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Centennial Perspective
J.Herris
German Aircraft of Minor Manufacturers in WW1. Volume I
304

J.Herris - German Aircraft of Minor Manufacturers in WW1. Volume I /Centennial Perspective/

Alter

  The firm had been established in 1871 in Darmstadt as a general trading company. After the death of Ludwig Alter, the founder, in 1915, the firm was remodeled as an aircraft factory. The firm had been engaged in the production of furniture and domestic goods pre-war. The factory specifically repaired Albatros, D.F.W, and Aviatik machines. The company also supplied military vehicle wheels, ammunition boxes, and all types of boxes for military purposes as well as hangars. It is assumed that these would have been pre-fabricated wooden hangars. With the commencement of aeronautical activities, the staff remained at about 300 workers with engineers Kallweit and Ketterer in charge, with Herr Georg Seel as the firm's test pilot.
  In October 1916 the firm received an order for a copy of the Nieuport fighter.
  The overhaul and repair of aircraft was the firm's main activity till the end of hostilities. The firm's experience with wood working was helpful, but it experienced great difficulty in the early days due to the lack of skilled workers, especially metal workers. Later it was in a position to respond to the demands that the military placed on it.
The Alter A.1 followed closely the design of the Nieuport Bebe, but offered inadequate performance.
The one original Alter design was the Alter A.I fighter that was an approximate copy of the Nieuport fighter with modified wing cellule. The engine was an 80 hp Oberursel U.0 7-cylinder rotary. Note the two cowling variations, one with spinner. (Peter M. Grosz collection, STDB)
The one original Alter design was the Alter A.I fighter that was an approximate copy of the Nieuport fighter with modified wing cellule. The engine was an 80 hp Oberursel U.0 7-cylinder rotary. Note the two cowling variations, one with spinner. (Peter M. Grosz collection, STDB)
Caspar

  The Hanseatische Flugzeugwerke (Hanseatic Aircraft Works of Karl Caspar Ltd) was located in Fuhlsbuttel, Flugplatz, Hamburg. The initial firm was founded in November 1911, the alteration to the title being made in January 1917. Caspar had dealings with the Austrian industrialist Castillio Castiglioni that led to his Company becoming part of the Brandenburg empire. In late 1916, Caspar was released from Naval service and he founded Hanseatische Flugzeugwerke Karl Caspar A.G.
  In the summer of 1916 their flying school burnt down when there was an explosion in the Zeppelin hangar. New facilities were built and the construction works and airship hangar were enlarged to take the new airships, the Navy signing a contract with the Company to use the facilities.
  The Company repaired machines and built new aircraft. It specialised in the repair of G-type aircraft. In summer 1917 it licence-produced the Albatros C.III, and then Friedrichshafen G.III bombers. During the war it produced 200 Albatros C.III biplanes, 93 Friedrichshafen G.III and G.IIIa bombers, as well as a large quantity of spare parts.
  In 1917 the firm repaired 15 machines per month, and in 1918 built 35 C-types per month, repaired five G-types per month, as well as spare part manufacturing. In 1918 the school graduated 155 pupils.
  The IAACC found 75 aircraft and 48 motors as well as a large quantity of spare parts when it inspected the factory. The Caspar D.I twin rotary engine fighter was designed by Karl Caspar, the only non-licensed machine produced by the company during the war, - the U 1 was completed postwar.
Caspar Taube (a Gotha Taube with rotary engine). (Peter M. Grosz collection, STDB)
Caspar A Taube. (Peter M. Grosz collection, STDB)
Caspar A Taube. (Peter M. Grosz collection, STDB)
Caspar A Taube. (Peter M. Grosz collection, STDB)
Caspar

  The Hanseatische Flugzeugwerke (Hanseatic Aircraft Works of Karl Caspar Ltd) was located in Fuhlsbuttel, Flugplatz, Hamburg. The initial firm was founded in November 1911, the alteration to the title being made in January 1917. Caspar had dealings with the Austrian industrialist Castillio Castiglioni that led to his Company becoming part of the Brandenburg empire. In late 1916, Caspar was released from Naval service and he founded Hanseatische Flugzeugwerke Karl Caspar A.G.
  In the summer of 1916 their flying school burnt down when there was an explosion in the Zeppelin hangar. New facilities were built and the construction works and airship hangar were enlarged to take the new airships, the Navy signing a contract with the Company to use the facilities.
  The Company repaired machines and built new aircraft. It specialised in the repair of G-type aircraft. In summer 1917 it licence-produced the Albatros C.III, and then Friedrichshafen G.III bombers. During the war it produced 200 Albatros C.III biplanes, 93 Friedrichshafen G.III and G.IIIa bombers, as well as a large quantity of spare parts.
  In 1917 the firm repaired 15 machines per month, and in 1918 built 35 C-types per month, repaired five G-types per month, as well as spare part manufacturing. In 1918 the school graduated 155 pupils.
  The IAACC found 75 aircraft and 48 motors as well as a large quantity of spare parts when it inspected the factory. The Caspar D.I twin rotary engine fighter was designed by Karl Caspar, the only non-licensed machine produced by the company during the war, - the U 1 was completed postwar.
The Caspar D.I twin-engine fighter was one of of two original Caspar designs. Built in 1918, it was destroyed during 1919 when an engine broke loose during ground tests. It was a single-seat fighter powered by two 100 hp Oberursel U I engines. (Peter M. Grosz collection, STDB)
The Caspar D.I twin-engine fighter being built in the factory. These are differently cropped versions of the same photo. (Peter M. Grosz collection, STDB)
The Caspar D.I twin-engine fighter being built in the factory. These are differently cropped versions of the same photo. (Peter M. Grosz collection, STDB)
The Caspar U 1 was an all-metal aircraft designed to be carried by a submarine for reconnaissance. The U 1 was designed to be carried in a waterproof metal housing in a dismantled state and assembled on the submarine for its reconnaissance flights. It was completed postwar.
The diminutive Caspar U 1 all-metal submarine-based reconnaissance aircraft. Powered by a small radial engine, it could be dismantled for storage in a water-tight container and assembled on the submarine for flight.
Court

  Max Court owned a small aircraft manufacturer with attached flying school at Johannisthal. The Court monoplane was a basic copy of the Morane-Saulnier with wings of Zanonia planform, the planform normally used by Tauben designs to given them inherent pitch stability. This was likely intended for use at the flying school.
The Court was an advanced, rotary-powered Taube with conventional tail and advanced undercarriage.
Daimler R.II

  After the demise of the Union G.I and the Union company, Daimler got more directly involved in building bombers by hiring the designer of the Union G.I, Ingenieur Karl Schopper, who designed two similar aircraft for Daimler.
  Daimler had already received orders from Idflieg for two bombers that apparently were not built. The first was for a two-engine bomber powered by a pair of 220 hp Mercedes D.IV straight-eight engines. Idflieg also ordered six G-types with serials G.I 12- 117/16, but there were apparently not built either as no records or photographs of these aircraft have been found.
  Apparently the first Daimler bomber that was actually built was the Daimler R.II 450-1915, a design that was clearly a follow-on to the Union G.I. The designation 'R.II' may have been chosen to follow the original 'R.I' designation of the Union bomber, but neither was a true R-type because the engines could not be accessed and worked on in flight as required by the R-type specifications.
  In any case, the Daimler R.II was powered by four 100/110 hp Mercedes engines and was otherwise very similar to the earlier Union G.I by the same designer. The main visible difference was the engines of the Daimler R.II were of conventional configuration with the cylinders above the crankcase. This placed the propellers much lower relative to the engine nacelles.
  The R.450 flew in November 1916 and was active until April 1917. Flight testing did not go well, with a series of engine problems, structural problems, and poor flying qualities. The aircraft was very difficult even to get into the air and when in flight was not rigged properly so had a tendency to turn to the right. After an unsuccessful attempt to take off on April 13, 1917, there are no more records discussing flights and flight testing was apparently abandoned.


