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Centennial Perspective
J.Herris
Albatros Aircraft of WWI. Volume 1: Early Two-Seaters
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J.Herris - Albatros Aircraft of WWI. Volume 1: Early Two-Seaters /Centennial Perspective/ (1)

Albatros (OAW) C.I C.11/15 is apparently in operational service; an AEG G.II is at right. (Peter M. Grosz Collection/ SDTB)
Albatros Pre-War Aircraft

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  The Antoinette was a primitive design, and later in 1910 Albatros built the Farman biplane under license as the F1; a longer-span variant was produced as the F2.
  In 1911 Albatros built the French-designed Sommer S1 single-seat pusher biplane, followed by the RS1, a shorter-span S1, for contests. The SZ1 followed; it was similar to the RS1 but had a 70 hp Gnome rotary and a nacelle for the pilot.
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This Albatros, essentially an F1 with extended-span wing, may have been an F2. On December 7,1910 pilot Brunnhuber flew an F2 with four passengers, a record at the time, and this photograph may have commemorated that event. Again with Albatros rudder markings, this F2 has a primitive nacelle and longer struts bracing the forward elevator. (Peter M. Bowers Collection/The Museum of Flight)
This Albatros had its upper wing span further extended for greater lift and the nacelle has improved form. The basic design was primitive and Albatros moved to tractor designs for its future development, eliminating the excessive drag of this pusher configuration. (Peter M. Bowers Collection/The Museum of Flight)
Lineup of pre-war Albatros-built aircraft. Two early DE biplanes are in front. The third aircraft in line isa license-built Breguet; an F2 based on the Farman is at the far right. (Peter M. Bowers Collection/The Museum of Flight)
Albatros Pre-War Aircraft

  In 1912 Albatros developed the WMZ, or Wasser Militar Zweidecker, an MZ1 equipped with floats and powered by a 100 hp NAG. One of these aircraft was later purchased by the Navy and given serial D5.
From March 1912 it was laid down that all German naval aeroplanes had to be of amphibian configuration, a difficult requirement to meet with the marginal engine power then available. By discarding the wheels fitted to the central Coulmann float of the Albatros WD3 (70hp Mercedes), Oberleutnant zur See Langfeld was able to make the first water take-off on 5 July 1912. When the wheels were fitted again, a system was used that enabled them to be raised clear of the water. To reduce water resistance further and allow acceleration to flying speed, the wing tip floats could also be raised by means of the large handwheel on the port side of the nacelle.
This Albatros MZ2 floatplane was used in early trials with W/T (wireless telegraphy) as indicated by the long aerial mounted to the pilot's right.The ground antenna can be seen behind the aircraft.
The Albatros MZ2 was also built as a floatplane; there a float-equipped F2 is being prepared to be lowered into the water by crane. (Peter M. Bowers Collection/The Museum of Flight)
The Albatros WMZ of 1911 was generally considered to be the German Imperial Naval Air Service's first practical seaplane, but aeroplanes were to take a back seat to airships in pre-war naval plans.
Albatros Pre-War Aircraft

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  These were followed by an original design, the MZ1 (Militar-Zweidecker Nr.1, or Military Biplane Nr.1) that was a two-seat biplane with Taube-type wings and 100 hp Argus engine. The MZ2 was similar to the MZ1 and was powered by a 100 hp Mercedes; it was delivered to the Fliegertruppe in 1912.
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Another development of the Albatros MZ biplane Taube configuration was the MZ2 Doppeltaube. It retains the basic Taube planform on its upper wing with wing warping for roll control. (Peter M. Bowers Collection/The Museum of Flight)
During the pre-war period the Taube (Dove) wing planform was prized in Austria and Germany for its inherent stability, and attribute considered important to flight safety. Albatros was one of the few Companies to apply the Taube wing to biplanes, creating the MZ1 and MZ2 in 1911. This aircraft appears to be powered by an Argus engine, making it an MZ1 Doppeltaube. (Peter M. Bowers Collection/The Museum of Flight)
The Albatros MZ1 was a biplane with Taube configuration; most Taubes were monoplanes. (Peter M. Bowers Collection/The Museum of Flight)
During its experimentation with the basic MZ configuration Albatros developed the tail planform; notice the horizontal tail shape. (Peter M. Bowers Collection/The Museum of Flight)
Front view of an early Albatros biplane shows its marked dihedral on the lower wing for improved stability and its complex array of interplane struts.
As Albatros continued to explore the biplane Taube configuration this version was built. It features conventional horizontal tail surfaces and longer-span, three-bay wings. (Peter M. Bowers Collection/The Museum of Flight)
Albatros Pre-War Aircraft

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  Other 1912 designs included the Fledermaus (Bat) sport biplane based on the MZ1 and powered by a 100 hp Argus and the Pfeil-Doppeldecker, or Arrow Biplane, also powered by a 100 hp Argus.
Still another Variation on the Albatros MZ biplane Taube configuration was the 'arrow' wing planform, characterized by sweptback wings with Straight leading edges. All wings now have ailerons for roll control. (Peter M. Bowers Collection/The Museum of Flight)
The Albatros Pfeil-Doppeldecker (Arrow Biplane) with 100 hp Argus. This configuration was developed from the Taube biplane. The inherent stability of the Taube configuration came at the expense of constrained maneuverability and high drag, which limited speed, range, ceiling, and climb rate. The arrow wing planform with ailerons on all wings was an attempt to improve performance and maneuverability. (Peter M. Bowers Collection/The Museum of Flight)
Many early Allied designs featured rotary engines, but Germany strongly preferred the reliability and better fuel and oil consumption of water-cooled six-cylinder engines despite their weight penalty. This Albatros Pfeil-Doppeldecker appears to use an Argus engine, although of different type than the aircraft at the previous photo. Large side radiators are fitted, creating drag and indicating the relative lack of efficiency compared to later radiators. (Peter M. Bowers Collection/The Museum of Flight)
This view gives a better perspective of the early arrow-wing aircraft. The horizontal tail planform was clearly derived from the earlier Taube configuration but uses elevators for pitch control instead of warping the tail. The wing bracing seems more than sufficient at the expense of greater drag. (Peter M. Bowers Collection/The Museum of Flight)
Albatros B-Types

  Before the war inherent stability was viewed as important to both safety of flight and a steady platform for reconnaissance. The Taube configuration addressed stability very well, but had low performance due to its high drag, and designers increasingly experimented with biplanes. Albatros explored biplanes to the Taube wing planform and transitioned to biplanes with more conventional wings. However, most of these had complex strut bracing that created more drag than necessary.
  During the latter part of 1913 the Albatros company delivered a new military biplane design that was a great improvement over previous Albatros designs. This design, the DD, was later re-designated the Albatros B.I, and it was shortly followed by the DDK, later re-designated the B.II. These two types, which carried the observer in the front cockpit for better field of view forward and downward, were very important reconnaissance planes during the early months of the war and production built up rapidly. Their general reliability and practical performance made them excellent warplanes for the demanding duties required. The B.II design was developed into the armed C.I that was one of the most important early C-types, and both the B.I and B.II were used extensively for training after retirement from the front. In fact, the B.II was produced for training duties until the Armistice due to its benign flying qualities and robust airframe, and production for training exceeded production for combat use.

Designations

  Early aircraft type designations were informal and generally specified by the manufacturer. Furthermore, they were not always consistent. In August 1915 Idflieg rationalized military type designations,- the three-bay Albatros B-type, the DD, became the B.I and the two-bay type, the DDK, became the B.II. For clarity the final B.I and B.II designations are used below.
  Prior to introduction of designations like B.I and B.II, aircraft were only identified by their class letter and military number. For example, B.213/13 was an early Albatros B.I.


Albatros B.I

  The Albatros DD was revealed in December 1913. It was a clean, simple, robust three-bay biplane powered by a 100 hp Mercedes engine; later production aircraft were powered by a wide variety of engines of similar horsepower to maximize the number of aircraft that could be built. The DD was designed by a team led by Albatros technical director Diplom-Ingenieur Robert Thelen and Hellmuth Hirth, both of whom were experienced pilots acclaimed for their achievements during flight competitions.
  The fuselage structure was based on the work of Ober-Ingenieur Hugo Grohmann, who had developed an innovative semi-monocoque fuselage in 1912. This resulted in a robust yet light-weight wood structure that enabled good performance and reliability. The welded steel-tube center section was a key element in this otherwise wood structure, and included the center-section struts supporting the upper wing. This steel structure also formed an attachment point for the rear legs of the undercarriage. The steel structure was lighter than an equivalent wood structure, gave good strength and rigidity, and gave the crew better protection in event of a crash; wood splintered and these splinters could cause grievous injuries.
  Initial pilot feedback included concerns that the new type was insufficiently stable; this was understandable given many of the early pilots had flown excessively stable Taube types. However, Albatros responded with new, enlarged tail surfaces that improved stability and control. In July 1914, the Fliegertruppe instructed Albatros to build new aircraft using the larger tail and to retrofit existing aircraft. Later in production Albatros lengthened the fuselage by 0.56 meters, further improving stability. The lengthened fuselage was introduced with the heavier 150 hp Benz Bz.III engine and also served to balance the heavier engine.
  To further enhance the DD's reputation, and thereby sales, Albatros went about establishing new world records. Thelen established an altitude record for four passengers on 11 February 1914 and followed that with a three-passenger altitude records on 20 March. Thelen also demonstrated the DD at Hendon on 27 March to generate British sales. On 28 May 1914 Werner Landmann established a world duration record of 21:50 hours and on 11 July Reinhold Boehm set a new record of 24:10 hours; both flew the same aircraft that was powered by a 75 hp Mercedes. Additional altitude records were set at Vienna's Flugmeeting at Aspern on 27 June 1914 by Ernst von Lossl flying a DD powered by a 140 hp Hiero engine.
  Observing the DD's excellent performance and reliability, the Fliegertruppe ordered the type in large numbers for the time and Albatros was able to ramp up production to meet the needs, even supplying the Austro-Hungarian Luftfahrtruppe with aircraft.
  The DD, designated the B.I in military service, was a safe, stable aircraft with good flying qualities, so good that it was successful as a trainer. Originally unarmed, the B.I could carry light bombs for nuisance bombing and could also carry primitive wireless-telegraphy equipment for artillery spotting. Initially the bombs were carried in the cockpit and thrown out by hand; later vertical bomb racks were fitted.
  The three-bay B.I and two-bay B.II were built in parallel and the serial numbers appear to have been assigned in order of acceptance instead of as part of specific production batches. This makes the number of B.I aircraft built impossible to determine with accuracy, but the number appears to be in the range of 220-250 aircraft. The German Navy operated 40-45 B.I aircraft, some purchased directly and others transferred from the Army. The Bavarian Air Service independently purchased 12 Albatros aircraft on 6 October 1914; these were also B.Is. The Austro-Hungarian Luftfahrtruppe operated 30 Albatros B-types and four of them were B.Is. These were former German Army serials B.86/14, B.87/14, B.127/14, and B.128/14; they were assigned serials 21.27-21.30 in LFT service. On 4 June 1915 Idflieg informed the Bavarian Air Service that the B.I was no longer in production; it had been replaced by the two-bay B.II that had superior performance and was cheaper to build and maintain.
  The German Navy wanted air-launched torpedoes and contracted with both Albatros and LVG to build land plane torpedo carriers. In response Albatros modified a B.I to carry a Whitehead C 35/91 torpedo, the smallest in the German inventory. This torpedo, 35 cm in diameter, was 4.5 meters long and weighed 318 kg, a challenging load for a B.I, yet it was lighter than the C45/91 torpedoes used by the German Navy that weighed 541-550 kg depending on subtype. In the S.69 experimental torpedo plane the torpedo was carried on a launching mechanism integrated into the landing gear. This lowered the torpedo below the aircraft for launching just above the water. Trials at Travemiinde demonstrated that lowering the torpedo for launching endangered the aircraft and the experiments was quickly abandoned. Details of the trial are not available but the problem
may have been pitch instability, which could be disastrous at low altitude. However, further trials with a modified LVG B.I confirmed the potential of airborne torpedoes as stated in a Navy report of 29 October 1915. The Navy also stated that landplanes were not acceptable for torpedo bombing, although no reason was given, and subsequent WWI German torpedo bombers were all twin-engine floatplanes. In late November 1915 permission was given for the S.69 prototype to be converted to a floatplane; no further information is available.


