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Centennial Perspective
J.Herris
Albatros Aircraft of WWI. Volume 2: Late Two-Seaters
409

J.Herris - Albatros Aircraft of WWI. Volume 2: Late Two-Seaters /Centennial Perspective/ (2)

At an unidentified training unit a C.XII(Bay) rests in the left foreground with another behind it. From center are Albatros C.I 1535/15, an Albatros B.II, an AEG G.IV, and a DFW C.V.
The back of this photograph identified the man under the arrow as Albert Dossenbach. He is in front of what appears to be an Albatros B.II trainer, a plane he may have flown during his training period in November/December 1915.
At an unidentified training unit a C.XII(Bay) rests in the left foreground with another behind it. From center are Albatros C.I 1535/15, an Albatros B.II, an AEG G.IV, and a DFW C.V.
This early production Albatros C.I was powered by a 160 hp Mercedes D.III cooled by Hazet side radiators manufactured by Haegele & Zweigle. Like many Albatros C.I aircraft it carries no visible serial number.
Albatros C.1811/16 rests in the middle of a unit lineup of Albatros reconnaissance aircraft at the front. The note on the photos indicates FliegerAbteilung Sontholen. (Peter M. Grosz Collection/SDTB)
Another view of Albatros C.1811/16 at the front. The question is; what type is it? Its serial number, C.1811/16, is right in the middle of the Albatros C.VI series (C.1775-1849/16) and it was identified as a C.VI in the Peter M. Grosz archive in the SDTB. Those facts would seem to settle it - except for the fact it appears to be an Albatros C.I! Our noted illustrator realized this as he was preparing to create a profile of this aircraft. So what happened? Bob Pearson points out that C.1811/15 was an Albatros C.I, and the serial on the aircraft in the photos was probably applied as C.1811/16 in error, probably during maintenance. We have photos of other examples of this type of error, and that likely is the explanation here. Fortunately, Bob looked beyond the serial number. (Peter M. Grosz Collection/SDTB)
At an unidentified training unit a C.XII(Bay) rests in the left foreground with another behind it. From center are Albatros C.I 1535/15, an Albatros B.II, an AEG G.IV, and a DFW C.V.
At Flieger Ersatz Abteilung 7 at Koln Albatros C.XII 1124/17 is in the middle of the lineup with Albatros C.III(Bay) 6296/17 at left.
C.XII(Bay) 1925/17 readies for takeoff with two Albatros C.IIIs behind it. This is a training unit whose name is painted on the fuselage behind the cross on the fuselage, but is not quite legible.
Albatros C.V

  Availability of new, more powerful engines resulted in the second generation of Albatros C-types. Albatros designers continued to use the same semi-monocoque fuselage construction and wood, wire, and fabric wings while emphasizing improved streamlining. Two new types were developed almost in parallel that used some of the same components, such as wings and tail surfaces.
  First to reach the front was the Albatros C.V using the 220 hp Mercedes D.IV eight-cylinder engine. It was closely followed by the Albatros C.VII using the 200 hp Benz Bz.IV engine. The different engines gave these similar aircraft different performance characteristics and consequently they were used for different combat roles.
  In January 1915 Idflieg gave development contracts for engines of 200 hp or more to Benz, Daimler (manufacturers of Mercedes engines), and Korting. Mercedes began work on two different engines to meet this requirement. The D.IV engine was an enlargement of the 160 hp, six-cylinder Mercedes D.III by the simple expedient of adding two more cylinders. The resulting engine, rated at 220 hp, was the first of the two to become available. The D.IVa engine was a totally new six-cylinder design that took longer to develop; when available it was rated at 260 hp.
  The Albatros C.V was designed around the first of these engines to become available, the 220 hp Mercedes D.IV. This straight-eight engine, the only such engine flown operationally during the war, was viewed as an interim engine and only a limited quantity were ordered pending availability of the more advanced Mercedes D.IVa.
  The D.IV had an integral propeller reduction gear that had two notable consequences. First, the thrust line of the propeller was raised above the crankshaft. This enabled the engine to be mounted lower in the airframe and allowed it to be fully cowled, improving streamlining. Second, the gear reduced 1400 RPM engine speed to 900 RPM for the propeller, allowing a larger, slower-turning and more efficient propeller to be used.
  The result was that the streamlined, more powerful C.V was significantly faster than preceding Albatros C-types. In fact, when it arrived at the front in July 1916 the C.V was faster than any Allied fighter at the front! This was a remarkable result for an essentially evolutionary design that was a product of a powerful new engine combined with careful development by Albatros. This happy result was also the only time an Albatros two-seater design provided such superior performance.
  The C.V's speed and climb made it a natural for long-range photo-reconnaissance missions and this was the role in which it excelled. Being larger and substantially heavier than earlier Albatros C-types, it lacked their maneuverability and was not at its best during general-purpose reconnaissance and artillery spotting, where good maneuverability to evade attacking fighters was important. Instead, the C.V was best at using its speed and altitude capability (missions could be flown at 5,200 meters, impressive for 1916) to avoid interception completely, and this it was able to do for many months in combat.
  The first production batches ordered in 1916 totaled 75 C.V aircraft. A final batch of 50 was ordered in January 1917 and these differed from the 1916 model in several respects. The aerodynamic improvements developed for the Albatros C.X and C.XII then in design and test were applied to this batch of C.V aircraft. The lower wingtips were rounded, the ailerons were aerodynamically balanced, and an aerodynamically balanced elevator was fitted. The ear radiators in the 1916 model were replaced by an airfoil-shaped radiator in the upper wing center section. Finally, the lighter control forces due to the aerodynamically-balanced controls enabled a control stick to replace the former control wheel. These changes enhanced maneuverability and performance, which helped the revised C.V/17 remain competitive as new Allied aircraft appeared.
  To differentiate between the two models, the earlier C.V model is denoted as the C.V/16 and the later model as C.V/17. Some C.V/16 models were given the later wings during factory repairs.
  The remaining C.V aircraft were withdrawn from the front in August 1917, and in December there were still 84 C.Vs of the 125 built in inventory, an impressive survival record. A few C.V aircraft were used as advanced trainers after withdrawal from combat, but the simpler, cheaper, easier to fly B.II, C.I, and C.III were much more popular as trainers.
  C.V 1420/17 was used as an airborne testbed for the 2 cm Becker cannon. Firing trials were performed in October and November 1917 with a downward-firing Becker fixed in the rear cockpit. The pilot must have been cramped because he shared the rear cockpit with the cannon, while the observer sat in front and apparently loaded the cannon.


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.V Production Orders
Order Date Qty Serials
Nov. 1915 3 C.3593-3595/15
March 1916 50 C.1175-1224/16
March 1916* 25 C.1250-1274/16
Jan. 1917 50 C.1371-1420/17
* Built by OAW (C.1251-1275/16?)
Albatros C.V/16 C.1176/16 of Flieger-Abteilung 2. Although shown as plain fabric, the upper wing surfaces were possibly in the three-tone scheme.
Albatros C.V/16 C.1220/16 flown by Lt. Albert Dossenbach & Oblt. Hans Schilling, FFA 22, September 1916.
Albatros C.V/16 C.1257/16, unit unknown. Although shown with dark stained fuselage, this aircraft may have had the fuselage painted in camouflage colors. The serial was repeated on the nose in white and is assumed to be on the fin.
Albatros C.V/16 of Flieger-Abteilung 2. The upper wing surfaces appear to be painted in the three-tone scheme.
Albatros C.V/16 of Flieger-Abteilung (A) 261. Flown by Vzfw. Fritz Kosmahl, the unit mechanics fitted a captured Vickers machine gun in addition to the standard fixed Spandau. The upper wing surfaces are depicted in the three-tone scheme but may have been in plain finish.
Albatros C.V/16, unit unknown. Although shown as plain fabric finished, the upper wing surfaces were possibly in the three-tone scheme.
Albatros C.V/16, unit unknown, circa 1917.
Albatros C.V/16 of Flieger Abteilung 270Lb. Photographed on its nose, the aircraft was a uniform color under its wings and tail and a darker uniform color on upper surfaces, depicted here as feldgrau above with light blue below. The fuselage marking was black and white.
Albatros C.V/17 1371/17 of Flieger-Abteilung 7 with that unit's distinctive arrow markings on the fuselage sides and upper surface. Tactical number '6' was applied forward of the arrow.
The streamlined Albatros C.V was the first of the second-generation Albatros C-type designs to reach the front. It was also the only C-type without a six-cylinder engine; the C.V used the 220 hp Mercedes D.IV, a straight-eight cylinder engine created by adding two more cylinders to the 160 hp Mercedes D.III.The propeller reduction gear raised the thrust line of the propeller, enabling the engine to be fully cowled. The reduction gear also reduced propeller speed, enabling a large, slow-turning propeller to befitted for maximum efficiency and greater speed. This aircraft was one of the three C.V prototypes from the batch C3593-3595/15 and was photographed in front of the Albatros factory in March/April 1916. The external, over-wing gravity tank was not fitted to production aircraft.
A prototype Albatros C.V in front of the Albatros factory at Johannisthal illustrates the characteristic features. The prototypes had a wingspan of 12.2 meters; production aircraft had a longer, 12.78 meter span. The exhaust stack has a different shape than production aircraft, and there is no fixed gun for the pilot.There is also an external gravity tank over the upper wing that was not present in production aircraft and the observer's gun ring is recessed. (Peter M. Bowers Collection/The Museum of Flight)
Albatros C.V prototype 3595/15 after a poor landing.
Albatros C/16 1176/16 was the second production aircraft; it was photographed during a quiet moment in the field at FliegerAbteilung 2. The aircraft has the early production series features of squared wingtips on the lower wings, ear radiators, and coolant header tank over the engine. The large (3.4 meter diameter), slow-turning propeller used with the geared Mercedes D.IV was also a distinctive C.V characteristic.
C.V/16 1176/16 of FA 2 before the wheel covers were painted shows its massive engine and nose details.
Albatros C.V/16 C.1176/16 assigned to FliegerAbteilung 2 runs up its engine. (Courtesy Bruno Schmaling)
C.V/16 1176/16 of FliegerAbteilung 2 flying low shows off its newly-decorated wheel covers. The characteristic Albatros semi-monocoque fuselage made of plywood shows up nicely.
FliegerAbteilung 3b photographed with a captured Nieuport fighter. The dark Albatros C.V/16 at left may be C.1177/16 and second in line is C.V/16 C.1262/16 followed by three unidentified Albatros C.VII two-seaters. The occasion appears to be an awards ceremony, and the position of the Nieuport indicates the ceremony may be related to its capture. (Courtesy Bruno Schmaling)
Albatros C.V/16 C.1179/16 of Feld FliegerAbteilung 1 photographed with aircrew. In contrast to many anonymous Albatros C.V aircraft, the serial is clearly painted on both the fuselage and fin. (Courtesy Bruno Schmaling)
Albatros C.V/16 C.1179/16 of Feld FliegerAbteilung 1 with three men aboard and engine running. The tail is up on a trestle and too many men are aboard for flight; is this maintenance in progress? (Courtesy Bruno Schmaling)
Albatros C.V/16 1180/16 of Feld-Flieger Abteilung 25. The observer, Oblt. Graf von Schaesburg-Thannheim, has a row of signal flares next to his cockpit for immediate use. Uffz. Wilhelm Hubener is the pilot; he moved to the USA after the war, and these photos are from his album. Feld-Flieger Abteilung 25 was the first unit of Hermann Goring and Bruno Loerzer, and Hubener knew both of them.
Albatros C.V/16 1180/16 of Feld-Flieger Abteilung 25. The observer, Oblt. Graf von Schaesburg-Thannheim, has a row of signal flares next to his cockpit for immediate use. Uffz. Wilhelm Hubener is the pilot; he moved to the USA after the war, and these photos are from his album. Feld-Flieger Abteilung 25 was the first unit of Hermann Goring and Bruno Loerzer, and Hubener knew both of them.
"Альбатрос" C-V
Albatros C.V/16 1180/16 of Feld-Flieger Abteilung 25 photographed in a warmer season while getting ready for a mission.
The photo captures a moment of levity with Albatros C.V/16 1183/16.
The end of Albatros C.V/16 1185/16 reveals some of its structural details. (Courtesy Bruno Schmaling)
Albatros C.V/16 C.1187/16 being readied for another mission. (Peter M. Grosz Collection/STDB)
Albatros C.V/16 1187/16.
Albatros C.V/16 C.1187/16 of FliegerAbteilung (A) 217 with a second, unidentified C.V/16 in the background. (Courtesy Bruno Schmaling)
Albatros C.V/16 C.1189/16 at rest. (Peter M. Grosz Collection/STDB)
Oblt. Behrla of FA 44 in Albatros C.V/16 1211/16 highlights the damage the fuselage could withstand. On 24 May 1917 Behrla and Vzfw. Rosengart were flying this aircraft at 4,500 meters when Rosengart put the C.V into a spin upon seeing enemy fighters. After a drop of 400 meters, Rosengart leveled the C.V and Behrla stood up when the C.V hit turbulence and Behrla found himself floating three meters above the aircraft! Behrla then fell onto the fuselage, creating the hole illustrated. Although Behrla could not climb back into his cockpit, Rosengart still landed the C.V safely. (Peter M. Bowers Collection/The Museum of Flight)
Feld-Flieger Abteilung 25 lineup has an Aviatik C.III in the left foreground with Albatros C.V/16 1212/16 in the center background. The wet, muddy airfield conditions were harsh on both men and machines.
Wearing his Pour le Merite, Albert Dossenbach stands in front of his heavily-armed Albatros C.V/16.
Albert Dossenbach, wearing his Pour le Merits, stands in front of his Albatros C.V/16. Dossenbach was an aggressive pilot and modified his C.V to carry a synchronized Vickers machine gun in addition to the standard synchronized Spandau mounted on the right side. The pointed spinner is also non-standard. The massive propeller used by the C.V/16 is prominent.
Albert Dossenbach, wearing his Pour le Merits, stands in front of his Albatros C.V/16 C.1220/16.
"Franz und Emil" pose with their mount, Albatros C.V/16 C.1257/16, in the field. Of all the Albatros two-seater designs, the C.V was the only one that offered clearly superior performance in addition to robust practicality.
Albatros C.V/17 C.1371/17 marked with the arrow insignia of FliegerAbteilung 7. It is tactical '6' of that unit. (Peter M. Grosz Collection/STDB)
This Albatros C.V/16 has an interesting white/dark/white band around the engine cowling. The aircraft was assigned to FliegerAbteilung (A) 288. Unfortunately, the name on the nose is not legible. (Courtesy Bruno Schmaling)
Albatros C.V/16 awaits its next mission.
Crew of an Albatros C.V/16 assigned to FliegerAbteilung (A) 217 prepares for a mission. (Courtesy Bruno Schmaling)
Anonymous C.V/16 with black and white 'X' marking. The canvas propeller cover is being removed in preparation for flight. (Peter M. Grosz Collection/STDB)
The crew gets this unidentified Albatros C.V/16 ready for another reconnaissance sortie. Two dark bands are painted around the fuselage but no serial number is visible. The plywood semi-monocoque fuselage shows up well.
The streamlined Albatros C.V/16 was the first of the second generation Albatros C-types. The eight-cylinder Mercedes was completely enclosed by the cowling, the key C.V recognition feature. The tail surfaces and fuselage strongly resembled contemporary Albatros fighters. Bruno Loerzer (in sweater) stands in front of this C.V/16(OAW) of Kampfstaffel Metz; Hptm. Schmickaly is in the front cockpit.
Bruno Loerzer (in sweater, back to camera) stands in front of this C.V/16(OAW) of Kampfstaffel Metz; Hptm. Schmickaly is in the front cockpit. The Albatros C.V/16 was an excellent aircraft for its time and was faster than opposing Allied fighters when it reached the front. Subsequent Albatros two-seater designs did not approach its level of success.
This C.V/16(OAW) appears to be the same aircraft; the apparent difference in fuselage color is likely due to the different angle of the photograph.
This Albatros C.V/16 looks tired; the finish is warn and repaired and there are bullet holes in the tail that have not been repaired. A circular device, probably a mirror, is suspended from the upper wing in front of the pilot. A light tactical number '5' was applied over a dark background on the rear fuselage turtledeck. (Peter M. Grosz Collection/STDB)
Airmen of an unknown unit photographed with an unidentified Albatros C.V/16. The elevator control cable was carefully streamlined with a fitting when exiting the rear fuselage. (Courtesy Bruno Schmaling)
"Franz und Emil" pose with their Albatros C.V/16. One cowling panel has been removed and the fixed gun, claw brake, and general finish are well shown. (Courtesy Reinhard Zankl)
This Albatros C.V/16 served at Cappy bei Amiens in France. The national insignia on the vertical tail was painted over an octagonal white background, a feature thought to be associated with OAW-built aircraft.
Albatros C.V/16 of FliegerAbteilung 6b with a black and white unit marking but no visible serial number. (Courtesy Bruno Schmaling)
Two views of an Albatros C.V/16 of Bavarian FliegerAbteilung 2. It appears to carry a checkerboard marking in front of the national insignia.
Albatros C.V assigned to Feld-Flieger Abteilung 23. Hptm. Hermann Palmer, the unit's commanding officer, is facing the camera.
"Franz und Emil" bundled up for flight in front of their Albatros C.V/16 of Bavarian FliegerAbteilung 2.
An Albatros C.V/16 of FliegerAbteilung (A) 261 to which unit mechanics have fitted a captured Vickers machine gun and synchronized it to fire through the propeller arc. The aircraft, flown by Vzfw. Fritz Kosmahl, has a dark (black?) band around the nose; the small cross in circle indicates where it was hit by enemy fire. (Peter M. Grosz Collection/STDB)
Portrait of a pilot and his Albatros C.V/16.
Scenes of Feld FliegerAbteilung 3b and a well-maintained Albatros C.V/16 assigned to the unit. In the group photo the early Axial logo is visible on both propeller blades. This unit was later re-designated Flieger Abteilung 46b and flew both the Albatros C.X and the Albatros C.XII. (Courtesy Bruno Schmaling)
Albatros C.V/16 ready to take off on another mission in the winter of 1916/1917.
Unlike most German two-seater units that had a wide variety of types, Flieger Abteilung 2 appears fully equipped with Albatros C.V/16 reconnaissance planes.
Albatros C.V/16 of Flieger Abteilung 2.
Details of 220 hp Mercedes D.IV number 25412 in an unidentified Albatros C.V/16.
Albatros C.V/17 1371/17 shows its refined airframe with airfoil radiator in place of the ear radiators of the C.V/16. The header tank above the engine on the C.V/16 is no longer needed, so the exhaust and fixed Spandau are the only blemishes on the streamlined engine cowling. The upper surfaces of the wings are painted in the three-color camouflage scheme used by later C.V and C.VII aircraft. The fuselage appears to be stained in a dark color and the arrow insignia of FliegerAbteilung 7 is just barely visible against the dark fuselage color. The typical signal flare cartridges are mounted alongside the observer's cockpit. (Peter M. Grosz Collection/STDB)
Albatros C.V/17 C.1380/17 has experienced a rough landing and the lower wings were damaged as well as the landing gear.
Albatros C.V/17 photographed on the snow-covered Johannisthal airfield during the winter of 1916/1917. Elimination of the ear radiators in this batch improved its streamlining. (Peter M. Bowers Collection/The Museum of Flight)
"Franz und Emil" pose in front of their Albatros C.V/17. Axial made the propeller as indicated by the decal.
Albatros C.V/17 1394/17 of FliegerAbteilung 18 showing the unusual camouflage applied to the upper surfaces. This aircraft was shot down on 12 May 1917 by 45 Squadron, RFC and assigned G.37 as its captured German aircraft number. It was extensively examined by the British and the engineering analysis was published by Flight in 1918. It featured a three-color camouflage scheme that may have been unique to this aircraft.
During its takeoff an Albatros C.V/17 of FliegerAbteilung 2 displays its elegant streamlining.
An Albatros C.V/17 in flight reveals its graceful lines.
Albatros C.V/17 C.1420/17 was photographed in November 1917 while testing a 2cm Becker cannon installation. Unusually, the pilot was relocated to the rear cockpit and the Becker cannon was also located there, no doubt making for cramped quarters. The Becker was located on the left side of the cockpit and mounted to fire downward and forward. The magazine was loaded from the front cockpit, which was also unusual, as was the bomb sight at right in the aft cockpit. Two triggers on the control wheel fire the Becker and the fixed pilot's machine gun.
This experimental C.V was likely one of the three prototypes. The I-struts reduced drag; however, they also obstructed the crew's field of view somewhat and that made them unpopular. Moreover, the stress calculations for the I-struts were still only approximate and the engineers were reluctant to proceed with them.This aircraft also had the ear radiators installed with a louvered panel to reduce drag, a feature that was not used in production. The observer's gun run has not yet been installed and an external gravity tank was fitted above the upper wing.
This Albatros C.V/16 of Feld-Flieger Abteilung 270Lb has suffered a bad landing. It carries an interesting marking in front of the national insignia and displays under-fuselage details.
Albatros C.VI