Daimler R.I

  Confusingly, the Daimler R.I 478-1915 was built after the R.I 450-1915, which is why it is presented here out of numerical order. The Daimler R.I was another variation on the Union G.I/Daimler R.II theme. Like the earlier R.II the R.I was powered by four 100/110 hp Mercedes engines. The only visible difference was in the engine nacelle design, but there were a number of internal structural improvements that were not externally visible.
  Test pilot Irrek, accompanied by second pilot Gaiser, probably made the first flight of the R.I on January 18, 1917. Like the preceding R.II the R.I was not rigged correctly and tended to bank right and turn right. Speed was 120-125 km/hr but the fore and aft engines did not run at the same RPM, and the controls were very stiff. A second test flight on January 22 was little better. The engines now ran at about the same RPM, so the propellers had apparently been changed. However, it took 62 minutes for the R.l to reach 2,400 meters, a very mediocre performance.
  Irrek made the next test flight on April 26 solo and could barely reach 500 meters altitude. The flight was subject to intense engine vibration and Irrek was concerned about fuselage structural failure. On May 24 Irrek and Gaiser made an acceptance flight of 1.25 hours duration and reached 2,900 meters.
  The May 24 flight was probably the last for the R.l or any other four-engine aircraft designed by Schopper. These aircraft had proved complex, underpowered, and were not robust. Both flying qualities and performance were mediocre at best, and the pilots did not regret their passing.
The Daimler R.II was structurally weak and had very poor flying qualities. Development was abandoned after test pilot Irrek was unable to get the aircraft into the air for another test flight after five attempts.
The Daimler R.II was designed by Karl Schopper, who had designed the Union G.I. The key visible difference between the types was the location of the propellers, which was dictated by the type of Mercedes engine used.
The hapless Daimler R.I was little improved over the unsatisfactory R.II; development was abandoned in May 1917. Both flying qualities and performance were very mediocre.
The Daimler R.I was can be distinguished from the earlier R.II by its re-designed engine nacelles. Internal improvements were also made but were not visible. Poor performance and flying qualities quickly doomed the R.I.
The Daimler G.II 480-1915 (tractor) in the factory during construction. The Daimler R.I or R.II is in the foreground.
Daimler G.I

  Daimler's first two-engine bomber design, the G.I, ordered as 476-1915, was not completed and no further information about it is available.


Daimler G.II (480-1915 Tractor)

  The Daimler G.II was designed by Schopper but was a completely different aircraft than the earlier Union G.I and the related Daimler R.I and R.II. The Daimler G.II, aircraft 480-1915, was a two-engine bomber with its 220 hp Mercedes D.IV engines mounted as tractors.
  Daimler test pilot Irrek flew the G.II (tractor) on November 20, 1916, which may have been its first flight. Unfortunately, like the earlier R.I and R.II the G.II 'hung right' (banked to the right) and turned right and the ailerons were ineffective because the upper wing bent under the aerodynamic loads and stretched the aileron control cables. The rudder control was too heavy and the elevators were light. The aircraft was tail heavy and Irrek could not maintain directional control with one engine throttled back to simulate engine failure. Although six aircraft had been ordered, development of the tractor version of the G.II may have been stopped at this point because there is no more information about further tests flights, additional airframes, or technical modifications.

Daimler G.II (Tractor) Specifications
Engines: 2 x 220 hp Mercedes D.IV
Wing: Span Upper 17.0 m
General: Loaded Weight 2,700 kg
  


Daimler G.II (480-1915 Pusher)

  Schopper also designed a pusher version of the Daimler G.II that was very similar to the tractor version but had a larger lower wing, now of equal span with the upper wing. Daimler test pilot Irrek made seven unsuccessful take-off attempts in this aircraft between March 16 and April 19, 1917. On June 28 Irrek was finally able to get the recalcitrant G.II (pusher) into the air, but its flying qualities were very poor. Irrek was barely able to land the aircraft safely after a nerve-wracking flight. To the relief of the pilots, further development of the Daimler G.II was abandoned.
The Daimler G.I being built in the Daimler factory; it was not completed and no details are known.
The Daimler G.II 480-1915 (tractor) in the factory during assembly. Workmanship was excellent.
The Daimler G.II 480-1915 (tractor) in the factory during construction. The Daimler R.I or R.II is in the foreground.
The Daimler G.II 480-1915 (tractor) in the factory after completion. The lower wing was significantly smaller than the upper wing and test pilot Irrek thought this contributed to the upper wing bending experienced in flight.
The Daimler G.II 480-1915 (pusher) was powered by the 220 hp Mercedes D.IV straight-eight like the preceding G.II (tractor). Also like the G.II (tractor), workmanship was excellent but the design had dangerous flying qualities.
The Daimler G.II 480-1915 (pusher) was well-built but unfortunately was not well designed. Its excellent workmanship was wasted due to dangerous flying qualities and the design was quickly abandoned.
Early Daimler G-type un-built bomber project powered by 220 hp Mercedes D.IV straight-8 engine. This was apparently designed before the 260 hp Mercedes D.IVa 6-cylinder engine was available.
Daimler G.III (584-1916)

  The Daimler G.III was powered by two 260 hp Mercedes D.IVa engines buried in the fuselage. Once again Schopper was the designer, a fact difficult to understand in view of his consistent record of designing bombers with poor performance and poor to dangerous flying qualities. The internal engines were coupled together and drove two tractor propellers via drive shafts and gears. The vertical tail was similar to that of the G.II.
  As originally built, the bulky G.III had a tricycle landing gear and a huge block radiator mounted above the nose to facilitate flight trials. Taxi trials were initiated on July 17, 1917, and the next day test pilot Irrek made the first flight. A number of test flights followed, many of short duration which indicated problems. After a flight on September 8 the G.III was grounded for more than a month for either repairs or modifications. A duration flight was made on October 16 with full load and a crew of three; cruise speed was 120 km/h but the aircraft was very tail-heavy, making longitudinal stability marginal. Irrek thought the relatively short fuselage contributed to inadequate directional stability as well. Different wings were to be fitted to improve flying qualities, but it is not clear the aircraft was flown after this major modification. Daimler was too busy with building and testing Friedrichshafen bombers it was building under license to invest more resources on the G.III, which was regarded as too heavy due to the central drive system. Daimler G.III development was stopped, leaving its designer Schopper with a record unblemished by success.
As built the Daimler G.III 584-1916 featured a nose landing gear and a massive block radiator on the nose to expedite flight testing. Two 260 hp Mercedes D.IVa engines were buried in the fuselage to provide power.
The shape of the Daimler G.III vertical tail surfaces was very similar to the earlier G.II. It is surprising that Daimler continued to have Schopper design its bombers given that none of his designs were successful. All of his bomber designs had poor flying qualities at best, and were dangerous at worst.
The Daimler G.III was a bulky design due to the internally-mounted engines.
The Daimler G.III after the nose gear was removed and the block radiator was replaced.
The Daimler G.III during flight testing showing the power transmission system and propeller-bracing details.
All Daimler bombers were well built but poorly designed.The central power system of the G.III was too heavy and flying qualities were poor.
The Daimler G.III after the nose gear was removed (the stubs remain visible) and the block radiator was replaced by smaller radiators seen either side of the crewman.
Daimler D.I & D.II

  The Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft AG was the largest engine manufacturer in Germany and was well-known for its aircraft engines using the trade name Mercedes. In addition to aero-engine manufacturing, Daimler repaired airplanes, built more than 200 Friedrichshafen bombers under license, and also designed and built prototype combat aircraft, eventually including fighters.
  In September 1917 the prototype 185 hp Mercedes D.IIIb V-8 aircraft engine, based on the Hispano-Suiza, was running well on the test stand, and the company decided to build a prototype fighter to flight-test the engine. The Daimler D.I began flight tests at the end of November with the geared version of the engine, the D.IIIbm. Initially it was tail heavy, but by January that was corrected. However, climb rate was still not satisfactory, and it was not until the Second Fighter Competition that the D.I was ready to compete. There it demonstrated an average climb time to 6,000 meters of 28.5 minutes, a time matched by the competing Aviatik D.IV powered by the 195 hp Benz Bz.IIIbm geared V-8. Front-line pilots did not like the Aviatik, and the Daimler V-8 engine was the Daimler D.I's main advantage. Idflieg ordered 20 Daimler D.I fighters on 23 July, primarily to speed development of the engine. One redesigned D.I was ordered on 22 September.
  Daimler next built a D.II prototype with thick wings and wireless cellule, likely inspired by the Fokker D.VII. The D.II flew in July, too late for the Second Fighter Competition. In late August the D.II flew in comparison with a Fokker D.VII; the D.II proved equal in speed and had a much better climb rate. D.II development continued to the Armistice.