Albatros B-Type Specifications
Albatros B.I Albatros B.II & B.IIa Albatros B.III
Engine 100 hp Mercedes D.I * 100-120 hp Argus, Benz, Sc Mercedes 120 hp Mercedes D.II
Span, Upper 14.48 m 12.80 m 11.0 m
Span, Lower - 11.10m -
Chord, Upper 1.80 m 1.80 m -
Chord, Lower 1.80 m 1.80 m -
Gap 1.80 m - -
Stagger - 0 -
Length 8.00 m (short fus.) 8.56 m (long fus.) 7.76 m 7.8 m
Height 3.15 m - -
Wing Dihedral - 2° (upper Si lower) -
Wing Sweepback - 0.5° -
Wing Area - 40.64 m2 -
Empty Weight 752 kg 725 kg -
Loaded Weight 1,197 kg 1,165 kg -
Maximum Speed 100 km/h 105 km/h -
Climb to 800m 10 minutes - -
Climb to 2,000m 35 minutes - -
* Other engines used: 75 hp Mercedes, 120 hp Mercedes D.II, 100 hp Benz Bz.II, 150 hp Benz Bz.III, 150 hp Rapp Rp.III, 140 hp Hiero
Albatros B.27/14 carried the pre-war marking of a black stripe under each lower wing. This aircraft was later designated a B.I
Albatros B.I B.241/13 assigned to Feld-Flieger Abteilung 19. This early aircraft had national insignia on upper and lower surfaces of the lower wing and none on the upper wing. The rudder cross has a crown, the letter 'W', and the date '1914' superimposed on it, a literal interpretation of the Iron Cross medal.
Albatros B.I of an unknown unit on the Easter Front, 1915. This aircraft had the enlarged vertical tail and decorated wheel covers.
Albatros B.I Hindenberg was named in honor of the hero of the Battle of Tannenburg. Assigned to Feld-Flieger Abteilung 2, it was flown by Wunderlich and Oblt. Schulz.
Albatros B.I WEDDIGEN was named in honor of the captain of U-9, Otto Weddigen, who sank the RN cruisers Cressy, Aboukir, and Hogue on 22 September 1914. It was assigned to Feld-Flieger Abteilung 2.
This Albatros B.I was armed with a flexible Parabellum machine gun for the observer in the front cockpit. The dark wheel cover is shown as red but may be another dark color other than black. This aircraft, from an unidentified unit, was active in 1915.
Albatros B.I S.69 is shown here after modification for torpedo carrying trials by the German Navy.
Albatros B.I in IRAS markings after capture by the Russians. This aircraft was photographed after being re-captured by the Germans in 1915.
Albatros B.I LA 12 of the Netherlands Air Service in 1915. Prior to internment it was B.521/14 in German army service.
Albatros B.I 21.28 of the k.u.k. Luftfahrtruppe assigned to Flik 8 and written off there on 27 April 1915. It was formerly B.87/14 in German service before purchase by Austria-Hungary.
This Albatros DD was photographed in December 1913 at Johannisthal, location of the main Albatros factory. It was powered by a 100 hp Mercedes and had a Windhoff radiator above the engine. Its strut bracing was much simpler than earlier Albatros biplanes. It has the early, low profile fin and rudder. (Peter M. Bowers Collection/The Museum of Flight)
Albatros DD flown by designer Thelen on a sales tour to the UK at Hendon. It survived in British service into 1918.
Mercedes-powered Albatros DD with the early low-profile fin and rudder at a pre-war aviation meet.
This Mercedes-powered Albatros B.I was used pre-war for flight training.
Albatros DD (B.I) fitted with 140 hp Hiero at the International Flugmeeting in Aspern where pilot Ernst von Lossl used it to set two world records; 4,240 m with two passengers and 4,770 m with three passengers, both on 27 June 1914. No national insignia were applied to this pre-war aircraft.
The Albatros DD became the B.I. Shown here with a 100 hp Mercedes, when powered by a 75 hp Mercedes this aircraft was used by Landmann and Boehm to break the world flight duration record in May and again in July 1914.
Albatros DD surrounded by troops, probably pre-war.
Photographed at the Albatros factory, this is thought to be the first Albatros B.I fitted with the 150 hp Benz Bz.III; its fuselage was lengthened to balance the heavier engine.
The Albatros B.I was powered by a variety of engines using drag-producing side radiators. Larger vertical tail surfaces improved the aircraft's in-flight stability and were adopted for most production B.I aircraft.
Albatros B.820/14 in the field with the later fin and rudder. The rudder appears to have been recently recovered.
This Benz-powered Albatros B.I has been modified to carry a flexible, defensive machine gun for the observer, who still occupies the front seat, restricting his field of fire. At this stage a national insignia is on the fuselage and the redundant insignia beneath the upper wing and above the lower wing have been eliminated. The attachment of the forward cabane strut of Benz-powered B.I aircraft was farther forward on the nose than that of Mercedes-powered aircraft like the example below.
Mercedes-powered Albatros B.I L.F.78(W.Nr. 494) arrived on 20 September 1915, was with the II Marine Feldflieger Abteilung (II MFFA) on 29 October 1916, and was written off on 17 November 1917. The aircraft appears to be named Grossmuller.
Mercedes-powered Albatros B.I piloted by Hptm. Eberhard von der Decken of FFA 61.
Mercedes-powered Albatros B.I S.48 trainer in naval service ("S" for Schulflugzeug = trainer). Its works number was 474. The airframe was accepted by the Freiwilliges Marine Fliegerkorps (FMF, or volunteer navy flying corps) on 27 November 1914, and the engine (a Mercedes D.I) was accepted on 4 December 1914. The photo was apparently taken just 20 days later on 24 December 1914 at Johannisthal.
Albatros B.I S.111 was flown by the volunteer Marine Fliegertruppe; it was W.Nr.473 accepted 16 February 1915.
Mercedes-powered Albatros B.I photographed on the Eastern Front in Poland and issued as a Sanke card.
Unusually, this Mercedes-powered Albatros B.I carries its national insignia far forward on the fuselage. The rudder insignia is much smaller than that on the aircraft in the background.
This Benz-powered Albatros B.I of Feld-Flieger Abteilung 23 at Roupy in 1916 was flown by pilot Vzfw. Josef Veltjens and observer Lt. von Ziegesar. Veltjens later became a successful fighter pilot, scoring 33 confirmed victories, being promoted to Leutnant, and being awarded the Pour le Merite. He flew Albatros, Fokker, and SSW fighters during his career and survived the war. Ziegesar became a fighter pilot as well, and served alongside Veltjens (and Berthold) in Jastas 14, then 18 and finally 15. He scored three confirmed victories and was even acting CO of Jasta 15 from 12 August to 18 August 1918. He also flew the Fokker D.VII and SSW D.III.
Albatros B.I of Feld-Flieger Abteilung 25 with its crew of Leutnants Hermann Goring (at left) and Bruno Loerzer. Both men later transferred to fighters and became noted aces, each winning the Pour le Merite and surviving the war, Goring with 22 victories and Loerzer with 44. Goring later became notorious for his role in the Third Reich. A Benz engine provided the power.
Unidentified Albatros B.I. The civilian dress of at least two of men, the insignia on the tail, and the hangars in the background indicate a wartime flight school.
Benz-powered Albatros B.l captured by the Russians and recaptured by the Germans.
Mercedes-powered Albatros B.I trainer; instructor August Quoos in cockpit with students in front.
Mercedes-powered B.I B.30/14 and its crew sit for a portrait.
Mercedes-powered Albatros B.I B.537/14 carries a bomb-dropping device under its fuselage. The men are apparently the air crew and ground crew.
Mercedes-powered Albatros B.I 817/14 ready for another training flight with August Quoos as instructor pilot (in back cockpit) and Lt. Kumme as the flight student at the Military flying school at Hundsfeld.
This Mercedes-powered Albatros B.I was piloted by Lt. Busso von Bulow; Lt. Gerhard Nette in the front seat was the observer.
Mercedes-powered Albatros B.I ready for take off with the pilot in his cockpit and engine running.
Albatros B.I S.69 was converted to conduct torpedo-dropping trials and is seen here with the small-caliber it was designed to carry. The landing gear was modified to enable the torpedo to be carried. The trials were considered to be unsuccessful and all later WWI German torpedo bombers were floatplanes. (Peter M. Grosz Collection/SDTB)
Albatros B.I LA12 of the Netherlands air service (formerly B.521/14 in German service) enjoys a day at the beach.
Albatros B.I reconnaissance airplane after a bad landing, a common occurrence on the rough, wartime airfields.
Two views of a crashed Albatros B.I. At this early stage of the war the national insignia were painted above and below both upper and lower wings, although no insignia were painted on the fuselage.
Lt Just crashed Albatros B.I B.45/15 during training in September 1916. The engine was a 150 hp Benz Bz.III.
Albatros Pre-War Aircraft

  1913 was a big year for Albatros, which introduced a number of new designs. Albatros started 1913 with the Argus-powered DE followed by a series of Taube monoplane designs.
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  Perhaps the most significant 1913 Albatros design was the WDD (Wasser Doppeldecker Doppelsitzer - water biplane two-seater) that was produced in small quantities for the Navy and was retroactively designated the Albatros W.1.
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Albatros Militar Doppeldecker, 1913.
Lineup of pre-war Albatros-built aircraft. Two early DE biplanes are in front. The third aircraft in line isa license-built Breguet; an F2 based on the Farman is at the far right. (Peter M. Bowers Collection/The Museum of Flight)
Albatros continued to develop biplanes beyond their biplane Taube designs with the result shown here, the DE, a design that previews later Albatros B-types. The wings have lost most of the Taube planform and the interplane strut design is simplified. These DEs mounted the lower wing below the fuselage; others had the lower wing attached to the fuselage. Pilot and observer have some distance between their cockpits, which impeded in-flight communication. The nose radiator and wood fuselage construction are notable. (Peter M. Bowers Collection/The Museum of Flight)
The Albatros DE displaying its wood veneer fuselage and nose radiator. The lower wings are below the fuselage.
A straight-forward floatplane development of the new Albatros DE biplane resulted in the Wasser-Doppeldecker Bodensee for pre-war contests. (Peter M. Bowers Collection/The Museum of Flight)
The 1913 Albatros Militar-Doppeldecker (Military Biplane) used a 'brow' radiator and the wings were attached to the lower fuselage longerons.
The next step in development of the new Albatros biplane was the 1913 Albatros Militar-Doppeldecker (Military Biplane). The nose radiator has been replaced by a radiator over the engine and the vertical tail has been redesigned and looks more robust. The cabane struts have been simplified and the lower wings now attach directly to the fuselage, eliminating a number of drag-producing struts. The wood veneer fuselage has been retained. (Peter M. Bowers Collection/The Museum of Flight)
Albatros DD
Albatros Pre-War Aircraft

  1913 was a big year for Albatros, which introduced a number of new designs. Albatros started 1913 with the Argus-powered DE followed by a series of Taube monoplane designs. These included the EE (for Etrich Eindecker} powered by a 50 hp Argus and later with a Benz, the HE (Hirth Eindecker] development of the EE with 75 hp Mercedes, and the HE Amphibian floatplane development of the HE, a Version of which was flown by Hirth to victory in the 1913 Bodensee marine aircraft contest.
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  Finally, Albatros produced the FT, the last Albatros Taube design, in 1913. Some Albatros EE and FT Taubes survived into the early war period and were eventually re-designated A-types, although few details are available.
Albatros EE Taube
One of the early Albatros Taube designs, the EE, with typical Taube design features like the low aspect ratio vertical tail surfaces. However, the landing gear was simpler than most Taube designs. (Peter M. Bowers Collection/ The Museum of Flight)
Albatros built more than one Taube with streamlined wood veneer fuselage construction. This Albatros landplane Taube features vertical tail surfaces both above and below the fuselage.
The Albatros Taube was retroactively designated the Albatros A.
This is another Albatros Taube using the wood veneer structure giving a very strong, streamlined fuselage. Similar to the Bodensee floatplane in design, its vertical tail surfaces are larger with a curved leading edge and the wider fuselage appears to offer side-by-side seating for two. Albatros devoted a great deal of attention to streamlining even before the war, although early Albatros production aircraft like the B-types are not nearly as streamlined as this aircraft. (Peter M. Bowers Collection/The Museum of Flight)
The Albatros Taube Type FT had large side radiators and a further simplified undercarriage. It was powered by a 100 hp Mercedes engine. The FT was Albatros's last Taube design and served in small numbers during the war as an Albatros A-type (unarmed monoplane).
Albatros EE
Albatros FT
Albatros Pre-War Aircraft

  1913 was a big year for Albatros, which introduced a number of new designs. These included the HE Amphibian floatplane development of the HE, a Version of which was flown by Hirth to victory in the 1913 Bodensee marine aircraft contest.
Like most German pre-war manufacturers, Albatros experimented with the monoplane Taube configuration. These photos show the HE Amphibian - Bodensee, the Albatros Taube floatplane designed for the Bodensee competition that was won by Hirth in this aircraft. While the Taube configuration had no future, the fuselage structure Albatros developed for this aircraft strongly influenced the early Albatros fighters and was a key to their success. (Peter M. Bowers Collection/The Museum of Flight)
The wrapped wood veneer fuselage construction of the Albatros Bodensee Taube floatplane strongly influenced future Albatros warplane design and was seen again in 1916 fighter and two-seater designs that were widely produced. (Peter M. Bowers Collection/The Museum of Flight)
Albatros Pre-War Aircraft

The Albatros Wahl (Whale) flying boat also appeared in 1913 but was not successful.
The Albatros Wahl (Whale) flying boat featured a hull built by Naglo Werft. It was powered by a 100 hp Mercedes in the hull that drove a pusher propeller via a drive shaft. From the rear it resembled Oertz designs. It was not successful and only a single prototype was built. (Peter M. Bowers Collection/The Museum of Flight)
The Albatros WDD was a floatplane derivative of the DD land plane and is shown here before the war. It had a Mercedes engine and 'brow' radiator.
Albatros B.II

  The two-bay Albatros B.II was developed from the three-bay B.I; the B.II wing design was done by Ernst Heinkel, later to head his own aircraft company. In January 1914, a month after the three-bay DD, later B.I, was revealed; Albatros announced to the General-Inspektion des Militar-Verkehrwessens (General Inspector, Military Transport Command) that two new prototypes, the Albatros B.209/13 and B.210/13, had reached 800 meters altitude in just 5.5 minutes (the two-bay machine, later the B.II) and 7.5 minutes (the three-bay machine, later the B.l) with full military load. The Army ordered the two types in small numbers before the war and the B.II was entered in a number of flying contests.
  Pilots used to the more stable, sluggish Taube types criticized the pitch stability of the B.II, and the B.II was also nose heavy in level flight and when gliding. Albatros engineers installed a coil spring between the control stick and the pilot's seat to address this by pulling the elevators slightly up, a solution that also prevented them from dragging on the ground while taxiing. Pilots criticized the spring for creating poor control response; this time the engineers solved the problem by designing larger control surfaces that provided better stability and control - without the spring. In July 1914 the Fliegertruppe ordered that all B.I and B.II aircraft currently in production and all new aircraft should be built with the new, larger tail surfaces, and all aircraft in service would have them retro-fitted at government expense. The order applied to all B.I and B.II aircraft regardless of whether they had the long or short fuselage. Soon after war broke out and not all aircraft could be modified. Of course, the aircraft with longer fuselages were even more stable; the Austro-Hungarian Luftfahrtruppe preferred the greater stability of the long fuselage, whereas the German pilots generally preferred the short-fuselage version that offered slightly better speed and maneuverability.
  Although the three-bay B.I was initially produced in greater numbers than the two-bay B.II, the better performance and lower cost of the B.II gradually made it the favored type. B.I production was ended in spring 1915 and B.II production continued to the end of the war, first as a reconnaissance aircraft, then as a trainer. In fact, the B.II was in such demand as a trainer, and was so easy to build, that it was built under license by eight different manufacturers. Furthermore, to facilitate production a variety of different engines were used, many recycled from crashed or obsolete aircraft. These engines included the 100 hp Argus As.I, Benz Bz.I and Mercedes D.I, the 110 hp Benz Bz.II, and the 120 hp Argus As.II, and Mercedes D.II.

