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 http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Hansa-Brandenburg_D.I&oldid=332619883
  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.


The Angry Lurker said...

Sorry to hear about the accident, those are nice though, very nice.

Jon Yuengling said...

I hope you did not lose too much.

The images are great. Is that a gun pod on the top wing?

Unknown said...

Thanks mates, It was a major event. I lost over a year's work. However I had some backed up. It is just a matter of reinventing the wheel. At least the new ones surpassed the previous versions. A lot of the lost material was reference and archived master files.

@Jon, yes that is indeed a gun pod. Austria used several versions. Pilots referred to the type in the profiles as "baby coffins". Some models used an exposed gun mount making clearing jams easier.

Bill said...

Holy Crow!

Is there any justification for the “Star-Strutter” arrangement?

It seems draggy, overengineered and attractive, but that's like putting gold trim on a Chevy.

Unknown said...

@Bill I am still not sure why some Austrian designers created some of the strangest aircraft of the Great War. From what I gather the star strut was created to avoid using wires for structural strength. This story still leaves me scratching my head.