Daimler D.I Specifications
Engine: 185 hp Mercedes D.IIIb V-8
Wing: Span 9.90 m
Area 22.6 m2
General: Length 7.30 m
Height 2.76 m
Empty Weight 750 kg
Loaded Weight 925 kg
Maximum Speed 183 kmh
Climb: 6000 m 30 min


Daimler D.II Specifications
Engine: 185 hp Mercedes D.IIIb V-8
Wing: Span 9.00 m
Area 22.32 m2
General: Length 7.20 m
Height 2.60 m
Empty Weight 742 kg
Loaded Weight 990 kg
Maximum Speed 190 kmh

Daimler D.I second prototype, airfoil radiator
Daimler D.I third prototype, nose radiator
The Daimler D.I fighter prototype was powered by Daimler's Mercedes D.IIIbm geared V-8 engine and demonstrated a good climb rate at the Second Fighter Competition. German V-8 engines entered production too late to power any aircraft that reached the front.
Another Daimler D.I fighter prototype was rolled out in March 1918; this version had shorter exhaust pipes and wore the new national insignia, but was still powered by Daimler's Mercedes D.IIIbm geared V-8 engine. Development of this prototype continued to improve engine cooling and aerodynamic issues, and it competed at the Second Fighter Competition, where its main asset was its engine.
Another Daimler D.I fighter prototype was rolled out in March 1918; this version had shorter exhaust pipes and wore the new national insignia, but was still powered by Daimler's Mercedes D.IIIbm geared V-8 engine. Development of this prototype continued to improve engine cooling and aerodynamic issues, and it competed at the Second Fighter Competition, where its main asset was its engine.
The Daimler D.I fighter prototype as it appeared when it competed at the Second Fighter Competition.The most impressive D.I asset was its engine, and 20 aircraft were ordered on 23 July 1918 to help speed development of the promising engine to get it into production. The engine eventually went into production, but unfortunately too late to power any fighters in combat.
Yet another Daimler D.I fighter prototype was ordered on 22 September 1918 as D.8800/18.This version was still powered by Daimler's Mercedes D.IIIbm geared V-8 engine but discarded the airfoil radiator of earlier D.l prototypes for a radiator in the nose. The rudder and fin appear to be taller than previous prototypes.
Yet another Daimler D.I fighter prototype was ordered on 22 September 1918 as D.8800/18.This version was still powered by Daimler's Mercedes D.IIIbm geared V-8 engine but discarded the airfoil radiator of earlier D.l prototypes for a radiator in the nose. The rudder and fin appear to be taller than previous prototypes.
The Daimler D.II fighter prototype had thick, cantilever wings and initially flew without interplane struts, but is seen here after they were installed. The D.II arrived too late for the Second Fighter Competition, but in late August the D.II was flown with a Fokker D.VII for comparison. The D.II proved equal in speed and had a much better climb rate, but the type of engine in that Fokker is not known. D.II development continued to the Armistice. Its V-8 engine finally went into production, but unfortunately too late to power any fighters in combat.
First flown with cantilever wings, the L 9 was later fitted with interplane struts.
D.I drawing.
Idflieg drawing of prototype Daimler D.I.
Daimler D.I
Daimler D.I
Daimler L 11
  
  Daimler's final single-seat fighter, the L11, was a parasol monoplane that apparently first flew on October 1, 1918. It would have been designated the Daimler D.III had it been accepted by Idflieg, but was too late for that. Like the other Daimler fighters, the L11 used the 185 hp Mercedes D.IIIb V-8 engine. The L11 proved to have exceptional performance, with a top speed of 240 km/h and a climb to 5,000 meters in 13 minutes. The L11 was delivered with unbalanced ailerons and was then modified with vane-balanced ailerons that received a patent in 1919.


Daimler L.14

  The Daimler L 14, designed by Klemm, was a slightly larger, two-seat fighter derived from the L11 fighter. First flown by von Thuna in the fall of 1919, had it been tested by Idflieg it would have probably been designated the CL.II. It was the final Daimler design. It was offered to Chile without result. Unfortunately, no performance data is available.


Daimler L 14 (aka CL.II) Specifications
Engine: 185 hp Mercedes D.IIIbm V-8
Wing Span 12.950 m
General Length 7.280 m
Daimler L 11 prototype
The Daimler L11 fighter prototype was powered by Daimler's Mercedes D.IIIbm geared V-8 engine; here it is seen in its final configuration with vane-balanced ailerons. It had a top speed of 240 km/h, very fast for its time, and had excellent climb and ceiling. This is one of two excellent fighters produced by these companies that was too late for combat.The Kondor E.III/IIIa was the other, and both were parasol monoplanes.
The Daimler L11 as delivered with unbalanced ailerons. It had a top speed of 240 km/h, very fast for its time.
The Daimler L11 fighter. (Peter M. Grosz collection, STDB)
The largely unknown Daimler L11 fighter, which would have become the Daimler D.III had the war lasted long enough for Idflieg to accept the aircraft, is shown here, with modified ailerons. Powered by Daimler's 185 hp Mercedes D.IIIbm geared V-8, the L11 demonstrated exceptional performance, including a maximum level speed of 240 km/h and climb to 5,000 meters in 13 minutes, excellent for any aircraft and especially impressive for one using a water-cooled engine. The Daimler L11 was faster than the Rumpler D.I and had similar climb and ceiling, and may well have filled the role the troubled Rumpler D.I was intended for had the war lasted into 1919.
The Daimler L11 fighter prototype was powered by Daimler's Mercedes D.IIIbm geared V-8 engine; here it is seen in its final configuration with vane-balanced ailerons.
The sole Daimler L11 which was the first aircraft wholly designed by Hanns Klemm.
The Daimler L11 fighter. (Peter M. Grosz collection, STDB)
The largely unknown Daimler L11 fighter, which would have become the Daimler D.III had the war lasted long enough for Idflieg to accept the aircraft, is shown here in initial form.
The Daimler L14 two-seat fighter was a two-seat derivative of the high-performance L11 single-seat fighter. Powered by Daimler's 185 hp Mercedes D.IIIbm geared V-8, the L14 was the final Daimler aircraft to be built and flown. Unfortunately, no performance data is available. Its close resemblance to the L.11 is obvious.
The Daimler L14 two-seat fighter prototype. (Peter M. Grosz collection, STDB)
Scale drawing of the Daimler L 14 two-seat fighter prototype powered by Daimler's Mercedes D.IIIbm geared V-8 engine.
Daimler L11
Daimler L11
Daimler L11
Daimler L14
Daimler L14
Daimler L14
Daimler L 8

  The Daimler L.8 was a single-bay biplane powered by a Mercedes D.IIIbm engine. Essentially it was an enlarged D.I. Armament was one fixed machine gun for the pilot and a flexible gun for the observer. Photographic equipment was carried, but no wireless equipment was fitted.

Daimler L.8 (aka CL.I) Specifications
Engine: 185 hp Mercedes D.IIIb V-8
Wing: Span 11.820 m
General: Length 7.465 m
The Daimler L8 (aka CL.I) two-seat fighter prototype had a conventional, single-bay wing and slab-sided fuselage. Flying surfaces were covered in printed camouflage fabric. It was powered by the experimental Mercedes D.IIIb V-8 engine. Its V-8 engine finally went into production, but unfortunately too late to power any fighters in combat.
CL.I drawing.
Scale drawing of the Daimler L 8 two-seat fighter prototype powered by Daimler's Mercedes D.IIIbm geared V-8 engine.
The Daimler post-war transport design. This was a civil conversion of the L12, a G-type bomber ordered in September 1918 (as G.1843-45/18) and cancelled with the armistice. The design was to be powered by two 260 hp Mercedes D.IVa engines. The wing cellule featured robust Warren struts. On July 16,1919 the L12 was offered to Chile as a bomber with three crewmen. The L12 was built as it was discovered stored at Sindelfingen, less engines, on 31 January 1920.
Dannegger

  The primitive Dannegger Taube is something of an enigma. It was out of date and obsolete when it appeared in Hamburg in 1914. The landing gear is obviously over designed and there is no fin or rudder. It is thought that the national markings are spurious as there is no record of the German military purchasing a Dannegger Taube nor of one being impressed. The insignia may have been applied by the company on their own initiative.
Max Immelmann in front of Fokker E.II 37/15 at the site of his fifth victory on October 26, 1915. Both the Fokker Eindeckers and the Hanuschke Monoplane were strongly influenced by the pre-war Morane-Saulnier G & H.
Kondor A trainer after a taxi accident with a Fokker along with the pilots. (Peter M. Grosz collection, STDB)
Geest

  Dr. Waldmer Geest began experimenting with stable, tailless, wings in 1896. He based his work on his observations of hawks and seagulls and developed his Mowe (seagull) wing. Unlike a normal straight wing his patented wing was designed to compensate for forward or lateral gusts by a varying angle of incidence and dihedral throughout the wing planform. Six Geest Mowe monoplanes were constructed before the war and demonstrated excellent stability characteristics.
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An early Geest Mowe showing the unusual wing profile designed by Dr. Geest. This aircraft and subsequent designs were called Mowe, or gull, due to the wing shape. Engine is a low-power rotary. (Peter M. Grosz collection, STDB)
Geest Mowe monoplane of 1914. "Inherently Stable" (alleged). 100 h.p. Mercedes engine.
A later Geest Mowe at Johannisthal. Engine is a low-power water-cooled in-line four-cylinder. No vertical stabilizer was fitted. (Peter M. Grosz collection, STDB)
A more advanced Geest Mowe; vertical stabilizers have been added above and below the fuselage. (Peter M. Grosz collection, STDB)
The photo shows the aircraft with national insignia, indicating war-time. (Peter M. Grosz collection, STDB)
Jeannin Stahltaube A.180/14 and other derelict aircraft from the Deutsches Museum, probably after the Allied bombing in WWII that destroyed the museum. (Peter M. Grosz collection, STDB)
Geest