Albatros B.IIa

  As the war continued steel tubing became more expensive and was rationed, so Albatros redesigned the B.II airframe to eliminate as much steel tubing as possible. In the B.IIa a wooden frame replaced fuselage frame 6a made of steel tubing, a change not visible from the outside. The cabane structure and undercarriage struts of the B.II and B.IIa were not interchangeable, but the flying surfaces and wing struts were interchangeable. Both B.II and B.IIa trainers were delivered with the type of controls, single or dual, stick or wheel, specified by Idflieg, and this could vary within the same production batch.
  The Albatros B.II formed a major proportion of the B-types at the front and it was even more successful as a trainer. Orders for the B.II and B.IIa totaled 3,544 aircraft, although not all were completed due to the Armistice, and among WWI German aircraft the Albatros B.II/B.IIa was second only to the very successful DFW C.V, of which 3,955 were built.


Albatros B-Type Specifications
Albatros B.I Albatros B.II & B.IIa Albatros B.III
Engine 100 hp Mercedes D.I * 100-120 hp Argus, Benz, Sc Mercedes 120 hp Mercedes D.II
Span, Upper 14.48 m 12.80 m 11.0 m
Span, Lower - 11.10m -
Chord, Upper 1.80 m 1.80 m -
Chord, Lower 1.80 m 1.80 m -
Gap 1.80 m - -
Stagger - 0 -
Length 8.00 m (short fus.) 8.56 m (long fus.) 7.76 m 7.8 m
Height 3.15 m - -
Wing Dihedral - 2° (upper Si lower) -
Wing Sweepback - 0.5° -
Wing Area - 40.64 m2 -
Empty Weight 752 kg 725 kg -
Loaded Weight 1,197 kg 1,165 kg -
Maximum Speed 100 km/h 105 km/h -
Climb to 800m 10 minutes - -
Climb to 2,000m 35 minutes - -
* Other engines used: 75 hp Mercedes, 120 hp Mercedes D.II, 100 hp Benz Bz.II, 150 hp Benz Bz.III, 150 hp Rapp Rp.III, 140 hp Hiero


Albatros B.I, B.II & B.IIa Production Orders

Serials Types & Notes
B.209/13 to 216/13 Alb B.I/II with small fin/rudder
B.233/16 to 242/13 Alb B.I/II with small fin/rudder
B.27/14 to 31/14 Alb B.I*
B.86/14 to 87/14 Alb B.I*
B.528/14 to 537/14 Alb B.II*
B.766/14 to 784/14 Alb B.I/II*
B.795/14 to 855/14 Alb B.I/II*
B.872/14 to 882/14 Alb B.II(Rol) = Rol B.I*
B.986/14 to 1005/14 Alb B.*
B.1147/14 Alb B.*
B.1200/14 Alb B.I*
B.2/15 to 196/15 Alb B.I/B.II * (maybe other types between)
B.310/15 Alb B.II*
B.563/15 to 574/15 Alb B.II(Rol) = Rol B.I
B.611/15 to 642/15 Alb B.II
B.665/15 to 704/15 Alb B.II
B.864/15 to 875/15 Alb B.II(Rol) = Rol B.I
B.1121/15 to 1134/15 Alb B.II
B.210/16 to 289/16 Alb B.II(Bay) = Bay B.I
B.290/16 to 339/16 Alb B.II(Refla)
B.340/16 to 389/16 Alb B.II(Refla)
B.390/16 to 439/16 Alb B.II(Kon)
B.440/16 to 539/16 Alb B.II(Mer)
B.540/16 to 619/16 Alb B.II(Bay)
B.l 19/17 to 218/17 Alb B.II(Mer)
B.219/17 to 318/17 Alb B.II(Kon)
B.319/17 to 418/17 Alb B.II(Bay)
B.419/17 to 618/17 Alb B.II(Mer)
B.750/17 to 799/17 Alb B.II(Li)
B.620/17 to 688/17 Alb B.II(?)*
B.817/17 to 868/17 Alb B.II(?)*
B.1000/17 to 1249/17 Alb B.II(Rol)
B.1250/17 to 1349/17 Alb B.IIa(Li)
B.1550/17 to 1749/17 Alb B.II
B.1750/17 to 1849/17 Alb B.II(Kon)
B.1850/17 to 1949/17 Alb B.II(?)
B.1950/17 to 2299/17 Alb B.IIa(Rol)
B.2500/17 to 2799/17 Alb B.IIa(Rol)
B.3000/17 to 3049/17 Alb B.II
B.3100/17 to 3199/17 Alb B.II(?)
B.3631/17 Alb B.II*
B.3701/17 Alb B.II*
Production Notes
1. * = not the complete order
2. All built by Albatros or OAW except where licensee shown in type designation
3. Rol = Roland built
4. Bay = BFW built
5. Refla = Refla built
6. Kon = Kondor built
7. Mer = Mercur built
8. Av = Aviatik built
9. Li = Linke Holman built
10. B.II/IIa Production by Year:
1914 total orders 93
1915 total orders 334
1916 total orders 467
1917 total orders 2,650 1914-1918 total orders 3,544
  
  
Albatros B.II & B.IIa Manufacturers
Company Code Notes
Albatros (Johannisthal &. OAW at Schneidemuhl) Alb Production started early 1914.
LFG (Roland), Berlin Rol Production started late 1914.
Maschinen Fabrik Augsburg-Nurnberg (MAN) - At the request of Bavaria two aircraft were built in early 1915, with maiden flight on 27 April. MAN, a heavy equipment manufacturer, was not enthusiastic about building aircraft and its license was cancelled 23 March 1916.
BFW (Bayerische Flugzeugwerke AG, Munich) Bay Produced 72 Albatros C.IIIs, then an order for 80 B.IIIs of 30 August 1916 was changed to B.II trainers.
Albatros-Militar-Werstatten, Warsaw Refla Delivered 118 B.II trainers in 1917 after repair work began to drop off. Another 39 built by end of production 1 April 1918.
Kondor Flugzeugwerke GmbH, Essen Kon In October 1916 contracted to build 50 B.IIs with orders for 300 more in 1917, production to run through 1918.
Mercur Flugzeugbau GmbH, Berlin Mer In Oct. 1916 contracted to build 100 B.II trainers; 350 more ordered in 1917 with deliveries planned to be completed in March 1918.
Automobil und Aviatik AG, Bork Av In June 1917 contracted for 100 B.II trainers; a second order for 100 followed in August.
Linke-Hofmann Werke AG, Breslau Li Built Roland C.IIs and Albatros C.IIIs, C.Xs, and C.XIIs under license. In July 1917 contracted for 200 B.IIa trainers. The order was reduced to 150 with delivery of 30 aircraft/month scheduled to begin in March 1918.
Albatros and Aviatik (Bork) were scheduled to deliver 20 St 10 B.IIs respectively in Nov. St Dec. 1918.


The Albatros B.II in Sweden

  One German-built Albatros B.II landed in Stockholm on 23 July 1914 on its way to St. Petersburg. Overturning on landing, the aircraft was awaiting spare parts when war broke out. The pilot, Lothar Wieland, was allowed to return to Germany, with the Albatros being disassembled and reverse-engineered. In March 1915, the Albatros B.II was selected as the standard aircraft for the Swedish Army Air Service. Four different factories built Albatros B.IIs:
1. Svenska Aeroplanfabriken (SAP) built two for the Swedish Army, designated as the SAF 3. Both were delivered in 1916, and used until 1921.
2. Sodertelge Verkstader (SW) built two variants, designated as the SW 12 St SW 20 of which eight and four were built. The SW 20's were modified to operate on floats, but trials in the summer of 1917 showed that the float-equipped Albatros B.II (SW 20) had vet poor performance.
3. Nordiska Aviatik AB (NAB) built nine as the NAB 9, four of which were delivered to the Swedish Army, two to Finland and three to a civilian flying school at Furusund. One NAB 9 was later sold to Swedish movie industries, being converted as a wind machine.
4. Flygkompaniets Verkstader Malmslatt (FVM) built 25 Albatros B.II's, with 120 h.p. Mercedes engines (13) and 160 h.p. engines (12). Production lasted until 1925.
  No less than 42 were used by the Swedish Army Air Service, with five German-built aircraft entering service with the Naval Air Service. Following the establishment of an independent Flygvapnet (Air Force), between August 1919 and January 1922, five German-built Albatros B.IIa's were delivered to the Swedish Naval Air Service. Used as trainers at Hagernas, the three remaining aircraft were transferred in November 1926 to the newly-established Flygvapnet (Air Force)
  About ten Albatros B.II's were used by a variety of civilian owners until the early 1930s. Three still survive in Sweden, at Flygvapenmuseum (Air Force Museum), SE-ACR in deep storage in Gothenburg and one NAB-built aircraft at the Arlanda Civil Aviation Collection.