  The final first-generation Albatros C-type to be produced was the C.VI. The C.VI was simply a C.III airframe fitted with a 180 hp Argus As.III engine. The Argus had slightly more power than the 160 hp Mercedes in the C.III but was heavier and lost power more quickly with altitude than the Mercedes. Consequently, the C.VI was slightly faster than the C.III at low altitude but had a lower climb rate and ceiling and was not quite as nimble.
  In any case, engine production generally was the main factor limiting aircraft production, so production of the Argus-powered C.VI was a useful supplement to C.III production.
  Although the Frontbestand inventory for the C.VI peaked at 111 on the end of February 1917, the only known order information was for a batch of 75 aircraft placed in May 1916, so either at least one production batch is unknown or the Frontbestand inventory is in error. Because the Frontbestand table was created after the war by one individual from multiple wartime reports, it is known to contain some errors; the number of Albatros C.VI aircraft listed at the front in February 1917 is likely one of them.


Albatros C-Type Specifications
Albatros C.VI Albatros C.VII Albatros C.VIIIN Albatros C.IX Albatros C.X
Engine 180 hp Argus As.Ill 200 hp Benz Bz.IV 160 hp Mercedes D.m 160 hp Mercedes D.m 260 hp Mercedes D.IVa
Span, Upper 11.7m 12.78 m 16.74 m 10.4 m 14.36 m
Span, Lower - 12.40 m - - 14.00 m
Chord, Upper - 1.80 m - - 1.8 m
Chord, Lower - 1.70 m - - 1.6 m
Gap - 1.83 m - - 1.86 m
Wing Area - 43.4 m2 - - 42.7 m2
Wing Dihedral - 2° (upper &. lower) - - 2° (upper & lower)
Length 7.9 m 8.71 m 7.34 m 8.22 m 9.15 m
Height 3.2 m 3.60 m - 2.735 m 3.40 m
Empty Weight 830 kg 1,030 kg - 790 kg 1,088-1,115 kg
Loaded Weight 1,343 kg 1,546 kg - 1,150 kg 1,668-1,695 kg
Maximum Speed 145 km/h 135 km/h 135 km/h 155 km/h 175 km/h
Climb to 1,000m - 5.5 minutes 5 minutes 5 minutes 3 minutes
Climb to 2,000m - 13 minutes - - 6.5 minutes
Climb to 3,000m 35 minutes 21 minutes - - 11 minutes
Climb to 4,000m - 34 minutes - 30 minutes 21 minutes
Climb to 5,000m 49 minutes
Duration 4.5 hours - - 2.5 hours 3/2 hours
Note: C.VII track 1.95 m


Albatros C.VI Production Orders
Order Date Qty Serials
May 1916 75 C.1775-1849/16
Only one order is known but the 111 C.VI aircraft listed in the Frontbestand inventory for February 1917 make it possible more C.VI aircraft were ordered and built. However, the Frontbestand was compiled post-war and does have errors; this is likely one of them.
Albatros C.VI C.1777/17 assigned to an unknown unit.
Albatros C.VI C.1818/16 assigned to an unknown unit. Dark camouflage was painted over all upper surfaces; the brown and green shown are assumed, not confirmed. It is not known if the markings painted on the wheel covers were a personal or unit marking.
Albatros C.VI lettered 'A' assigned to an unknown unit.
The Albatros C.VI was a C.III airframe fitted with a 180 hp Argus As.III engine. The Argus had a bit more power than the 160 hp Mercedes used in the C.III, making the C.VI slightly faster at low altitude. However, the Mercedes was lighter and gave better power at altitude, giving the C.III a better climb rate. The Albatros factory at Johannisthal is the background. (Peter M. Bowers Collection/The Museum of Flight)
An Albatros C.VI runs up its engine before a mission. (Peter M. Grosz Collection/SDTB)
An Albatros C.VI at the front is photographed with two men of the unit; a woman stands behind the wing. (Peter M. Grosz Collection/SDTB)
This photo clearly shows the nose details of an Albatros C.VI, including its Argus engine and synchronized gun installation. The propeller was made by Axial; the dagger with "Axial" written on it was an early Axial logo. (Peter M. Grosz Collection/SDTB)
Albatros C.VI C.1777/16 at the front waiting for its next mission. Tactical number '1' is painted behind the fuselage insignia; other than that, the aircraft appears to be in plain factory finish. (Peter M. Grosz Collection/SDTB)
Albatros C.VI in front of the Albatros factory at Johannisthal. The nose of the C.VI was slightly longer than the C.III due to the greater length of the Argus engine. Otherwise the airframe was the same as the C.III. (Peter M. Bowers Collection/The Museum of Flight)
Albatros C.VI C.1782/16 photographed while serving as a trainer at Flieger Ersatz Abteilung 4 at Posen. (Courtesy Bruno Schmaling)
Albatros C.VI 1816/16 takes off. Attached to an unknown unit, this aircraft wears dark camouflage with prominent national insignia and a swastika-like marking on its wheel cover. Known C.VI serials are C.1775-1849/16.
An Albatros C.VI after a bad landing. (Peter M. Grosz Collection/SDTB)
The crash of Albatros C.VI 1780/16. Franz Tybelski was chief pilot of the Military Aviators School and this aircraft, with his initial "T" on top of the upper wing, below the lower wing, and on the fuselage sides, was his personal aircraft. While flying this aircraft solo Tybelski crashed fatally on 13 July 1918. Tybelski was an aviation pioneer and had flown for four years, including flying as an instructor pilot. His younger brother Albert flew on both the Eastern and Western Fronts, including a year as a fighter pilot with Jasta 19, and survived the war.
Albatros C.VI with dark letter "A" on a white background has experienced a bad landing. (Peter M. Grosz Collection/SDTB)
Albatros C.VI
Albatros C.VI
Albatros C.VI
Albatros C.VII

  The Albatros C.VII was designed along with the C.V Powered by the new 200 hp Benz Bz.IV, a standard production engine of which 7,124 were built during the war, the C.VII was intended for mass production for general-purpose reconnaissance and light bombing duties.
  The C.V and C.VII shared their general appearance and many parts. The C.V, C.VII, and later C.X shared their fin, rudder, horizontal tailplane, and elevators. Idflieg claimed the C.V and C.VII also shared wing cellules, although the ailerons were different, the C.V/16 having plain ailerons and the C.V/17 and C.VII having balanced ailerons. However, the upper wings of the C.V and C.VII were the same in span, airfoil section, and planform. Similarly, the lower wings of the C.V/16 and C.VII were the same, while the C.V/17 lower wing had a different planform with rounded wingtips.
  Like the C.V/16, the C.VII had ear radiators. The key visual difference between the C.V and C.VII was the C.VII had exposed engine cylinder heads while the C.V had its engine fully enclosed. The C.V/17 also featured rounded lower wingtips whereas the lower wings of the C.VII had the same squared-off planform of the C.V/16.
  With its lower power engine, less efficient propeller, and greater drag of its exposed engine, the C.VII was not nearly as fast as the speedy C.V, nor could it match the climb rate and ceiling of the C.V. The C.V routinely flew its long-range reconnaissance missions at 5,200 meters; the service ceiling of the C.VII was about 4,000 meters. While the C.V could often soar above and out run Allied fighters during its long-range photographic missions, the C.VII typically had to fight its way to or from its tasks of medium-range reconnaissance, light bombing, and artillery spotting. Not as handy as the lighter C.III, the C.VII had better climb and ceiling that made interception more difficult.
  The C.VII appeared over the front in September/October 1916, shortly after the C.V, and by February 1917 the C.VII was the most numerous C-type in combat. However, production of the C.VII was completed by the end of 1916 and by April 1917 it was outnumbered by the superior DFW C.V. Although powered by the same engine as the Albatros C.VII, which essentially disappeared from combat by the end of 1917, the DFW C.V served at the front in large numbers until the war's end.
  The C.VII was a strong, stable, well-made aircraft that had sufficient speed, climb, and maneuverability to hold its own in combat until the new generation of Allied fighters powered by the Hispano-Suiza V-8 became numerous in the summer of 1917.
  In addition to production by Albatros, BFW produced the C.VII under license. During type testing of the BFW-built C.VII during 12-25 October 1916 the load tests had to be performed five times, with fixes made between tests, before the aircraft passed. During later load tests of a random production BFW-built aircraft the aircraft again failed, and BFW aircraft were noted for their poor workmanship that compromised their safety.
  After the C.VII was retired from combat it continued to serve as an advanced trainer until the end of the war. The C.VII was the last successful Albatros two-seater design.