  Dr. Waldmer Geest began experimenting with stable, tailless, wings in 1896. He based his work on his observations of hawks and seagulls and developed his Mowe (seagull) wing. Unlike a normal straight wing his patented wing was designed to compensate for forward or lateral gusts by a varying angle of incidence and dihedral throughout the wing planform. Six Geest Mowe monoplanes were constructed before the war and demonstrated excellent stability characteristics.
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Geest Mowe (gull) Taube. (Peter M. Grosz collection, STDB)
An improved Geest Mowe; the wing is straighter and the rudder is a different shape. No national insignia have been applied. (Peter M. Grosz collection, STDB)
Geest Mowe with marginal changes. The vertical tail surfaces have again been redesigned. This aircraft has thicker, non-standard national insignia. (Peter M. Grosz collection, STDB)
Geest Mowe with thick, non-standard national insignia.The Geest Mowe was commandeered on outbreak of the war but did not see any front line action. (Peter M. Grosz collection, STDB)
Geest Mowe after a rough landing. (Peter M. Grosz collection, STDB)
Geest

  Dr. Waldmer Geest began experimenting with stable, tailless, wings in 1896. He based his work on his observations of hawks and seagulls and developed his Mowe (seagull) wing. Unlike a normal straight wing his patented wing was designed to compensate for forward or lateral gusts by a varying angle of incidence and dihedral throughout the wing planform. Six Geest Mowe monoplanes were constructed before the war and demonstrated excellent stability characteristics. Due to his wartime activities he was not able to continue his investigations until 1916-1917 when Aviatik built a single-seat fighter with a Mowe wing. This biplane was powered by a 160-hp Mercedes D.III engine. During military trials the fighter reached a top speed of 160 km per hour (99 mph); that was considered a good performance for its time. Due to more pressing wartime considerations the work on the Mowe wing was discontinued.
Geest fighter prototype created by applying the Geest wing to an Aviatik D.II. (Peter M. Grosz collection, STDB)
The Geest fighter was built in 1919 to demonstrate the capabilities of the Mowe wing.
Aviatik D.II fighter prototype with the unique Geest wing cellule. This version of the D.II was also known as the Geest Fighter. The Geest wing was not developed further. (Peter M. Grosz collection, STDB)
Aviatik D.II fighter prototype with Geest wing cellule under construction in the factory. This version of the Aviatik D.II was also popularly known as the Geest fighter. (Peter M. Grosz collection, STDB)
Geest Mowe wings for the Geest fighter, a modified Aviatik D.II. (Peter M. Grosz collection, STDB)
Goedecker

  Flugzeugwerke J Goedecker was established in October 1909, with a workshop and aerodrome on the Great Rhine Sands near Mainz by Jackob Goedecker, a pioneer German aircraft designer and airman.
  Goedecker manufactured Taube type monoplanes of his own designs pre-war. His first was in 1910 and used steel cable while most of his contemporaries used steel wire. This Taube had a 50-hp engine and an airscrew manufactured by Goedecker. Etrich's pilot, Carl Langi, flight-tested the machine. The machine was very stable and had good flying characteristics. This monoplane was used for 12 months at the Goedecker Flying School - proof of its robust construction.
  With the view of creating a larger flying school, three new trainers were designed and built. Another machine of all steel construction was also built in 1910. This led to an order from Fokker for a small number of his type M.3 to be built by Goedecker. The stress calculations and details of construction had to be worked out by Goedecker's firm. These were the first licence-built Fokker aircraft. Fokker became the test pilot and later the Chief Instructor of the Goedecker Flying School.
  Fokker flew the company's entry in the autumn 1913 Army Manoeuvres. The Goedecker Taube completed the manoeuvres to the full satisfaction of the military. Many early military fliers were trained at the Goedecker School. The Company enlarged their facilities in 1912 by building an aircraft hangar supported by pontoons on a nearby river. The company participated in the first German contest for marine aircraft when they entered a flying boat.
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Early Goedecker Taube. Interestingly, it has a tricycle landing gear.That undoubtedly improved landing safety and was ahead of its time. (Peter M. Grosz collection, STDB)
Goedecker staff in front of their flying school. (Peter M. Grosz collection, STDB)
Goedecker advertisement from Flugsport magazine in 1913.
Refined Goedecker Taube. It retains its tricycle landing gear combined with a larger, more effective square rudder and deeper fuselage. (Peter M. Grosz collection, STDB)
Above & Below: Crash of a Goedecker Taube. It appears to have a two-wheel landing gear. (Peter M. Grosz collection, STDB)
Goedecker

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  A small single-bay biplane was constructed in 1914 that had a short, fat fuselage. This machine flew well but the single-bay bracing of the mainplanes led to it being the subject of much discussion due to it being unusual at the time. The machine was redesigned with wings of greater span and a longer fuselage which reduced the maximum speed but increased the load. As Goedecker's test pilot, Fritz, had been called to the Front, the machine was flown by another Idflieg staff member who, after one circuit, declared the machine as useless.
  Later Goedecker repaired military aircraft. In the years from 1915 to 1917 inclusive, the firm repaired approximately 20, 50, and 100 machines respectively, produced a few machines of their own design, and finally became a contractor to the Fokker Company. The company constructed six of its own designs during the war. After the war it left aeronautics and in 1920 it employed 11 workers to make and repair auto bodies, motor boats, rowboats, and sails.
Goedecker B (first version)
Experimental Goedecker B-type. This first version was a single-bay biplane. It was powered by a 120 hp Mercedes D.II engine cooled by side radiators. Apparently it remained a single prototype. (Peter M. Grosz collection, STDB)
The experimental Goedecker B-type was rebuilt as a two-bay biplane with slightly longer wings and fuselage. Power remained a 120 hp Mercedes D.II engine and side radiators were retained. (Peter M. Grosz collection, STDB)
Caspar A Taube, (???) with naval pilot Ottmar Hagenmuller. (Peter M. Grosz collection, STDB)
Caspar A Taube. (???)
Grade

  Hans Grade was born on 17 May 1879 and died on 22 October 1946. He graduated from an engineering high school in Berlin and while studying established a small workshop where he built racing motorcycles. Becoming interested in aviation he built a light triplane in 1907 that was powered by an air-cooled V-6 engine of his own design that delivered 36 horsepower. Tested on the military exercise field at Magdeburg, Grade adjusted his machine until he flew a distance of 60 metres, the officially designated first powered flight in Germany.
  Grade's next aircraft was a monoplane. It performed well and Grade kept it in his school and only altered it to meet his customer's demands. He also had a side by side trainer version. The Grade monoplane was a high-wing, single-seater with tricycle wheel undercarriage. The fuselage was comprised of a frame of oval tube with bamboo longerons supporting the tailplane. The pilot's position was a linen-covered tube framework that was suspended on wires and springs.
  The wings were constructed around three bamboo spars, one of which formed the leading edge. The angle of incidence changed along the wingspan and was negative at the wingtips. The wings were fabric covered on both sides but only for approximately 75% of the chord of the bottom wing. Control was by warping the wings. Power was provided by a Grade two-stroke V-4 driving a two-bladed propeller. By 1911 the Grade monoplane was obsolescent.
Colorized photo of the Grade monoplane. Primitive as it was, at least it had 3-axis flight controls.
This Grade monoplane was commandeered on the outbreak of the war and used as a trainer. (Peter M. Grosz collection, STDB)
Hanuschke