Jan Forsgren
Albatros B.II of the k.u.k. Luftfahrtruppe circa 1915.
Albatros B.II Goslar circa 1915.
Albatros B.II(Rol) 1111 /17 21.28 of Flugplatz Kommandantur Doberitz, Doberitz airfield, circa mid-1918.
The text aft of the serial reads: Flugplatz Kommandantur Doberitz Telefon-Amt. Spandau 1171-75U.1608
Albatros B.II LA31 of the Netherlands Air Service postwar.
Albatros B.IIa of the Polish Air Service postwar.
Albatros DD 890 of the RNAS circa 1915-1916. Brought to the UK in May 1914 for display, it was impressed into the RNAS at the start of the war, used as a Home Defence fighter into 1915, and survived into 1918. A new rudder was fitted.
This early Albatros with small tail surfaces was an ancestor of the B.II.
An early Albatros B.II as indicated by its 'brow' radiator, small, early tail surfaces, and lack of markings.
Albatros B.II serial 890 with early fin and rudder.
Early Albatros B.II with radiator over the engine.
Albatros B.II powered by a 120 hp Benz. The design was simple, practical, and robust. The two-bay wing was cheaper to produce and maintain than the three-bay wing of the B.I and gave better performance.
The Albatros B I typified the fragility of the early reconnaissance machines fielded by the armies on both sides of the line and on all fronts. Nonetheless, the vital importance of these machines was to be displayed for the all world to see during the five-day Battle of Tannenberg that commenced on 26 August 1914, during which the Russians were rebuffed, with the loss of 30,000 dead and 90,000 captured.
Typical Albatros B.II aircraft in service.
Benz-powered Albatros B.II.
This front view of the Albatros B.II shows the attention given to minimizing frontal area.The B.II was a successful example of evolutionary, pragmatic design.
Albatros B.II 1566/17 with As.II engine photographed at Adlershof in December 1917 during its type test. The wheels and the wing and landing gear struts are made of wood due to the rubber shortage in wartime Germany. Unlike most trainers, it was delivered in camouflage fabric.
Ordered in July 1917, Albatros B.II(Rol) 1000/17 was the first aircraft in a batch of 250 trainers built by Roland. The wooden wheels were a reflection of the acute shortage of rubber in blockaded Germany.
An early Albatros B.II displays its simple yet sturdy construction.
This view of Albatros B.IIa(Rol) 2105/17 in 1918 training service shows its wooden wheels and struts and mud guards over the wheels. The strut connecting the dual controls can be seen below the fuselage.
Albatros B.II 688/15 with additional struts bracing the tail, a wise precaution judging from the damaged rudder. The presentation of the serial number was typical of training service.
Benz-powered Albatros B.II of Feld-Flieger Abteilung 61 ready to take off on another mission. Hptm. Eberhard von der Decken is the pilot as well as commanding officer of the unit.
Another view of the Albatros B.II powered by a 120 hp Benz.
First flown in early 1914, this Albatros two seater, along with a slightly smaller version, was adopted by the army as the Albatros B I and B II, respectively. Between them, these two unarmed machines provided most of German aerial reconnaissance capability well into 1915. Thanks to their relatively viceless handling characteristics, both the B I and B II stayed in production, albeit relegated to the training role, into 1917. Power for both aircraft was either a 100hp Mercedes, or a 110hp Benz Bz I, giving the pair a top level speed of around 65mph at sea level.
Albatros B.II powered by a 160 hp Mercedes.The B.II followed standard Albatros structural practice of semi-monocoque plywood fuselage and fabric-covered, wire-braced wooden wings.
Albatros B.II 676/15 photographed with a pilot in the cockpit.
An early-production Albatros B.II with side radiators in pristine condition.
Aviatik-built Albatros B.II(Av) 639/17 was built and used as a trainer.
Ordered in October 1917 as one of a batch of 300 trainers, Albatros B.IIa(Rol) 2788/17 is shown in training service in 1918 as confirmed by the late-style insignia. The aircraft was in natural fabric finish to conserve material.
Albatros B.II(Refla) 335/16 was built as a trainer and flown by the aviation photography school at Karlshorst.
Albatros B.II(Rol) 1111/17 trainer assigned to the Flugplatz Kommandantur Doberitz (Doberitz airfield headquarters) in 1918 as indicated by the late-war insignia. The text aft of the serial reads: "Flugplatz Kommandantur Doberitz" second line is "Telefon-Amt. Spandau", and the bottom line is "1171-75u.1608".
Albatros B.II(Bay) trainer with wooden wheels.
Albatros employees celebrate the 1,000th Albatros aircraft built in front of the Albatros factory at Johannisthal. The flags on the propeller may indicate the countries (Germany, Austria-Hungary,Turkey) for which planes were built.
Albatros B.II Goslar in pristine condition despite serving in a frontline unit.
Albatros B.II trainer with Arthur Laumann in the cockpit. Starting his operational flying career in FA(A) 265, Laumann went on to become a very successful fighter pilot, commanding Jasta 66 and then Jasta 10 and eventually scoring 28 confirmed victories. On 25 October 1918 he was awarded the Pour le Merite.
Albatros B.II aircraft and crewmen.
Lt. von Lauff and Lt. Willi Allmenroder during their flight training at FEA 7.
Mercedes-powered Albatros B.II aircraft and crewmen. The observer in front sat higher than the pilot for a better field of view.
Ordered in September 1917 as one of a batch of 350 trainers, Albatros B.IIa(Rol) 2105/17 is shown in training service in 1918. It was delivered in natural fabric finish as were most trainers.
Albatros B.II with Mercedes engine.
Albatros B.II(Mer) 205/17 trainer with leading edge radiator in 1917; the pilot enjoys his mascot.
Rudolf Berthold (right) with his flight instructor Ernst Schlegel and an Albatros B.II trainer named Wiking of Armee Flugpark II. Berthold is wearing his pilot's badge, which he earned on 18 January 1915.
Albatros B.II trainer at the Militar Fliegerschule Schneidemuhl with oversize wooden wheels to accommodate the sandy soil in the area. The ear radiators are of a more modern type.
Vizeflugmeister Kirmss with Mercedes-powered Albatros B I S77 of I Marine-Landflieger-Abteilung at Morseele aerodrome, May 1915. Naval air observers (land or sea) did not have to hold commissioned rank, as was required in the Army Air Service. The weapon is a 25-shot Mauser Selbstladegewehr (semi-automatic rifle) and its effectiveness, used from the front cockpit, restricted by bracing wires, struts and the rotating wooden propeller, could not have been great; yet this comprised the only armament for the majority of naval two-seat landplanes until August 1915, when examples of the Albatros C I, armed with a machine-gun on a rotatable ring on the rear observer's cockpit, began to arrive.
Mercedes-powered Albatros B.II aircraft and crew ready for another mission.
A Madsen gun has been fitted to this Albatros B.II. The field of fire for this flexible gun was restricted by the observer's position in the front cockpit. This observer is Oblt. Hans Schilling, a highly decorated observer of FFl.Abt. 22. Schilling was KIA on 4 December 1916, shot down by French ace Charles Nungesser. A carbine was carried to enable the crew to hunt game if forced down behind the lines on the Eastern Front, and perhaps for personal protection regardless of location; this crew is on the Western Front.
Benz-powered Albatros B.II B.570/15 with pilot Oblt. Bennecke and observer Vogt.
Benz-powered Albatros B.II B.570/15 with pilot Oblt. Bennecke and observer Vogt.
Albatros B.II with unusual, asymmetrical positioning of wing crosses under the upper wing.
An Albatros B.II apparently at a front-line unit being visited by nurses.
Albatros B.II in training service.
Albatros B.II B.142 with dark finish serves as background for this pleasing group photograph.
Albatros B.II 'MFS 27' at the Militar Flieger Schule at Schneidemuhl.
Roland B.I, later designated Alb. B.II(Rol), of Feldflieger Abteilung 21 being inspected by General von Emmich in the Spring of 1915. Unarmed from the factory, the captured Hotchkiss gun has been added at the unit for use by the observer in the front seat. The armed Albatros C.I with observer in the rear was developed from the unarmed B.II.
Albatros B.II(Bay) 569/17 trainer in 1917. This BFW-built aircraft has a darker finish.
Albatros B.II and dignitaries at the Albatros factory at Johannisthal.
Various Albatros B.II trainers from the Bruckman album. Bruckman's grandfather, Gustav Bauer, is in the center of three of the pilot lineups and later flew for the Pfalz company.
Albatros B.II aircraft with a variety of marking styles.
A Mercedes-powered Albatros B.II in the field ready for takeoff.
An Albatros B.II with side radiators takes off past the aircraft on its nose at left.
Albatros B.II in flight with a primitive tube on the fuselage side for the observer to drop bombs through.
Ski-equipped Albatros B.II flying over snowy terrain.
This Albatros B.II was mounted on skiis for training pilots of the Bayerische Gebirgs-Ubungs FliegerAbteilung (Bavarian mountain training unit) in Sonthofen. The wireless antenna is visible below the fuselage, bomb racks are visible under the fuselage between the rear undercarriage struts, and a dynamo without propeller is attached to the starboard front undercarriage strut.
The Albatros DD that Robert Thelen demonstrated at Hendon on March 27, 1914, after impressment into RNAS service as Serial 890 in August 1914 and fitting the two-bay wings brought with the aircraft. The aircraft was essentially a B.II with modified elevators and rudder fitted by the RNAS. It was flown as a home defence fighter into 1915 and flew actively into February 1918.
An early production Albatros B.II dual-control trainer with rear-view mirror fitted for the instructor.
Albatros B-type aircraft are being built in the Albatros factory.
A parade of new Albatros B-types leaves the factory on their way to the front. Given the railroad tracks in the background that indicate the normal delivery method, this photograph was likely posed for publicity.
Early Albatros B.II in Austro-Hungarian service.
Lineup of Albatros B.I(Ph) serving with the Austro-Hungarian Luftfahrtruppen at the flight test line at Aspern. The second aircraft is 23.12. The 145 hp Hiero was used in the Albatros B.I(Ph) 23 series, and many mounted an observer's gun. The Phonix-built Albatros B.I(Ph) was based on the German Albatros B.II. The Company had received its first contract for the type in August 1914 and the first of these reconnaissance machines were with front-line units by March 1915.
Albatros B.I(Ph) 22.02 of the Austro-Hungarian Luftfahrtruppe serving in a frontline Flik uses the more efficient leading edge radiator to cool its 160 hp Mercedes engine. The Phonix-built Albatros B.I(Ph) was based on the German Albatros B.II although unlike the German-built B.II it was armed from the factory with an observer's flexible machine gun. (Peter M. Bowers Collection/The Museum of Flight)
A very early Albatros B.II in Army service. (Photo: Arlanda Civil Aviation Collection, via Jan Forsgren)
An Albatros B.II built by Nordiska Aviatik Aktiebolag (NAB). This is serial 854, entered service in September 1919, being struck off charge in June 1925. (Photo: Arlanda Civil Aviation Collection, via Jan Forsgren)
An Albatros B.II built by the Swedish Army Air Service workshops at Malmslatt. Powered by a 160 hp Mercedes engine, this particular variant was designated O 2 in Swedish Air Force service, being used as a basic trainer. Serial 519 was originally accepted in November 1923 as serial 3156, before being handed over to Flygvapnet in 1926. In November 1928, it was reserialled as 519, and in January 1932 as 5668 before being struck off charge in January 1935! (Photo: Arlanda Civil Aviation Collection, via Jan Forsgren)
Another view of Albatros B II serial 519. (Photo: Arlanda Civil Aviation Collection, via Jan Forsgren)
Possibly the Albatros B.II imported by Malmo Flygkompani (Malmo Aviation Service) on 28 June 1920, which in April and May 1921 applied for permission to begin regular passenger air traffic. The application was refused, and the aircraft had in al likelihood left Sweden prior to October 1921. (Photo: Arlanda Civil Aviation Collection, via Jan Forsgren)
One of five German-built Albatros B.IIa's taken on charge by the Swedish Naval Air Service between August 1919 and December 1920. Used for primary flight training at Hagernas near Stockholm, three surviving aircraft were passed to the newly formed Flygvapnet (Air Force) in late 1926 This is serial number 5, which was struck off charge in September 1924. (Photo: Arlanda Civil Aviation Collection, via Jan Forsgren)
An unidentified, civilian-registered Albatros B.II. (Photo: Arlanda Civil Aviation Collection, via Jan Forsgren)
This Albatros B.II photographed post-war appears to be owned by a company, perhaps a flight school?
Albatros B.II in post-war training service with the Netherlands.
Albatros B.II in post-war Polish service.
Albatros B.IIa 1302/17 ADA in Polish training service post-war wore colorful markings.
This Albatros B.II served as a trainer in post-war Poland and has had a typical training accident. Its radiator is in front of the wing, not a side radiator.
This Albatros B.IIa, formerly 2574/17, wears a flamboyant color scheme during its civil service in postwar Poland. It uses a more modern radiator in front of the upper wing instead of side radiators, indicating it was built as a trainer.
This Albatros B.II served as a trainer in post-war Latvia and has its radiator in front of the wing, not a side radiator, indicating it was built as a trainer.
Captured Albatros B.II in service with the Imperial Russian Air Service.
Mercur-built Albatros B.II(Mer) 457/16 trainer after a ground accident with another B.II trainer.
Albatros B.II(Rol) B.876/14 on its nose after a problematic landing.
Albatros B.II trainer LA31 in post-war service with the Netherlands has had a rough landing in a snow-covered field, which was not the only time it was abused;
Albatros B.II trainer LA31 in post-war service with the Netherlands is over-turned.
Albatros B.III

  The Albatros B.III was a development of the B.II that featured different tail surfaces and somewhat more streamlined fuselage similar to those used on the Albatros C.III. Power was from a 120 hp Mercedes D.II; otherwise the B.III was similar to the B.II. By the time the B.III arrived it was clear that armed C-types were needed at the front and production of the B.III was limited. Despite no B.III aircraft being shown in the Frontbeststand inventory of front-line aircraft; some reached the front but most were apparently used as trainers.
  As a trainer B.III offered no special advantages over the B.II, consequently the B.II, which was already a known quantity in widespread production, was ordered in large numbers as a trainer in preference to the B.III. However, the basic tail and fuselage design used by the B.III reappeared in the later armed Albatros C.III that was produced in large numbers by Albatros and other manufacturers under license.
  The following serials are known for the B.III, but this list is not necessarily complete nor fully correct.
B.893/15 - B.947/15
B.1138/16 - B.1192/15
B.1516/16 - B.1559/15 (could probably start at 1513)
B.200/16 - B.209/16 (perhaps only 8)


Albatros B-Type Specifications
Albatros B.I Albatros B.II & B.IIa Albatros B.III
Engine 100 hp Mercedes D.I * 100-120 hp Argus, Benz, Sc Mercedes 120 hp Mercedes D.II
Span, Upper 14.48 m 12.80 m 11.0 m
Span, Lower - 11.10m -
Chord, Upper 1.80 m 1.80 m -
Chord, Lower 1.80 m 1.80 m -
Gap 1.80 m - -
Stagger - 0 -
Length 8.00 m (short fus.) 8.56 m (long fus.) 7.76 m 7.8 m
Height 3.15 m - -
Wing Dihedral - 2° (upper Si lower) -
Wing Sweepback - 0.5° -
Wing Area - 40.64 m2 -
Empty Weight 752 kg 725 kg -
Loaded Weight 1,197 kg 1,165 kg -
Maximum Speed 100 km/h 105 km/h -
Climb to 800m 10 minutes - -
Climb to 2,000m 35 minutes - -
* Other engines used: 75 hp Mercedes, 120 hp Mercedes D.II, 100 hp Benz Bz.II, 150 hp Benz Bz.III, 150 hp Rapp Rp.III, 140 hp Hiero
Albatros B.III without serial number markings, probably at the factory. (Peter M. Grosz Collection/SDTB)
The Albatros B.III was a development of the B.II built in small numbers powered by the 120 hp Mercedes D.II.
The Albatros B.III served in modest numbers; its primary contribution was to the design of the successful and widely-produced Albatros C.III. The Albatros logo is on the upper fin near the rudder.
These Albatros B.III aircraft were captured intact. The basic lines of the B.III re-appeared in the widely-used C.III.
Albatros B.III S.171 was a landplane serving with the German Navy. Powered by a 100 hp Mercedes D.I, it was Albatros Work Number 902.
Albatros B.III B.879/15 being serviced prior to its next flight. The permanent hangars are indicative of training service in Germany. (Peter M. Grosz Collection/SDTB)
Albatros B.III B.1140/15 probably at the factory. (Peter M. Grosz Collection/SDTB)
Albatros B.III B.894/15 trainer in pristine condition awaits its next flight. (Peter M. Grosz Collection/SDTB)
Albatros B.III of Fl. Abt. 14 with observer Lt. Franz Pernet, stepson of Gen. Erich Ludendorff. The pilot is warming up the B.III prior to a flight; the radiators have been covered to speed the process. Pernet later became a fighter pilot and was killed in action while flying with Jasta Boelcke.
Albatros B.III of Fl. Abt. 14 with observer Lt. Franz Pernet, stepson of Gen. Erich Ludendorff. Pernet later became a fighter pilot and was killed in action while flying with Jasta Boelcke.
Albatros B.III 1153/15 serves as a backdrop for this group photo taken in August, apparently 1917. A woman was photographed with the group. She was Frau Heyck; to her left is Uffz. Heyck.
Albatros B.III B.1167/15 with no one in the front cockpit. (Peter M. Grosz Collection/SDTB)
Albatros B.III B.894/15 trainer forms the backdrop for this photo of a proud flight student and his family. (Peter M. Grosz Collection/SDTB)
Closeup of an Albatros B.III and its crew. The rifle mounted on the fuselage side would be of limited value for self defense. (Peter M. Grosz Collection/SDTB)
Albatros B.III B.917/15 ready for flight on a snowy winter day. (Peter M. Grosz Collection/SDTB)
Albatros B.III with modified, balanced elevators. (Peter M. Grosz Collection/SDTB)
Albatros B.III B.1140/15 fitted with two fixed, forward-firing machine guns. Lack of a synchronizing gear apparently lead to this dubious attempt at forward firepower, with its additional weight and drag compared to fuselage-mounted guns. (Peter M. Grosz Collection/SDTB)
Albatros produced more B-type unarmed reconnaissance biplanes than any other manufacturer. Here B.III 1513/15, a refined B.II, performs a typical 'head stand' so common during this period. The B.III arrived as the need for armed C-types became predominant so only modest numbers were built and many were used for training.
Albatros B.III 1153/15 was crashed on 6 September 1917 at Flatow and Flieger Strobel was slightly injured. A liquor bottle is visible near the starboard wingtip; something to calm the nerves, celebrate survival, or both?
Albatros C.I