Albatros C-Type Specifications
Albatros C.VI Albatros C.VII Albatros C.VIIIN Albatros C.IX Albatros C.X
Engine 180 hp Argus As.Ill 200 hp Benz Bz.IV 160 hp Mercedes D.m 160 hp Mercedes D.m 260 hp Mercedes D.IVa
Span, Upper 11.7m 12.78 m 16.74 m 10.4 m 14.36 m
Span, Lower - 12.40 m - - 14.00 m
Chord, Upper - 1.80 m - - 1.8 m
Chord, Lower - 1.70 m - - 1.6 m
Gap - 1.83 m - - 1.86 m
Wing Area - 43.4 m2 - - 42.7 m2
Wing Dihedral - 2° (upper &. lower) - - 2° (upper & lower)
Length 7.9 m 8.71 m 7.34 m 8.22 m 9.15 m
Height 3.2 m 3.60 m - 2.735 m 3.40 m
Empty Weight 830 kg 1,030 kg - 790 kg 1,088-1,115 kg
Loaded Weight 1,343 kg 1,546 kg - 1,150 kg 1,668-1,695 kg
Maximum Speed 145 km/h 135 km/h 135 km/h 155 km/h 175 km/h
Climb to 1,000m - 5.5 minutes 5 minutes 5 minutes 3 minutes
Climb to 2,000m - 13 minutes - - 6.5 minutes
Climb to 3,000m 35 minutes 21 minutes - - 11 minutes
Climb to 4,000m - 34 minutes - 30 minutes 21 minutes
Climb to 5,000m 49 minutes
Duration 4.5 hours - - 2.5 hours 3/2 hours
Note: C.VII track 1.95 m


Albatros C.VII Production Orders
Order Date Mfr Qty Serials
1916 Alb* 25 C.1225-1249/16
1916 Alb* 100 C.1275-1374/16
July 1916 Alb 100 C.2174-2273/16
July 1916 BFW 75 C.3000-3074/16
Sep. 1916 BFW 100 C.3500-3599/16
Oct. 1916 BFW 75 C.3724-3798/16
Oct. 1916 BFW 25 C.7700-7724/16
1917 Alb 1 C.8200/17
* Built later than batch ordered July 1916; serials assigned originally to C.V order that was not built. Alb. C.VII(Bay) = Bay C.II
Albatros C.VII C.1300/16 assigned to Flieger Abteilung (A) 233.
Albatros C.VII C.1330/16 of Flieger-Abteilung 7.
Albatros C.VII C.2204/16 of an unknown unit, winter 1916/1917
Albatros C.VII C.2220/16 of Schusta 4 in early 1917. Schusta 4 was formerly Kasta 16 and the aircraft may have been with the earlier unit. A captured Lewis gun was fitted over the wing. The '1' and cross were lighter than the national insignia and are shown here as red.
Albatros C.VII C.2240/16, perhaps of Flieger Abteilung (A) 209.
Albatros C.VII C.2249 of an unknown unit.
Albatros C.VII(Bay) 7713/16 of an unknown unit.
Albatros C.VII with the white nose, white rudder, white wheel covers, and white tactical number of an unknown unit.
Albatros C.VII tactical number '3' of an unknown unit. The colors of the fuselage band are assumed.
Albatros C.VII of Schusta 27.
Albatros C.VII 3536/16 serving at the 'Higher Pilots School' in the Polish Air Service, 1920.
This aircraft is thought to be the Albatros C.VII prototype. It was photographed at Johannisthal in front of the Albatros company hangars. The exposed engine cylinder head above the cowling is the key identification factor differentiating the C.VII from the C.V that was developed at basically the same time. The C.VII shared its squared-off lower wing with the C.V/16 and its upper wing, with balanced ailerons, with the C.V/17.
Albatros C.VII 1300/16 at FA(A) 233 carries a checkerboard insignia ahead of its national insignia.
The fuselage of C.VII 1306/16. The broken propeller implies disassembly after an accident, not assembly after transportation.
Albatros C.VII 1311/16 rests at its airfield.
Albatros C.VII 1324/16 has a leading edge radiator in place of the ear radiators typical of a C.VII.
Albatros C.VII 1330/16 of Flieger Abteilung 7, March 1917.
Albatros C.VII 1330/16 of FliegerAbteilung 7 has a leading edge radiator and a Lewis gun. It is marked tactical '3' in addition to the arrow insignia unit marking. (Peter M. Grosz Collection/SDTB)
Here is a C.VII with a leading edge radiator in place of the normal ear radiators. Two photos exist of C.VII 1330/16 of FliegerAbteilung 7 with this field modification, and this may be another photo of that aircraft; the FliegerAbteilung 7 arrow unit marking is just visible next to the observer's cockpit. A captured Lewis is mounted on the upper wing.
This C.VII of FliegerAbteilung 7 retains its ear radiators but has had a captured Lewis gun attached to the cabane struts. A close look at the aircraft above reveals similar mounting points on the cabane struts. Was the aircraft above the same aircraft as below after radiator modifications, or was more than one aircraft of the unit fitted with a Lewis?
Albatros C.VII 1332/16 has been fitted with a leading edge radiator in place of the usual ear radiators.
Albatros C.VII 1344/16 was one of 16 C.VII aircraft repaired by Daimler Motoren Gesellschaft, maker of Mercedes engines, during 1917. The spinner on this aircraft is much flatter than the normal C.VII spinner, giving it an unusual appearance.
Albatros C.VII 1344/16
Albatros C.VII 1359/16 at Armee Flug Park 3 in summer 1916 carries a black and white fuselage band that are likely a unit marking. The upper surfaces of the wings are painted in a two- or three-color scheme and the national insignia have a 50mm wide white surround. The fuselage is varnished wood. Rounded lower wingtips were tested on C.VII prototypes but have not been seen on operational aircraft; C.VII production was complete by the time rounded wingtips were tested.
Developed from the C.V, the Albatros C.VII was powered by the 200 hp Benz Bz.IV. Unlike the C.V, the engine protrudes from the fuselage.
Albatros C.VII 2181/16 was an early production machine from the first production batch.
Albatros C.VII 2197/16 was an early production machine from the first production batch.
Albatros C.VII 2197/16 on a wood taxiway.
Albatros C.VII C.2204/16 was painted in three-color camouflage on the upper surfaces of the wings and pale blue below. It wears a black fuselage band and tactical '1' of an unknown unit. (Peter M. Grosz Collection/SDTB)
Albatros C.VII C.2208/16 of FliegerAbteilung 48 has the standard ear radiators. (Courtesy Bruno Schmaling)
Three Albatros C.VII aircraft of an unidentified unit, with C.2240/16 in front. FliegerAbteilung (A) 209 used a similar insignia. (Peter M. Grosz Collection/SDTB)
Albatros C.VII reconnaissance aircraft of an unknown two-seater unit.
Albatros C.VII C.2247/16 has the standard C.VII configuration; the totally flat landscape indicates it may be on the Eastern Front.
Albatros C.VII 2249/16 carries a white chevron on the fuselage. The engine is running but the tail is propped up, indicating a test or maintenance, not imminent flight.
Albatros C.VII(BFW) 3042/16 of FliegerAbteilung (A) 251 is missing its spinner. At left is Lt. Fritz Putter, who later won the Pour le Merite as a fighter pilot who scored 25 victories before he was killed when the ammunition in his Fokker D.VII caught fire and he died of his wounds.
Albatros C.VII(Bay) C.II 3069/16 has an unusual presentation of its serial number.
On 22 March 1917, the airfield of Flieger Abteilung 46b (Flieger Abteilung (A) 3b ???) at Marimbois Ferme was bombed which caused severe damage to Albatros C.VII 3510/16.
Albatros C.VII 3540/16 photographed at FliegerAbteilung (A) 224 on 22 May 1917. This aircraft has the square white backgrounds on the national insignia that were obsolete by this time.The balanced ailerons and square-tipped lower wings are clearly shown. The wings wear a three-color camouflage scheme and has a dark chevron marking with tactical number '3' on the fuselage. It is likely this aircraft was actually assigned to Schusta 27.
Built in substantial numbers, the Albatros C VII entered operations near the close of 1916. Hastily developed to circumvent the engine-related unreliability being experienced by their CV, the CVII used the 200hp Benz Bz IV. With this engine, the CVII proved reliable and equally at home doing relatively high level reconnaissance at its ceiling of 16,400 feet, or doing its infantry support task of strafing trenches with its short range 200lb bomb load. At least 350 Albatros C VIIs had been delivered by the parent company and its two sub-contractors by February 1917.
Albatros C.VII(Bay) 3796/17 carries a dark (black?) and white band around the rear fuselage and a while spinner. Not noted as being a colorful aircraft, this example is about as colorful as the C.VII was painted.
Albatros C.VII(Bay) 7713/16 from the last production batch ordered in October 1916 was painted in an overall camouflage finish. It was flown by FliegerAbteilung Karlshorst.
This Albatros C.VII had white nose, rudder, wheel covers, and tactical '1' unfortunately, its serial number and unit are not known. (Peter M. Grosz Collection/SDTB)
Albatros C.VII with no visible serial number or special markings assigned to FeldfliegerAbteilung 20.
This C.VII has just been repaired by Daimler although it still needs to be painted. The "A.200" on the fuselage aft of the national insignia is not a serial and may be a tracking number used by Daimler during the rebuilding process.
An Albatros C.VII of FliegerAbteilung 103 waits for its next mission. (Courtesy Bruno Schmaling)
An Albatros C.VII of FliegerAbteilung (A) 290 with the spinner removed for maintenance. Under the photo in the album was written "Mein 200 P.S. Albatros" (my 200 hp Albatros). Standard ear radiators are fitted. The rib tapes under the wings are prominent. (Courtesy Bruno Schmaling)
This Albatros C.VII of FliegerAbteilung 48 has the standard ear radiators. Someone wrote "Albatros 200 P.S." on the print, indicating 200 hp Albatros, that is, the C.VII. (Courtesy Bruno Schmaling)
This Albatros C.VII had camouflage painted over its fuselage instead of the usual plain finish; unfortunately, its serial number and unit are not known. (Peter M. Grosz Collection/SDTB)
"Franz und Emil" with their Albatros C.VII on 26 December 1916. The engine is bundled up, perhaps to prevent freezing.
Typical Albatros C.VII in the field with engine running ready for the observer to board before takeoff.
Another C.VII with engine running before takeoff, this time at Johannisthal with airship hangar in the background.
Anonymous Albatros C.VII on a snowy airfield.
An Albatros C.VII being transported to a new location. Light and dark bands surround the fuselage aft of the national insignia.
This Albatros C.VII runs up its engine.The missing cowling panels reveal the fixed pilot's gun and are an indication maintenance is being performed.
Lt. Walter Boning in front of an Albatros C.VII of Feld-Flieger Abteilung 6b. Boning later became a fighter ace.
Another Albatros C.VII of Feld-Flieger Abteilung 6b. The pilot is Lt. Walter Boning, who later transferred to fighters and became an ace with Jastas 19 and 76, scoring 17 confirmed victories.
An Albatros C.VII of FliegerAbteilung (A) 290 photographed with pilot Lt. Hans Bohning (who later flew with Jastas 36 and 76 before becoming Staffelfuhrer of Jasta 79; he scored 17 victories) and some of the ground crew (below). The mechanic in the center appears to be experiencing a particularly bad day. The C.VII, without visible serial number, has been painted or stained a dark color and has an airfoil radiator. (Courtesy Bruno Schmaling)
Members of FliegerAbteilung (A) 3b photographed with an Albatros C.VII of their unit. (Courtesy Bruno Schmaling)
An unknown aviator with his C.VII.
An early production Albatros C.VII with canvas protective cover over its propeller; the men are unknown.
This Albatros C.VII assigned to Feld-Flieger Abteilung 6b has survived an accident of some type as indicated by the wires wrapped around the propeller. The pilot was Adolf von Tutschek and the observer was Lt. Stein. Adolf Ritter von Tutschek later became a fighter pilot, scored 27 victories, was awarded the Pour le Merite, and was the first commander of Jagdgeschwader II, a signal honor. He was killed in action 15 March 1918 while flying a Fokker Triplane.
Pilot Adolf Ritter von Tutschek and observer Lt. Stein in their Albatros C.VII serving with Feld-Flieger Abteilung 6b.
Albatros C.VII assigned to FliegerAbteilung (A) 258. Vzfw. Ernst Kopp is the pilot and Lt. Paul Carell is the observer. The date is February 1917 and the snow confirms it is winter.
The crew of an anonymous Albatros C.VII appears ready for their next mission.
Well-known image of an observer in an Albatros C.VII demonstrating how to aim the Parabellum in combat. The ear radiators and visible engine identify it as a C.VII.
The crew of an Albatros C.VII of FliegerAbteilung (A) 213 receive a last-minute briefing prior to their mission. (Courtesy Bruno Schmaling)
The flight crew of an Albatros C.VII of FliegerAbteilung (A) 3b display the damage their aircraft survived. (Courtesy Bruno Schmaling)
A pilot is photographed with his Albatros C.VII of Kagohl 2. (Courtesy Bruno Schmaling)
Closeup of an Albatros C.VII showing the racks of flares along side the observer's cockpit. On the starboard lower wing is the magnetic compass. Unfortunately, the airman is not identified. (Peter M. Grosz Collection/SDTB)
"Franz und Emil" pose with their Albatros C.VII; unfortunately, only the last digit of the serial number is visible.
Another Albatros C.VII fitted with a leading edge radiator in place of the normal ear radiators. Ear radiators were often subject to leakage and a new radiator may have been installed by unit mechanics as a more reliable solution.
Two Albatros C.VII aircraft with a DFW C.V in the background.
FliegerAbteilung 3b photographed with a captured Nieuport fighter. The dark Albatros C.V/16 at left may be C.1177/16 and second in line is C.V/16 C.1262/16 followed by three unidentified Albatros C.VII two-seaters. The occasion appears to be an awards ceremony, and the position of the Nieuport indicates the ceremony may be related to its capture. (Courtesy Bruno Schmaling)
Albatros C.VII aircraft of FliegerAbteilung (A) 282 are lined up. (Courtesy Bruno Schmaling)
Trailing an identification streamer from the lower wing, an Albatros C.VII, tactical '2' of an unknown unit, plies its trade. The '2' is also painted on top of the aft fuselage turtledeck and its three-color camouflage is evident on the wings.
An Albatros C.VII in flight. This aircraft carries recognition streamers and tactical number '2', but lacks the spinner normally fitted. This may well be the same aircraft as that in the photograph above.
An Albatros C.VII of FliegerAbteilung 48 in flight has the standard ear radiators. Someone had written "L.V.G." on the print, but the aircraft is definitely an Albatros C.VII. (Courtesy Bruno Schmaling)
An Albatros C.VII of FliegerAbteilung (A) 290 in flight. (Courtesy Bruno Schmaling)
An early production Albatros C.VII in flight illustrates its tail planform and square-tipped wings. It carries an unknown fuselage insignia.
This Albatros C.VII displays rounded lower wingtips indicating a late production aircraft.
An Albatros C.VII of FliegerAbteilung 59 perhaps damaged by flak; the pilot is Lt. Aloys Heldmann.
C.VII after a bad winter landing. Somehow the rudder fabric is missing; did this strip off in flight and contribute to the ground loop
Albatros C.VII C.1247/16 of FliegerAbteilung 48 after a bad landing on a snowy airfield. (Courtesy Bruno Schmaling)
Albatros C.VII of Schutzstaffel 21 is marked tactical '4' in addition to the chevron insignia. It was painted in three-color camouflage on the upper surfaces of the wings and pale blue below. (Peter M. Grosz Collection/SDTB)
A worn and patched Albatros C.VII after a rough landing. The standard three-color camouflage on the upper wing surfaces is barely recognizable after all the repairs.
An Albatros C.VII marked with a white 'X' having a bad day "somewhere in France".
Albatros C.VII 2269/16 has a white '4' over a black background.
Albatros C.VII crashed by test pilot Richard Scholz at Johannisthal; the insignia dates the crash in 1918.
Albatros C.VII 1276/16 assigned to a naval unit after a bad landing.
An Albatros C.VII of FliegerAbteilung 48 after a particularly rough landing. It carries factory markings only. (Courtesy Bruno Schmaling)
A typical Albatros C.VII after a bad landing. Like many C.VII aircraft, it has no distinguishing markings.
Albatros C.VII 1350/16 of FA(A) 238 crashed after a night bombing mission on 7 April 1917 while flown by Vzfw. Hermann Juhnke.
Little is left of Albatros C.VII 1336/16.
An Albatros C.VII of the post-war Polish air service fitted with a leading edge radiator has come to grief.
Typical Albatros C.VII three-color camouflage scheme on upper surfaces with the early, original cross insignia on white fields. The order and colors of the camouflage patterns could vary.
Typical Albatros C.VII three-color camouflage scheme on upper surfaces. OAW-built aircraft had their insignia centered on the aileron bell crank as shown here.
Albatros C.VII(Bay) 7713/16 with camouflage applied to the wings in narrow bands roughly parallel to the wing ribs. BFW-built aircraft had their wing insignia more inboard than Albatros or OAW-built aircraft. There is a possibility the pattern had three colors like those of other manufacturers.
Albatros C.IX