  The Hanuschke Monoplane strongly resembled the early Fokker E-types. Fokker critics have alleged that Fokker used this aircraft as a basis for his E-type designs, but this is highly unlikely given the series of similar Fokker pre-war designs leading to the Fokker E series. Both the Hanuschke and Fokker monoplanes appear to have been strongly influenced by the popular pre-war Morane-Saulnier G and H designs, and the Hanuschke may have been a virtual copy of the Morane.
  Bruno Hanuschke was 19 years of age when he began to make a name for himself in Germany. He built one or two aircraft before he turned out a Morane-Saulnier copy in 1913. Only one Hanuschke aircraft is known to have reached military service, - this monoplane was in the German naval air service under the serial LF 243 (LF = Landflieger]. When it was taken into naval service is unknown but it was probably impressed on the outbreak of war. As a trainer it was reported in the naval war diary on 26 August 1917.
  Hanuschke offered five new Morane-Saulnier monoplanes without engines to the Swedish government, via Carl Cederstrom, the director of the Swedish aircraft manufacture Sondertalje Verkstader, on 29 September 1915. The late Peter M Grosz speculated that he may have laid down the five aircraft in the hope of a military order, but when one was not forthcoming, he tried to sell them to Sweden.
  A new monoplane with the number 31 was tested by the Konigliche Flugzeug-Abnahme-Komission Buch 15 No. 392, on Hanuschke's request. (This Kommission was thought to be a para-military organization based at Johannisthal).
  Specifications were:
   Empty weight about 350 kg, one original Gnome engine.
   One Garuda airscrew, diam. 2450 Pitch 1950
   Two Hours fuel = 60 liters. Oil 12 liters.
   Pilot: 74 kg, extra weight: 28 kg
   Take-off distance: 42 m; landing distance: 52 m
   Climb: 800 m in 6 1/2 min.; 2000 m in 20 1/2 min
   It had much better gliding ability than the Fokkers.
  Hanuschke's wife, Tora Sjoborg, was Swedish. She came to the Beese flying school at Johannisthal during the summer of 1912. It appears that she did not finish the program but she met Hannuscke during this time. This connection may be why Hanuschke offered his aircraft to a neutral country.


Hanuschke Monoplane Specifications
Engine: 80 hp Gnome
Wing: Span 9.50 m
General: Empty Weight 360 kg
The unarmed Hanuschke Monoplane of 1914 bore a strong resemblance to the Fokker E-types and Morane-Saulnier H but the rudder shape is different. The rotary engine was an 80 hp Gnome.
The unarmed Hanuschke Monoplane of 1914 bore a strong resemblance to the Fokker E-types and Morane-Saulnier H but the rudder shape was different. The rotary engine was an 80 hp Gnome.
Hergt

  The small Hergt monoplane was designed and built at FEA 1 at Altenburg. F.D. Hergt was the designer and the prototype was flown by Mario Scherff. Unlike most monoplanes, the cantilever wings and fuselage were covered with plywood.
  The aircraft was unarmed and powered by an 80 hp Gnome rotary. The lack of armament and small size indicates the aircraft was intended for training use; installation of a low-power engine indicated the design was not intended for production as a fighter. Its small size and stubby wings suggest the French Rolleur non-flying taxi trainers although the Hergt actually flew. Perhaps its design and construction were primarily intended as a project to occupy and educate FEA 1 personnel.
  Dipl. Ing. Hergt also designed the larger NFW E.I that had similar construction and configuration.


Hergt Monoplane Specifications
Engine: 80 hp Gnome
Wing: Span 6.0 m
Area 9.0 m2
General: Length 5.2 m
Empty Weight 322 kg
Maximum Speed: 140 kmh
The diminutive Hergt Monoplane. Ailerons were fitted instead of wing warping. Surprisingly given its configuration and power, it appeared in August 1918. (Peter M. Grosz collection, STDB)
The Hergt Monoplane was powered by an 80 hp Gnome rotary. Surprisingly given its configuration and power, it appeared in August 1918. (Peter M. Grosz collection, STDB)
The diminutive Hergt Monoplane. It apparently built as a learning project; it was not competitive as a fighter or scout. (Peter M. Grosz collection, STDB)
The Hergt Monoplane photographed next to a Staaken R.VI emphasizes the difference in sizes. The aircraft may have been intended to validate Hergt's structural design for the later NFW E.I he designed. Sunlight shines through the Hergt's fabric-covered ailerons.
Jeannin

  Emil Jeannin started building his Stahltaube (steel dove) in 1912 with steel tube fuselage and tailplane at a time competitors were using wood. The 1914 version was produced for military use and was powered by a 100 hp Mercedes D.I or 120 hp Argus As.II engine. These two-seat, unarmed monoplanes were used for reconnaissance and the last was reported at the front in the June 30, 1915 Frontbeststand. Subsequent Jeannin biplane designs remained prototypes only.

Jeannin 1914 Stahltaube Specifications
Engine: 100 hp Mercedes D.I or 120 hp Argus As.II
Wing: Span 13.87 m
General: Length 9.69 m
Max Weight 1035 kg
Maximum Speed: 120 km/h
Jeannin Stahltaube A.271/14
Jeannin Stahltaube A.283/14
Jeannin Stahltaube A.180/14 at Deutches Technikmuseum Berlin
Jeannin Stahltaube A.180/14 at Deutches Technikmuseum Berlin
Jeannin Stahltaube A.180/14 at Deutches Technikmuseum Berlin
Jeannin Stahltaube A.180/14 at Deutches Technikmuseum Berlin
Jeannin Stahltaube A.180/14 at Deutches Technikmuseum Berlin
Jeannin Stahltaube A.180/14 at Deutches Technikmuseum Berlin
Jeannin Stahltaube with Otto Stiefvater at Johannisthal. (Peter M. Grosz collection, STDB)
Jeannin Stahltaube. (Peter M. Grosz collection, STDB)
Jeannin Stahltaube A.271/14. The type was well-known from its pre-war successes but relatively few were used during the war. (Peter M. Grosz collection, STDB)
Jeannin Stahltaube A.172/14. About 40 Jeannin Stahltaube of the 1914 type were built. (Peter M. Grosz collection, STDB)
Jeannin Stahltaube (A.271/14?). (Peter M. Grosz collection, STDB)
Jeannin Stahltaube A.283/14. The type was well-known from its pre-war successes but relatively few were used during the war as the Taube configuration, although stable, was high drag and obsolete before the war. (Peter M. Grosz collection, STDB)
Unidentified Jeannin Stahltaube. (Peter M. Grosz collection, STDB)
Two crops of a photo of a Jeannin Stahltaube taking off. (Peter M. Grosz collection, STDB)
Two crops of a photo of a Jeannin Stahltaube taking off. (Peter M. Grosz collection, STDB)
Jeannin Stahltaube A.118/14 in derelict condition. Unlike most aircraft of its type, the engine cowling is painted dark (black?) instead of being engine-turned. (Peter M. Grosz collection, STDB)
Jeannin Stahltaube A.180/14 and other derelict aircraft from the Deutsches Museum, probably after the Allied bombing in WWII that destroyed the museum. (Peter M. Grosz collection, STDB)
Jeannin Stahltaube A.180/14 restored and in the Deutches Technikmuseum. (Peter M. Grosz collection, STDB)
Jeannin Biplane
  Apart from the Taubes, the only other product of the Fabrik und Jeannin Flugzeugbau before it went into liquidation was this peculiarly, and rigidly, braced biplane of 1915. Only one aircraft, powered with 150 h.p. Benz Bz III engine, was built. Note painting of national insignia underneath top wing.
Jeannin experimental 2-bay B-type.The aircraft was not accepted by Idflieg and no military designation was assigned. (Peter M. Grosz collection, STDB)
Jeannin experimental B-type.The engine appears to be a 150 hp Benz Bz.III. It remained a prototype only. (Peter M. Grosz collection, STDB)
Jeannin experimental B-type. The wing bracing is sturdy, skids are attached beneath the wing tips, and national insignia appear on both sides of the wings on white backgrounds, plus the rudder, but not of the fuselage. The aircraft was not accepted by Idflieg and no military designation was assigned. (Peter M. Grosz collection, STDB)
The monoplane of Gustav Klein was commandeered and served at Darmstadt. Early German national markings have been applied but the name Gusta has been left on the fuselage.. (Peter M. Grosz collection, STDB)
The Klein Kampfzweititzer Eindecker was a project that was not built. (Peter M. Grosz collection, STDB)
Knubel was one of the many German manufacturers to build aircraft to the Taube configuration. The Knubel Taube was the first German aircraft to appear in "invisible" finish (Cellon). Built in 1913-1914 the second machine is illustrated here. The fuselage was painted light blue to further reduce its visibility while in flight. When it was flown at Johannisthal it received the nick-name "Greenhouse." (Peter M. Grosz collection, STDB)
Knubel was one of the many German manufacturers to build a Taube. This one was covered with transparent Cellon. (Peter M. Grosz collection, STDB)
After the Taube, Knubel also built a B-type biplane with ear radiators. (Peter M. Grosz collection, STDB)
This 1915 biplane was also given Cellon covered wings but the fuselage was fabric covered. It is believed that Knubel lost his life in this machine on 8 September 1915. (Peter M. Grosz collection, STDB)
Kondor

