Press, 1993. ISBN 0963711008,

Monday, September 12, 2011

Britain - 1913 Avro 501

Early British Military Seaplanes

By 1913 The idea of aircraft designed for military use had firmly taken hold. The needs of different branches of nation's military service were being identified. These needs were reflected in requests for specific operational capability requirements to design firms. In Britain the Naval Admiralty saw the need for a way to project air power into service as the eyes of the fleet far from land. A.V. Roe & Company was eager to help fill the void with their company's designs.

Avro 501 - 1913

The Avro Type H, Type 501, and Type 503 were a family of early British military seaplanes. They were a development of the Avro 500 design and were originally conceived of as amphibious; the prototype being fitted with a single large main float (equipped with wheels) under the fuselage, and two outrigger floats under the wings. Tests were conducted on Lake Windermere in January 1913. It was later converted to twin-float configuration and bought by the British Admiralty. It now, however, proved too heavy and was converted again - this time to a land plane.

An improved version, designated the 503 was demonstrated for the Inspector of Naval Aircraft, who placed an order for three machines. The prototype itself was demonstrated for the German Navy in its seaplane trials in June 1913 and was purchased by the government of Imperial Germany for evaluation purposes. This machine subsequently became the first aircraft to fly across the North Sea, from Wilhelmshaven to Heligoland, in September 1913. Gotha purchased a licence from Avro and produced the type as the WD.1 (Wasser Doppeldecker - "Water Biplane"). Unlicenced copies were also built by Albatros, AGO, Friedrichshafen. Some WD.1s were provided to the Ottoman Empire following their withdrawal from German Navy service.


  1. "Avro 501". (2011, January 22). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 04:57, January 31, 2011, from
  2. Jackson, A.J. (1990)." Avro Aircraft since 1908" (Second ed.), p. 51. London: Putnam. ISBN 0 -85177-834-8.
  3. Taylor, Michael J. H. (1989). "Jane's Encyclopedia of Aviation". London: Studio Editions. pp. 91.
  4. "World Aircraft Information Files". London: Bright Star Publishing. pp. File 889 Sheet 93.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Austria - 1917 Aviatik-Berg D.II

A Victim of Circumstance

The serial number indicates this was the first production aircraft fitted with the Series 39 Austro-Daimler engine. Notable is the change in the wing strut layout versus the D.I. The forward strut attaches to the fuselage and not the lowet wing. The forward metal section of the fuselage is left unfinished. The finish is a 3 color spatter scheme covering everything except lower wing and tail plane surfaces.

The fuselage of this type 39 sports the iconic Austrian variegated three color camouflage pattern. Unfortunately I do not know what unit it served in or who flew it. I have found few examples of the D.II and not as much detailed information on individual aircraft. Hopefully this will change in the future.I have done a few conjectural paint schemes in the past however I retired them in favor of schemes which have been verified.

The Aviatik (Berg) D.II, also known as the Aviatik 30.22, was an Austro-Hungarian fighter prototype towards the end of the First World War. The prototype was first flown in the summer of 1917. The D.II was not built in large numbers, only 19 aircraft were completed.

The D.II's fuselage was virtually identical to that of the D.I. It was characterized, however, by its short-span cantilever lower wing. Through 1917, 19 D.IIs were built for front-line evaluation. They were either powered by the 200 hp (149 kW) Series 39 engine or the 225 hp (168 kW) Series 339 engine, both made by Austro-Daimler. The propeller was a four-bladed Jaray, and armament consisted of the usual paired 0.315 in (8 mm) Schwarzlose machine guns.

The first three series aircraft were tested in November 1917, and seven were evaluated at the front later in that year, showing good promise. but the decision that O-UF Aviatik should license-manufacture the Fokker D.VII terminated any plans to build the D.II in quantity. One D.II airframe was experimentally fitted with a 200hp Hiero engine as the Aviatik 30.38, and participated in the July 1918 D-Contest. With the 225hp Austro-Daimler engine the D.II attained 220km/h.


  1. Aviatik (Berg) D.II. (2010, May 13). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 03:19, July 2, 2010, from
  2. Aviatik (Berg) D.II. Virtual Aircraft Museum Retrieved 03:00, July 2, 2010, from
  3. Green, William; Gordon Swanborough. The Complete Book of Fighters. Godalming, UK: Salamander Books.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Britain - 1912 Avro Type F

The First Enclosed Cockpit

Even before the war the idea of an enclosed cockpit was seen as an advantage. The cold of high altitudes made flying uncomfortable. Add the spray of oil off early engines and exhaust fumes did nothing to make flight a pleasant experience. Although most fighters would use open cockpits, the research on shielding the pilot from the environment would lead to later advances.

The Avro Type F was an early single seat British aircraft from Avro and the first aircraft in the world to feature a completely enclosed cabin.

