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Rumpler C.III/C.V

Страна: Германия

Год: 1916

Фронтовой самолет

Rumpler - 6B1/6B2 - 1916 - Германия<– –>Rumpler - C.IV - 1916 - Германия


В.Кондратьев Самолеты первой мировой войны


Румплер C-III / RUMPLER C-III

  Дальнейшим развитием удачной машины стал C-III - самолет с улучшенной аэродинамикой, более мощным мотором, синхронным пулеметом "Шпандау" и бомбовой кассетой в фюзеляже. Это был в самом широком смысле слова универсальный аппарат, способный выступать во всех ролях, от бомбардировщика до перехватчика.
  "Троек" построили довольно мало - всего 75 штук, так как уже в конце 1916-го появился еще более усовершенствованный образец - C-IV.
  
  
ДВИГАТЕЛЬ
  
  "Бенц", 220 л.с.
  
  
ВООРУЖЕНИЕ
  
  1 синхронный "Шпандау" и 1 турельный "Парабелум", а также - до 100 кг бомб.


O.Thetford, P.Gray German Aircraft of the First World War (Putnam)


Rumpler C III (6A 5)
  Appearing in 1916, the Rumpler C III differed little from the C IV, into which it was developed. It was chiefly distinguished by the comma rudder and the large angular balances on the ailerons. The decking aft of the rear cockpit had a peculiar compound curvature, but this was later modified to an orthodox decking and the designation 6A 6 allocated. Engine, 220 h.p. Benz Bz IV. Span, 12.66 m. (41 ft. 6 1/2 in.). Weights: Empty 953 kg. (2,097 lb.). Loaded, 1.470 kg. (3,234 lb.).

  
Rumpler C V
  This type was virtually a C III (6A 5) airframe fitted with a 260 h.p Mercedes D IVa engine. Apart from the tail surfaces, construction was identical to the C IV. Armament, one Spandau and one Parabellum machine-guns.


J. Herris Rumpler Aircraft of WWI (A Centennial Perspective on Great War Airplanes 11)


Rumpler C.III

  The Rumpler C.III (6A5) was a transitional production type between the better-known and more successful C.I and C.IV two-seaters. The Rumpler C.I, powered by the 160 hp Mercedes D.III engine, entered service in 1915 and was an immediate success. It was kept in production for the remainder of the war, initially as a combat aircraft, later as a trainer due to its excellent handling characteristics. Rumpler C.II was the designation reserved for a production version of the Rumpler 5A3 prototype, which was basically a modified C.I powered by a 180 hp Argus As.III engine. However, only one prototype was built and the C.II did not go into production. Further Rumpler two-seater development through a series of prototypes lead to the Rumpler C.III.
  Whereas the C.I was a general-purpose observation plane, the C.III was intended as a higher performance aircraft for high-altitude photographic reconnaissance. The basic struture of the C.III remained similar to the C.I, being a conventional wood frame covered in fabric. However, the aerodynamic design, wing planform, and airfoil section were all changed to provide better high-altitude performance. Development of the new wing cellule paced the C.III design.
  The C.III was powered by the 200/220 hp Benz Bz.IV engine, providing it with substantially more power than the C.I, again to improve speed, climb, and ceiling. In addition to the more powerful engine, the nose entry was more streamlined for lower drag, and included a large propeller spinner. The prototype featured air intakes under the nose, but these were omitted in the production aircraft.
  Unlike the earlier C.I, which had a fixed fin, unbalanced control surfaces, and good handling qualities, the prototype C.III was built with all control surfaces aerodynamically balanced to reduce control forces. To minimize weight and drag for maximum performance, the prototype C.III omitted a fixed vertical fin, something tried by many German designers. However, few designs without a fixed fin were successful due to inadequate directional stability, and the C.III was no exception. During its production run the C.III was subject to continuing revision to its control surfaces to improve its flying qualities. Like the prototype, all control surfaces on early production C.III aircraft were aerodynamically-balanced, and there was no fixed fin. Mid-production C.III aircraft changed to a fixed fin and unbalanced rudder to improve flying qualities. The ailerons were revised at the same time, when C.III aircraft were fitted with a fixed fin the ailerons were changed to unbalanced. Initially the balanced elevators were retained. The final production C.III aircraft eliminated the elevator balances to further improve flying qualities. There are several photos of crashed early configuration C.III aircraft after control problems, indicating the C.III control changes were necessary.
  The C.III was fitted with the standard C-type armament, a fixed, synchronized gun for the pilot and a flexible gun for the observer. To make the type more versatile, a small bomb bay was built into the starboard side of the observer's cockpit. The prototype C.III had an unusually shaped turtledeck behind the observer's cockpit; this may have obstructed the observer's field of fire and was replaced in production aircraft by a conventional turtledeck.
  The Rumpler C.III first appeared at the front at the end of 1916, and by the end of February 1917 42 were at the front. Although the C.III had better performance than the C.I, its handling characteristics were less pleasant and the control modifications mentioned above had to be introduced on the production line. Within two months the number of C.III aircraft at the front dropped to 22 as the C.III was quickly replaced by the more powerful Rumpler C.IV, and by the Autumn of 1917 the C.III had virtually disappeared from the front. Unlike the viceless C.I, the C.III did not go on to an extensive career as a trainer.