  As air-to-air combat became more common, it was obvious that reconnaissance aircraft needed effective defensive armament, which meant a flexible machine gun for the observer who needed to be relocated to the rear cockpit for maximum field of fire. In turn, a more powerful engine was needed to maintain performance with the additional weight of the machine gun and ammunition.
  Albatros followed this strategy with development of the C.I from the unarmed B.II. The C.I had a flexible gun fitted in the rear cockpit and moved the pilot to the front. The C.I was also fitted with a 150 hp Benz Bz.III or 160 hp Mercedes D.III in place of the 100-120 hp engines used in the B.II. Use of both engine types was necessary to maximize production. Early production C.I aircraft retained the side radiators of the B.II, but later production aircraft received a radiator mounted above the engine.
  The Albatros C.I was the first aircraft of this new configuration to reach the front. The Aviatik C.I reached the front simultaneously but retained the gunner in the front cockpit, a configuration that was not nearly as effective and was soon abandoned.
  In addition to its flexible gun for self defense, the C.I also had internal bomb racks for four 10 kg bombs. Early production aircraft carried 1.5 mm armor on the fuselage floor and 2.5 mm armor for the pilot and observer per Idflieg specification, but this was of limited value and reduced performance so was soon abandoned. Cameras and wireless were also fitted as needed.
  The C.I retained the steady reliability and strength of the B.II from which it was derived and also inherited its good flight characteristics. Both the C.I's structure and aerodynamics remained conventional like its B.II predecessor. Overall the C.I was a very utilitarian, practical, evolutionary design, not an innovative breakthrough.
  The C.I was built in small numbers under license by Roland in Germany and by the Oesterreichisch-Ungarische Albatros Werke GmbH near Vienna for the Austro-Hungarian Luftfahrtruppe. In Austro-Hungarian service the C.I was designated Albatros B.I(Ph) series 23, 24, and 22 in that order.
  Like the B.II from which it was derived, the C.I was robust and had good flying qualities, so when retired from the front survivors were used as advanced trainers. Also like the B.II, additional C.Is were ordered built new as trainers, and these served to the end of the war. C.I trainers were built by BFW as the Albatros C.Ia(Bay); these aircraft used the 180 hp Argus As.III engine. BFW-built C.I trainers had strengthened wing spars and wooden wing struts, the additional strength enabling the drag wire from the nose to be eliminated. Because the C.I was intended as an advanced trainer, the training versions had camera and wireless installations.
  During the type test of the C.Ia(Bay) in January 1918 the rear fuselage failed. External stiffeners were applied to existing airframes and stronger longerons were used in subsequent production aircraft.
  Mercur Flugzeugbau GmbH received orders for the Albatros C.Ib, a trainer powered by the 160 hp Mercedes D.III, and later for the Albatros C.Id(Mer) and C.If(Mer). The C.Ib had wooden wing struts and some had pneumatic springs by Hofmann in the landing gear legs. During the type test the Mercur-built aircraft also suffered rear fuselage failure and had to be reinforced similar to the C.Ia(Bay). It is thought that the C.Id(Mer) indicated dual control and the C.If(Mer) indicated use of the Hofmann pneumatic springs.


Albatros C.I Specifications
Albatros C.I Albatros C.Ia(Bay) Albatros C.Ib Albatros C.If
Engine 150 hp Benz Bz.III 160 hp Mercedes D.III 180 hp Argus As.III 160 hp Mercedes D.III 160 hp Mercedes D.III
Span, Upper 13.08 m 12.90 m 12.896 m 12.996 m
Span, Lower 11.28 m 11.12m - -
Chord, Upper 1.80 m 1.80 m 1.80 m 1.80 m
Chord, Lower 1.80 m 1.80 m 1.80 m 1.80 m
Gap 1.66 m 1.65 1.66 m 1.66 m
Wing Area - 40.48 m2 - 38.04 m2
Wing Dihedral 2° 1.75° (upper St lower) - -
Wing Sweepback 0.5° (upper) 1.70° (upper St lower) - -
Length 7.80 m 7.85 m 7.81 m 7.85 m
Height 2.96 m 3.014 m 3.04 m 3.23 m
Track - 2.25 m 2.21 m 2.207 m
Empty Weight 840 kg 910 kg 875 kg 839 kg
Loaded Weight 1,350 kg 1,415 kg 1,380 kg 1,154 kg
Maximum Speed 132 km/h 140 km/h 140 km/h 140 km/h
Climb to 1,000m 9.8 minutes 13 minutes 9 minutes 9 minutes
Climb to 2,000m 25 minutes 31 minutes - 22 minutes
Climb to 3,000m 58.5 minutes - 43 minutes 43 minutes


Albatros C.I Production Orders
Serials Type & Notes
C.15/15 to 26/15 Alb C.I
C.44/15 to 67/15 Alb C.I
C.106/15 to 129/15 Alb C.I
C.192/15 to 246/15 Alb C.I
C.249/15 to 273/15 Alb C.I
C.443/15 to 492/15 Alb C.I
C.550/15 to 639/15 Alb C.I
C.640/15 to 663/15 Alb C.I(Rol) = Rol C.I
C. 1000/15 to 1024/15 Alb C.I
C.1067/15 to 1114/15 Alb C.I (incomplete?)
C.1450/15 to 1499/15 Alb C.I
C.1529/15 to 1578/15 Alb C.I
C.1800/15 to 1835/15 Alb C.I(Rol) = Rol C.I
C.1986/15 to 2003/15 Alb C.I(Rol) = Rol C.I
C.13375/17 to 13574/17 Alb C.Ib(Mer)
C.15000/17 to 15199/17 Alb C.Ia(Bay)
C.15500/17 to 15599/17 Alb C.Ia(Bay)
C.4900/18 to 4999/18 Alb C.Ib(Mer)
C.5000/18 to 5149/18 Alb C.Ib(Rin)
C.5520/18 to 5669/18 Alb C.Ia(Bay)
C.9200/18 to 9399/18 Alb C.Id(Mer) &. C.If(Merc)
Albatros C.I 110/15 of an unknown unit on the Russian Front. It carried an over-wing Madsen machine gun in addition to its normal observer's Parabellum and also carried Mauser carbine in event of a forced landing.
Albatros C.I 643/15 circa 1916. The large serial presentation is consistent with use in a training unit.
Albatros C.I C.1530/15 in training service with wooden wheels to conserve rubber. It was crashed on 25 September, probably 1917.
Albatros C.I of Vzfw. Emil Thuy, FAA 53. Thuy went on to become a successful fighter pilot, commanding Jasta 28 and ultimately Jagdgruppe Nr.7. He used his initial to identify this C.I and his later aircraft and survived the war with 35 victories and was awarded the Pour le Merite.
Albatros C.I tactical number '3' of Kasta 5, KG I, circa 1915.
Albatros C.I unit unknown, circa 1915.
Albatros C.I(Rol); the thick crosses typical of Roland-built aircraft are notable.
Albatros C.I captured by the French and evaluated at St. Cyr.
Albatros C.Ia(Bay) 126/17 of the Polish Air Service 1919.
Albatros C.I of the Latvia Air Service postwar. The colors are provisional.
Albatros C.I C.586/15 with Turkish designation “AK7” fitted with a 160 h.p. Mercedes D.III engine and a Parabellum LMG 14 machine gun for the rear-seated observer.
A captured C.I on display at Horse Guard's Parade in London, 1916. The German insignia on the fuselage and tail may have been over-painted.
Details of a Mercedes-powered C.I.
The side radiators give this early Albatros C.I a primitive look compared to later-production C.I aircraft fitted with leading edge radiators. The translucent fabric reveals the wood wing structure that was typical of the time.
Powered by a 160hp Mercedes DIII, the Albatros C.1 was a general purpose aircraft and was one of the most effective types operational in 1915. The photo shows a captured example of the type.
Benz-powered Albatros C.I with gravity tank mounted centrally ready for its next mission.
Mercedes-powered Albatros C.I aircraft.
Anonymous Benz-powered Albatros C.I aircraft at the front.
The Albatros C.I was a transitional design, retaining the basic airframe of the B.II with a more powerful engine and rotating gun turret for the observer, who was moved to the rear cockpit to maximize his field of fire. This C.I has a 160 hp Mercedes D.III engine. (Peter M. Bowers Collection/The Museum of Flight)
Mercedes-powered Albatros C.I with side radiators lacked a visible serial number. A practical design, the C.I was a key first-generation armed reconnaissance airplane.
Albatros C.1475/15 was part of a batch of 50 aircraft ordered in July 1915. The marking style is typical for later production aircraft; perhaps the aircraft has been recovered? A variety of different exhaust manifolds and radiators were used on early Albatros two-seaters. (Peter M. Bowers Collection/The Museum of Flight)
This Albatros C.I of Feld-Flieger Abteilung 53 was flown by Vzfw.Thuy, whose initial is incorporated in its insignia. Emil Thuy later became a very successful fighter pilot; he was promoted to Leutnant, commanded Jasta 28 and later commanded Jagdgruppe Nr.7, was awarded the Pour le Merite, and survived the war credited with 35 victories.
Albatros C.I 605/15 readies for take-off from a snowy airfield. The large serial number of octagonal white background for the fuselage insignia with its rounded inner corners are notable departures from typical markings.
Albatros C.I 1066/15 taxies through the snow for take-off. The national insignia on the tail has a white border while those on the wings and fuselage are the older style on a white background.
This Albatros C.I is tactical number '3' assigned to Kampfstaffel 5 of KGI as indicated by its markings. It has suffered a landing gear malfunction, perhaps the result of a hard landing.
Anonymous Albatros C.Is in the field.
Mercedes-powered Albatros C.I aircraft. The aircraft had its under-wing gravity tank offset to the left.
The C.I was primarily designed with straight lines.
Eduard Ritter von Schliech in front of his Benz-powered Albatros C.I trainer at Bavarian FEA 1 in Schleissheim in the summer of 1915. After being wounded in the infantry, von Schleich volunteered for aviation duty and qualified for his Bavarian pilot's badge at FEA 1 on 11 September 1915. Wounded again while flying with Flieger Abteilung 2b, he transferred to fighters with Jasta 21. He was awarded the Pour le Merite on 4 December 1917 after 25 victories and went on to score 35 confirmed victories by the end of the war, which he survived.
Anonymous Benz-powered Albatros C.I aircraft at the front.
Albatros C.I assigned to a naval unit.
Albatros C.I of Feld-Flieger Abteilung 71 used a Raeschke propeller. The pilot was Uffz Siebert.
Naval Albatros C.I L.F. 143 with its engine running gets ready for another mission.
The observer in Benz-powered naval Albatros C.I L.F. 125 demonstrates just how crude manual 10 kg Carbonit bomb dropping could be in the late spring of 1915. The weapon he is posing with is the standard 10 Kg/22lb high explosive bomb introduced the previous year. As bombs grew heavier, dropping them by hand was no longer practical. By mid-1916, such weapons would be fitted to remotely released, underwing bomb racks for providing close air support to the infantry. Under the observer's cockpit is the guide for the wireless antenna. Two machine guns were said to befitted to L.F. 125 but only one is visible.
Another view of naval Albatros C.I L.F. 125.
Another view of naval Albatros C.I L.F. 125. L.F. 125 was W.Nr.1023 and was reported as being on the strength of II MFFA on 29 October 1916, and lasted until 17 November 1917 when it was written off.
Land-based naval aviators "Franz und Emil" pose in front of their Albatros C.I LF127 (LF for Landflugzeug) powered by a 150 hp Benz Bz.III. The Navy had 25-26 Albatros C.I aircraft, of which 10 were powered by the 150 hp Rapp Rp.III. Originally the Navy used an "S" designation for Schulflugzeug (school airplane, or trainer), but on 7 March 1915 the "S" designation was changed to mean any naval land airplane. On 18 November 1915 the S-designation was changed to LF.
Albatros C.I 110/15 had its armament augmented with an additional Madsen machine gun firing over the wing.
Albatros C.I 62/15 mounted an additional Parabellum over the wing, a step toward the synchronized, forward-firing machine gun for the pilot. This is Lt. Robert Greim who later became the Pour le Merite fighter ace Robert Ritter von Greim. He is shown here testing the machine gun while serving as an observer with Fliegerabteilung 3b, a Bavarian unit.
Albatros C.I 115/15 with observer posing with his Bergmann LMG 15. Stoppages of the Bergmann were difficult to fix in the air and the Parabellum became the standard flexible observer's gun.
Albatros C.I 229/15 of an unknown unit.
Lt. Basse and Feldwebel Schiffer in front of their Albatros C.I, perhaps at Flieger Abteilung 5.
This Benz-powered Albatros C.I carries the markings of Armee Abteilung Gaede.
Details of the side radiators used on the Albatros C.I. Both crew members have a wind screen. The side radiators created a lot of drag and their large area made them more likely to be damaged in combat.
A Benz-powered Albatros C.I being prepared for another mission. The fin carries an Albatros logo. The Albatros C.I and Roland C.I [Alb. C.I(Rol)] were powered by either the 150 hp Benz Bz.III or 160 hp Mercedes D.III.
Albatros C.I 23/15 takes off on another mission.
Albatros C.I of Kagohl 2 in flight; a large portion of the center of the fuselage is painted white and a national insignia is painted on the top of the fuselage band.
A Mercedes-powered Albatros C.I being evaluated at St. Cyr after capture by the French. The German national insignia have been painted over by French markings.
A Mercedes-powered Albatros C.I being evaluated at St. Cyr after capture by the French. Contemporary French reconnaissance two-seaters were pushers that were much more vulnerable to fighter attack than the Albatros C.I.
Early production Albatros C.I with radiator over the engine.
Albatros C.Ia(Bay) C.15001/17 photographed at Adlershof during its flight testing in December 1917. Built by BFW (Bayerische Flugzeug Werke) in Munich for training use, the C.Ia(Bay) was powered by a 180 hp Argus As.III. The leading edge radiator is by Windhoff and the wing struts and wheels are made of wood to conserve materials. The flying surfaces were covered with lozenge camouflage fabric. (Peter M. Bowers Collection/The Museum of Flight)
The Albatros C I, deployed operationally from the spring of 1915, soon built a reputation for its ease of handling and general robustness. During its two year production life, the C I underwent a series of changes, being fitted with ever more powerful engines starting with the 150hp Benz Bz III and ending with the 180hp Argus As III. Along with these changes of engine, the position of the radiator moved around, starting on the fuselage flank in the C I, but moving to drape from the upper wing's centre section leading edge, as here on this C Ia. Top level speed of the C Ia was 87mph at sea level, with a ceiling of 9,840 feet. The armament comprised a single, flexibly-mounted 7.92mm Parabellum in the rear cockpit.
Albatros C.I with large serial unfortunately not fully visible. The serial presentation and permanent facilities suggest this C.I is being used for training in Germany.
C.I 637/15 gets an assist taking off from a snowy field.
Albatros C.I(Bay) 15049/17 trainer. Unusually, the cross on the tail was applied to the fin, not the rudder.
This Albatros C.I was license-built by Roland as indicated by the typical thick national insignia used by Roland. This aircraft has a 160 hp Mercedes D.III and uses the Mercedes-built leading edge radiator.
Albatros C.Ia(Bay) C.15001/17 photographed at Adlershof during its flight testing in December 1917. Built by BFW (Bayerische Flugzeug Werke) in Munich for training use, the C.Ia(Bay) was powered by a 180 hp Argus As.III. The leading edge radiator is by Windhoff and the wing struts and wheels are made of wood to conserve materials. The flying surfaces were covered with lozenge camouflage fabric. (Peter M. Bowers Collection/The Museum of Flight)
This Albatros C.I has the Mercedes-built leading edge radiator in front of the wing that cooled its 160 hp Mercedes D.III. The marking style with white backgrounds for the insignia is typical for the time. The location is the Albatros factory at Johannisthal. (Peter M. Bowers Collection/The Museum of Flight)
The ground crew poses with an anonymous, Mercedes-powered Albatros C.I at an unknown unit.
Albatros C.I trainers in late 1918 markings.
A unit on the Eastern Front, perhaps FeldFliegerAbteilung 54, equipped with Albatros C.I aircraft, 1067/15 seen at top, enjoys a winter visit by Bavarian General Felix Graf von Bothmer.
Albatros C.Ib(Mer) 4980/18 had steel tube wing and landing gear struts. This aircraft, built as a trainer, was shipped to Canada post-war as part of the war booty. Leading edge radiators were used in these newer aircraft.
"Альбатрос" С-I в полете
Albatros C.I 643/15 on a mission. The large serial numbers are an indication it may be serving as a trainer.
Albatros C.I 643/15 on a mission. The large serial numbers are an indication it may be serving as a trainer.
The angular Albatros C.I was an iconic early-war reconnaissance aircraft used successfully over all fronts. Here Albatros C.Is ply their trade.
Albatros C.I reconnaissance airplanes in action.The fighters received the glory, but the reconnaissance airplanes did the most critical work, which was why the C-types outnumbered fighters. In fact, fighters were created primarily to prevent reconnaissance airplanes, and to a lesser extent bombers, from completing their missions.
Albatros C I Experimental
View of an Albatros C.I fitted with an experimental wing cellule. The wide-chord upper wing has the spars spaced so far apart that the interplane struts are not parallel. (Peter M. Grosz Collection/SDTB)
Fuselage of Albatros C.I 197/15 in the museum at Kracow, Poland.
Close-up view of an Albatros C.I shows the observer's flexible machine gun and other details, including the side radiators that cooled the 160 hp Mercedes D.III and the cabane struts and attachments for the upper wings.
Albatros C.I 637/15 of an unknown unit on its nose.
Albatros C.I 220/15 of Flieger-Abteilung (A) 206 on its nose in the snow after an exciting landing.
Albatros C.I 583/15 on its nose after landing.
Albatros C.I 1013/15 of an unknown unit flipped over after on landing, a common occurrence on the rough fields of the day, especially if a gust of wind intervened.
Albatros C.I 1530/15 photographed in a compromising situation on 25 September (year not given). The wooden wheels indicate this aircraft was used for training, which may have contributed to the accident. The bold serial was also common to training aircraft.
The fatal crash of the Albatros C.I of Lt. Karl Schmidt and Lt. Richard Vent of FEA 4 at Posen on 11 June 1918. The older iron-cross insignia on one wing has been painted to resemble the new, straight-sided insignia, while another has been left as originally painted.
An Albatros C.I in post-war Polish service has done a head-stand on landing and the proud pilot is photographed with the evidence.
The local farm life is unconcerned by the Latvian Albatros C.I that has suffered a post-war landing accident.
Albatros C.II

