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elephant

A couple of new Albatros entries in WNW archive photos

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I just recently discovered a couple of new entries in the WNW Albatros D.V archive photos (Greg VanVyngarden)...

with a big surprise hidden!

 

AlbatrosDVJasta25lineup.jpg

 

Albatros%20D.V.%20Note%20the%20early%20160hp%20Daimler-Mercedes%20D.III%20engine%20and%20the%20unusual%20nose%20cowling%20%280460-045%29.jpg

 

Albatros%20D.V%20with%20Jasta%2017%20tailplane%20%20markings%20and%20Jasta%2025%20personnel.%20Note%20unusual%20nose%20cowling%20and%20%20early%20160hp%20Daimler-Mercedes%20D.III%20engine%20%280460-044%29.jpg

 

I had seen before that Jasta 25 line up, with those D.V-s sporting different types of weights tables, for standard and up rated machines

and as a matter of fact I have used them as reference.

Two new photos of these series though revealed a new to me (experimental?) engine hood that reminded me the late (1918) Austrian built D.III (series 253).

The photos seems to be taken in late 1917...

Any additional info on that matter?

Jim (JFM) may be?

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The whole Austrian Albatros program obviously required a lot of communications and liaison with the Germans. In addition, OeFFAG was merely the airframe division of Austro-Daimler, which itself was a subsidiary of the German Daimler company, so inter-ally communications in this case were certainly better than the general rule.

 

According to Grosz, Haddow, & Schiemer, the Austrian type of "round" nose was based on German wind tunnel experiments. Thus, the Germans would certainly have known of the idea and could easily have tested it themselves. After all, it was just swapping out 1 sheet metal fairing for another, not a big structural change. Alternatively, they could have simply acquired an Austrian nose fairing for testing, rather than building their own. The Germans did acquire various Austrian planes for testing, so why not some parts, too? Anyway, in studying the photo above, I can see no different at all between this fairing and those used as standard on late-153 and 253 OeFFAGs, even down to the pattern of screw holes holding it on (which is the same pattern used by the standard fairing).

 

As to the date of the picture, the Austrians introduced the "round" nose as standard on the 2nd batch of Series 153 planes (airframes 112-211), ordered on 8 October 1917. For that to have happened, the wind tunnel tests would must have taken place at least a few months before then, to allow the Austrians time to learn of, acquire, and digest the data, decide to make the change, and retool the fairing production line. Thus, if this was a German-made experimental part (a 1-off, no production line), it could have been made at any time in the latter 1/2 of 1917. OTOH, if it was an Austrian part, it would probably have become available very late in 1917.

 

I find this all quite intriguing. The plane itself is German, not Austrian, but the fairing is identical to the Austrian type. If the Germans had hand-made a custom, 1-off part for an experiment, I'd expect it to have look noticeably different from the Austrian production examples. So, I think we can rule that out. But this still leaves the question of who actually designed the part? Could it be that the Germans did all the engineering but decided not to use it while the Austrians did? Or did the Austrians design the part from German data, but the Germans didn't use it because of the "not invented here" syndrome (as with the OeFFAG wings)?

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Now this is interesting!

I have never before seen any other pic of a German Albatros with the spinner-less design.

The whole hood looks different to me, as if the engine was higher?

Or is that a trick of the eye?

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The whole hood looks different to me, as if the engine was higher?

Or is that a trick of the eye?

 

That's the result of the steeper downwards slope of the "round" nose fairing. Look at Elephant's 3rd pic very closely, the one that shows the noses of both planes. On the "normal" Alb in the background, the original truncated-cone nose fairing, between the spinner and the main fuselage, is painted a dark. If you mentally squeeze its front end down to the diameter of the prop shaft to make a "round" fairing out of it, you'll necessarily steepen the slope of its upper area, exposing more of the front of the engine.

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Yeah, you may be right there.

 

The photos of so many offizers and mechanics, with only 2 planes, suggest that maybe

they were about to perform a comparison test between the spinner- and non-spinner Albatros.

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I dunno. The 1st 2 pics look posed but the 3rd pic appears to be candid with everybody standing around randomly. But note how they're all looking at something off to the left. Then look ath the expressions on their faces. Some appear to be saying "HOLY CRAP!", others "DAMN, that must have hurt", and others have apparently just turned their heads to look at what's going on, as if it made a loud noise that startled them. So maybe somebody else just crashed out on the runway?

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To mix things up a little more...

According to Greg VanVyngarden's caption for the last pic, the modified plane although marked with the uprated model's weights table,

it is equiped with an older Daimler Mercedes D.III 160 hp engine... :blink: ???

Edited by elephant

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Great photo. I've written Greg for more info about it.

 

Meanwhile, as Bullethead said, Albatros was aware of the speed advantage of the rounded nose sans spinner. They didn't ignore it, though, because they employed it with their D.IX, D.XII, and C.IV designs. However, none of these machines reached production. After the D.Va, Albatros was done with their own fighter production and began building Fokker D.VIIs.

 

As far as what's going on in the photo, IMO it's nearly impossible to determine based on a millisecond of time frozen in a photo. Any one of a zillion things could have gone on outside the frame.

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BTW, regarding the photo's date, the DVs showed up in May 1917. In this photo there are few-to-no leaves on the trees. I.e., sometime during/after latter October 1917.

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What aircraft is that in the background in pic 1?

At first I thought it might be a D.VII, but probably not. The vert. stablizer looks wrong.

Capture.JPG

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One guy is holding a (flare) pistol - I still believe it was a kind of contest.

 

Maybe they were taking turns shooting flares at ground crewmen out doing the morning FOD sweep of the runway, and the last guy just scored a hit? :)

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At first I thought it might be a D.VII, but probably not. The vert. stablizer looks wrong.

Upon second thoughts, the tail looks like it could be another Albatros. (if you squint real hard.) And if it is, the nose could be an Austrian spinner-less Alb. Maybe.

Capture.JPG

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Maybe a Halberstadt? Similar shape in the tail/tailskid area and nose shape..........just a thought

post-37373-0-35321300-1347502919_thumb.jpg

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