Production and Service

  The Rumpler C.III was built in small numbers. In July 1916 150 aircraft were ordered, but only 49 were built with serials 1863/16 to 1911/16. Serial 1912/16 was the prototype C.IV. The other 100 aircraft from that order may have been changed to the C.IV. From photographic evidence the transition from the early configuration (no fixed fin, all controls balanced) to the final configuration (fixed fin, all control surfaces unbalanced) took place at some point between serials 1869/16 and 1898/16 (although 1903/16 retained the balanced elevators of the mid-production configuration; apparently serial numbers were not always assigned in production order).
  Only one C.III was at the front at the end of 1916, but two months later the inventory had jumped to 42. Thereafter C.III numbers at the front went into rapid decline as the more powerful Rumpler C.IV, which possessed significantly better performance, replaced it. The Rumpler C.IV quickly gained a reputation as the best German long-range reconnaissance aircraft, a reputation the C.IV and its derivatives retained throughout the war. All the Rubild Rumplers used the C.IV airframe, which was essentially the final production C.III airframe with unbalanced control surfaces.

In Retrospect

  Development of the Rumpler C.III, especially the wing cellule, to achieve the best high-altitude performance was challenging. Handling and structural problems plagued production C.III aircraft, requiring a series of revisions to its control surfaces during production. Moreover, a more powerful engine than the 200/220 hp Benz Bz.IV was needed to achieve the airframe's full potential.
  Thus from an operational perspective, the Rumpler C.III was, at best, a marginal success.
  However, from a development perspective, the C.III was a great success. It was the operational testbed for the airframe that, once developed, lead to the legendary C.IV and its related family of aircraft.
  The Rumpler C.III was thus a transitional design between the highly-regarded, easy to fly general-purpose C.I and the high-performance C.IV. Although the C.III served at the front in modest numbers, its most significant role was that it introduced and refined the basic airframe used by the more powerful C.IV and its family of derivatives, which were the best German long-range reconnaissance aircraft of the war.

Rumpler C.III Specifications
Engine: 200/220 hp Benz Bz.IV
Wing: Span 12.66 m
Area 34.8 m2
General: Length 8.20 m
Empty Weight 839 kg
Crew 160 kg
Fuel 105 kg
Military Load 164 kg
Useful Load 520 kg
Loaded Weight 1,264 kg
Maximum Speed (at 2,000 m): 136 kmh
Climb: 2000m 16 min
Service Ceiling: 4000m
Range: 480 km