  The Albatros C.II was a definite departure from typical Albatros practice. German manufacturers wisely avoided the pusher configuration with the high-drag Gitterschwanz (lattice tail), but the C.II was apparently intended to assess that configuration. The C.II had a 150 hp Benz Bz.III and apparently used wings from the C.I. Only one prototype, C.27/15, was built in early 1916.


Albatros C-Type Specifications
Albatros C.II Albatros C.III Albatros C.IV Albatros C.V
Engine 150 hp Benz Bz.III 150 hp Benz Bz.III 160 hp Mercedes D.III 160 hp Mercedes D.III 220 hp Mercedes D.IV
Span, Upper - 11.00 m (short span) 11.70 m (long span) - 12.78 m
Span, Lower - 11.04 m (short span) 11.14m (long span) - 12.44 m
Chord, Upper - 1.80 m - 1.80 m
Chord, Lower - 1.70 m - 1.80 m
Gap - 1.65 m - 1.83 m
Wing Area - 34.37 m2 (short span) 37.10 m2 (long span) - 43.4 m2
Wing Dihedral - 1.75° (upper & lower) - 2° (upper & lower)
Wing Sweepback - 1.70° (upper & lower) - -
Length - 7.95 m - 8.95 m
Height - 3.07 m - 4.5 m
Empty Weight - 771 kg - 1,069 kg
Loaded Weight - 1,271 kg - 1,585 kg
Maximum Speed - 135-150 km/h - 170 km/h
Climb to 1,000m - 5 min best, 8 min avg - 4.5 minutes
Climb to 2,000m - 12.5 min best, 22 min avg - 9.5 minutes
Climb to 3,000m - 25 min best, 45 min avg - 16 minutes
Climb to 4,000m - - - 25 minutes
The Albatros C.II is shown after full markings were added. (Peter M. Bowers Collection/The Museum of Flight)
The Albatros C.II is shown at the factory at Johannisthal. (Peter M. Bowers Collection/The Museum of Flight)
The Albatros C.II pusher at the Albatros factory at Johannisthal. Propeller blast has splattered the rudder with dirt. The pusher configuration gave the observer an exceptional field of view and field of fire forward if he were placed in the front cockpit as in most pushers, but pushers were very vulnerable to attack from the rear where the observer had no field of fire. (Peter M. Bowers Collection/The Museum of Flight)
Rearview of the Albatros C.II prototype C.27/15 at the Albatros factory at Johannisthal. This view emphasizes the limited field of view to the rear that made pushers so vulnerable. (Peter M. Grosz Collection/SDTB)
Albatros C.III

  The C.III was developed as an improved C.I and followed it into production. The C.III was a combination of the features of the C.I and B.III. It used the same engines as the C.I, either the 150 hp Benz Bz.III or 160 hp Mercedes D.III, but was lighter, more compact and more streamlined, and finally abandoned the side radiators for a radiator in front of the upper wing. Of course, construction remained the typical Albatros semi-monocoque plywood fuselage and wood, wire, and fabric wings. Compared to the C.I, the C.III had improved maneuverability and performance, especially climb rate.
  In addition to its improved performance and maneuverability, the C.III also had a fixed, synchronized machine gun for the pilot, a feature the C.I lacked. The additional armament was in response to more intense Allied fighter attacks and became standard for German C-types for the rest of the war. From then on German two-seaters were generally difficult opponents for Allied fighters.
  The C.III saw widespread, successful service in combat and, like the B.II and C.I before it, remained in production for the rest of the war as a trainer due to its reliability and good handling qualities. Its advantages were soon recognized and extensive license production was undertaken.
  A number of C.III reconnaissance airplanes were supplied to Turkey, receiving Turkish serial numbers AK8 to AK41.
  Interestingly, for an unknown reason the C.III was built with two different wing spans, 11.00 meters and 11.70 meters.


Albatros C-Type Specifications
Albatros C.II Albatros C.III Albatros C.IV Albatros C.V
Engine 150 hp Benz Bz.III 150 hp Benz Bz.III 160 hp Mercedes D.III 160 hp Mercedes D.III 220 hp Mercedes D.IV
Span, Upper - 11.00 m (short span) 11.70 m (long span) - 12.78 m
Span, Lower - 11.04 m (short span) 11.14m (long span) - 12.44 m
Chord, Upper - 1.80 m - 1.80 m
Chord, Lower - 1.70 m - 1.80 m
Gap - 1.65 m - 1.83 m
Wing Area - 34.37 m2 (short span) 37.10 m2 (long span) - 43.4 m2
Wing Dihedral - 1.75° (upper & lower) - 2° (upper & lower)
Wing Sweepback - 1.70° (upper & lower) - -
Length - 7.95 m - 8.95 m
Height - 3.07 m - 4.5 m
Empty Weight - 771 kg - 1,069 kg
Loaded Weight - 1,271 kg - 1,585 kg
Maximum Speed - 135-150 km/h - 170 km/h
Climb to 1,000m - 5 min best, 8 min avg - 4.5 minutes
Climb to 2,000m - 12.5 min best, 22 min avg - 9.5 minutes
Climb to 3,000m - 25 min best, 45 min avg - 16 minutes
Climb to 4,000m - - - 25 minutes