  Kondor Flugzeugwerken was founded in July 1912, by the Lord Mayor of Dusseldorf, Wilhelm Marr, and several military men. An assembly workshop was constructed in Essen and by 1917 it had grown from about 1,200 m2 to about 1,000,000 m2 in 1917. Shortly after it founding the company brought out a Taube type monoplane that was an immediate success. By 1915/1916 the Company was concerned with the repair of aircraft and in 1917/1918 with the construction of school machines.
  The designers employed by the Company at various times were: E Suvelack (crashed and killed in air combat), Paul Westphal, and Walter Rethel.
  The impetus for the foundation of the company was the establishment of airports at Essen, Gelsenkirchen, and Rotthausen. Suvelack made the first flights from the airport and established the name Kondor. Despite this and their efforts to establish their name by entering competitions and establishing records, the company received no orders for the type.
  The German authorities seemed unable to make up their minds about giving Kondor a contract so the company went to Spain where their demonstrations led to the Spanish Government ordering Kondor Tauben. The outbreak of war saw these machines being impressed by the German Army.
  Large numbers of personnel were called up including Suvelack, the then Director. He was to be killed after 18 months service at the Front. The hiring of a new designer led to the construction of four biplanes in sequence.
  From the summer of 1915 to the end of 1916 the company rebuilt several dozen aircraft. At the end of 1916 a licence was obtained for the construction of Albatros B.II trainers.
  The company transferred their school in April 1915 to the military aerodrome at Grossenheim. In September 1917, all flying activities at the school were transferred to Nordhausen.
Kondor Taube H A 255/14
Kondor Type A Taube in flight shows its interesting wing planform. (Peter M. Grosz collection, STDB)
Kondor type A Taube at the Kondor factory with Ing. Suvelak in the cockpit. The designations type A through G were given for convenience by the author; as far as is known these designations were not used by Kondor. (Peter M. Grosz collection, STDB)
Kondor type A Taube. (Peter M. Grosz collection, STDB)
Kondor Type A Taube on display. (Peter M. Grosz collection, STDB)
Kondor Type A Taube. (Peter M. Grosz collection, STDB)
Kondor Type A Taube on display. The Type A had an early 4-wheel landing gear. The engine was a 4-cylinder Benz. Identification of the various Kondor Taube is not certain and most of these identifications are tentative. The Kondor Type A was designed and built pre-war. (Peter M. Grosz collection, STDB)
Kondor Type B Taube was powered by a 6-cylinder Mercedes engine. (Peter M. Grosz collection, STDB)
Kondor Type B Taube with 4-wheel landing gear was built pre-war. (Peter M. Grosz collection, STDB)
Kondor Type C Taube with nose radiator and 2-wheel landing gear. (Peter M. Grosz collection, STDB)
Kondor Type C Taube with nose radiator and 2-wheel landing gear. (Peter M. Grosz collection, STDB)
Kondor Type C Taube at the Kondor factory was another pre-war design. (Peter M. Grosz collection, STDB)
Kondor Type C Taube with nose radiator and 2-wheel landing gear. (Peter M. Grosz collection, STDB)
Kondor Type D Taube number 5 with semi-circular radiator. It retained the older 2-wheel landing gear with nose-over skid and was another pre-war design. (Peter M. Grosz collection, STDB)
Kondor Type D Taube in front of the Kondor factory. (Peter M. Grosz collection, STDB)
Kondor Type D Taube. (Peter M. Grosz collection, STDB)
Kondor Type D Taube after a rough landing. (Peter M. Grosz collection, STDB)
Kondor Type E Taube. The 2-wheel landing gear was more advanced and lacked the nose-over skid. (Peter M. Grosz collection, STDB)
Kondor Type E Taube in its hangar. The landing gear lacked the nose-over skid and was simpler and more robust. National insignia have been applied to the rudders. (Peter M. Grosz collection, STDB)
Kondor Type E Taube in flight. Note the national insignia under the wings. (Peter M. Grosz collection, STDB)
Kondor Type G Taube. Originally designed for Spain, being displayed to the Spanish in Madrid on 1 February 1914, the small number built were confiscated for the German Army air service when the war started. This is ironic as Kondor had unsuccessfully tried to sell their aircraft to the German Army before the war. (Peter M. Grosz collection, STDB)
Kondor Type G Taube at a pre-war aviation meet with semi-circular radiator. (Peter M. Grosz collection, STDB)
Kondor Type H Taube. Kondor abandoned the circular fuselage for an easier to build rectangular fuselage. Engine was a 100 hp Mercedes D.I; span was 14.0 m., length was 9.8 m. (Peter M. Grosz collection, STDB)
Kondor was one of the many German manufacturers to build aircraft to the Taube configuration. Kondor built a number of varieties of Taube before the war; above is a Type H. (Peter M. Grosz collection, STDB)
Kondor Type H Taube in front of the Kondor factory. (Peter M. Grosz collection, STDB)
Kondor Type H Taube with pilot. The type H appears to be an actual designation used by Kondor, but any other factory designations used by Kondor are unknown. (Peter M. Grosz collection, STDB)
Kondor Type H Taube with factory staff. (Peter M. Grosz collection, STDB)
Kondor Type H Taube. Engine was a 100 hp Mercedes D.I. (Peter M. Grosz collection, STDB)
Kondor Type H Taube A255/14 in the field. (Peter M. Grosz collection, STDB)
Kondor A K17 Kondor Flight School
Kondor A. The two-bay A was designed as a trainer and was powered by a 120 hp Mercedes D.II. Empty weight was 806 kg and gross weight was 1150 kg. The aircraft was not accepted by Idflieg and no military designation was assigned. (Peter M. Grosz collection, STDB)
The photo shows aircraft K3X from the Kondor flight school.
Pilot photographed with Kondor A K20 of the Kondor flight school. (Peter M. Grosz collection, STDB)
The photo shows aircraft K20 from the Kondor flight school.
Student pilot photographed with a Kondor A trainer. The side radiators are notable. (Peter M. Grosz collection, STDB)
Kondor A. (Peter M. Grosz collection, STDB)
Kondor A trainer. The image shows a group of dignitaries. (Peter M. Grosz collection, STDB)
Kondor A trainer forms the background for a photo with a group of student pilots. (Peter M. Grosz collection, STDB)
Kondor A K17 and other B.I aircraft at the Kondor flight school. (Peter M. Grosz collection, STDB)
Kondor A trainer K17 with student pilots. (Peter M. Grosz collection, STDB)
Pilot Willi Ophaus photographed with a Kondor A of the Kondor flight school. (Peter M. Grosz collection, STDB)
Pilot photographed in a Kondor A of the Kondor flight school. (Peter M. Grosz collection, STDB)
Kondor A trainer K6. (Peter M. Grosz collection, STDB)
Kondor A trainer. The image shows a student pilot with aircraft K4. (Peter M. Grosz collection, STDB)
Kondor A trainer after a taxi accident with a Fokker along with the pilots. (Peter M. Grosz collection, STDB)
Kondor Type A trainer. (Peter M. Grosz collection, STDB)
Kondor A
Kondor A
Kondor A
Kondor A
Kondor W 1 Specifications
Engine: 120 hp Mercedes D.II
Wing: Span 13.0 m
General: Length 7.95 m
Loaded Weight 900 kg
Ceiling: 4,000 m
Kondor W 1 K15 Kondor Flight School
Kondor W 1 two-bay trainers. The radiator was mounted under the upper wing. The prototype was built in 1914.
Kondor W 1 two-bay trainer. The radiator was mounted under the upper wing. (Peter M. Grosz collection, STDB)
Kondor W 1 two-bay trainers with students at the Kondor flying school. (Peter M. Grosz collection, STDB)
Kondor W1 two-bay trainer. The wing bracing was unusual.
Aircraft K15 of the Kondor flying school. (Peter M. Grosz collection, STDB)
Kondor W 1 two-bay trainer. Flight students with a Kondor W 1 aircraft of the Kondor flying school. (Peter M. Grosz collection, STDB)
Kondor W 1 two-bay trainer. The wing bracing was unusual.The engine was a 120hp Mercedes D.II. Span was 13 m, length 7.95 m, gross weight 900 kg. A ceiling of 4,000 m was demonstrated. (Peter M. Grosz collection, STDB)
Kondor W 1 trainer with student pilots at the Kondor flying school. The wing struts and under-wing radiator identify the type. The engine was a 120 hp Mercedes D.II.
Euler, Germania, and NFW also built their own biplane trainers for their flight schools. (Peter M. Grosz collection, STDB)
Kondor W 1 two-bay trainer in front of the Kondor factory. The fuselage was covered with plywood and the nation insignia was painted on both sides of the upper wing but only the bottom of the lower wing. (Peter M. Grosz collection, STDB)
Kondor W 1 two-bay trainer in front of the Kondor Flugzeug Werke. (Peter M. Grosz collection, STDB)
Flight students with a Kondor W 1 aircraft of the Kondor flying school. (Peter M. Grosz collection, STDB)
Kondor W 1 two-bay trainer in flight. (Peter M. Grosz collection, STDB)
Kondor W 2C two-bay reconnaissance aircraft prototype. The aircraft was powered by a 220 hp Mercedes D.IV straight-8 engine. (Peter M. Grosz collection, STDB)
Kondor W 2C two-bay reconnaissance aircraft prototype with factory staff.The aircraft was a competitor to the Albatros C.V and LVG C.IV powered by the same engine that were both placed in production. (Peter M. Grosz collection, STDB)
Kondor W 2C two-bay reconnaissance aircraft prototype. The aircraft was powered by a 220 hp Mercedes D.IV straight-8 engine. (Peter M. Grosz collection, STDB)
Kondor W 2C two-bay reconnaissance aircraft prototype after crashing to destruction on February 25,1917. (Peter M. Grosz collection, STDB)
Kondor W 1
Kondor W 1
Kondor W 1
Kondor B.I two-bay trainer.
Kondor B.I two-bay trainer. The image shows the side radiator was on the starboard side only. (Peter M. Grosz collection, STDB)
Kondor B.I two-bay trainer. The image shows a closeup of radiator. (Peter M. Grosz collection, STDB)
Kondor D.I