  In August 1916 Idflieg issued technical specifications for lightened C-type aircraft powered by 160-180 h.p. engines. The light C-type, or CL-type, was intended to be a two-seat escort fighter, short-range reconnaissance aircraft and artillery spotter, and ground-attack aircraft. Two companies, Halberstadt and Hannover, created excellent CL-designs that entered production in mid- 1917 and served successfully until the armistice. Albatros also designed a couple of aircraft to this requirement, but these did not enter production.
  The Albatros C.IX was built in 1917 and appears to have been designed with the CL-specification in mind. The C.IX was a single-bay biplane that was notably smaller than earlier Albatros two-bay C-types. Unsurprisingly, the C.IX used the same semi-monocoque wood fuselage structure as the successful Albatros fighters and was powered by the same 160 hp Mercedes D.III engine. However, the wing design featured two spars for both upper and lower wings with X-struts in addition to parallel struts for robust interplane bracing. These interplane struts appear heavier than needed. The lower wing was straight with rounded tips, while the upper wing was mounted forward with a large cut-out over the pilot for better visibility and access, and was sharply swept-back to maintain the proper center of lift. Although not fitted, the C.IX was designed to mount the standard German two-seater armament of a fixed Spandau machine gun for the pilot and a flexible Parabellum machine gun for the observer.
  The Albatros C.IX did no go into production and only three were built. It is mainly known for its association with the Red Baron, Manfred von Richthofen, who briefly used one as a squadron hack; however, one served with Flieger Abteilung 12 in 1918.


The excellent Hannover CL.II was placed in production. It had better speed and climb than the Albatros C.IX and was also noted for its maneuverability, something the C.IX was unlikely to have matched. The Albatros C.XIII fared better in comparison but had a single-spar lower wing that caused structural problems in Albatros fighters.
Comparison of Albatros C.IX & C.XIII to Hannover CL.II
Albatros C.IX Albatros C.XIII Hannover CL.II
Engine: 160 hp Mercedes D.III 160 hp Mercedes D.III 180 hp Argus As.Ill
Wing Span 10.4 m (34.1 ft.) 10.0 m (32.8 ft.) 11.95 m (39.2 ft.)
Length 8.22 m (27.0ft.) 7.8 m (25.6 ft.) 7.8 m (25.6 ft.)
Empty Weight 790 kg (1,742 lb.) 700 kg (1,543 lb.) 773 kg (1,704 lb.)
Loaded Weight 1,150 kg (2,535 lb.) 1,060 kg (2,337 lb.) 1,133 kg (2,498 lb.)
Maximum Speed 155 km/h (97 mph) 165 km/h (103 mph) 165 km/h (103 mph)
Climb to 1000 m 5 min. 4 min. 4 min.
Climb to 4000 m 30 min. - -
Climb to 5000 m - 47 min. 32 min.
Armament: 1 flexible machine gun & 1 fixed machine gun 1 flexible machine gun & 1 fixed machine gun 1 flexible machine gun & 1 fixed machine gun


Albatros C-Type Specifications
Albatros C.VI Albatros C.VII Albatros C.VIIIN Albatros C.IX Albatros C.X
Engine 180 hp Argus As.Ill 200 hp Benz Bz.IV 160 hp Mercedes D.m 160 hp Mercedes D.m 260 hp Mercedes D.IVa
Span, Upper 11.7m 12.78 m 16.74 m 10.4 m 14.36 m
Span, Lower - 12.40 m - - 14.00 m
Chord, Upper - 1.80 m - - 1.8 m
Chord, Lower - 1.70 m - - 1.6 m
Gap - 1.83 m - - 1.86 m
Wing Area - 43.4 m2 - - 42.7 m2
Wing Dihedral - 2° (upper &. lower) - - 2° (upper & lower)
Length 7.9 m 8.71 m 7.34 m 8.22 m 9.15 m
Height 3.2 m 3.60 m - 2.735 m 3.40 m
Empty Weight 830 kg 1,030 kg - 790 kg 1,088-1,115 kg
Loaded Weight 1,343 kg 1,546 kg - 1,150 kg 1,668-1,695 kg
Maximum Speed 145 km/h 135 km/h 135 km/h 155 km/h 175 km/h
Climb to 1,000m - 5.5 minutes 5 minutes 5 minutes 3 minutes
Climb to 2,000m - 13 minutes - - 6.5 minutes
Climb to 3,000m 35 minutes 21 minutes - - 11 minutes
Climb to 4,000m - 34 minutes - 30 minutes 21 minutes
Climb to 5,000m 49 minutes
Duration 4.5 hours - - 2.5 hours 3/2 hours
Note: C.VII track 1.95 m


Albatros C.IX Orders
Order Date Qty Serials
1916 3 C.4506-4508/16
Albatros C.IX prototype mid 1917.
Albatros C.IX 4508/16 serving as a squadron 'hack' in JG I and used by Manfred von Richthofen in September/October 1917.
Albatros C.IX photographed at FliegerAbteilung 12 in February 1918 with lozenge night camouflage on the fuselage and hexagonal night camouflage on the wings and horizontal tail.
In response to Idflieg’s requirement for a light C-type the Albatros C.IX exhibited excellent workmanship. Design of the C.IX was also more innovative than most Albatros aircraft, although it had a streamlined fuselage characteristic of Albatros aircraft of that time. However, the competing Hannover CL.II was a more compact design that offered better speed and climb and, together with the Halberstadt CL.II, was selected for production in place of the shapely C.IX. (Peter M. Bowers Collection/The Museum of Flight)
The Albatros C.IX used the technology of the Albatros fighters. It was designed to meet Idflieg's specification for a light C-type. Over-shadowed by the competing designs from Halberstadt and Hannover, it did not go into production. Manfred von Richthofen used this example for personal transportation and is seen here in the rear cockpit.
Richthofen in the front cockpit of 4508/16, preparing for flight with Mohnicke. The Albatros C.IX had a fairing before the front cockpit that blocked the wind, the clear panels of which allowed light to enter the cockpit.
Richthofen being assisted into his flight gear prior to boarding Albatros C.IX 4508/16. Note he is wearing the localized strapped-on bandage.
Richthofen in the front cockpit of Albatros C.IX 4508/16 at Hannover, Germany, ca. Sept/Oct, 1917.
Colorized view of Richthofen in Albatros C.IX 4508/16 at Hannover, Germany, ca. Sept/Oct, 1917.
Albatros C.IX 4508/16 photographed during Manfred von Richthofen's stop-over at Hannover.
Lothar von Richthofen (right) and his future wife, Countess Doris von Keyserlingk, sit in the cockpits of Manfred von Richthofen's red-painted Albatros C.IX.The Countess appears to be sceptical of flying.
Albatros C.IX photographed at FliegerAbteilung 12 in February 1918. Idflieg normally ordered three prototypes of experimental aircraft, one for flight testing, one for structural testing, and a spare. The structural test airframe was normally tested to destruction, leaving two flyable airframes. Manfred von Richthofen used one as a transport, and here is the other. Being continually short of aircraft the German Navy often assigned prototypes to operational service; that was much less common for the Army. Regardless, here is a C.IX prototype at an operational unit - and it night camouflage. Was it used for light bombing? Night fighting? Night reconnaissance? Or all those roles? (Peter M. Grosz Collection/SDTB)
Camouflaged Albatros C.IX in front of a hangar, probably photographed at FliegerAbteilung 12 in February 1918. (Peter M. Grosz Collection/SDTB)
Albatros C.IX in center of a lineup, probably photographed at FliegerAbteilung 12 in February 1918.
The Albatros C.IX was a compact design for a two-seat fighter for protection and light ground attack duties. Its comparative size vis a vis the Albatros D.V (left) is well shown. With only three C.IXs built, this example is the only one to see frontline service. Note the lengthened flame-damping exhaust indicating possible nighttime use.
Richthofen's Albatros C.IX 4508/16 on display in the 1930 at the Deutsche Luftfahrt Sammlung without tires. This view emphasizes its compact dimensions.
Albatros C.IX 4508/16 in a post-war museum. Legends painted on the fuselage state Reisenflugzeug des Rittm. Manfred Freiherr v Richthofen ("Travel plane of Rittmeister Manfred Freiherr von Richthofen") and Kriegsflugzeug fur Fernaufklarung Alb. C.IX 1916/17 ("War plane for reconnaissance Alb. C.IX [the years of] 1916/17"). (Courtesy of the DEHLA Collection)
The nose of Albatros C.IX 4508/16 shows at left in this photo taken in a post-war museum.
Albatros C.IX 4508/16 taking off from Hannover after Manfred von Richthofen's visit.
Albatros C.IX 4508/16 in flight. Although not confirmed, Richthofen may be at the controls. Note the marked sweepback of the upper wings.
Albatros C.IX
Albatros C.IX
Albatros C.IX
Albatros C.VIIIN

  Albatros submitted the Albatros C.VIIIN for the N-type requirement. Well streamlined with great resemblance to later Albatros two-seaters, the C.VIIIN looked like a longer wing-span, three-bay version of the Albatros C.XII. However, powered by a 160 hp Mercedes D.III engine instead of the 260 hp Mercedes D.IVa used in the C.XII, it was much too under-powered for operations. However, a more powerful engine was apparently not tested, and the AEG N.I with 150 hp Benz Bz.III was built instead.


