Model Airplane News
December, 1956

Model Airplane News Cover for December, 1956 by Jo Kotula Albatros D. V

Albatros D. V
Model Airplane News Cover Art for December, 1956
by Jo Kotula
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Albatros-Flugzeugwerke (The Albatross Airplane Company) was a German aircraft manufacturer best known for supplying the German airforces during World War I. The company was based in Johannisthal, Berlin, where it was founded by Walter Huth and Otto Wiener on December 20, 1909. It produced some of the most capable fighter aircraft of World War I, notably the Albatros D.III and Albatros D.V. The works continued to operate until 1931, when it was merged into Focke-Wulf.

The Albatros D. V      The Albatros D. V

Albatros D. V
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The Albatros D.V was a fighter aircraft used by the Luftstreitkräfte (Imperial German Air Service, literally "Air Cavalry Force") during World War I. The D.V was the final development of the Albatros D.I family, and the last Albatros fighter to see operational service. Despite its well-known shortcomings and general obsolescence, approximately 900 D.V and 1,612 D.Va aircraft were built before production halted in early 1918. The D.Va continued in operational service until the end of the war.

Idflieg (Inspektion der Fliegertruppen, the German Purchasing Agency, literally "Inspector of Flying Troops") issued production contracts for 200 D.V aircraft in April 1917, followed by additional orders of 400 in May and 300 in July. Initial production of the D.V was exclusively undertaken by the Johannisthal factory, while the Schneidemühl factory produced the D.III through the remainder of 1917. The D.V entered service in May 1917 and, like the D.III before it, immediately began experiencing structural failures of the lower wing. Manfred von Richthofen was particularly critical of the new aircraft. In a July 1917 letter, he described the D.V as "so obsolete and so ridiculously inferior to the English that one can't do anything with this aircraft." British tests of a captured D.V revealed that the aircraft was slow to maneuver, heavy on the controls, and tiring to fly. The structural problems of the Fokker Dr.I and the mediocre performance of the Pfalz D.III left the Luftstreitkräfte with no viable alternative to the D.Va until the Fokker D.VII entered service in the summer of 1918. Production ceased in April 1918.

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