Model Airplane News|
Model Airplane News Cover Art for January, 1956
by Jo Kotula
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The Pfalz D.XII was a German fighter aircraft built by Pfalz Flugzeugwerke (the Pfalz Airplane Factory). Designed by Rudolph Gehringer as a successor to the Pfalz D.III, the D.XII entered service in significant numbers near the end of the First World War. It was the last Pfalz aircraft to see widespread service. Though the D.XII was an effective fighter aircraft, it was overshadowed by the highly successful Fokker D.VII.
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The Idflieg (Inspektion der Fliegertruppen "Inspector of Flight Personnel", the Germain aircraft purchasing authority) wanted something that would compete with the SPAD S.VII. Pfalz produced several prototypes with SPAD-type wings that evolved into the Pfalz D.XII. The new aircraft used Pfalz's Wickelrumpf (plywood-skinned) monocoque fuselage construction. The prototype D.XII first flew in March 1918, subsequently, the Idflieg issued a production order for 50 aircraft. The first 200 production examples could be distinguished by their rectangular fin and rudder. Subsequent aircraft featured a larger, rounded rudder profile. While the D.XII was a marked improvement over the obsolescent Albatros D.Va and Pfalz D.III, it nevertheless found little favor with German pilots, who strongly preferred the Fokker D.VII. Those who flew the Pfalzs did so because there were no other machines for them. But they always gazed enviously at the Fokkers and prayed for the quick chance of an exchange. Between 750 and 800 D.XII scouts were completed by the Armistice. A substantial number, perhaps as many as 175, were surrendered to the Allies.
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