Albatros C-Type Specifications
Albatros C.VI Albatros C.VII Albatros C.VIIIN Albatros C.IX Albatros C.X
Engine 180 hp Argus As.Ill 200 hp Benz Bz.IV 160 hp Mercedes D.m 160 hp Mercedes D.m 260 hp Mercedes D.IVa
Span, Upper 11.7m 12.78 m 16.74 m 10.4 m 14.36 m
Span, Lower - 12.40 m - - 14.00 m
Chord, Upper - 1.80 m - - 1.8 m
Chord, Lower - 1.70 m - - 1.6 m
Gap - 1.83 m - - 1.86 m
Wing Area - 43.4 m2 - - 42.7 m2
Wing Dihedral - 2° (upper &. lower) - - 2° (upper & lower)
Length 7.9 m 8.71 m 7.34 m 8.22 m 9.15 m
Height 3.2 m 3.60 m - 2.735 m 3.40 m
Empty Weight 830 kg 1,030 kg - 790 kg 1,088-1,115 kg
Loaded Weight 1,343 kg 1,546 kg - 1,150 kg 1,668-1,695 kg
Maximum Speed 145 km/h 135 km/h 135 km/h 155 km/h 175 km/h
Climb to 1,000m - 5.5 minutes 5 minutes 5 minutes 3 minutes
Climb to 2,000m - 13 minutes - - 6.5 minutes
Climb to 3,000m 35 minutes 21 minutes - - 11 minutes
Climb to 4,000m - 34 minutes - 30 minutes 21 minutes
Climb to 5,000m 49 minutes
Duration 4.5 hours - - 2.5 hours 3/2 hours
Note: C.VII track 1.95 m
The Albatros response to the N-type requirement was the C.VIIIN, a typically-streamlined Albatros that looked much like a longer-span, 3-bay Albatros C.XII. Here it is shown carrying the required six 50 kg PuW bombs totalling 300 kg. However, with only 160 hp compared to the 260 hp of the C.XII, it was much too under-powered. More power might have given it competitive performance, but Albatros apparently did not explore that.
Albatros C.X

  The next generation of Albatros C-types, the C.X and C.XII, were characterized by their use of the newly available 260 hp Mercedes D.IVa six-cylinder engine. The C.X greatly resembled the earlier C.VII; the two types shared their configuration and typical Albatros structure. The prototype C.X aircraft even used ear radiators like the C.VII, but production C.X aircraft used an airfoil radiator in the upper center section.
  When the Mercedes D.IVa engine became available in the second half of 2016, Idflieg published technical requirements for a new long-range reconnaissance plane using the new engine. The Albatros C.X and Rumpler C.IV proposals were selected for prototyping, and construction of the C.X began in August or September 1916.
  The C.X used a larger wing than the C.V and C.VII, and for the first time Albatros used a new box spar design driven by the shortage of aircraft-quality lumber. Other than that, the C.X was basically an enlarged C.VII. Both the C.X and competing Rumpler C.IV had flown by 2 October 1916. Load tests on C.X airframe work number 2910 were performed at Adlershof during 10-14 October. The airframe passed four of the five load cases. A strengthened wing as tested on 21 October and again failed. Once the ribs behind the rear spar were strengthened the wing passed a third attempt on 21 November.
  Production C.X aircraft differed from the prototypes in having airfoil radiators and ailerons on all four wings. The lower wingtips were also rounded, perhaps as a result of observing the rounded lower wingtips on the Rumpler. However, the C.X adhered to the typical Albatros design and construction, and many C.X parts such as the tailplane, elevator, rudder, and parts of the landing gear and controls were common to the C.V and C.VII. The return line for the coolant from the wing radiator was led through the forward port center-section strut for improved streamlining, a detail copied from the LVG C.IV. Idflieg had prohibited this by the time the C.X was type-tested due to cooling problems caused by reduced water flow; regardless, many C.X aircraft had this feature, likely due to use of parts built before the prohibition. At least one C.X, C.6831/16, was fitted with an eight-cylinder Mercedes D.IV engine and lasted into 1918.
  During prototype evaluation it soon became clear that the Rumpler C.IV was far superior to the Albatros C.X. Despite that, 400 C.X aircraft were ordered from Albatros, Roland, BFW, and Linke-Hofmann, with OAW building most, and perhaps all, of the Albatros aircraft. At first C.X aircraft built by BFW and Roland were not rated highly by Idflieg, but the problems were resolved; Linke-Hofmann fared better.
  Initially the C.X was relegated to training use, hardly an effective use of the new Mercedes engine, but aircraft reached squadron service in March/April 1917 in parallel with the Rumpler C.IV. The C.X aircraft that saw combat were from the final OAW production batch, although it is not known why earlier production aircraft were not used at the front. The Rumpler C.IV quickly established itself as the premiere German long-range reconnaissance aircraft. In contrast, the C.X had inferior climb and ceiling compared to the Rumpler and was typically slower. Its disappointing performance caused the C.X to be relegated to general-purpose duties with regular two-seater units, where it showed no real advantage over the 200 hp DFW C.V despite supposedly being faster. The C.X was difficult to fly and disappointing in performance, and was soon withdrawn from the front and allocated to training units.


Albatros C-Type Specifications
Albatros C.VI Albatros C.VII Albatros C.VIIIN Albatros C.IX Albatros C.X
Engine 180 hp Argus As.Ill 200 hp Benz Bz.IV 160 hp Mercedes D.m 160 hp Mercedes D.m 260 hp Mercedes D.IVa
Span, Upper 11.7m 12.78 m 16.74 m 10.4 m 14.36 m
Span, Lower - 12.40 m - - 14.00 m
Chord, Upper - 1.80 m - - 1.8 m
Chord, Lower - 1.70 m - - 1.6 m
Gap - 1.83 m - - 1.86 m
Wing Area - 43.4 m2 - - 42.7 m2
Wing Dihedral - 2° (upper &. lower) - - 2° (upper & lower)
Length 7.9 m 8.71 m 7.34 m 8.22 m 9.15 m
Height 3.2 m 3.60 m - 2.735 m 3.40 m
Empty Weight 830 kg 1,030 kg - 790 kg 1,088-1,115 kg
Loaded Weight 1,343 kg 1,546 kg - 1,150 kg 1,668-1,695 kg
Maximum Speed 145 km/h 135 km/h 135 km/h 155 km/h 175 km/h
Climb to 1,000m - 5.5 minutes 5 minutes 5 minutes 3 minutes
Climb to 2,000m - 13 minutes - - 6.5 minutes
Climb to 3,000m 35 minutes 21 minutes - - 11 minutes
Climb to 4,000m - 34 minutes - 30 minutes 21 minutes
Climb to 5,000m 49 minutes
Duration 4.5 hours - - 2.5 hours 3/2 hours
Note: C.VII track 1.95 m


Albatros C.X Production Orders
Order Date Mfr Qty Serials
Oct. 1916 OAW 100 C.5975-6074/16
Oct. 1916 Rol 100 C.6825-6924/16
Oct. 1916 BFW 50 C.7725-7774/16
1916 Li 50 C.8303-8352/16
Nov. 1916 OAW 100 C.9206-9305/16
Albatros C.X prototype. It was flown by 4 October 1916 and passed its final load test on 21 November. Production C.X aircraft had an airfoil radiator in place of the ear radiators and also had ailerons on all four wings instead of just the upper wings.
Albatros C.X(Bay) C.7760/16. Formerly of FliegerAbteilung 209 whose unit insignia it wears, it was photographed at Adlershof while being used by a Bavarian officer as his transport. The camouflage colors and pattern are speculative.
Albatros C.X(Bay) C.7760/16 of FliegerAbteilung 209
Albatros C.X(OAW) 9244/16 flown by Lt. Hugo Geiger and Lt. Theodor Rein of Flieger Abteilung 46b in mid 1917. The wings and tailplane are shown with plain under surfaces but they may have been painted blue.
Albatros C.X(OAW) C.9289/16 of FliegerAbteilung 19. Flown by Flieger Hans Boehme and Lt. Johannes Wollenhaupt, it was brought down on 12 July 1917 by Capt. Webb of 70 Sqdn.The camouflage was described as pink fading to dark gray upper surfaces and white lower surfaces to the wings, likely applied at the unit.
Albatros C.X(OAW) unit unknown painted in an overall light color for high-altitude photoreconnaissance, 1917. No serial visible.
Albatros C.X(Rol) unit unknown, painted in standard Roland color scheme, no serial visible, 1917.
Albatros C.X 5992/16 of the Dutch Air Service in late summer of 1917.This aircraft was interned on 28 August 1917; the original unit is unknown but was likely a training unit.
Albatros C.X 4.1 (ex-9259/16) of the Polish Air Service, 1919.
Albatros C.X 4.9 of 4 Eskadry, Polish Air Service, 1919.
Albatros C.X in post-war service with the Polish Air Service converted to a flying ambulance with hinged panel on the port side with view ports.
The Albatros C.X prototype retained the ear radiators of the earlier C.VII combined with the new, more powerful 260 hp Mercedes D.IVa engine. Like the preceding C.VII, prototypes had ailerons on the upper wings only.
Another view of the Albatros C.X prototype at Johannisthal with the airship hangar in the background. The prototype C.X had ear radiators like the C.VII, making it very difficult to distinguish between the two types. The lower wingtips were rounded but did not yet have the ailerons used by production aircraft. The C.X was larger than the C.VII and had a bigger wing. Built-up box spars were used due to a shortage of large, high-quality wood.
An Albatros C.X prototype.The prototype C.X had ear radiators and ailerons on the upper wing only like the C.VII.
Albatros C.X 9318/16 was a prototype as shown by its ear radiator. Its serial is not in any production series; however, it is near serials of C.XII prototypes 9312-9314/18. Serials of the other C.X prototypes are unknown but are likely in this sequence.
Albatros C.X(Rol) 6905/16 at a training unit; trainers usually lost their spinners as illustrated here.
Albatros C.X(Rol) at a training unit. No spinner is fitted.
Albatros C.X(Bay) 7760/16 at Adlershof. Although wearing the unit insignia of FliegerAbteilung (A) 209, it was flown to Adlershof by a Bavarian air service staff officer on official business.
Albatros C.X(Li) 8306/16 was one of the first C.X aircraft built under license by Linke-Hofmann. Intended for aircraft training, the aircraft built by Linke-Hofmann had full operational equipment.
Albatros C.X(Li) 8306/16 at the Linke-Hofmann factory in Breslau.
Albatros C.X(Li) 8322/16.
Albatros C.X(OAW) 9244/16 that served with FliegerAbteilung 46b at Marrimbois Ferme. Lt. Hugo Geiger was the pilot and the lightning bolt was his personal insignia; the observer was Lt. Theodor Rein. The hatch for installation of a long focal-length camera is behind the observer's cockpit.
Albatros C.X(OAW) 9244/16 that served with FliegerAbteilung 46b at Marrimbois Ferme. Lt. Hugo Geiger was the pilot and the lightning bolt was his personal insignia; the observer was Lt. Theodor Rein. The camera is installed and can be seen protruding above the top of the fuselage. (Below photo courtesy Bruno Schmaling)
Crewmen Lt. Krohl and Lt. Kerp pose with their Albatros C.X(OAW) 9252/16 that served with FliegerAbteilung 46b at Marrimbois Ferme.The hatch for installation of a long focal-length camera is behind the observer's cockpit. Bullet holes in the tail and rear fuselage have circular patches painted with 'smiley faces' except the 'smiles' were straight, not curved.
Albatros C.X(OAW) 9289/16 of FliegerAbteilung 18 was brought down by Capt. Webb of No.70 Squadron RFC on 12 July 1917. Observer Lt. Johannes Wollenhaupt was taken POW and the pilot, Flieger Hans Boehme died of his wounds on the 13th. It was given captured German aircraft number G 51 by the British. These photographs show it without its propeller. This aircraft had no individual or unit markings to distinguish it. However, the report stated "It was painted pink in front shading off to a service grey in the rear portion... planes are painted dark grey on top and white underneath." This is an interesting camouflage scheme not recorded elsewhere and was likely applied at the unit.
An unidentified Albatros C.X displays its clean lines. As already noted, Albatros is notorious among historians for omitting the serial number required by Idflieg, often making individual aircraft, like this one, impossible to identify.
Albatros C.X of FliegerAbteilung (A) 290. The radiator cooling water flows through the forward left cabane strut, a design intended to minimize drag. However, this led to leakage problems and was soon banned by Idflieg. (Courtesy Bruno Schmaling)
Unidentified Albatros C.X(OAW) with unknown crew shows the streamlined shape of this mediocre aircraft.
Albatros C.X of FliegerAbteilung (A) 290 in dark finish. (Courtesy Bruno Schmaling)
Albatros C.XII 1057/17 was flown by pilot Lt. Hugo Geiger and observer Lt. Theodor Rein of FliegerAbteilung 46b. The red lightning bolt was Geiger's personal marking. The covered hatch behind the observer is for installation of a long focal-length camera. FA 46b flew from Marinbois Ferme in the late spring and summer of 1917 while equipped with the Albatros C.X (seen taxiing here) and C.XII. Geiger's C.XII 1057/17 was lost on 23 July 1917; engine failure caused an emergency landing that broke the fuselage in two, a common problem with the C.XII.
This unidentified Albatros C.X is darker colored. It has the factory three-color camouflage on their upper wing surfaces.
A camera is loaded aboard an unidentified Albatros C.X of FliegerAbteilung 210. Albatros is notorious among historians for omitting the serial number required by Idflieg, often making individual aircraft impossible to identify.
Pleasing view of an unidentified Albatros C.X devoid of unique markings. The varnished wood fuselage is notable.
Albatros C.X(Rol) photographed on 15 June 1917 in front of the automobile exhibition hall in Berlin that Roland was moved to after the Roland factory at Adlershof was destroyed by fire on 6 September 1916. The thick national insignia were typical of Roland and were also seen on Roland-built Pfalz D.III fighters.
An Albatros C.X assigned to FliegerAbteilung (A) 267. (Courtesy Bruno Schmaling)
The powerful Albatros C.X. This aircraft has markings on its spinner and is in a darker finish than that used for most aircraft of this type.
Albatros C.X(Bay) of FliegerAbteilung 2. The radiator cooling water flows through the forward left cabane strut, a design intended to minimize drag. However, this led to leakage problems and was soon banned by Idflieg.
Powered by the 260 hp Mercedes D.IVa engine, the Albatros C.X was a larger, more powerful development of the C.VII. The ear radiators of the C.VII were used on the C.X prototype, but these had been troublesome and production C.X machines used an airfoil radiator in the upper wing.
Albatros C.X of FliegerAbteilung (A) 290 with bomb racks installed under the fuselage. (Courtesy Bruno Schmaling)
This Albatros C.X was photographed with a broken propeller, missing spinner, and missing lower cowling; perhaps the result of a nose-over on landing?
Под фюзеляжем самолета Альбатрос С X крепились бомбодержатели для небольших авиабомб
C.X undercarriage - the claw brake bears the Linke Hoffmann logo and the serial C.8307/17 note bomb cradles and antennae weight.
Albatros C.X flying over the Eastern Front shows its planform that closely resembled the earlier C.VII but differed by the longer span wings with rounded wingtips on the lower wings. The airfoil radiator was also an identification feature.
Albatros C.X(Rol) 6831/16 was photographed on 16 March 1918 with the new national insignia on fuselage and tail but with the original insignia on the wings. This aircraft had been converted to use the 220 hp Mercedes D.IV eight-cylinder engine. In the process it lost its spinner and gained a new, streamlined metal engine cowling giving it a distinctively different look from the front. The rubber shortage has affected the aircraft by eliminating regular tires. The 260 hp Mercedes D.IVa engine used by the C.X and C.XII was in demand for other operational types and some of the C.X and C.XII aircraft used for training had their D.IVa engines replaced by the D.IV straight-eight. The last new aircraft using the D.IV engine, the rare Lubeck-Travemunde F.2, was delivered in February 1918 and other types using this rare engine had essentially disappeared from operational service, making limited numbers of the D.IV engine available.
Albatros C.X 5992/16 was interned in the Netherlands on 28 August 1917. It displays its three-color camouflage on the upper wing surfaces, but the German insignia has been painted over with a Dutch orange insignia. The ailerons on all four wings are clearly shown.This was the production configuration of the C.X, improving its roll rate.
Another view of Albatros C.X in Polish service, Polish serial number CWL 4.9 of 4 Eskadry, 1919. The Polish multicolor camouflage scheme shows up well.
Postwar Albatros C.X in Polish service; Polish CWL Number 4.9 of 4 Eskadry in 1919.
Postwar Albatros C.X in Polish service, Polish serial number CWL 4.3 of 4 Eskadry, 1919. A teddy bear mascot has been attached to the interplane bracing wires.
Albatros C.X Polish serial number 4.14 displays the Polish Eagle insignia aft of its Polish national insignia.
Albatros C.X in postwar Polish service, Polish serial number 4.18, displays its three-color camouflage on the upper surfaces of its wings.
Another view of Polish Albatros C.X serial number 4.18 after its landing accident.
Postwar the new Polish air service inherited a number of Albatros C.X aircraft. Here C.X 9259/16, Polish number 4.1, has suffered a rough landing in 1919.
This Albatros C.X in Polish service suffered a severe crash.
The Polish air service modified this Albatros C.X as an air ambulance. It carries red crosses on wings and rudder to indicate its ambulance role and the fuselage has been modified to carry a patient on a stretcher.
Additional view of the Albatros C.X the Polish air service modified into an air ambulance. The view shows its ability to carry a patient on a stretcher
Additional view of the Albatros C.X the Polish air service modified into an air ambulance. The view shows structural details of the modified fuselage and an alternate payload.
Приборное оборудование пилотской кабины С X было минимальным, однако кресло обшивалось кожей
Pilot's cockpit of an Albatros C.X. (Peter M. Grosz Collection/SDTB)
An Albatros C.X of FliegerAbteilung 46b was downed by French Escadrille 26 on 3 June 1917. Here pilot Lt. Paul Werner and observer Lt. Emil Kittel pose with their victors. They are clearly disgruntled, and they are also alive and appear uninjured. Perhaps they later came to appreciate they experienced a far better fate than awaited many aviators.
Crashed Albatros C.X(Rol) of an unknown unit. The presence of youngsters in the photo may indicate the location was in Germany, suggesting a training unit.
Albatros C.XII

