O.Thetford, P.Gray German Aircraft of the First World War (Putnam)
Although actually a pre-war design of 1914, twenty-seven aeroplanes of this type were supplied to the German Navy for reconnaissance and general duties. The crude, dinghy-like appearance of the floats may be noted. Engine, 150 h.p. Benz Bz III. Span, 16.5 m. (54 ft. 1 1/3 in.). Length 9.4 m (30 ft. 10 1/8 in.). Area, 57.85 sq.m. (625 sq.ft.). Weights: Empty, 1,200 kg (2,640 lb.). Loaded, 1,830 kg. (4,026 lb.). Speed, 90 km.hr. (56.25 m.p.h )
C.Owers Hansa-Brandenburg Aircraft of WWI Vol.2: Biplane Seaplanes (A Centennial Perspective on Great War Airplanes 18)
The Brandenburg W was a three-bay, two-seat floatplane with the pilot occupying the rear cockpit. The Type W, Heinkel's first seaplane design for Brandenburg, had been designed pre-war as a racing machine.(23) Previously the races had taken place on inland lakes. In 1912, an attempt had been made to have the race on the open sea; however, even the calm Baltic was too much for the aeroplane structures of the day, and, despite the wish of the Navy to hold the contest off the coast of the Baltic or the North Sea, the 1913 race was held on Lake Constance as the aeroplane manufacturers stated that they could not design types to meet the conditions to be expected on the high seas. In 1914 the race was going to again be attempted on the open sea as the Ostseeflug Warnemunde (Flight over the Baltic Sea at Warnemunde). Heinkel was sure he could develop a seaworthy floatplane using the Albatros B.II as the basis for the design. According to his autobiography Heinkel designed the machine in eight weeks. The Type W was at Warnemunde together with 26 other seaplanes for the competition as the Navy had promised a small contract for the successful seaplanes. AEG, Ago, Albatros, Aviatik, Brandenburg, Friedrichshafen, and Rumpler had entered aircraft in the competition. The commencement of the war meant the competition was abandoned. All 26 aeroplanes were impressed into German Navy service.
Of conventional construction this three-bay biplane was marked by its crude floats. These were 4.850 m long and 0.900 m wide with a single step. The wings had dihedral and a slight sweep-back. The 150-hp Benz Bz.II(24) engine was exposed with Hazet
side radiators mounted under the forward cockpit. The rectangular fuselage tapered to a vertical knife edge. An Avro type comma shaped rudder and tail float completed the fuselage.
After testing the prototype, the German Navy ordered a total of 23 machines as listed above. The type performed general duties and reconnaissance work.
(23) Although Heinkel's autobiography indicates it was a race, it appears that the contest was more towards a set of conditions for performance on the water and in the air.
(24) Gray &Thetford record the 150-hp Bz.III as the type's engine.
Brandenburg W Specifications
Source Typenschau Gray & Thetford Branden. 3-View
Dimensions in m
Span, m 10.70 10.700 10.700
Length, m 10.24 10.240 10.130
Wing Area 57.65 m2 57.85 m2
Empty Wt., kg 1,200 1,200 1,200
Loaded Wt., kg 1,830 1,830 1,830
Speed in km/hr 90 90
Motor 150-hp Maybach 150-hp Benz Bz.III 150-hp Benz
The Brandenburg W Production
Marine Numbers Engine Delivered Notes
57 - 58 150-hp Benz Dec 1914 57 was ex-Ostseeflug Nr.26. 58 was ex-Ostseeflug Nr.25 and was converted into a landplane 21 October 1914.
71 - 72 150-hp Benz Listed as Brandenburg in Atlas &. Typenschau but identified as Ago designs by P.M. Grosz.
116 140 hp Argus Listed as Brandenburg in Typenschau but Lohner according to P.M. Grosz
231 - 235 Bz.III Jun-Jul 1915 Class BFT.
260 - 263 Bz.III Jan 1915 - Feb 1916 Class B.
264 - 273 Mb.III Class B. 269 was captured by the Russians near Schlock.
422 - 423 Bz.III Aug-Sep 1915
484 Bz.III Listed as Brandenburg by Typenschau but Lohner Type T by P.M. Grosz.
Flight, April 2, 1915.
ANOTHER GERMAN SEAPLANE.
THE B.F.W. (BRANDENBURGISCHEN FLUGZEUGWERKE).
SINCE giving a description of some of the seaplanes entered for the Warnemunde-Scandinavia Seaplane Race, which was postponed on account of the war, the following particulars are to hand of another machine designed specially for this contest - the B.F.W. seaplane. In its general lay-out, this machine follows the lines of other German biplanes of the tractor type, with which our readers are already familiar, having a rectangular section body, tapering almost to a point in the nose, where is housed the 150 h.p. Benz motor. The fuselage, however, is of somewhat unusual construction in that not only is it covered with three-ply wood, but it is strengthened internally with the usual diagonal cross-bracing. In the Albatros, it will be remembered, no internal cross-bracing of any sort is employed, the necessary stiffness being provided by the three-ply covering. In the B.F.W. seaplane the internal cross-bracing of the body has been employed to better prevent the fuselage from warping under the action of sea water. The resemblance to the Albatros biplanes will be easily understood when it is pointed out that this machine was built by Ingenieur Heinkel, who was formerly chief engineer to the Albatros firm. In the front portion the body is covered with a turtle-back of three-ply wood, finishing off behind the pilot's seat in a tapering shape somewhat similar to that found on the Deperdussin racing monoplanes, and evidently intended to form a streamline continuation of the pilot's head. Immediately behind the engine is placed the observer's seal, and between him and the pilot are mounted the fuel tanks. The radiators, which are of the usual type, are mounted one on each side of the body.
Carried on a structure of steel tubes are the two main floats, which are of large size and placed fairly close together. In front the floats are of the V-bottom type, flattening out gradually towards the step, which occurs approximately under the centre of gravity of the machine. Immediately behind the step the float bottom is perfectly flat, gradually running into a slight V-bottom at the stern.
The main planes, which are of large span, are of the usual plan form, that is to say, rectangular with rounded corners. They are connected by three pairs of spruce struts on each side of the fuselage, and the upper main plane is attached, in the centre, to a steel tube cabane resting on the upper longitudinals of the body. The attachment of the struts to the spars is very reminiscent of that employed in the Albatros biplanes, and consists of a bell-shaped piece of steel, secured by means of a bolt passing down through the spar, as shown in the accompanying illustration. The bracing cables are attached to this bell-shaped steel piece by passing the lower end of the wire strainer, which is fitted with an anchor-piece as shown in the sketch, through openings in the sides of the bell. This fitting does not impress us as being such a good piece of work as that of the Albatros machines, in which, if we remember rightly, the strainers were attached to a ring resting inside the steel bell.
Another of our sketches shows the trolley used for transporting the machine short distances overland. The two wooden cross-members, it will be seen, are partly channelled out to receive the two transverse steel tubes of the chassis, and for starting off from a shallow beach all that is necessary is to run the machine out until sufficiently deep water has been reached, when the trolley will automatically be left behind, and the machine free to proceed on its floats.
The subject of another of our sketches is the tail float and planes. The stabilising plane is semi circular, and to it are hinged the two elevator flaps. The rudder, which is partly balanced, is covered at the lower end with a copper skin to protect it against the action of sea water, and is used for steering on the water at low speeds. A small tail float of the form shown in the sketch takes the weight of the tail planes.