  At the First Fighter Competition Kondor made an entry despite not have designed a fighter before. The Kondor D.I was a neat little fighter with singlespar lower wing and was powered by the 110 hp Overursel Ur.II.
  Comparable in technology with the Nieuport 17 of late 1916 with its single-spar lower wing and modestly powered rotary engine, the Kondor D.I was clearly not competitive and did not compete in the competition. Unfortunately, no performance data are available. The D.I designation was a factory, not a military, designation.


Kondor D.II & D.VI

  Despite making no impression at the First Fighter Competition with its D.I, which was present but did not compete, Kondor became more active in designing fighters and fielded two D.II prototypes, Work Number 200 and Work Number 201, for the Second Fighter Competition. Again, the designations were for factory convenience and not official Idflieg designations. The D.III-D.V were not built.
  The Kondor D.II was derived from the earlier D.I by replacing the single-spar lower wing with a new, stronger two-spar wing fitted with ailerons. The revised wing cellule was stronger, gave better performance, and better roll rate for excellent maneuverability. Both Kondor D.II prototypes were powered by the 110 hp Oberursel Ur.II rotary. They were the smallest fighters at the Second Fighter Competition.
  At the competition the Kondor D.II was assessed as having very fine flight characteristics but poor performance, especially the mediocre climb, and there was no chance of a production order.
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Kondor D.II Specifications
Engine: 110 hp Oberursel Ur.II
Wing: Span 7.59 m
Wing Area 13.34 m2
General: Length 4.87 m
Height 2.41m
Empty Weight 380 kg
Loaded Weight 560 kg
Maximum Speed: 175 km/h
Climb: 3000m 10.4 min
5000m 30.5 min
Kondor D.II Prototype
The Kondor D 1, which, flown late autumn 1917, was unofficially known as the Kondorlaus.
The only known photo of the Kondor D.I shows its V-struts with single-spar lower wing. It was powered by the 110 hp Oberursel Ur.II. By this time 110 hp was generally not enough power to be competitive with the 200 hp SE5a and the 200-220 hp Spad 13. More powerful rotary engines were in development but none were truly ready for production. The printed camouflage fabric on the flying surfaces shows its distinct pattern. The national insignia are 1917 style.
The Kondor D.II was powered by the 110 hp Oberursel U.II and had a conventional wing cellule. By this time 110 hp was generally not enough power to be competitive with the 200 hp SE5a and the 200-220 hp Spad 13. More powerful rotary engines were in development but none were truly ready for production.
The Kondor D 2 participated in the second D-type contest at Adlershof in June 1918.
Kondor D.II Work Number 200 at the Second Fighter Competition at Adlershof in June 1918.
Derelict Kondor D.II fuselage. The D.III, D.IV, and D.V were apparently un-built designs, making the D.VI the next Kondor fighter to be built.
Kondor D.II
Kondor D.II
Kondor D.II
Kondor D.II & D.VI

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  The Kondor D.VI did not appear at any of the fighter competitions. It was an interesting attempt to improve the pilot's field of view forward and upward by completely eliminating the wing center section. The D.VI was clearly related to the earlier D.II, but the revised wing design was structurally and aerodynamically problematic. In particular, induced drag from wingtip vortices from the upper wing was twice that of a normal design, which further limited its already modest speed and climb.
  The Kondor D.III, D.IV, and D.V were apparently unbuilt designs, making the D.VI the next design after the D.II.

Kondor D.VI Specifications
Engine: 110 hp Oberursel Ur.II
Wing: Span 8.25 m
Wing Area 13.80 m2
General: Length 5.80 m
Height 2.41m
Empty Weight 420 kg
Loaded Weight 645 kg
Maximum Speed: 170 km/h
Kondor D.VI Prototype.
Three-quarter Rear View of the Kondor D VI Biplane. (140 h.p. Oberursel Ur III rotary engine.) The elimination of the centre section, in an endeavour to improve the pilot's vision, should be noted.
Like the Kondor D.II, the Kondor D.VI was powered by the 110 hp Oberursel Ur.II. The D.VI was an attempt to improve the pilot's field of view forward and upward by removing the center section of the upper wing. The D.VI undoubtedly created more induced drag (drag induced by lift from the wingtip vortices) than a conventional biplane because of the missing center section, which would have reduced its performance noticeably compared to its D.II predecessor. The D.VI was too late for the Second Fighter Competition and was abandoned before the Third Fighter Competition.
Kondor D.VI
Kondor D.VI
Kondor D.VII

  As far as is known, the Kondor D.III-D.V designs were not built. The Kondor D.VII was thus the next Kondor fighter built. The D.VII represented a complete departure from the previous D.I, D.II, and D.VI family.
  The D.VII eliminated the low-powered rotary engine in favor of a more powerful 160 hp Mercedes D.III water-cooled 6-cylinder engine. This was the same engine used in the Albatros fighter series, Pfalz D.III/IIIa, and the initial production Fokker D.VII. The Mercedes and its cooling system were heavier than rotary engines but offered more power and better high-altitude performance.
  The fuselage of the D.VII closely resembled that of Albatros fighters, which had undoubtedly influenced its design. A triplane variant of the D.VII was also built but was unsuccessful, - unfortunately, no photos or data on the Kondor triplane fighter have survived.
  One influence of the triplane design was that the lower wing of the D.VII was mounted under the fuselage. This gave the D.VII sufficient gap between the upper and lower wings to avoid aerodynamic interference. The landing gear appears to be very robust and does not follow the typical design of the period. The wing bracing was also different than typical practice. It also appears robust but the lower wing apparently had a single spar, a design flaw that made the lower wings of fighters with the Nieuport wing cellule subject to failure from aerodynamic flutter.
  No performance data has survived, but the Kondor D.VII remained a single prototype. Significant performance advances over contemporary Albatros fighters could not be expected because the fighters shared the same engine, construction, and technology. The innovative thick airfoil wing used by the Fokker D.VII was the secret to its success, and the Kondor D.VII did not have this great technical advantage.


Kondor D.VII Specifications
Engine: 160 hp Mercedes D.III
Wing: Span 8.5 m
Wing Area 15.7 m2
General: Length 6.2 m
Height 2.3 m
Empty Weight 590 kg
Loaded Weight 785 kg
The Kondor D.VII was powered by a 160 hp Mercedes D.III and had a wing cellule with robust but unusual bracing.
The D 7 was a biplane rework of the earlier Kondor fighting triplane flown in October 1917.
Kondor E.III & E.IIIa

  Newcomer Kondor had not been a factor at the first two fighter competitions, but made a surprise hit at the Third Fighter Competition with its E.III and E.IIIa parasol monoplane fighters. While established companies like Albatros and Roland were fizzling out, Kondor designer Rethel was inspired by the Fokker E.V and invented a new wing structure that was very strong yet light weight. The resulting Kondor E.III had veneer sheets applied chordwise between ribs that projected above the wing surface. The protruding ribs were claimed to offer aerodynamic benefits, and may have improved boundary layer flow.
  Flight evaluation showed the E.III to have much better flight characteristics than the Fokker D.VIII and its wing was much stronger. Hptm. Eduard Ritter von Schleich, commander of JG 4, extolled the E.III as the best fighter at the competition and claimed to have arranged for an E.III to be shipped directly to him. The Kondor E.III was loaded on a flatcar on November 2 but never arrived due to the Armistice on the 11th. Kondor claimed 100 fighters, now officially designated the Kondor D.I (previous Kondor fighter designations had been factory, not official military designations), were ordered but there is no confirming documentation.
  The Kondor E.III used the 160 hp Oberursel Ur.III, and the E.IIIa was powered by the 160 hp Goebel
Goe.III. Due to the different engine, the E.IIIa, which was faster and had a much better climb rate, used a different cowling than the E.III and had a spinner.
  Apparently a small number of E.III/E.IIIa aircraft, probably no more than ten, were built, and several were sent to Idflieg for flight testing. But it was now too late; the war was over and Kondor's triumph remained virtually unknown. A few found their way to the civilian market after the war.