It was a wire-braced mid-wing monoplane of conventional configuration with a tailskid undercarriage. The fuselage itself was teardrop-shaped with flat sides and "glazed" with celluloid windows around the cabin. Two circular windows at the pilot's head level could be opened for the pilot's head to protrude when flying under poor visibility. Ingress and egress was via a trapdoor in the fuselage top. The cabin was quite cramped - at its widest point only 2 ft (60 cm) across.

The Type F made a few test flights in mid 1912 until damaged beyond repair in a hard landing on 13 September after which it was not repaired. Its Viale 35 hp engine is on display at the Science Museum in London.


  1. Avro Type F. (2010, May 4). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 02:17, December 14, 2010, from
  2. Taylor, Michael J. H. (1989). Jane's Encyclopedia of Aviation. London: Studio Editions. pp. 91.
  3. World Aircraft Information Files. London: Bright Star Publishing. pp. File 889 Sheet 92-93.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Britain - 1912 Avro Type E & 500

Early Successes in Design

The evolution of AVRO aircraft continued during 1912. The first difference we note was an enclosed fuselage which is becoming more recognizable as what we would we have come to believe an aircraft should look like. The ability to carry payloads for longer periods of flight became a concern which had to be addressed to meet specifications requested by eager military planners. Military aviation was soon to be possible.

The Avro Type E, Type 500, and Type 502 made up a family of early British military aircraft, regarded by Alliott Verdon Roe as his firm's first truly successful design.

The Type E biplane was designed in response to a War Office specification for a two-seat aircraft capable (amongst other things) of carrying a 350 lb (160 kg) payload with a total endurance of 4.5 hours. The Avro submission was based on the Avro Duigan design and was originally named "Military Biplane 1". It was a two-bay biplane with equal-span, unstaggered wings, and a boxy, rectangular-section fuselage. Lateral control was by wing warping.

During initial trials, it soon became apparent that while top speed and rate-of-climb were below the War Office specification, the aircraft excelled in every other way. The second prototype, however, first flew on 3 May 1912 and sufficiently impressed the War Office for them to buy the prototype and place an order for two more examples, which Roe now renamed the 500. The type proved an immediate success, and orders for another four machines plus five single-seat derivatives (designated 502 by Avro) soon followed. Other examples produced included six for the British Admiralty's Air Department, one presented to the government of Portugal (paid for by public subscription), one kept by Avro as a company demonstrator, and one bought by a private individual, J. Laurence Hall (commandeered by the War Office at the outbreak of World War I). The first prototype was destroyed in a crash on 29 June 1913 that killed its student pilot.

Avro 500s were flown by the British armed forces during the first years of the war, mostly as trainers. In service, most were fitted with ailerons and a revised rudder.


  1. Avro 500. (2010, May 4). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 07:27, December 9, 2010, from
  2. Taylor, Michael J. H. Jane''s Encyclopedia of Aviation. (1989). London: Studio Editions. pp. 91.
  3. World Aircraft Information Files. London: Bright Star Publishing. pp. File 889 Sheet 92.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Britain - 1911 AVRO Type D

Avro: In The Beginning

Before the Great War designers were busy building the forerunners of what would become military aircraft. In Britain one of the primary innovators was A.V. Roe and Company. produced the first plane to strafe troops on the ground, it was also the first British plane to be shot down by enemy ground fire. Better aircraft soon replaced the Avro 504 in combat, but it remained the standard British trainer for the duration of the war.In the next few posts I will cover the evolution of AVRO designs through the early war.

The Type D was a two-bay biplane of conventional configuration, with equal-span, unstaggered wings. The fuselage was triangular in cross-section, and lateral control was provided by wing warping. The first of seven aircraft flew at Brooklands on 1 April 1911.

The Type D aircraft were used in a variety of roles by the Avro, mostly concerned with exploring the limits of what an airplane could do. In its first few weeks of existence, the prototype was used to make a number of attempts on aerial endurance records, as well as demonstrations for the Parliamentary Aerial Defense Committee.

One Type D was purchased by the Royal Navy and fitted with floats for trials from HMS Hermione. This aircraft became the first British seaplane when it took off on 18 November 1911. Type D was also used for air racing, the prototype participating in one such event very early in its career. Another example was specially built and modified to compete in the Daily Mail Circuit of Britain Race, but crashed before the event. Other Type D aircraft remained in service until 1914.

The Type D is notable in two respects. First, the prototype was at one point fitted with floats to make the first British take-off from water on November 18, 1911. Secondly, it was a biplane rather than A.V. Roe's previous triplane wing designs. It is believed that six examples of the Type D, with its triangular shape fuselage, were manufactured. They were all different, including one example with a 60hp engine that was intended to compete in the Daily Mail Air Race, but suffered a prior accident. The Avro Type D was the company's first successful and semi-production standard design.