  The Albatros C.XI was apparently not built, the next Albatros two-seater being the C.XII. The C.XII was a refined derivative of the C.X whose development began in December 1916. The C.XII retained the engine, wings, and structural technology of the C.X combined with a more refined fuselage of more streamlined shape. A look at the Albatros C.VIIIN shows a fuselage and tail very similar to the C.XII, and the C.XII fuselage apparently was derived from the C.VIIIN, with longer nose to accommodate the larger engine and a longer tail to balance it. This was similar to the process used to develop the D.V fighter from the D.III and was similarly ineffective. The empty weight of the C.XII was reduced from the 1,088 kg of the C.X to 1,020 kg, a useful but not dramatic change that made little impact on performance.
  Like the C.X, the C.XII was equipped with the standard two-seater armament of a fixed gun for the pilot and flexible gun for the observer. Cameras and wireless could be installed, and the C.XII could also carry light bombs. The streamlined fuselage had less keel surface so a larger vertical tail supplemented with a fin under the tail were used for stability. The rounded fuselage required longer landing gear legs and the track was increased to 2.20 meters from the 1.95 meters of the C.X for more stability during ground handling. The C.XII cabane strut arrangement was significantly different from that of the C.X and, along with the presence of the under-fuselage fin, is a useful recognition feature distinguishing the two types.
  One of the C.XII prototypes, C.9314/16, was retrofitted with an eight-cylinder Mercedes D.IV engine, perhaps to evaluate using these engines in C.XII training machines.
  The first batch of 300 C.XII aircraft was ordered from Albatros in January, 1917, before the type test had been performed, which began on 1 March. Albatros started delivering C.XII aircraft in May and OAW and BFW-built C.XII deliveries began in June 1917.
  In service the elegant C.XII proved little faster than the C.X. Climb, ceiling, maneuverability, and handling were likely somewhat better due to the C.XII's reduced weight, although this is not reflected in the specifications. This was true of the Johannisthal-built aircraft but OAW-built aircraft proved heavier than those built at Johannisthal, and this extra weight reduced their climb and ceiling to that of the C.X. Despite having the same engine as the Rumpler C.IV and a nearly identical empty weight, the Rumpler was more maneuverable with better handling and slightly faster with far superior climb and ceiling.
  Albatros had slowly evolved their designs from the C.VII through C.X to C.XII. In contrast, Rumpler had taken a bold new approach with their 200 hp C.III and endured major development issues with that aircraft. This paid of when availability of the 260 hp Mercedes enabled the Rumpler C.IV based on the C.III airframe developed with such difficulty. Now Rumpler had a much more efficient wing cellule than Albatros that accounted for the performance difference.
  In service the C.XII suffered serious radiator leakage problems. The radiator housing was a stressed part of the cabane structure and flight loads were transmitted to the radiator housing, causing the soldered seams to leak. By itself this restricted flight duration and required constant repairs.
  Despite its disappointing performance, the C.XII was built in significant numbers and saw service on both the Western and Eastern Fronts. Combat experience soon revealed the C.XII was too vulnerable for long-range reconnaissance missions on the Western Front. First it was relegated to general-purpose, shorter-range reconnaissance duties, then it was removed from active service there, although it continued in service on the less demanding Eastern Front into 1918. Operational service also revealed the streamlined fuselage of the C.XII was not as robust as earlier Albatros C-types and many C.XII aircraft were destroyed in landing accidents, a heavy landing often resulting in the fuselage being broken in two - or even into three pieces.
  Once removed from the front the C.XII was used for training duties, where together with the C.X it continued to demonstrate more difficult handling qualities than earlier Albatros C-types.


Albatros C-Type Specifications
Albatros C.XII Albatros C.XII(OAW) Albatros C.XIII Albatros C.XIV Albatros C.XV
Engine 260 hp Mercedes D.IVa 260 hp Mercedes D.IVa 160 hp Mercedes D.III 220 hp Benz Bz.IVa 220 hp Benz Bz.IVa
Span, Upper 14.37 m 14.24 m 10.00 m 10.4 m 11.8 m
Span, Lower 13.01 m 12.92 m - - -
Chord, Upper 1.8 m 1.8 m - - -
Chord, Lower 1.6 m 1.6 m - - -
Gap 1.73 m (inboard) 1.80 m (outboard) 1.73 m (inboard) 1.80 m (outboard) - - -
Wing Area 42.7 m2 42.7 m2 - - -
Wing Dihedral 3° (upper), 2.5° (lower) 3° (upper), 2.5° (lower) - - -
Length 8.85 m 8.85 m 7.8 m 6.9 m 7.47 m
Height 3.40 m 3.40 m 2.71 m - 3.33 m
Empty Weight 1,020-1,115 kg 1,040-1,115 kg 700 kg 950 kg 859 kg
Loaded Weight 1,638-1,733 kg 1,658-1,733 kg 1,060 kg 1,385 kg 1,320 kg
Maximum Speed 175 km/h 175-180 km/h 165 km/h - 165 km/h
Climb to 1,000m 5 minutes 5 minutes 4 minutes - 3.4 minutes
Climb to 2,000m 11 minutes 11 minutes - - -
Climb to 3,000m 19 minutes 19 minutes - - -
Climb to 4,000m 30 minutes 30 minutes - - -
Climb to 5,000m 45 minutes 45 minutes 47 minutes - -
Climb to 6,000m - - - - 47 minutes
Duration 314 hours - 2.5 hours 3.5 hours 3 hours