J.Herris - Rumpler Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
Rumpler C.III First Prototype
J.Herris - Rumpler Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
Rumpler C.III Second Prototype
J.Herris - Rumpler Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
Rumpler C.III Early Production
J.Herris - Rumpler Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
Rumpler C.III 1873/16 "6" of Flieger-Abteilung 19 in original markings.
J.Herris - Rumpler Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
Rumpler C.III 1873/16 "6" of Flieger-Abteilung 19 in 1918 markings and, apparently, one-color upper surface camouflage..
J.Herris - Rumpler Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
Rumpler C.III of the Wireless Operators Training School
O.Thetford, P.Gray - German Aircraft of the First World War /Putnam/
The Rumpler C III two seater was a development of the widely used C I with the one major difference that it lacked any form of fixed fin. In the event, this deletion was to be the design's downfall. Using a 220hp Benz Bz IV, the C III entered service in early 1917, but was withdrawn from operations within a month or so following a spate of crashes, attributed to the machine's lack of adequate latitudinal, or yawing control at low speed. It is reported that around 75 C IIIs had been delivered by Rumpler prior to the type's withdrawal from service.
J.Herris - Rumpler Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
A Rumpler C.III prototype is shown here. Although it looks very similar to the later and more well-known C.IV, it has a curved rudder without fixed fin, and had inadequate directional stability. The raised decking behind the observer's cockpit was soon replaced by a conventional design. All controls were aerodynamically balanced.
J.Herris - Rumpler Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
This side view of the Rumpler C.III prototype emphasizes its clean lines. Although all controls are aerodynamically balanced, the curved rudder without fixed fin is clearly too small. The photo was taken on 22 August 1916.
J.Herris - Rumpler Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
The Rumpler G.III prototype is ready for a flight with both crewmen. The streamlined nose entry, including large propeller spinner, shows the design team's search for better performance through reduced drag.
J.Herris - Rumpler Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
Only the under-nose cooling air intakes and radiator over the engine mar the Rumpler C.III prototype's clean lines. Test instruments are mounted on the front, outboard, starboard interplane strut.
J.Herris - Rumpler Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
Powered by the 200 hp Benz Bz.IV, the prototype Rumpler C.III shows its refined lines in front of the Rumpler factory. The C.III was a transitional type that underwent continual modifications to improve performance and flying qualities. Production machines had a normal turtledeck behind the observer, perhaps for a better field of fire. Many German designs initially omitted a fixed fin, probably to minimize weight and drag, but this almost always led to stability problems that had to be solved by addition of a fin; the Rumpler C.III was no exception. Early production machines had no fin; later production machines had a fin. All controls were aerodynamically balanced.
J.Herris - Rumpler Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
The Rumpler C.III prototype seen from the front quarter shows its marked resemblance to the later C.IV. Several cooling intake vents underneath the nose differentiate this prototype from the production C.III and later C.IV. Test instruments are mounted on the front, outboard, starboard interplane strut. The propeller was made by Axial.
J.Herris - Rumpler Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
The supplementary air intakes seen beneath the nose on the Rumpler C.III prototype in its original configuration have now been eliminated, and only a modest grill beneath the nose remains. The turtle-deck is also conventional now; this appears to the configuration for the early production C.III.
J.Herris - Rumpler Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
The unusual turtle-deck behind the observer's cockpit seen on the Rumpler C.III prototype in its original configuration has now been replaced by a conventional turtle-deck, most likely to give the observer a less obstructed field of fire. The aerodynamically-balanced ailerons and elevators are clearly visible.
J.Herris - Rumpler Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
The Rumpler C.III prototype taking off on a test flight at the Rumpler factory.
J.Herris - Rumpler Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
This appears to be an early production Rumpler C.III at the front. There is still no fixed fin but the turtledeck is conventional and the supplementary cooling intakes beneath the nose seen on the prototype are also gone. The iron cross national insignia now have white outlines instead of being applied over a square white background. The ailerons and elevators retain their aerodynamic balances.
J.Herris - Rumpler Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
Early production Rumpler C.III 'F15' is from the wireless operator training school. Again it has no fixed fin and no supplementary cooling intakes beneath the nose. The iron cross national insignia have white outlines and the overall color is darker than the typical Rumpler factory camouflage of the time. The dark characters 'F15'on the fuselage side have been outlined in white for greater visibility.
J.Herris - Rumpler Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
This rare late production Rumpler C.III lasted at the front until early 1918 as indicated by the Balkenkreuz insignia. The rudder is now white. It also carries the unit insignia of Flieger Abteilung 19. The names Tetzner and Schneider were written on the back of the photograph; were these the crewmen?