  1. Avro Type D. (2010, May 4). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 01:52, December 14, 2010, from
  2. Avro Type D 1911 Virtual Aircraft Museum Retrieved 01:50, December 14, 2010, from
  3. Sharpe, Michael. Biplanes, Triplanes, and Seaplanes, pg.56. London, England: Friedman/Fairfax Books , 2000. ISBN 1-58663-300-7.
  4. Taylor, Michael J. H. (1989). Jane''s Encyclopedia of Aviation. London: Studio Editions.
  5. World Aircraft Information Files. London: Bright Star Publishing. pp. File 889 Sheet 92.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Austria - 1917 Aviatik-Berg Dr.I

Julius von Berg's Triplane Attempt

I have been busy working on profiles and decided to tackle an Aviatik of different type. I think by now my readers know my opinion on triplanes. I think they look great, but for the most part were a waste of time and material. I know there were exceptions to the rule, however when it comes to the number of wings on an airplane I believe less is more. Very few triplane designs were equal to the designer's initial expectations. All in all chasing the dream of ab effective triplane was a fool's errand. However drawing them is too much fun to pass up an opportunity to bring them to life.

The Aviatik 30.24 (this designation indicating that it was the 24th experimental aircraft produced by O-UF Aviatik) single-seat fighter triplane designed by von Berg in May 1917. The Aviatik 30.24 employed a similar structure to that of the D.I and the fuselage similar. Based on a contract with Aviatik for four experimental fighter planes powered by 185/200 hp Daimler engines in Sept 1917. Flight testing of 30.24 on Oct 1917, the 185 hp powered 30.24 had inferior performance compared with a similar engined Aviatik D.I. The 200 hp Daimler also shows little improvement. The Triplane was referred to FLEK (FLiegerErsatzKompanie) 6 in Wiener Neustadt, where a variety of experimental radiators were installed to improve the pilots forward view on Aviatik fighters. 30.24 was accepted by LFT inspectors in Sep 1918. The remaining three prototypes (designations unknown), completed but disassembled, were accepted at the end of Oct 1918. The 30.24 was offered for sale to the Czechoslovakian government in April 1920.


  1. Aviatik (Berg) 30.24 The Virtual Aircraft Museum retrieved from

Austria - 1917 Aviatik-Berg D-I part 2

More Aviatik D-I Scouts

Once again I am back to my obsessive self. the Albatros Project is on hold while I work on several different types of Aviatik aircraft and camouflage sheets for the camouflage corner page. These are the latest profiles in the series. I am still working on a new master file for the Aviatik C-I. I have started work on profiles for the Aviatik 30.24 triplane and the Aviatik 30.40 monoplane. Today's selection has an Aviatik built series 138 and two Lohner built series 115 aircraft.

This example has louvers along the engine compartment and a modified cockpit combing. The unpainted forward section is longer, extending close to the midpoint of the cockpit.The rudder has a mix of stripes and hexagonal camouflage.

Aviatik aircraft produced by Lohner left the factory with a distinctive camouflage scheme. The black stripe on the fuselage was a common element on aircraft serving in Flik 60J. The stylized S is the personal marking of Lt. Otto Stelli. One notable feature is the lack of wheel covers.

This is another example of a Lohner built D-I serving in Flik 60J. Basically the paint scheme is very similar to the previous example. The pilot for this plane is unknown.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Austria - 1917 Aviatik (Berg) D-I

The First Totally Austrian Fighter

My schedule has recently been thrown out of kilter. One reason is I have been busy researching Austrian aircraft. There are lots of different variants of their aircraft types, it comes down to knowing what the serial number indicates. Once I had that sorted out I could begin putting together my master aircraft files.

One thing which makes the process more time consuming is the hexagonal scheme used varies in color for each aircraft. It makes the process slower and more labor intensive than other aircraft types. The good thing is once I see the results it is very satisfying.

This is an Aviatik series 38 fighter which served in Flik 63J. The paint scheme is a streaked pattern which covered the fuselage, tail plane, part of he rudder and upper wing surfaces. The striped forward rudder adds a nice contrast to the finish.

This is an Aviatik series 138 from Flik 74J. The camouflage is the a hexagonal pattern which changes color in bands. The white section of the fuselage is marked with the name Mizzi, This was the personal marking for Korporal Josef Kunze. This example was from early 1918 before the change to the Maltese Cross.

The Aviatik series 338 served in Flik 1J and was flown by Oblt. Bela Macourek. The fuselage is the later model which has a more streamlined nose section. The power plant was more powerful than hose used in the earlier series. Once again the camouflage is a hexagonal pattern however the colors are different. The Maltese cross marks it as a late war aircraft i use after the spring of 1918. The side flash was a diagonal red, white and green stripe.

