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The Albatros D-types Thread

Favorite Albatros D-Types  

11 members have voted

  1. 1. Please select your favorite Albatros D-type airplane(s). You may select more than one.



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This is for a Mercedes D.IIIa, not D.III, but they used the same connection. 

DIIIa_zpsfy5szlxj.jpg

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Whatever that "cable" or "pipe" may turn out (or not turn out) to be - I find it somehow sad,

that after such a short time of history we already lost so much detail-knowledge.

 

Great drawing/plan of that Daimler engine, Jim - thanks for sharing!

Edited by Olham

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Here's a photo we've probably all seen! Jasta 11 (with Manfred and Lothar von Richthofen's father, Albrecht) next to Manfred's Albatros D.III at Roucourt. 

 

 Jasta%2011%20Alb%20DIII_zpsrbwhbix7.jpg

 

 

But, wait! *IS* that MvR's famous Le Petit Rouge? The answer is no! Le Petit Rouge had a centrally-located airfoil radiator; had a three-quarters asbestos-wrapped pipe leading from the front of the engine to the radiator; and it had a light-colored apparent wooden repair near the attachment point of the aft port center section strut. The plane above has an offset radiator and a radiator pipe that is not wrapped (that we can see), and no such repair. Furthermore, it has covered rocker arm boxes and a nose footstep, the latter of which was seen only on 600- and 750-series Albatros D.IIIs, which began arriving in Jasta 11 in mid-late April 1917. Positive ID for this airplane can't be determined, but I thought it was possible [to be clear, I'm speculating] that this is Kurt Wolff's 632/17, which shared this airplane's features and arrived at Jasta 11 on 19 April 1917.  

 

Here is 632/17 taking off, prior to its red overpainting:
Albatros%20D%20III%20632-17%20take%20off

 

Here it is after painting, with Wolff:
 

Kurt%20Wolff%20Albatros%20DIII%20632-17_

 

But look at Wolff's wheel covers. They are a lot lighter than those in the top photo...

Here is a photo of Le Petit Rouge at Roucourt, taken within the same time period as the top photo.  

Jasta%2011%20Group%20at%20Roucourt_zpswf

 

 

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What a thread!!!

I was comparing the two photos of D.632/17...

it seems like the upper wing camo is different or my eyes fool me?

On the top photo I see a dark-light-dark combo while on the bottom one, the darker patch seems to be on the center...

or it's pure sky reflections on the glossy doped wing and the subtle shadows, just fool my eyes.  :blink:   :blind:

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Hi, elephant! 

 

Yes, those wings do look like that, don't they? 

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Great news fellow Albatros fans! Aeronaut Books has just published a new book on Albatros fighters. :drinks: They also have books on all the Albatros machines. Here's a link to their Alb fighters book, and a flyer below.

 

https://www.amazon.com/dp/1935881523/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1494820905&sr=8-1&keywords=albatros+fighters+aeronaut+books

 

Clipboard01_zpsnstn0fhg.jpg

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Albatros D.Va(OAW). My interest focuses on the planes themselves so I can't tell you who this is or what unit, hopefully someone else can chime in (or maybe I'll learn in Jack Herris' new book). The fuselage is overpainted an unknown (to me) color. It looks as if they spent some time with it, too, as the coverage is very good compared to the scruff and thinly-applied "washes" of Jasta 11 airplanes in spring 1917. Note: OAW wheel valve stem access hatches were oval. The one we can see on the starboard side is rectangular, so likely this machine had a replacement wheel from a Johannisthal-built Albatros. 

 

post-1-0-87412500-1494950348_thumb.jpg

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I notice the rather generous amount of padding on the edges of the cockpit. All planes, to a greater or lesser degree, seem to have this. Did pilots of the WWI era get thrown about that much? Did they hit the cockpit coming regularly?

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I'm going to opine (i.e., guess, this is not concrete fact) that they were usually strapped in pretty securely. Generally when flying the forces act vertically through one's body, not horizontally, as when turning a car, unless you kicked full rudder and held the wings level. Turbulence can knock you about at times, though. It's likely more for protection when on the ground, with ground crew getting in, getting out, etc., or for the pilot's face if a landing went awry and he turned ass-over-tea kettle. In the air the pilots are swathed in layers and layers of clothing, too, so bumping an edge of wood with your shoulder would be nothing. But on the ground without such clothing layers the padding offered some protection. For the airplane as well, as the coaming prevented the wooden edges around the cockpit from getting chipped or splintered, etc. 

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I bet they flailed around the cockpit like a fish out of water keeping watch on enemy aircraft above, below, behind, and in every direction. Any padding they could give themselves I'm sure was welcome, of course should I also opine.

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I agree that's a big reason, Elephant. All open cockpit airplanes have the cockpit padding, even civilian planes never used in combat. 

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Must have required an extra measure of courage to fly with that reservoir of boiling water so close to your head.

Edited by Hauksbee

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Perhaps so!

But, you know, to expand upon that a bit, I think the whole "scalding via radiators" thing has been overblown somewhat. All Alb DIIs with an airfoil radiator had them centrally located. As did many DIIIs. And all of the Austrian Albs; I don't think they ever offset them (although I have seen photos of one or two offset). And all the Alb C.IIIs, and C.VIIs, and C.Xs, and C.XIIs, and the Albatros J-types, as well as DFW, Phoenix D.Is, D.IIs, etc. Centrally located rads were quiet common and posed far less danger than gallons of fuel a few feet away with no firewall, or in a tank upon which one sat! I've seen claims that the rads were offset in Albs so that the pilots wouldn't be scalded if the radiator were punctured, but if so, why not move ALL the rads on ALL the models? Were the pilots and observers of Albatros C.XIIs less likely to be scalded by a centrally located radiator than pilots of D.IIIs? And how much scalding would actually occur, anyway? They were wearing uniforms and bundled in heavy flight clothing, gloves, goggles, scarves, and a helmet, with only perhaps part of their faces exposed, surrounded by a 100 mph wind in air often well below zero. 

 

In the photo above it's easy to agree that the rads were offset to get rid of the aiming obstructions caused by the radiator plumbing. Two-seaters hadn't the same aiming needs as did single-seaters, so no need to offset them. But this begs the question, why didn't the Austrians offset them?  :dntknw: I can't answer that. 

 

Here's some interesting information gleaned from Paul Strähle's comments on flying Albatros Ds: 

 

"At full-throttle, takeoff power was obtained at 1500 rpm. As the climb to altitude was established, the water for engine cooling heated and expanded, and the excess vented overboard from the radiator that was embedded in the center section of the top wing. This caused vapor to stream overhead and trail behind the airplane until the excess was gone."

 

Based on that recollection, water/steam went over the pilot's head in the slipstream. At least during normal overflow venting, which was probably via the top of the expansion tank. I can't say the same for undesigned venting via bullet holes, though. 

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Thank you for your great photos, Jim - I bet Elephant has the same glowing red cheeks as I have when we see them.

 

The writing in the wing cutout in the photo above reads, by the way:

 

Bei Standlauf  ...  Staublech verwenden

Edited by Olham

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 And how much scalding would actually occur, anyway? They were wearing uniforms and bundled in heavy flight clothing, gloves, goggles, scarves, and a helmet, with only perhaps part of their faces exposed, surrounded by a 100 mph wind in air often well below zero.

When you put it that way, I'd have to agree.

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