Kondor E.III Specifications
Engine: 160 hp Oberursel Ur.III
Wing: Span 9.00 m
Wing Area 12.75 m2
General: Length 5.50 m
Height 2.75 m
Empty Weight 460 kg
Loaded Weight 640 kg
Maximum Speed: 190 km/h
Climb: 5000 m 16.0 min
Ceiling: 6,180 m


Kondor E.IIIa Specifications
Engine: 160 hp Goebel Goe.III
Wing: Span 9.00 m
Wing Area 12.75 m1
General: Length 5.50 m
Height 2.75 m
Maximum Speed: 200 km/h
Climb: 5000 m 11.0 min
Kondor E.IIIa prototype
Kondor E.IIIa in postwar civil Swiss service
Детище конструктора Вальтера Ретхеля - истребитель Кондор DI
The Kondor E III Wireless Parasol Monoplane. (140 h.p. Oberursel rotary engine), which is said to give a speed of 195 kms. per hour and a climb of 5,000 metres in 16 minutes.
The Kondor E.III was powered by the 160 hp Oberursel Ur.III rotary. The E.III had a cutaway cowl and no spinner was fitted. No armament is fitted. This E.III competed in the Third Fighter Competition.
Front view of the Kondor E.III. The E.III and E.IIIa offered better flying qualities than the Fokker D.VIII monoplane and had a stronger wing. (Peter M. Grosz collection, STDB)
Powered by a 160 hp Goebel Goe.III rotary, the Kondor E.IIIa competed at the Third Fighter Competition. The E.IIIa was faster and had a much better rate of climb than the E.III due to its superior engine. (Peter M. Grosz collection, STDB)
The Kondor E IIIa "Wireless" Parasol Monoplane (200 h.p. Goebel rotary engine) which gives a speed of 200 kms. per hour and a climb of 5,000 metres in 11 minutes.
Another contender and Fokker D VIII look-alike that took part in the third 1918 Adlershof fighter trial, held in October, was the Kondor E 3a seen here. The E 3A employed a 180hp Goebel rotary. A second specimen, the 160hp Oberursal U III powered Kondor E 3, also participated in this competition. The external wing ribbing, along with the aft wing centre section cut-out help to highlight that this design employed the still novel thick sectioned, high lift wing. Top level speeds for the E 3 and E 3a were reported to be 120mph and 124mph, respectively.
Rearview of the Kondor E.IIIa. The E.IIIa was faster and had a much better rate of climb than the E.III due to its superior engine. It offered better flying qualities than the Fokker D.VIII monoplane and had a stronger wing.
The Kondor E.IIIa was powered by the 160 hp Goebel Goe.III rotary; the E.IIIa had a spinner and full cowl.
Powered by a 160 hp Goebel Goe.III rotary, the Kondor D.IIIa competed at the Third Fighter Competition. This is a 1919 view of an unarmed Kondor D.IIIa in civil Swiss service with the owner, Alfred Comte, in the cockpit.
The Kondor E.IIIa was powered by the 160 hp Goebel Goe.III rotary and had a spinner and full cowl. The Kondor E.III was powered by the 160hp Oberursel Ur.III rotary and had a cutaway cowl and no spinner. This aircraft was photographed in 1919 in Switzerland, where it was employed for aerobatic displays. An LVG C.V is in the background.
This Kondor E.IIIa was photographed in 1919 in Switzerland, it was owned by the Comte, Mittleholzer & Co. (Aero Gesellschaft). An LVG C.V in Swiss markings is at right.
A Kondor E.IIIa at Cuyk, Holland, in 1920; the pilot is Hans Wende of NAVO.The unusual wing structure is evident. Unlike the Fokker D.VIII, the cantilever wing did not vibrate at high speed. The stronger wing structure of the E.III/IIIa also gave it a better roll rate than the Fokker D.VIII, which is very important for a fighter.
Kondor E.IIIa
Kondor E.III & E.IIIa
Kondor E.III & E.IIIa
Kite design of Hptm. Korn patented in November 1918 apparently designed to carry an observer. This would have been much easier to use in maneuver warfare then a cumbersome observation balloon with its complex, bulky, and heavy hydrogen supply.
This Kondor E.IIIa was photographed in 1919 in Switzerland, it was owned by the Comte, Mittleholzer & Co. (Aero Gesellschaft). An LVG C.V in Swiss markings is at right.
The Kondor E.IIIa was powered by the 160 hp Goebel Goe.III rotary and had a spinner and full cowl. The Kondor E.III was powered by the 160hp Oberursel Ur.III rotary and had a cutaway cowl and no spinner. This aircraft was photographed in 1919 in Switzerland, where it was employed for aerobatic displays. An LVG C.V is in the background.
Union

  The Union Flugzeugewerke was established in 1912 in Berlin and built a small number of types, one of which was the G.I bomber. The crash of the Union G.I was the end of the Union company, which had to be sold.


Union G.I (R.I)

  On August 6, 1915, the Feldflugchef (Chief of Field Aviation) suggested pressing Daimler to manufacture multi-engine G-type aircraft, and Daimler agreed to expand into aircraft production.
  Daimler's first bomber involvement was with the Union G.I (also known as the R.I), where it provided the engines. The Union G.I was a biplane with four 110 hp Mercedes engines of inverted configuration. The engines were mounted as tractor-pusher combinations in nacelles attached to the lower wing. Four engines were installed for improved reliability, and the tractor-pusher combination enabled the designers to mount all the engines near the fuselage to minimize asymmetric thrust due to engine failure. The compact design also provided good fields of fire to the fore and aft gunners, each of whom were to have a single flexible machine gun.
  On May 17, 1915 Daimler agreed to inspect the aircraft, and especially the engines, prior to its first flight that was scheduled for the following week. At some point during its flight testing the Union G.I carried 18 people, an unofficial world record, before being accepted by the Fliegertruppe. The Union G.I was transferred to Feld-Flieger Abteilung 16 and was attached to that unit from June 1 to its crash on September 1 at Schloss Eberspark near Schneidemuhl.
  By the time of its crash the Union G.I had been named Marga-Emmy. With Lt. Neuensitz as observer, the pilot Thassler landed the G.I hard, breaking off the tail. Although the nose dug in, neither crewmen was injured. However, that was the end of the Union G.I. More importantly, it was the end of the Union company, - the Fliegertruppe cancelled any further support and the company had to sell its assets to Norddeutsche Flugzeugwerke.
The Union G.I had four 110 hp Mercedes engines mounted in tandem pairs.
The Union G.I being readied for flight while at Feld-Flieger Abteilung 26.
The Union G.I experimental bomber.
More view of the Union G.l. (Peter M. Grosz collection, STDB)
More view of the Union G.l. (Peter M. Grosz collection, STDB)
More view of the Union G.I. (Peter M. Grosz collection, STDB)
Photo of the Union G.I. Daimler supplied the four 110 hp Mercedes engines mounted in tandem pairs. These engines were unusual in being inverted, that is, the cylinders were below the crankcase.The Union G.I was also known as the R.l (the "R" standing for Riesenflugzeug - Giant airplane) due to its four engines, but it was not a proper R-type because the engines were not accessible in flight as specified by the R-type requirements, so it was re-designated a G-type.
The Union G.I was named Marga-Emmy after it was assigned to Feld-Flieger Abteilung 26.
The tail before application of national insignia. (Peter M. Grosz collection, STDB)
The Union G.I taking off.
The Union G.I experiencing a take-off accident.
The end of the Union G.I and the Union company after its landing accident on September 1, 1915 at Schloss Eberspark (Schneidemuhl).The pilot, Thassler, and observer Lt. Neuensitz were unhurt and pose with the aircraft. The tail has broken off the fuselage.
The tail of the Union G.I is carried back to the hangars after its landing accident on September 1, 1915 at Schloss Eberspark (Schneidemuhl). The pilot, Thassler, made a hard landing and broke the tail off the aircraft. The G.I was not repaired after this accident.
The Hergt Monoplane photographed next to a Staaken R.VI emphasizes the difference in sizes. The aircraft may have been intended to validate Hergt's structural design for the later NFW E.I he designed. Sunlight shines through the Hergt's fabric-covered ailerons.