J.Herris - Rumpler Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
This late production Rumpler C.III with unbalanced elevators carries the unit insignia of Flieger Abteilung 19. Other than its use of the Benz engine, from the side it looks like a Rumpler C.IV. The lower wing tip shape, difficult to see clearly from this angle, is the most visible difference between the late C.III and early C.IV.
J.Herris - Rumpler Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
Rumpler C.III 1873/16 of Flieger-Abteilung 19 rests between missions. Only one C.III remained at the front into 1918 and, from the national insignia, it was probably this aircraft.
J.Herris - Rumpler Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
Rumpler C.III 18xx/16 illustrates the intermediate production configuration. It has the revised vertical tail with fixed fin to improve stability, and both the ailerons and rudder are now unbalanced. However, the elevators are still balanced. This transition took place sometime between serial 1869/16, an early configuration machine, and 1898/16, representing the final production configuration.
J.Herris - Rumpler Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
LVG C.II 2135/15 is at left foreground and three late-production Rumpler C.III aircraft rest in the right foreground on 16 April 1917. Interestingly, there are no insignia on the rudders of the C.III aircraft. A Rumpler C.I is in the center background with another LVG C.II at right background.
J.Herris - Rumpler Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
This photo shows Rumpler C.III 1898/16 after it landed near Elverdinghe on 31 August 1917 and was given the British captured aircraft designation G66. Examination of factory component markings revealed the upper wing was manufactured on 16 Nov. 1916 and the lower wing was manufactured on 27 Nov. 1916. Despite being slightly damaged, the camouflage and markings are nicely visible. This Rumpler C.III represents the final production configuration; all control surfaces are unbalanced. It looked very much like a Rumpler C.IV; the real differences were the engine and the squared-off lower wing tip planform so clearly shown here.
J.Herris - Rumpler Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
This photo shows Rumpler C.III 1898/16 after it landed near Elverdinghe on 31 August 1917 and was given the British captured aircraft designation G66. Examination of factory component markings revealed the upper wing was manufactured on 16 Nov. 1916 and the lower wing was manufactured on 27 Nov. 1916. Despite being slightly damaged, the camouflage and markings are nicely visible. This Rumpler C.III represents the final production configuration; all control surfaces are unbalanced.
O.Thetford, P.Gray - German Aircraft of the First World War /Putnam/
Rumpler C V
J.Herris - Rumpler Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
Side view of an early Rumpler C.IV prototype, perhaps the first, shows the unusual rear fuselage fairing behind the observer's cockpit that was later removed. There is no propeller spinner and no opening for a fixed gun for the pilot. It looks very similar to the Rumpler C.III prototype and was clearly designed at nearly the same time.
J.Herris - Rumpler Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
An early-production C.III has suffered a rough landing. This view shows a window in the cockpit floor and a control rod under the fuselage.
J.Herris - Rumpler Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
Late-production Rumpler C.III 1898/16 after it landed near Elverdinghe on 31 August 1917.
J.Herris - Rumpler Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
Feldwebel Niemeier of Fl.Abt. (A) 250 suffered control failure during a flight in this early-production C.III, w/n 1497. Unfortunately, the military serial number is not visible in the photo. The C.III was designed as lightly as possible for the best climb and ceiling, and numerous modifications had to be made to strengthen the airframe based on experience.
J.Herris - Rumpler Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
Rumpler C.III 1903/16 shows its revised vertical tail with fixed fin and balanced elevators, representing the middle production configuration. Lightly built to achieve high altitude, it has suffered damage to the rear fuselage and balanced elevators. Both C.III and early C.IV aircraft, which shared their airframe, had to be modified at the factory to strengthen the rear fuselage. Later C.IV airframes included these changes in production.
J.Herris - Rumpler Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
On 17 January 1917 pilot August Quoos suffered control failure during a test flight near Colmar in this production C.III, work number 1466, and suffered this crash landing as a result. Unfortunately, the military serial number is not visible in either photo.
J.Herris - Rumpler Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
Early-production C.III work number 1474 has suffered a bad landing - and again the military serial number is not visible in the photos! The large number of crash photos of production Rumpler C.III aircraft despite the relatively small number built is an indication that further development of the control system and flying qualities was needed.
J.Herris - Rumpler Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
Early-production Rumpler C.III 1869/16, work number 1470, is down in the snow, likely as a result of a bad landing. The pilot's fixed gun, factory camouflage and aerodynamically-balanced controls are clearly visible.
J.Herris - Rumpler Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
Rumpler C.III
J.Herris - Rumpler Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
Rumpler C.III
J.Herris - Rumpler Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
Rumpler C.III