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DukeIronHand

Albatross experts needed.

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Let me start by apologizing for the photo.

I did two Google image searches and could not find one that showed the "item" I would like I.D.'ed

I have the complete picture in a dozen books at home so I am hoping folks here have it also.

This has bugged me for a couple of decades (literally) so I am hot for an answer. Now that I know how to post pics here...

 

Attached is a famous photo of MvR sitting in a cockpit of a (presumed) Alb D-series aircraft.

 

At the end of the chain that is coming out of the cockpit is a small object that I have always presumed to be a wrench - or spanner for our British friends.

 

1)Is it, in fact, a wrench?

2)If a wrench what was it used for?

3)If not a wrench what the heck is it and what was it used for?

 

Thanks in advance.

post-9696-0-16556800-1307130848.jpg

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.

 

Duke, I seem to recall reading somewhere that the Albatros had a 'key' to the ignition switch and this key was often attached to a small chain. Not being able to see the item in the photo I can't really be sure if it is key-like or not. The only other item that comes to mind that might be attached to a chain and found in the cockpit would be the little hammer to unjam the guns.

 

.

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Thanks for the thoughts.

 

I was never aware of a "key" for the Alb. Could be but it certainly does not appear to be a jam hammer.

 

Let me try again to find the complete photo - I thought the darn internet had everything!!

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Ok...sorry for the harsh language earlier internet.

 

Did find the wife's birthday present. Apparently just typing WW1 in a search covers a lot of ground!

 

Back to searching!

post-9696-0-32845800-1307134108.jpg

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Did find the wife's birthday present. Apparently just typing WW1 in a search covers a lot of ground!

 

Back to searching!

I'm sure you'll look great when you show up wearing that for her birthday! :yikes:

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Well damnit...spent an hour looking with various searches.

 

Saw a lot of cool pictures so it wasn't wasted but I could not find the complete photo.

 

Sorry for wasting your time gentleman. Hopefully I'll solve the mystery before I croak!

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The object in question is the magneto switch key on a chain. When the airplane is unattended the key is removed from the socket to prevent accidental engine start. In this case it is hanging outside the cockpit.

 

 

ManfredimCockpit.jpg

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You sir, get a gold star, in fact have two!

 

Seriously though thanks for the picture and the answer JFM.

 

I have never seen the entire photo before as you have posted it, mostly the ones I have seen cut off just at the key.

 

It is an Alb I presume? The camera angle makes the front of the cockpit area look awful high. And a red nose?

 

I have wondered for a long, long time as it has, to me, kind of crescent wrench look to it.

 

And, of course, RAF_Louvert is right...again!

 

How are you at picking lottery numbers RAF_Louvert?

Edited by DukeIronHand

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Hey, Duke,

 

That's an Albatros D.V. You can tell by the 1. rounded fuselage side near the cockpit 2. weights table 3. aileron cables rising vertically in front of the cockpit. The weights table is a three line version and from my observation the weight reflects use of the 180/200hp Mercedes D.IIIa engine, which had different pistons, different engine block, and a new carburetor. Earlier D.Vs with the Mercedes D.III engine weighed 620 kg empty.

 

Yes, that's most likely a red nose, a standard Jasta 11 marking on their DVs from mid-1917 on. The front of the DV/DVa cockpit is a bit higher than the rear, as compared to the D.I, D.II, D.III and D.III (OAW). Although, I think the great height of the front coaming is also exaggerated by the low sides of the D.V/D.Va cockpit.

 

DVa.jpg

Alb DVa

 

DIII.jpg

Alb DIII

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Nice comparison photos, hell, nice pictures in general.

 

You certainly are a valuable source of info and knowledge. Most impressive.

 

Keep up the good work!

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.

 

Magneto switch key...BOOYAH! Me ol' memory still comes up with the proper tidbit every now and again. Great photos Jim, many thanks for sharing them here. I've already saved them to the proper folder in my computer.

 

.

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What a boring item. I'd have been so happy if JFM had confirmed that it was indeed a chain for a bottle opener. :grin:

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It may well be, that the magneto handle was hung overboard by MvR deliberately and always

after landing, as to show his Werkmeister and mechanics, that the handle had been taken off

and that there was no danger of accidental ignition.

Edited by Olham

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I have to wonder once under way does this thing just flop about in the cockpit or was it secured in the ignition switch? I could see it being more than a nuisance when maneuvering wildly.

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It may well be, that the magneto handle was hung overboard by MvR deliberately and always

after landing, as to show his Werkmeister and mechanics, that the handle had been taken off

and that there was no danger of accidental ignition.

 

Very insightful and well thought Herr Olham...I am guessing you are exactly right.

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"Pilot Killed when hit in eye by ignition key, causing him to lose control of aircraft"

No way in a German military aircraft - it was definitely secured.

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