Albatros C.XII Production Orders
Order Date Mfr Qty Serials
Dec. 1916 Alb 3 C.9312-9314/16 (1)
Jan. 1917 Alb 150 C.1050-1199/17 (2)
Jan. 1917 OAW 150 C.1200-1349/17 (3)
Feb. 1917 BFW 200 (4) C.1800-1999/17
March 1917 Li 25 (5) C.2350-2374/17
Notes: 1. Prototypes. 2. No data from C.l 150/17 on. 3. All delivered. 4. Last 20 aircraft (1980-1999/17) cancelled. 5. Order cancelled. Total 528 ordered, 483 completed, 433 delivered.
Albatros C.XII C.9313/16, one of three prototypes, crashed 10 June 1917, killing pilot Lt. Lindermann and badly injuring observer Lt. Stier at Johannisthal Aerodrome.
Albatros C.XII C.1057/17, Lt. Hugo Geiger and Lt. Theodor Rein, FliegerAbteilung 46b, Marimbois Ferme Aerodrome, summer 1917. The lightning bolt was Geiger's personal insignia.
Albatros C.XII C.1072/17, FliegerAbteilung (A) 291b, summer 1917. The color of the diamond is speculative.
Albatros C.XII C.1109/17, Flieger Abteilung (A) 218, Russian Front, 1917.
Albatros C.XII(Bay) C.1822/17, presumably an unknown training unit, 1917.
Albatros C.XII(Bay) C.1866/17, unknown training unit, 1918.
Albatros C.XII of the Polish Air Service postwar.
One of three C.XII prototypes at Johannisthal. The cabane structure is redesigned from the C.X and the horizontal stabilizer is wider span; coupled with the taller tail, a strut was needed for strength. The reduced keel area of the streamlined rear fuselage required an under-fuselage fin to be added in addition to a larger vertical tail.
One of three C.XII prototypes at Johannisthal.This appears to be 9313/16 crashed fatally by Lt. Lindemann. The family resemblance to the famous D.V fighter is clearly evident. The D.V was built in huge numbers because for many months it was the best German fighter despite its inferiority to the latest Allied aircraft. However, the graceful C.XII is little known because it was over-shadowed by the Rumpler C.IV family that gave such exceptional service.
Prototype C.XII 9313/16 displays its camouflage scheme; the contrast between the dark green and brown finish is more visible in this view. The stub wing built into the lower fuselage for attachment of the lower wing is easily seen. Developed at the same time as the D.V fighter, the same process of evolutionary refinement was used for both designs.
C.XII 9313/16 was the second of three prototypes (9312-9314/16). The limited contrast between the dark green and brown paint makes it easy to confuse its three-color camouflage scheme for a two-color scheme.
The chocks are removed and ground crew hold back prototype C.XII 9313/16 as it readies for takeoff with pilot Lt. Lindemann and observer Lt. Stier. "Versuchs-Flugzeug" (test aircraft) is stenciled below the observer's cockpit.
A C.XII prototype in a hangar at Alt-Auz Flugplatz, Latvia. Windhoffer, who managed the airborne cameras for reconnaissance there, is in the light uniform.
On 10 June 1917 C.XII 9313/16 crashed after take off, killing Lt. Lindemann and badly injuring Lt. Stier after Lindemann lost control during a steep turn at low altitude.
Like the Albatros C.X, the Albatros C.XII was tested with an eight-cylinder Mercedes D.IV, almost certainly to evaluate its suitability to power C.XII trainers. Here the third C.XII prototype, 9314/16, is shown fitted with a Mercedes D.IV in mid-late 1918. Like the earlier C.X conversion, the spinner was eliminated and the engine cowling was replaced with a new, streamlined metal cowl. The rubber shortage has affected this aircraft by eliminating rubber tires; that and the number '6' on the fuselage indicate training use. The Mercedes D.IV and D.IVa were nearly the same size and weight and of similar power, making the conversion straight-forward. Use of the obsolescent D.IV in some C.X and C.XII aircraft used for training freed up supply of the 260 hp Mercedes D.IVa engine urgently needed for priority operational types.
Albatros C.XII 1057/17 was flown by pilot Lt. Hugo Geiger and observer Lt. Theodor Rein of FliegerAbteilung 46b. The red lightning bolt was Geiger's personal marking. The covered hatch behind the observer is for installation of a long focal-length camera. FA 46b flew from Marinbois Ferme in the late spring and summer of 1917 while equipped with the Albatros C.X and C.XII. Geiger's C.XII 1057/17 was lost on 23 July 1917; engine failure caused an emergency landing that broke the fuselage in two, a common problem with the C.XII.
Lt. Hugo Geiger in front of his Albatros C.XII assigned to FliegerAbteilung 46b. (Courtesy Bruno Schmaling)
Albatros C.XII 1057/17 was flown by pilot Lt. Hugo Geiger and observer Lt. Theodor Rein of FliegerAbteilung 46b. The red lightning bolt was Geiger's personal marking. The covered hatch behind the observer is for installation of a long focal-length camera. FA 46b flew from Marinbois Ferme in the late spring and summer of 1917 while equipped with the Albatros C.X (seen taxiing here) and C.XII. Geiger's C.XII 1057/17 was lost on 23 July 1917; engine failure caused an emergency landing that broke the fuselage in two, a common problem with the C.XII.
C.XII 1069/17 in front of the Zeppelin hangar at Johannisthal awaiting shipment to an operational unit.
An unarmed Albatros C.XII 1072/17 taxies for takeoff. Marked with a white '7' on a dark diamond or route, this style of white numeral on a dark diamond was employed as a unit marking by Bavarian FliegerAbteilung (A) 291.
C.XII 1079/17 and two other C.XII aircraft at Armee Flugpark 3 (AFP 3) ready to be delivered to operational units.
Albatros C.XII C.1085/17 in its hangar.The glossy finish reflects the light used to take the photos. The magnetic compass in the root of the lower right wing is an interesting detail.
The Albatros C.XII was the final evolution of the traditional Albatros C-type designs. Powered by a 260 hp Mercedes D.IVa engine like its C.X ancestor, it was undoubtedly one of the most elegant designs of the time. If only its performance had lived up to its appearance!
The Albatros C XII long range reconnaissance machine made its debut in the summer of 1917 and initial service deliveries commenced towards the end of that year. Power was provided by a 260hp Mercedes D IVa, giving the aircraft a top level speed of 109mph at sea level. The service ceiling for the C XII was cited as 16,400 feet. The standard armament of single fixed and flexible 7.92mm guns was carried. This is the prototype, C1096/17. Albatros, plus three sub-contracting companies were involved in producing these machines, but quite how many is unknown / "Альбатрос" C-XII - лучший германский воздушный разведчик Первой мировой войны
Albatros C.XII 1100/17 of Flieger Abteilung 31 being shown to the staff of the 15th Infantry Division by its proud owners. The photo was taken in the summer of 1917 in Russia, and the C.XII remained in use there until the end of hostilities on the Russian Front.
Albatros C.XII C.1100/17 newly assigned to FliegerAbteilung 31 on the Russian Front.
The aircrew tries on an Albatros C.XII C.1102/17 at FliegerAbteilung (A) 214.
Albatros C.XII 1109/17 was stationed in Russia, probably with FliegerAbteilung (A) 218. The view shows it carrying two 50 kg PuW bombs under the observer's cockpit, a practice creating an aft center of gravity and reduced stability. The dark patch just in front of the fin is a reinforcement patch to strengthen the rear fuselage, a known weak spot in the C.XII design.
Albatros C.XII 1109/17 was stationed in Russia, probably with FliegerAbteilung (A) 218. The front quarter view shows the under-fuselage bomb racks for 12.5 kg PuW bombs, a panel in front of the cylinder heads, perhaps to improve airflow, and the rounded compass housing under the lower right wing.
At Flieger Ersatz Abteilung 7 at Koln Albatros C.XII 1124/17 is in the middle of the lineup with Albatros C.III(Bay) 6296/17 at left.
C.XII(OAW) 1200/17, the first OAW-built C.XII, photographed at Johannisthal in April/May 1917.
C.XII(OAW) 1200/17 was the first OAW-built C.XII and was photographed at Johannisthal in April or May 1917 being prepared for type testing. The cowling panel has been removed.
OAW-built C.XII 1246/17 in excellent condition. The under-fuselage vents on OAW-built aircraft appear more prominent than on C.XII aircraft built by the Johannisthal factory.
Albatros C.XII(Bay) 1801/17 was the second production aircraft in a batch of 200 ordered from BFW in February 1917 and was the type-test aircraft. BFW-built aircraft had the national insignia completely on the rudder; on Albatros-built aircraft the insignia overlapped onto the fin. BFW also used a single piece of metal for each side of the engine cowling. Almost all C.XII aircraft were built with bomb racks for 12.5 kg PuW bombs, a clear indication that Idflieg recognized early during evaluation that the Rumpler C.IV was the superior aircraft for long-range reconnaissance.
Albatros C.XII(Bay) 1801/17 was the second production aircraft in a batch of 200 ordered from BFW in February 1917 and was the type-test aircraft.
C.XII(Bay) 1802/17 was also involved in type-testing BFW-built aircraft. The wood-working quality is notable.
C.XII(Bay) 1831/17 illustrates the BFW-built aircraft. Stencilling on the struts clearly showed where each strut fit.
Albatros C.XII(Bay) C.1864/17 of Flieger-Abteilung (A) 291b getting ready for a mission. The claw brake has been removed.
C.XII (Bay) 1866/17 was serving as a trainer in 1918 as indicated by the missing spinner. A wheel cover is also missing and the serial number is shown prominently in two adjacent locations.
Albatros C.XII(Bay) 1899/17 in a lineup of C.XII aircraft of FliegerAbteilung (A) 214 during the winter of 1917/1918 at Daudsewas (Daudzeva), Latvia.
C.XII (Bay) 1918/17 is serving as the mail plane on the Eastern Front and its rear cockpit has been covered over to hold bags of mail. The beautiful wood-working of the fuselage shows well.
C.XII(Bay) 1925/17 readies for takeoff with two Albatros C.IIIs behind it. This is a training unit whose name is painted on the fuselage behind the cross on the fuselage, but is not quite legible.
Two C.XII(Bay) training machines, with 1942/17 in front. The missing propeller spinner and mud guards over the wheels, common modifications on trainers, were not used on combat aircraft.
Major Friedrich Stempel, commander of all Bavarian FEA units, used immaculate C.XII (Bay) 1972/17 as his personal transport. Above the small Bavarian crest on the fuselage was the inscription "Kommandeur der Bayerischen Flieger-Ersatz-Truppen-Fliegerstation Schleissheim bie Munchen, Konigreich Bayern."
C.XII(Bay) 1972/17 in 1918. The inscription above the small Bavarian crest on the fuselage has been painted over and it wears wooden wheels. Its worn condition indicates it now works for a living. Airfield conditions at permanent air bases were very different from conditions at the front.
A new Albatros C.XII photographed at the Fokker factory airfield. Fokker was not involved with C.XII production so there was some other reason for the visit. The C.XII has a recording altimeter and anemometer airspeed indicator for test purposes.
Albatros C.XII assigned to Flieger Ersatz Abteilung 4 at Posen. (Courtesy Bruno Schmaling)
This C.XII trainer sports an auxiliary radiator on the front cabane strut as well as mud flaps and no spinner.
Auxiliary radiator fitted to a C.XII used for training.
Damaged spinner shows how thin the metal was.
A C.XII(Bay) at right heads a lineup of FliegerAbteilung (A) 291b; the other aircraft are DFW C.Vs. Many Bavarian units had C.XIIs.
At an unidentified training unit a C.XII(Bay) rests in the left foreground with another behind it. From center are Albatros C.I 1535/15, an Albatros B.II, an AEG G.IV, and a DFW C.V.
Aircraft in training service seldom stayed pristine for long. This C.XII has had major repairs to its upper wing after an accident, and mud flaps have been fitted, a drag-producing device not used on aircraft at the front. Use of a block radiator above the wing in place of the streamlined airfoil radiator that was more subject to leaks is a final insult. This C.XII served at Flieger Ersatz Abteilung 14.
An unidentified Albatros C.XII(OAW) near Minsk wears 1918 insignia. The observer waves at the photo aircraft, probably an aircraft of the same unit.
Albatros C.XII(Bay) aircraft in post-war service with the new Polish air service
Albatros C.XII (Bay) aircraft in post-war service with the new Polish air service
Passing the Dachshund to the pilot of an Albatros C.XII(Bay); the lack of wheel covers is consistent with the location at a training unit.
Albatros C.XII assigned to FliegerAbteilung (A) 280. (Courtesy Bruno Schmaling)
Three aviators pose with an immaculate, unidentified C.XII(Bay) in the background. A small tank is attached above the radiator, perhaps for a maintenance procedure.
The aircrew at right and ground crew at left pose in front of an Albatros C.XII before an operational mission. The C.XII was built by Albatros as confirmed by the 1020 kg empty weight stencilled on the fuselage.
Albatros C.XII assigned to FliegerAbteilung (A) 291; the new aircraft is getting a review. (Courtesy Bruno Schmaling)
An unidentified Albatros C.XIl(Bay) is the backdrop for this photo taken at FliegerAbteilung (A) 213.
An Albatros C.XII(Bay) serves as a backdrop for a group photo.
Ski-equipped C.XII captured by Bolshevik forces post-war; a star can be faintly seen on the rudder.
Albatros C.XIl(Bay) after a bad landing at a training unit.
The beautifully-streamlined fuselage of the C.XII was not as robust as the chunkier C.X, and many C.XIl aircraft were destroyed in operational accidents, particularly landing accidents. These photos illustrate the problem. A C.XII(Bay) trainer has broken in half after taxiing over a hole that the tail fell in. Mud flaps and no spinner confirm its trainer status.
C.XII(Bay) 1861/17 of FA (A) 291b was broken in half in a rough landing by Flieger Otto Gobel.
C.XII(Bay) 1822/17 broken in half in a rough landing.The insignia presentation is non-standard.
This unidentified C.XII(Bay) broke its back after flipping over on landing.
Albatros C.XII of Flieger-Abteilung (A) 276 after a crash.The fragile fuselage has broken in half.
C.XII(OAW) 1210/17 ran into a ditch and broke into three pieces.The accident occurred near Minsk in early 1918.
Albatros C.XIII

  After the failure of the Albatros C.IX to reach production for the light C-type role, Albatros created another design to the same Idflieg specification. The resulting C.XIII, had a single-bay configuration like the C.IX and, obviously based on the Albatros D.V fighter, was intended for the CL-role. A compact, streamlined aircraft, it was powered by the same 160 hp Mercedes D.III used in the D.V fighter and earlier C.IX prototype. The cockpits were very close for crew coordination. Unfortunately, the C.XIII retained the single-spar lower wing already proved structurally unsatisfactory in the Albatros D.V. Armament was the standard German two-seater fit of a fixed Spandau machine gun for the pilot and a flexible Parabellum machine gun for the observer.
  Normally Idflieg would order three examples of a new prototype. However, only a single C.XIII was apparently built.
  Albatros' second attempt at a light C-type, the C.XIII, was more convincing than its C.IX. It was more refined, with no protrusions, and was much lighter than the C.IX or Hannover. It looked aggressive, and, except for high-altitude climb rate, its performance matched the Hannover. However, to achieve its light weight the C.XIII retained the single-spar lower wing of the D.V, so undoubtedly inherited its structural weakness, whereas the Hannover was a very robust design. Furthermore, the C.XIII may not have matched the Hannover's excellent maneuverability. With a more robust two-spar lower wing like that of the Pfalz D.III, the C.XIII might have been competitive.