Albatros C.III Production Orders
Serials Type & Notes
C.2060/15 to 2103/15 Alb C.III
C.4000/15 to 4199/15 Alb C.III
C.100/16 to 193/16 Alb c.III
C.650/16 to 715/16 Alb C.III(Bay) = Bay C.I
C.716/16 to 815/16 Alb c.III
C.1375/16 to 1404/16 Alb C.III
C.2124/16 to 2173/16 Alb C.III(Bay) = Bay C.I
C.2274/16 to 2374/16 Alb C.III(OAW)
C.200/17 to 239/17 Alb C.m(Bay) = Bay C.I
C.3428/17 to 3527/17 Alb C.III(Bay) - trainer
C.4000/17 to 4099/17 Alb C.III(Hansa)
C.5000/17 to 5199/17 Alb C.III(LVG)
C.5400/17 to 5474/17 Alb C.III(Li)
C.6200/17 to 6299/17 Alb C.III(Bay)
C.7127/17 to 7426/17 Alb C.III(Bay) - could also be 7125 to 7424
C.12000/17 to 12199/17 Alb C.III(OAW)
C.13375/17 to 13574/17 Alb C.III(DFW)
C.14000/17 to 14099/17 Alb C.III(SSW)
C.15200/17 to 15299/17 Alb C.III(LVG)
C.15600/17 to 15649/17 Alb C.III(Hansa)
C.1115/18 to 1164/18 Alb C.III(Hansa)
Albatros C.III 4078/15 tactical '3' of Kasta 20.
Albatros C.III 4119/15 of Flieger Abteilung 41
Albatros C.III 123/16 of Kasta 20.
Albatros C.III 753/16 of Wittenstatter and Lt. Liebig.
Albatros C.III 761/16 tactical number '3' of Kasta 39.
Albatros C.III 766/16 flown by Lt. Erwin Bohme of Kasta 10, Kagohl 2 in Russia in 1916.
Albatros C.III 772/16 of Kasta 20.
Albatros C.III C.1388/16 of Kasta 34b. The crew may have been Lt. Hermann von Raumer and Oblt. Adam Bey. This aircraft was brought down by three French fighters on 28 July 1916.
Albatros C.III C.1388/16 after French markings were applied after capture on 28 July 1916 and relocation to Villacoublay for evaluation. The French national markings seem to have been cut from another aircraft and glued in place.
Albatros C.III C.1402/16 in 1916.
Albatros C.III with markings "J" and "7" of an unknown unit.
Albatros C.III with extra cross insignias added circa 1916 on the Eastern Front.
Albatros C.III of Kagohl II, Eastern Front circa 1916.
Albatros C.III tactical number '2' of Kasta 19, KG IV in 1916.
Albatros C.III of Kasta 21,Kagohl IV, circa 1916.
Albatros C.III tactical number '6' of Kasta 22.
Albatros C.III(OAW) tactical number '3', 1916.
Albatros C.III of Kagohl II circa 1916. Color shown here as feldgrau but not confirmed. Crosses had their fields over-painted leaving outlined crosses.
Albatros C.III circa 1917.
Unidentified Albatros C.III with chevron markings.
Albatros C.III trainer 1918
Albatros C.III of the observers school, 1918. The observer's badge was the fuselage marking.
Albatros C.III of the Latvian Air Service postwar.
Albatros C.III of the Turkish Air Service.
Albatros C.III of the Polish Air Service 1919.
Albatros C.III captured and flown by the IRAS. Fin and wheel cover colors are conjectural.
Albatros C.III with Benz engine photographed with a measurement stick for scale. This early-production aircraft has no fixed gun for the pilot.
Albatros C.III C.2072/15 was from the first production batch and has no fixed gun for the pilot. This Benz-powered aircraft wears a light overall finish that enables the national insignia to be applied directly without a white background.
Albatros C.III 4003/15 with its flight crew and ground personnel.
Benz-powered Albatros C.III 4054/15.
OAW-built Albatros C.III 4057/15 with ground crew at FliegerAbteilung 14 at the front. The serial number is boldly presented on the fuselage of this Benz-powered aircraft.
Albatros C.III 4057/15 enjoying a festive occasion. The contact phone number "A 8880" is painted on the fuselage side, indicating it is now a trainer. The serial number has been painted as 4057/16 in error, possibly after the aircraft was recovered.
Another photograph taken on 17 June 1917, when von Richthofen was transported from Cologne to Courtrai (Kortrijk) by Lt. Guido Scheffer in Mercedes-powered Albatros C.III 4057/16.
On 17 June 1917, Manfred von Richthofen was transported from Cologne to Courtrai (Kortrijk) by Lt. Guido Scheffer in Albatros C.III 4057/16.
On 17 June 1917, von Richthofen was transported from Cologne to Courtrai (Kortrijk) by Lt. Guido Scheffer in Mercedes-powered Albatros C.III 4057/16. This is one of several photos taken on that occasion. Scheffer is at far left, next to von Richthofen. Scheffer was subsequently asked to join Jasta 11, which he did on 12 July 1917.
Albatros C.III draws a crowd. The presence of so many civilians and the presentation of the first part of the serial number indicate a trainer. The full serial is either 4060/15 or 4060/17.
Mercedes-powered Albatros C.III 4187/15 has its fuselage in natural finish with the national insignia requiring a white background. Uffz. August Fritz Lammie is the pilot and Lt. Fritz Leitzow is the observer. This crew and aircraft flew many missions with Flieger-Abteilung (A) 218 on the Eastern Front from 9 December 1916. On 30 May 1917 they suffered a bad crash in this aircraft; Lammie died the following day and Lietzow was injured and could not fly for two months.
Albatros C.III C.106/16 serving near Verdun in 1916. A white triangle marking is aft of the national insignia on the fuselage and another triangle is on the horizontal stabilizer. The serial is in the typical C.III position on the fin adjacent to the Albatros logo.
Albatros C.III C.112/16, probably Kampfgeschwader 2, with a large white background for its national insignia and a dark-bordered white triangle marking on its fuselage. A carbine is carried on the side of the fuselage.
Albatros C.155/16 with 160 hp Mercedes D.III engine combined features from the successful C.I and B.III. This early aircraft has no fixed gun for the pilot. (Peter M. Bowers Collection/The Museum of Flight)
Albatros C.III C.169/16 was an early production aircraft. The serial was painted on the fin parallel to the fin's leading edge, and the wings and tail surfaces were in clear-doped linen. The fuselage was varnished plywood with the national insignia painted over a white background.
Albatros C.III C.173/16 with Mercedes engine at FliegerAbteilung 2.
Albatros C.III 753/16 with observer Lt. Liebig and pilot Wittenstatter. The engine is a Mercedes, and the wood grain of the fuselage is clearly visible.
Albatros C.III C.761/16 was powered by a 160 hp Mercedes D.III and assigned to Kasta 39.The markings "39 III" on the rear fuselage indicating its unit and tactical number are partly obscured by the men in the foreground.
Colorful Albatros C.III aircraft are rare; 766/16 flown by Lt. Erwin Bohme with Kasta 10 on the Russian Front is an exception. The dragon or crocodile markings on either side are different, although both are chasing a small Russian aircraft painted on the nose. On the left side the aircraft is near the beast's nose, while on the right side the aircraft is near the nose of the aircraft. An aggressive pilot who claimed three victories in the C.III, one of which was confirmed, Bohme was selected by Oswald Boelcke to join Jasta 2 and was the pilot who unfortunately collided with Boelcke during combat, resulting in Boelcke's death. Bohme went on to score 24 victories and earn the Pour le Merite before his death in action on 29 November 1917. During his career as a fighter pilot he commanded Jasta 29 then Jasta 2.
Mercedes-powered Albatros C.III C.X18/16 and ground crew.
Flak damage to Albatros C.III 800/16 of Flieger-Abteilung(A) 230.There is also a bullet hole patch on the rudder just above the national insignia.
Scenes from the French capture of Albatros C.III(OAW) 1388/16, a Mercedes-powered aircraft.
Generals Joffre and Nivelle congratulate the three victors over Albatros C.III(OAW) 1388/16 at Escadrille C.105. C.III(OAW) 1388/16 was brought down on 28 July 1916. The presence of these two famous, high-ranking generals highlights the intelligence value of having an intact, flyable example of one of the enemy's latest aircraft.
Albatros C.III(OAW) 1388/16 of Kampfstaffel 34b, KG 6b, in its original markings on the airfield of Escadrille C.105. The crew may have been Lt. Hermann von Raumer (pilot) and Oblt. Adam Brey (observer), both POW, but there is an ambiguity in the date. The victors over this C.III were two fighter pilots of Escadrille N57 - Lt. Matton and Lt. Lachmann - together with one fighter pilot of N67, MdL. Flachaire; all three were aces.
Albatros C.III 1388/16. Captured at Verdun on 6 August 1916.
Mercedes D.III-powered Albatros C.III(OAW) 1388/16 at in French markings at Villacoublay, where it was evaluated at length. The Albatros C.III was faster, more maneuverable, and much better armed than the British BE.2 and French Farman pushers being used for reconnaissance at that time. The synchronizing system is either the Fokker Gestangesteuerung or Albatros Hetzke system derived from the original Fokker system.
Albatros C.III(OAW) 1388/16 (work number 2717) at in French markings at Villacoublay, where it was evaluated.The Albatros C.III was a much tougher opponent for fighters than the Allied reconnaissance planes of its time.
The 160 hp Mercedes D.III engine of Albatros C.III(OAW) 1388/16 with the starboard cowling panel removed to show details of the machine gun mounting. The trigger connecting rod to the cam behind the propeller is shown.
Closeup of an Albatros C.III with Mercedes D.III engine and Fokker or Albatros interrupter system.
Closeup of a Mercedes-powered Albatros C.III with typical fixed machine gun installation. The smaller diameter barrel of the gun indicates a Parabellum instead of the usual LMG 08.
Mercedes-powered Albatros C.III(OAW) 2317/16 (as painted on the propeller), W.Nr.631, demonstrates what can happen when the synchronization system fails. It was attached to Flieger-Abteilung 30 in Macedonia; Hptm. Georg Heydemarck was the observer and Offz.Stv. Ludwig Roth was the pilot.
Albatros C.III(Hansa) 4003/17 during its type testing in October 1917 at Adlershof.
Albatros C.III(Hansa) 4003/17 during its type testing in October 1917 at Adlershof. The vane attached to the gun ring provided an aerodynamic balance for the gun, making it easier for the gunner to traverse the gun in the slipstream.
Albatros C.III(Li) 5403/17 at Adlershof for type testing. These aircraft were intended as trainers. (Peter M. Bowers Collection/The Museum of Flight)
Beautifully-finished Albatros C.III(Bay) 7225/17 in training service in 1918.
Albatros C.III(Hann) 1150/18 trainer at Schwerin in August 1918.
Prinz Leopold of Bavaria visits Kagohl 2 on the Russian Front and inspects an Albatros C.III.
Benz-powered Albatros C.III L.F.233 in naval service.
Naval Albatros C.III with unknown L.F. number.
A Mercedes-powered Albatros C.III forms a suitable background for this photo of men of Flieger-Abteilung 63. This early-production aircraft has no fixed gun for the pilot.
An Albatros C.III on the Serbian Front.
An Albatros C.III of Kampfgeschwader 2 displays various camouflage and markings schemes within one unit. At least the first two aircraft in line have dark lines painted on their wheel covers, perhaps a unit marking.
Albatros C.III on the Serbian Front.
Albatros C.III with Mercedes D.III engine and no fixed gun; C.III aircraft with Benz engines are in the background.
Deployed operationally for the first time towards the end of 1916, the Albatros C III was built in larger quantities than any other of the firm's C types. The C III, with its 160hp Mercedes D III had an undistinguished top level speed of 82mph at sea level. The initial single, flexibly-mounted 7.92mm gun was later supplemented by another, fixed forward-firing weapon for the pilot. In spite of its robust construction that allowed it to withstand considerable combat damage, the C III compared poorly in terms of performance with the DFW CV that was to become the main workhorse of the two seater units from late 1917 until the end of the war.
Mercedes-powered Albatros C.III serving with Flieger-Abteilung (A) 220 on the Eastern Front.
Mercedes-powered Albatros C.III of Kampfstaffel 39, KG 7, pilot Lt. Gerhard Bassenge, gunner Vzfw. Ernst Fidel. Racks for light bombs are underneath the fuselage just aft of the rear undercarriage struts.
Unidentified Mercedes-powered Albatros C.III aircraft at the front.
The late-style national insignia on this Mercedes-powered Albatros C.III indicate it was in training service late in the war. The presence of civilians in the background is consistent with training use. (Peter M. Bowers Collection/The Museum of Flight)
Mercedes-powered Albatros C.III flown by Neisen carries a propeller-driven generator on the forward, starboard landing gear strut to power a wireless set for artillery spotting. Unusually, no fixed gun was installed for the pilot.
Mercedes-powered Albatros C.III of Kampfstaffel 39 flown by Vzfw. Ernst Fidel and Lt. Gerhard Bassenge, who later transferred to fighters and became an ace with Jasta Boelcke.
Mercedes-powered Albatros C.III of Flieger-Abteilung (A) 224 at Novogradek on the Eastern Front. Hptm. Cless, commanding officer of FA(A) 224, and his observer, Lt. Otto, are in front of the aircraft. This early-production aircraft has no fixed gun for the pilot.
The Albatros C.III was a sturdy workhorse that served in the reconnaissance, light bombing and even ground attack roles on every front during the conflict. It was also a popular and dependable aircraft in the flight, observation, and bomber training schools.
The crew of this Mercedes-powered Albatros C.III celebrates successful completion of 200 combat sorties.
Benz-powered Albatros C.III on the Bulgarian Front.
Albatros C.III of Kagohl 2 in dark camouflage; the barograph is mislabeled Bomben.
Mercedes-powered Albatros C.III with men and female visitors, possibly at Flieger-Abteilung (A) 8. The rudder and fin are camouflaged in darker colors.
Unidentified Mercedes-powered Albatros C.III readies for take off.
This Albatros C.III(OAW) with three-color camouflage was captured by Italian artillerymen. Stenciling on the lower trailing edge of the fin reads "O.A.W. C.3". An RAF report on a very similar C.III(OAW) C.2363/16, taken over in Bulgaria at the end of the war, described it: "The machine is camouflaged in large patches of burnt sienna and light and dark green, blending into one another. Undersurfaces vary pale blue..."
A camouflaged Albatros C.III used as a mail plane.
Albatros C.III wearing chevrons (black and white?) in flight attitude for testing, but where is the crew? The tail must be resting on something, although the supports were often retouched out.
Pleasing photograph of a Benz-powered Albatros C.III and its stalwart crew.
This Albatros C.III was photographed with all fabric surfaces wearing printed camouflage fabric with a strip missing from the lower port wing. The printed fabric indicates a late production aircraft intended as a trainer, although trainers typically were covered with regular fabric.
FliegerAbteilung (A) 230 arrives on the cold, snowy Eastern Front by train, the most reliable way to deliver these early aircraft. An Albatros C.III is visible at right and an LVG C.II is in the middle.
A dismantled Albatros C.III of Flieger Abteilung (A) 230 is towed to the snow-covered aerodrome on the Eastern Front for assembly and use. Uffz. (later Lt.) Carl Bucker has his foot on the running board. Bucker later transferred to fighters and scored three victories, one over a balloon.
This OAW-built Albatros C.III was captured by the Italians in 1917. (Peter M. Bowers Collection/The Museum of Flight)
Albatros C.III with '3' on fin; the octagonal white background for the rudder cross as typical of OAW aircaft.
Mercedes-powered Albatros C.III with the number '1805' on the wheel. However, this number does not correspond to any known C.III serial number. The octagonal white field for the rudder cross is typical for OAW-built C.IIIs.
OAW-built Albatros C.III with the characteristic single louvre on the engine cowling for these aircraft. The plate on the right front landing gear strut is to attach a propeller-driven generator to power a wireless.
An Albatros C.III takes off from a snowy airfield on another mission.
Albatros C.III in flight carries a white stripe aft of the fuselage insignia.
The refined Albatros C.III was intended as an improved C.I and used the same 150 hp Benz Bz.III or 160 hp Mercedes D.III engines.The C.III was more streamlined and had better performance coupled with the addition of a fixed pilot's gun (except for early production aircraft), all of which made it a more effective combat aircraft than the C.I.
An iconic sight, an Albatros C.III reconnaissance aircraft departing on another mission, was captured by the photographer and used to create this Sanke card.
Albatros C.III #2 of Kasta 19 with a black and white band around the fuselage.
Albatros C.III(Bay) 6298/17 trainer in flight.
Albatros C.III in flight; the natural fabric covered flying surfaces allow the sun to shine through and reveal the structure.
Albatros C.III at the advanced observers' school; the German observer's badge is painted on the side of the fuselage.
Albatros C.III in flight; the serial number is almost legible.
This photograph of an Albatros C.III in flight is from an album from training unit Flieger-Ersatz-Abteilung 3.
Albatros C.III of Fl.Abt. (A) 230 on the Eastern Front photographed on 7 March 1917. By this time the C.III was obsolescent on the Western Front. The insignia styles differ, indicating one wing panel has been replaced.
Albatros C.III(DFW) at Adlershof for testing a redesigned fin and rudder, apparently from a DFW B.II or C.II. (Peter M. Bowers Collection/The Museum of Flight)
Albatros C.III aircraft in service with a Bulgarian unit.
Albatros C.III aircraft in service with a Bulgarian unit. The photos show a unit inspection.
Apparently the same Bulgarian unit undergoing inspection. Three Albatros C.III aircraft are at left; the two aircraft at the far right are DFW C.Vs.
Albatros C.III in Turkish markings. C.IIIs in Turkish service had numbers AK8 to AK41 for 33 aircraft, although photographs show additional serials. Some were purchased new and others were transferred from the German army.
Albatros C.III in Turkish markings.
Albatros C.III AK60 in Turkish markings with German pilot Emil Meinecke and Observer Oberleutnant Ott of the Ottoman (Turkish) Fliegerabteilung 6. The number AK60 is seen on the top of the white border of the fuselage square. Available Turkish records say that the Turkish Albatros C.III aircraft were all numbered AK8 to AK41, but from photographs it is apparent that Turkey got more Albatros C.III aircraft than documented.
Mercedes-powered Albatros C.III AK62 in Turkish markings furnished with an oriental rug.
Albatros C.III in Turkish markings awaits some control system maintenance before its next mission. The building is the headquarters for the Mosul Flugpark.
Mercedes-powered Albatros C.III in Belgian hands post-war.
Adventures of Albatros C.III aircraft in post-war Latvian service; the swastika is red on white.
A C.III captured by the Russians and serving in the IRAS, who fitted a machine gun above the wing.
Cockpit of Albatros C.III 1388/16 reveals its overall simplicity.
Closeup of the observer's 'office' in an Albatros C.III showing the flexible gun mount and rack for signal flares installed alongside the turret.
Albatros C.III 402X/15 on its nose on a snowy airfield is painted in darker colors. The celebratory photograph indicates little damage was done, perhaps with the exception of the pilot's pride.
Albatros C.III C.4103/15 on its nose.
Albatros C.III 109/16 looked pristine in its factory finish until this accident.
Albatros C.III 115/16 on its nose on a snowy airfield is painted in light colors that blend well with the snow.
Albatros C.III C.147/16 of Bavarian Flieger-Abteilung 46 after a bad landing displays underside details not normally photographed such as the four bomb tubes; a total of 50 kg of bombs could be carried.
Albatros C.III C.1402/16 carried its serial on the fin and had an additional national insignia on top of the rear fuselage over a white band around the fuselage.
Albatros C.III C.4070/16, aircraft '2' of Kampfstaffel 19, on its nose after a landing incident.
Mercedes-powered Albatros C.III C.4070/16, aircraft '6' of Kampfstaffel 22, on its nose after a landing incident.
One wonders how the pilot of this Albatros C.III managed to miss an entire airfield and land on this roof. The pilot's explanation must have been creative.
Albatros C.III aircraft performing a nose stand; these were so common one almost wonders if this was a required maneuver.
Albatros C.III headstand on the Western Front.
Albatros C.III on its nose draws a crowd that appears to be distracted by aerial activity to the left of the photo. The octagonal white field for the rudder cross is typical for OAW-built C.IIIs and bomb doors are visible underneath the fuselage. The distinctive insignia may be that of Flieger-Abteilung (A) 209.
Crashed Albatros C.III "21 III"; the '21' means Kampfstaffel 21 and the 'III' means aircraft #3 of that unit.
Crashed Albatros C.III "21 IV"; the '21' means Kampfstaffel 21 and the 'IV' means aircraft #4 of that unit.
Factory drawing of the Albatros C.III built under license by Linke-Hoffman.
Albatros C.IV

  A small batch of 12 Albatros C.IV aircraft, serials C.850-861/15, were ordered. These aircraft were essentially C.III aircraft with the exception that their observers were in front and pilots in back. This was ordered by Idflieg as a test of the benefit of the observer in front; Idflieg ordered LVG C.III C.862/15 - 873/15 with a similar gun arrangement.
  By the time the C.IV batch was built the superiority of the gunner in the rear cockpit was proven and the C.IV was likely not used in combat on the Western Front. C.850/15 was used to test the Albatros G.III wing cellule. C.851/15 and C.860/15 were delivered to German flying schools as trainers, and C.853-859/15 (with exception of C.857/15) were delivered to the Turkish air service. At least one of these, C.853/15, was an unarmed mail plane.