The Aviatik D.I, was a single-engine, single-seater fighter biplane. The Aviatik D.I represented the first wholly Austro-Hungarian designed fighter in the Austro-Hungarian Air Service (Luftfahrtruppen). It was also known as the Berg D.I or the Berg Fighter after its designer, Julius von Berg.

The D.I was a good combat aircraft. It was reasonably fast, had excellent flying characteristics and maneuverability, and could reach higher altitudes than most of its adversaries. In addition, it was provided with a roomy and comfortable cockpit which gave a good field of view.

Despite those desirable features, the new Aviatik fighter wasn't greeted with enthusiasm when it entered service in autumn 1917, as the type also had some serious defects which didn't endear it to its pilots. The early aircraft had structural deficiencies and their machine guns were installed beyond the reach of the pilot; if the gun(s) jammed, there was nothing he could do about it. These problems were later rectified with the strengthening of the airframe and the repositioning of the guns, but the main cause of complaints was the engine's tendency to overheat far too easily. To alleviate the cooling problems, operational units tended to fly their aircraft without the engine's top panels and sometimes also the side panels were left off.

The Aviatik D.I was manufactured under license by a numbers of subcontractors.

  • Austrian Aviatik built the 38, 138, 238 and 338 Series
  • Lohner built the 115 and 315 Series
  • Lloyd manufactured the 48, 248 and 348 Series.
  • MAG (Magyar Általános Gépgyár - General Hungarian Machine Works) built the 84 and 92 Series
  • Thöne und Fiala manufactured the 101 Series
  • WKF (Wiener Karosserie Fabrik - Vienna (Car)Body Factory built the 184, 284 and 384 Series.

Ordered but not build were the 215 and 201 Series from Lohner and ThÖne und Fiala respectively.

Work on the prototype began in August 1916, the first flight of the Aviatik D.I prototype, 30.14, took place on October 16, 1916 at Aspern, killing the test pilot.

Further modifications were made, and three more prototypes of the Aviatik D.I were manufactured, labeled 30.19 (for tests on the ground), 30.20 (for tests in flight) and 30.21 (as a reserve airframe). These prototypes differed from the production aircraft in having a single unsynchronized Schwarzlose machine gun above the top wing, firing over the propeller.

Tests of the modified aircraft were positive and the first unit to receive the first serial batch (with two synchronized Schwarzloses, one on each side of the cylinder block) of the Aviatik D.I was Fluggeschwader I (FLG I, later to be renamed to Flik 101G) on the Divac(a airfield in Slovenia.

The Austro-Hungarian aviation units used the D.I widely until the end of World War I on Eastern, Italian and Balkan fronts, mainly as an escort fighter for the 2-seater reconnaissance aircraft, as the most fighter units preferred the Albatros D.III in air superiority role.

The D.II was a version of the D.I with a cantilever lower wing. The model went into production in late 1918 in two Series (39 and 339), but the production aircraft were too late for operational service. The D.III high-altitude version with a 230 hp Hiero engine and the Dr.I triplane development remained as prototypes only.

The main differences between the Series were in the power of Austro-Daimler engines used (185 hp in the early production aircraft, 200 or 210 hp in the mid-production, and 225 hp in the last ones), in exact positioning of the machine guns, and in structural and radiator modifications.

Until the 31st October 1918 a number of 677 Aviatik D.I airframes of all batches were handed over to the Austro-Hungarian Air Force.


  1. Aviatik D.I. (2011, April 26). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 07:37, September 3, 2011, from
  2. Aviatik Berg D.I photos from the Vienna technical Museum</li>
  3. The Aerodrome page regarding the Aviatik D.I
  4. Holmes, Tony (2005). Jane's Vintage Aircraft Recognition Guide. London: Harper Collins. ISBN 0 0071 9292 4.
  5. Munson, Kenneth - Fighters, Attack and Training Aircraft 1914-19 ISBN 0-7537-0916-3

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Albatros D.III Oeffag Part 3

More Colorful Albatros Oeffag Profiles

Once again my obsessive nature is showing. I promise to post some other aircraft types on the next go around. I have started preparations for several new Austrian aircraft types. I hope to have some masters finished this week and get stuck in doing lots of hexagonal paint schemes soon.

The dark wood finish and green camouflage of this series 153 sets off the large pilot insignia which painted over the serial number. The small printed under the Oeffag logo is Alb.III-Oeffag-153 bd the serial number is duplicated below the aircraft type. In this case it reads 153.10. The upper wing surfaces are done in the same green camouflage pattern.

The paint scheme on this series 153 is very distinctive. The streaked finish and the wishbone arrow flash was fun to do. The engine cover gives the aircraft a pleasing streamlined appearance.

This colorful example of a late war series 253 from Flik 63J served in 1918. The placement of the Maltese cross on the rudder was very unusual. The wheel cover scheme was used on several aircraft.