The excellent Hannover CL.II was placed in production. It had better speed and climb than the Albatros C.IX and was also noted for its maneuverability, something the C.IX was unlikely to have matched. The Albatros C.XIII fared better in comparison but had a single-spar lower wing that caused structural problems in Albatros fighters.
Comparison of Albatros C.IX & C.XIII to Hannover CL.II
Albatros C.IX Albatros C.XIII Hannover CL.II
Engine: 160 hp Mercedes D.III 160 hp Mercedes D.III 180 hp Argus As.Ill
Wing Span 10.4 m (34.1 ft.) 10.0 m (32.8 ft.) 11.95 m (39.2 ft.)
Length 8.22 m (27.0ft.) 7.8 m (25.6 ft.) 7.8 m (25.6 ft.)
Empty Weight 790 kg (1,742 lb.) 700 kg (1,543 lb.) 773 kg (1,704 lb.)
Loaded Weight 1,150 kg (2,535 lb.) 1,060 kg (2,337 lb.) 1,133 kg (2,498 lb.)
Maximum Speed 155 km/h (97 mph) 165 km/h (103 mph) 165 km/h (103 mph)
Climb to 1000 m 5 min. 4 min. 4 min.
Climb to 4000 m 30 min. - -
Climb to 5000 m - 47 min. 32 min.
Armament: 1 flexible machine gun & 1 fixed machine gun 1 flexible machine gun & 1 fixed machine gun 1 flexible machine gun & 1 fixed machine gun


Albatros C-Type Specifications
Albatros C.XII Albatros C.XII(OAW) Albatros C.XIII Albatros C.XIV Albatros C.XV
Engine 260 hp Mercedes D.IVa 260 hp Mercedes D.IVa 160 hp Mercedes D.III 220 hp Benz Bz.IVa 220 hp Benz Bz.IVa
Span, Upper 14.37 m 14.24 m 10.00 m 10.4 m 11.8 m
Span, Lower 13.01 m 12.92 m - - -
Chord, Upper 1.8 m 1.8 m - - -
Chord, Lower 1.6 m 1.6 m - - -
Gap 1.73 m (inboard) 1.80 m (outboard) 1.73 m (inboard) 1.80 m (outboard) - - -
Wing Area 42.7 m2 42.7 m2 - - -
Wing Dihedral 3° (upper), 2.5° (lower) 3° (upper), 2.5° (lower) - - -
Length 8.85 m 8.85 m 7.8 m 6.9 m 7.47 m
Height 3.40 m 3.40 m 2.71 m - 3.33 m
Empty Weight 1,020-1,115 kg 1,040-1,115 kg 700 kg 950 kg 859 kg
Loaded Weight 1,638-1,733 kg 1,658-1,733 kg 1,060 kg 1,385 kg 1,320 kg
Maximum Speed 175 km/h 175-180 km/h 165 km/h - 165 km/h
Climb to 1,000m 5 minutes 5 minutes 4 minutes - 3.4 minutes
Climb to 2,000m 11 minutes 11 minutes - - -
Climb to 3,000m 19 minutes 19 minutes - - -
Climb to 4,000m 30 minutes 30 minutes - - -
Climb to 5,000m 45 minutes 45 minutes 47 minutes - -
Climb to 6,000m - - - - 47 minutes
Duration 314 hours - 2.5 hours 3.5 hours 3 hours
Albatros C.XIII prototype.
Colorized photo of the Albatros C.XIII prototype. The streamlined C.XIII was obviously derived from the Albatros D.V fighter. It was much lighter and more compact than the earlier C.IX and was a more convincing design. Although its performance matched the competing Hannover CL.II, it may not have matched the Hannover's excellent maneuverability. Moreover, limited by its single-spar lower wing that had already suffered structural failures in the Albatros D.V, the C.XIII clearly lacked the Hannover's robustness, an essential quality for a successful combat aircraft.
Albatros C.XIII
Albatros C.XIII
Albatros C.XIII
Albatros C.IX in center of a lineup, probably photographed at FliegerAbteilung 12 in February 1918.
The Albatros C.IX was a compact design for a two-seat fighter for protection and light ground attack duties. Its comparative size vis a vis the Albatros D.V (left) is well shown. With only three C.IXs built, this example is the only one to see frontline service. Note the lengthened flame-damping exhaust indicating possible nighttime use.
Albatros C.XIV

  After the relative failure of the large, elegant C.XII Albatros reconsidered their design direction for two-seat reconnaissance planes. The compact C.XIV was the result.
  Powered by a 220 hp Benz Bz.IVa engine, the C.XIV had little of the elegance of the larger C.XII and was the first Albatros aircraft with staggered wings, a feature intended to improve the field of view for the crew.
  The C.XIV remained a prototype but had sufficient promise that it was developed into the C.XV reconnaissance aircraft, the last Albatros wartime two-seater to reach production.


Albatros C.XV

  A redesign of the compact C.XIV prototype led to the production C.XV. Like the C.XIV, the C.XV was powered by a 220 hp Benz Bz.IVa engine. The C.XV closely followed the overall design of the C.XIV; however, a number of improvements were made to the design to improve performance and handling.
  The C.XV was slightly larger than the C.XIV, but despite that was lighter, upgrading performance and maneuverability. To further improve handling and maneuverability, the ailerons were aerodynamically balanced, which reduced the force the pilot need to exert on the ailerons.
  The crew members were placed close together to enable them to better coordinate during flight. To improve the pilot's field of view the upper wing cutout for the C.XV was enlarged compared to that of the C.XIV. These refinements of the basic C.XIV design created a fine, general-purpose reconnaissance aircraft that became the last Albatros wartime two-seater to reach production.
  Few C.XV aircraft had reached the front before the Armistice, but the type went on to a successful post-war career both in civil and military use. Poland received 18, mostly new, Albatros C.XV biplanes obtained by Capt. William's mission in Gdansk. The aircraft were collected at Poznan-Lawica airfield and delivered to CWL and CSL for assembly. The first (CWL refurbished 23.1) was delivered to the 16th EW but crashed on 12 August 1920, soon after leaving the Warszawa-Mokotow airfield. It went into a spin from about 100 m and did not recover, the crew being killed in the crash. Two were reported to have served with the 12 EW against actions against Budyonny's cavalry. The type also served with the 8, 14, and 16 EW and the 21 EN, participating in the Battle of Niemen, actions in Groodno and Lida. After the war they were quickly dropped from frontline service and used mainly for training. The last C.XV was in service at Grudziadz until November 1921. One, marked D.414, served with the 21st Assault Squadron. The C.XV remained in service till at least 1926.
  Lithuania operated one, serial N8, until at least 1927, when it appeared in a fish scale finish.
  The German forces retreating from the Baltic in 1918 left behind a number of aircraft. From these Latvia acquired C.XV 7818/18, however it was considered too badly damaged to repair.
  In 1922, the Nationalist Forces in Turkey sent Saffet Arikan and Nuri Conker to Germany to purchase military aircraft. 21 Albatros C.XV biplanes were obtained, however it was difficult to ship them to Turkey due to the opposition and the Allied occupying forces. The aircraft were shipped via train to Russia and from thereby ship to Samsun, a Nationalist Turkish harbour on the Black Sea. On 29 July 1922, Capt. Sadettin was sent with a pilot, technician, and a mechanic to prepare as many aircraft as possible and get them to Ankara. Only two Albatros C.XV machines were able to be erected from the remains of those shipped.
  These two Albatros reconnaissance machines took part in the Turkish Great Offensive that commenced on 26 August 1922. Their service life was brief, being struck off in 1923.
  A photograph shows the wreck of a crashed C.XV in the markings of the Count Keller Air Detachment of the Western White Russian Army. The aircraft is thought to have served in the Riga, Latvia, theatre, circa 1919.
  The Kingdom of Albania apparently received five Albatros L.45, the C.XV civilian conversion. A number of C.XV biplanes entered the German civil register as Albatros L.47 civil conversions. There was also an L.47b, but the difference in this sub-type is unknown. D-109, D-140, D-179 , D-185, D-186, D-300, D-407 and D-586 are recorded as C.XV biplanes in different references. (Ries gives D-109 as a Rumpler D.I and D-140 as an Alb. C.III. D-179 is also recorded as Fokker D.VII 7609/18 used by the DLR company. D-185 is also recorded as a Sablatnig type and D-407 as a DFLW D VIIIa.)
  Lt. G. Koppen of the Netherlands obtained Albatros C.XV 7838/18 as a civil aircraft with German registration D-407. He intended to fly this machine to the Netherlands East Indies in February 1920, but bureaucratic hurdles could not be surmounted and the flight was not attempted. In 1927 Koppen finally made a flight to Batavia as copilot to KLM pilot G. Frijns in a Fokker VIIa.3m.


Albatros C-Type Specifications
Albatros C.XII Albatros C.XII(OAW) Albatros C.XIII Albatros C.XIV Albatros C.XV
Engine 260 hp Mercedes D.IVa 260 hp Mercedes D.IVa 160 hp Mercedes D.III 220 hp Benz Bz.IVa 220 hp Benz Bz.IVa
Span, Upper 14.37 m 14.24 m 10.00 m 10.4 m 11.8 m
Span, Lower 13.01 m 12.92 m - - -
Chord, Upper 1.8 m 1.8 m - - -
Chord, Lower 1.6 m 1.6 m - - -
Gap 1.73 m (inboard) 1.80 m (outboard) 1.73 m (inboard) 1.80 m (outboard) - - -
Wing Area 42.7 m2 42.7 m2 - - -
Wing Dihedral 3° (upper), 2.5° (lower) 3° (upper), 2.5° (lower) - - -
Length 8.85 m 8.85 m 7.8 m 6.9 m 7.47 m
Height 3.40 m 3.40 m 2.71 m - 3.33 m
Empty Weight 1,020-1,115 kg 1,040-1,115 kg 700 kg 950 kg 859 kg
Loaded Weight 1,638-1,733 kg 1,658-1,733 kg 1,060 kg 1,385 kg 1,320 kg
Maximum Speed 175 km/h 175-180 km/h 165 km/h - 165 km/h
Climb to 1,000m 5 minutes 5 minutes 4 minutes - 3.4 minutes
Climb to 2,000m 11 minutes 11 minutes - - -
Climb to 3,000m 19 minutes 19 minutes - - -
Climb to 4,000m 30 minutes 30 minutes - - -
Climb to 5,000m 45 minutes 45 minutes 47 minutes - -
Climb to 6,000m - - - - 47 minutes
Duration 314 hours - 2.5 hours 3.5 hours 3 hours
Albatros C.XV 7801/18 at Adlershof Aerodrome late 1918
Albatros C.XV of the Polish Air Service, circa 1921
Albatros C.XV of the Turkish Air Service, circa 1922
The Albatros C.XIV prototype represented a new direction in Albatros C-type design.
The Albatros C.XIV prototype shows its compact lines.
The Albatros C.XIV was the first fourth generation Albatros C-type. It was much smaller and more compact than the mediocre C.X and C.XII that proceeded it. The C.XIV remained a prototype, however a slightly larger but lighter development, the C.XV, was put into production. In appearance the C.XV differed in having horn-balanced ailerons. (Peter M. Bowers Collection/The Museum of Flight)
This front view of the Albatros C.XIV prototype shows great attention to minimizing frontal area.
Albatros C.XV 7801/18 at Adlershof (Johannisthal?) was developed from the C.XIV prototype as the last Albatros C-type placed in production.
C.XV 7801/18 at the factory. The front view shows the armored radiator that looks like the type applied to the Albatros J.II
C.XV 7801/18 at the factory. All controls were aerodynamically balanced for improved maneuverability.
C.XV 7801/18 front view illustrates the clean lines for a biplane.
C.XV with experimental dual radiators.
Albatros C.XV C.7838/18 in postwar transport service with civil designation D 186.
Albatros C.XV C.7838/18 in postwar transport service with civil designation D 186 with pilot and passengers.
Albatros C.XV C.7838/18 in postwar transport service with civil designation D 186 taking off. (Peter M. Grosz Collection/SDTB)
The civil Albatros C.XV of Lt. Koopen for his proposed flight to the Netherlands East Indies. "Holland" is painted under the starboard lower wing and "Java" is painted under the port lower wing, (via F. Gerdessen)
Lt. Koopen's Albatros C.XV with the Netherlands flag painted on the fuselage. Both cockpits have windscreens. The wartime German camouflage fabric still covers the wings and elevator, (via F. Gerdessen)
Lt. Koopen's Albatros C.XV. It was common practice to move aircraft by train in WWI and this must have been part of the specifications for designers of all sides in the conflict, (via F. Gerdessen)
Lt Koopen's dismantled Albatros C.XV in the Netherlands being transported to the airfield for erection, (via F. Gerdessen)
The Albatros C.XV with the Netherlands flag painted on the fuselage. "Duksman Zeist Holland" is lettered in the flag. Preprinted camouflage fabric still covers the wings and elevator, (via F. Gerdessen)
This photo shows an Albatros C.XV fuselage in Poland; there are no markings yet but camouflage has been applied to the fuselage, indicating this aircraft may be in the process of erection and painting to enter service.
Limited resolution photo of an Albatros C.XV in postwar Polish military service.
Albatros C.XV in post-war Polish service. (Peter M. Grosz Collection/SDTB)
Albatros C.XV aircraft being shipped to Turkey via ship across the Black Sea. Of the 21 aircraft shipped, only two were able to be assembled and flown.
Turkish C.XV during assembly showing the Turkish markings on fuselage and tail.
Turkish C.XV after assembly.
Turkish C.XV after assembly showing the Turkish markings on fuselage and tail.
Both Turkish C.XVs are shown in this view.
This view shows the markings detail on the fuselage of a Turkish C.XV. The national markings would have been the red square adopted after the war.
Turkish C.XV with staff.
Colorfully-marked Albatros C.XV number 8 in Lithuanian service gets inspected by the brass. (Peter M. Grosz Collection/SDTB)
C.XV rigging diagram.
C.XV recognition chart.
C.XV factory drawing.
Albatros C.XV
Albatros C.XV
Albatros C.XV
Albatros C.XV
Albatros (OAW) C.I
Albatros (OAW) C.I
Albatros (OAW) C.I
Feld-Flieger Abteilung 25 lineup has an Aviatik C.III in the left foreground with Albatros C.V/16 1212/16 in the center background. The wet, muddy airfield conditions were harsh on both men and machines.
Two Albatros C.VII aircraft with a DFW C.V in the background.
A C.XII(Bay) at right heads a lineup of FliegerAbteilung (A) 291b; the other aircraft are DFW C.Vs. Many Bavarian units had C.XIIs.
At an unidentified training unit a C.XII(Bay) rests in the left foreground with another behind it. From center are Albatros C.I 1535/15, an Albatros B.II, an AEG G.IV, and a DFW C.V.
FliegerAbteilung 3b photographed with a captured Nieuport fighter. The dark Albatros C.V/16 at left may be C.1177/16 and second in line is C.V/16 C.1262/16 followed by three unidentified Albatros C.VII two-seaters. The occasion appears to be an awards ceremony, and the position of the Nieuport indicates the ceremony may be related to its capture. (Courtesy Bruno Schmaling)