Albatros C-Type Specifications
Albatros C.II Albatros C.III Albatros C.IV Albatros C.V
Engine 150 hp Benz Bz.III 150 hp Benz Bz.III 160 hp Mercedes D.III 160 hp Mercedes D.III 220 hp Mercedes D.IV
Span, Upper - 11.00 m (short span) 11.70 m (long span) - 12.78 m
Span, Lower - 11.04 m (short span) 11.14m (long span) - 12.44 m
Chord, Upper - 1.80 m - 1.80 m
Chord, Lower - 1.70 m - 1.80 m
Gap - 1.65 m - 1.83 m
Wing Area - 34.37 m2 (short span) 37.10 m2 (long span) - 43.4 m2
Wing Dihedral - 1.75° (upper & lower) - 2° (upper & lower)
Wing Sweepback - 1.70° (upper & lower) - -
Length - 7.95 m - 8.95 m
Height - 3.07 m - 4.5 m
Empty Weight - 771 kg - 1,069 kg
Loaded Weight - 1,271 kg - 1,585 kg
Maximum Speed - 135-150 km/h - 170 km/h
Climb to 1,000m - 5 min best, 8 min avg - 4.5 minutes
Climb to 2,000m - 12.5 min best, 22 min avg - 9.5 minutes
Climb to 3,000m - 25 min best, 45 min avg - 16 minutes
Climb to 4,000m - - - 25 minutes


Albatros C.IV Production Order
Serials Type & Notes
C.850/15 to 861/15 Alb C.IV
Albatros C.IV C.850/15 was used as a test aircraft for the Albatros G.III wing cellule. Although the test cellule was smaller than the G.III, the thick airfoil and distinctive struts of the G.III are clearly seen; the rest of the C.IV was apparently the same as the well-known C.III. However, the pilot's cockpit was in the rear and the observer's cockpit was in front - and interestingly enough, rails for mounting flexible machine guns are on each side of the observer's cockpit!
Albatros C.IV C.850/15 at Johannisthal with gun mounting rails fitted around the sides of the forward observer's cockpit. (Peter M. Grosz Collection/SDTB)
Image of Albatros C.IV C.850/15 in front of the Albatros factory at Johannisthal. No serial is visible and no gun mounting rails are fitted around the forward observer's cockpit, but an interesting fairing is seen below the observer's cockpit, perhaps for a camera? (Peter M. Bowers Collection/The Museum of Flight)
Unarmed Albatros C.IV C.853/15 in use as a mail plane in Mesopotamia with Turkish markings and normal C.III-type wings. Aircraft C.853-859/15 (except for C.857/15) were delivered to the Turkish flying corps. At least two aircraft, C.851/15 and C.860/15, were delivered to German flying schools for use as trainers.
A snowy celebration; an Albatros C.V/17 is decorated as the 2,500th aircraft built by Albatros.
Albatros C.VII in front of the Albatros factory at Johannisthal.
The Albatros C.VII closely resembled the Albatros C.V that was designed at nearly the same time. However, the 200 hp Benz Bz.IV protruded above the fuselage whereas the C.V's Mercedes engine was fully cowled.
Albatros aircraft stored inside the airship hall at Johannisthal in 1916. A G.III bomber is in the left foreground.
The Albatros C.IX was a compact aircraft built to the requirement for a light C-type (later called CL-type) for use as an escort fighter and ground attack aircraft.The design was clearly influenced by Albatros fighters.
The sole Albatros C IX of early 1917 was one of a number of prototypes submitted against the need for an armoured close air support type, shortly to be given their own CL designation to identify their specialised ground attack capability. As it transpired, the Junkers J I was to sweep all competition aside and, thus, the lone Albatros passed into the hands of Baron Manfred von Richthofen, for use as his personal transport. The 160 hp Mercedes D III powered C IX had a top level speed of 96.3mph.
The nose of a C.X third generation Albatros C-type displays it powerful 260 hp Mercedes D.IVa six-cylinder engine.The C.X greatly resembled the C.VII from which it was derived and the types shared some of their components. The C.X did use a new, larger wing cellule to support the larger, heavier engine. While evolutionary design served Albatros well through the C.VII, something more innovative was needed for the third generation C-types using the 260 hp Mercedes.
The C.X and C.XII were the third generation of Albatros C-types. Both types were powered by the 260 hp Mercedes D.IVa six-cylinder engine and used basically the same wing cellule. The C.XII shown was one of the most elegant two-seaters of the war, unfortunately its performance did not match its appearance.
Albatros factory workers build the airframe of an Albatros J-type.
Albatros technicians subject a prototype Albatros Dr.II airframe to static load tests; they are pouring sand into the wood boxes attached to the test structure until the proper load is achieved.
Albatros (PAW) C.I

  The OAW facility, co-located with the Albatros Militar Fliegerschule GmbH, was originally intended solely for producing designs of the main factory. Regardless of its inception as solely a production facility, OAW did build two different C-type prototypes as a further outlet for their creativity.
  Seven examples of the first type, initially known as the OAW C.I and later often referred to as the Albatros (OAW) C.I, were built with serials C.8/15 - C.14/15. It had typical Albatros construction.
  The OAW C.I was a large, 3-bay biplane powered by a 150 hp Benz Bz.III. It appears to have used the basic wing from the Albatros B.I with enlarged wing-root cuts for greater field of view downward and featured a large triangular fin and rudder similar to the standard Albatros C.I. Appearing early in 1915, it was an early, fairly unsophisticated biplane. However, it was a practical design that evolved in production despite the small number that were built. The above photo of C9/15, the second aircraft built, shows is primitive side radiators, while C13/15, the sixth aircraft built, has a more advanced, leading edge radiator.
  Despite the small number built, there were several variations in the exhaust manifolds fitted. Some exhausted downward and there were at least two manifold configurations that exhausted upward.
  The crew members were located close together for mutual cooperation during flight, and the cockpit was especially large and roomy. A large windscreen was fitted for the pilot on the first aircraft built but the others do not appear to have had this. However, there was a large combing in front of the pilot's cockpit that provided limited protection from the wing blast. In fact, the combing was so high pilots had to stretch to see over or around it when looking forward. The observer had a flexible machine gun; however, there was no fixed gun for the pilot.
  Photographs in this section show the OAW C.I apparently in operational use and also in training service, with one photo of the latter taken after April 1918 based on the partially visible national insignia.


Albatros (OAW) C.II

  The OAW facility followed their C.I design with a more refined design. The OAW C.II was more compact, having a two-bay design instead of the three-bay C.I. Equally significant was the much more powerful engine in the C.II, which used the rare 220 hp Mercedes D.IV eight-cylinder engine in place of the 150 hp Benz used in the C.I.
  Like the earlier OAW C.I the C.II was a practical design that evolved despite the few built. The first C.II prototype had unbalanced control surfaces. However, it was a large aircraft and a subsequent prototype had aerodynamically balanced rudder and elevators to reduce the pilot's control forces to make the aircraft more agile and less tiring to fly. Also like the C.I, the crew members in the C.II were located close together for mutual cooperation during flight and the pilot enjoyed a large, spacious cockpit.
Albatros (OAW) C.I C 9/15 in front of the OAW factory. This early aircraft, the second built, was fitted with side radiators. Based on serial numbers, seven of these aircraft were built. (Peter M. Bowers Collection/The Museum of Flight)
Albatros (OAW) C.I C.8/15 was the first aircraft of its type built and carries a flexible gun for the observer. It appears to be in operational service. The large windscreen for the pilot is notable. (Peter M. Grosz Collection/SDTB)
Albatros (OAW) C.I C.11/15 is apparently in operational service; an AEG G.II is at right. (Peter M. Grosz Collection/ SDTB)
Albatros (OAW) C.I C.13/15 in front of the OAW factory. Built in 1915, this three-bay reconnaissance prototype was powered by a 150 hp Benz Bz.III; this aircraft has a radiator under the upper wing. Although the OAW factory was intended for production only, not design, it is obvious senior people there wanted another outlet for their creativity.
Albatros (OAW) C.I C.14/15 (center of photograph facing left) in training service along with a variety of other types. (Peter M. Grosz Collection/SDTB)
The two crewmen in this Albatros(OAW) C.I illustrate the roomy cockpit.The pilot had to stretch to see over the high cockpit combing. Different exhaust manifolds, some exhausting upward and others downward, were used in this very small batch of aircraft. (Peter M. Grosz Collection/SDTB)
Albatros (OAW) C.I, side number 105, ready for take-off. The side number indicates it is probably in training service. In addition, the fuselage insignia appears to be straight-sided, indicating the photo was taken after April 1918, at which time it would be obsolete for operational use.The leading edge radiator likely was a modification since patches appear on the forward fuselage where side radiators would have been attached. (Peter M. Grosz Collection/SDTB)
This view shows the engine and side radiator details of an Albatros (OAW) C.I with manifold that exhausts over the wing. (Peter M. Grosz Collection/SDTB)
Rare view of an Albatros(OAW) C.I in flight reveals its distinctive profile. (Peter M. Grosz Collection/SDTB)
Rear view of an Albatros (OAW) C.I illustrates the tailplane with balanced elevators and the pilot's control wheel offset to the left. (Peter M. Grosz Collection/SDTB)
Albatros (OAW) C.I cockpit; the pilot was offset to the left. (Peter M. Grosz Collection/SDTB)
The OAW C.II shared the basic configuration of the earlier OAW C.I although it was more powerful yet compact. Built in 1916, this two-bay reconnaissance prototype was powered by a 220 hp Mercedes D.IV eight-cylinder engine. The large, four-blade propeller and completely enclosed engine are prominent recognition features. The fuselage cross has the octagonal white background often used by OAW. (Peter M. Bowers Collection/The Museum of Flight)
Albatros (OAW) C.II warming up with no one in the cockpit. (Peter M. Grosz Collection/SDTB)
Albatros (OAW) C.II warming up. The synchronized machine gun for the pilot is clearly visible. (Peter M. Grosz Collection/SDTB)
This Albatros (OAW) C.II features revised tail surfaces with horn-balanced rudder and elevators to reduce control forces. The crew had a spacious cockpit and the observer was located close to the pilot to facilitate communication in flight. The pillar mount for the observer's flexible machine gun is visible. A few OAW C.II prototypes were built but the exact number is not known and it was not produced in quantity.
Two views of the crash of an Albatros(OAW) C.I. This early aircraft has side radiators. (Peter M. Grosz Collection/SDTB)
Bulgarian unit undergoing inspection. Three Albatros C.III aircraft are at left; the two aircraft at the far right are DFW C.Vs.
FliegerAbteilung (A) 230 arrives on the cold, snowy Eastern Front by train, the most reliable way to deliver these early aircraft. An Albatros C.III is visible at right and an LVG C.II is in the middle.
Albatros Pre-War Aircraft

  To get aircraft production started, Albatros first built licensed French designs. In 1909 the first aircraft build by Albatros was the French Antoinette monoplane powered by a 50 hp Antoinette engine. In 1910 this was followed by an Antoinette powered by a Gnome rotary, then other Antoinette airframes powered by different engines, including a 100 hp Argus.
The first airplane produced by Albatros was the French Antoinette monoplane built under license. The two Antoinettes shown here differ in a number of details, including the engine, propeller, wing design, and landing gear. The Antoinette below carries Albatros markings on the fin. These aircraft appeared in 1909. (Peter M. Bowers Collection/The Museum of Flight)
This Antoinette was photographed at Johannisthal in 1909 and is likely one built by Albatros. Again, this Gnome-powered Antoinette differs from the others in detail, something common during this early period of rapid experimentation and basically custom-built aircraft.
In 1910 Albatros built this Gnome-powered version of the French Antoinette monoplane. In the early pre-war years Albatros built a number of designs from other Companies and used them in competitions to show the benefits of Albatros Company products.This is one of Huth's competition aircraft. (Peter M. Bowers Collection/The Museum of Flight)
The Breguet "Tin Whistle" built under license by Albatros pre-war.The flying qualities of this design did not lend themselves to further development. (Peter M. Bowers Collection/The Museum of Flight)
The Breguet "Tin Whistle" built under license by Albatros pre-war.
Lineup of pre-war Albatros-built aircraft. Two early DE biplanes are in front. The third aircraft in line isa license-built Breguet; an F2 based on the Farman is at the far right. (Peter M. Bowers Collection/The Museum of Flight)