Книги

Centennial Perspective
J.Herris
LVG Aircraft of WWI. Volume 1: B-Types & C.I
310

J.Herris - LVG Aircraft of WWI. Volume 1: B-Types & C.I /Centennial Perspective/ (34)

DFW and LVG trainers at Flieger-Ersatz-Abteilung 8 at Graudenz. The two aircraft in the middle and the one at left are DFW MD14s, later designated B.Is. The two aircraft at far right and the one second from left are LVG B.Is.
Euler C.I C.3628/15. The Euler C.I was an LVG C.I built by Euler used for training; there were some differences from the standard LVG C.I.
Based on the LVG B.I, the basic type was built under license by Euler as the Euler B.I. It was modified by Euler and the nose contours were distinctive compared to the LVG B.Is built by LVG. Nor did it have the cranked ailerons of standard LVGs. (all photos Reinhard Zankl.)
A student stands by an Euler B.I with his instructor in the rear cockpit.
A student stands by his Euler B.I trainer.
Another student and his Euler B.I trainer. Mudguards were fitted to many trainers.
LVG B-types among other aircraft (Euler B.I, Halberstadt D, etc.) under repair in a repair depot.
Euler B343 school number S 41 has ripped off its undercarriage in a landing accident.
Euler B.I B346/15 school number 42 S has suffered a bad accident.
Habicht is seen in front of one of FFA 24's hangars. As on the other converted A.IIIs, the wings were mounted in the upper position on E 6/15. (Peter M. Grosz collection/STDB)
LVG B.I in the field with Fokker Eindecker E.I 6/15 of Uffz. Dietrich of FFA 24 in 1915 - so the LVG was probably from FFA 24 too. The Fokker displayed the name Habicht (Hawk) and an insignia of a hawk, one of the very first personal markings on a German fighter. (Peter M. Grosz Collection/STDB)
Post-war photo of an LVG B.III with LVG logo on the rudder and a Fokker Triplane at right. (Peter M. Grosz Collection/STDB)
LVG B-types among other aircraft (Euler B.I, Halberstadt D, etc.) under repair in a repair depot.
Early LVG Aircraft

  LVG's first aircraft were a few license-built Farman pusher biplanes. LVG's first original designs were essentially copies of early Nieuport monoplanes. This was not surprising considering they were designed by Franz Schneider, who had worked as an engineer at Nieuport when these monoplanes were designed and built. Although the original Nieuport monoplanes were successful in 1911 and 1912 flying competitions, they did not meet the needs of the pre-war German army.

E1
  Built in 1912, the LVG E1 was powered by a 45 hp NAG.

E2
  Built in 1912/1913, the LVG E2 was essentially an E1 with more powerful engine, a 50-80 hp Gnome.

E3
  Built in 1913, the LVG E3 was a further development of the LVG E1, this time using a 100 hp Daimler engine.

E4
  The LVG E4, powered by a 80-100 hp Gnome, was built in 1912. Baron von Thuna flew it in the Berlin-Vienna 1912 flight. It was the final E1 development.
Clearly identified by the large "L.V.G." lettering on the fuselage, the LVG E2 was powered by a 50-80 hp Gnome rotary.
The first original LVG aircraft designs were a series of monoplanes derived from the early Nieuport monoplanes that Franz Schneider, now chief designer for LVG, co-developed with Edouard Nieuport. These aircraft differed primarily in the engines installed. From left to right, the LVG E1, E3, and E2; these were internal company designations.
The LVG E3 was a development of the E1 powered by a 100 hp Daimler engine. These early aircraft were not built to military requirements and did not have the robustness, payload, or ability to be easily assembled and disassembled for transportation that the Army required.
The LVG E3 was designed by Franz Schneider as indicated by "System Schneider" in the caption for this postcard.
The LVG E4 was powered by a 80-100 hp Gnome rotary. It was the final development of the early LVG monoplanes derived from the pre-war Nieuport monoplanes.
LVG B-Types

  Reconnaissance was the most important function of WWI aircraft, making reconnaissance aircraft crucial to the war effort and therefore in great demand. The most common and successful configuration for WWI reconnaissance airplanes was the single-engine, two-seat biplane, and all LVG designs that reached production and operational service during the war were of this configuration.
  The first successful LVG design, company designation D.IV, was a two-seat biplane later given the military designation LVG B.I. The B.I was designed by Swiss-born engineer Franz Schneider, and all subsequent LVG designs up to and including the C.IV were progressive developments of this aircraft.
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LVG B-Type Specifications
LVG B.l LVG B.II LVG B.III
Engine 100 hp Mercedes D.I 120 hp Mercedes D.II 120 hp Mercedes D.II
120 hp Mercedes D.II 110 hp Benz Bz.II
120 hp Argus As.II
110 hp Benz Bz.II
Span, Upper 14.5 m 12.12 m 12.51 m
Span, Lower 12.5 m - -
Gap 1.95 m - -
Wing Area 42.5 m2 - -
Length 9.00 m 8.3 m 7.89 m
Empty Weight 765 kg 726 kg 710 kg
Loaded Weight 1,132 kg 1,074 kg 1,042 kg
Maximum Speed 90-100 km/h 105 km/h 120 km/h
Climb to 800 m 14 minutes - -
Climb to 2,000 m 24.5 minutes - -
Climb to 3,000 m - - 28 minutes
Note: The B.I wings had 2° dihedral and 40 cm sweepback.


LVG B-Type Production
Known LVG B-Type Production - 1913
Type Qty Serials Notes
B.I 4 51/13 - 54/13
B.I 12 93/13 - 104/13
B.I? 2 108/13 - 109/13
B.I 13 134/13 - 146/13
B.I 7 153/13 - 159/13
B 14 160/13 - 173/13 Euler B.I (Series I)
B.I 18 174/13 - 191/13
B.I 1 244/13
B.I 3 257/13-259/13
B.I 6 274/13-279/13
The serial blocks are not necessarily complete.


Known LVG B-Type Production - 1914
Type Qty Serials Notes
B.I 3 1/14-3/14 Lowest/highest known (1/3)
B.I 1 7/14
B.I 6 12/14-17/14 Lowest/highest known (12/17)
B.I 1 21/14
B 12 40/14-51/14 Euler B.I (Series II)
B 5 55/14-59/14 Lowest/highest known (55/59)
B 16 142/14- 157/14 Euler B.I (Series III/IV)
B.I 4 204/14-207/14 Lowest/highest known (204/207)
B.I 7 212/14-218/14 Lowest/highest known (212/218)
B.I 9 223/14-231/14 Lowest/highest known (223/231)
B 18 403/14-420/14 Euler B.I (Series V)
B.I 1 518/14
B.I 21 571/14-591/14
B.I 69 888/14-956/14
B.I 20 1051/14- 1070/14
B 23 1105/14-1127/14 B.I/B.II mix?
The serial blocks are not necessarily complete, or interrupted by other types in case of single acquisition. 1914 is especially troublesome, as most information is missing. Airplanes were acquired in bits and pieces and civil aircraft were taken over. In addition, a lot of serials came from the late historian Peter M. Grosz, but there seems to be a mix up with Bavarian aircraft, which got separate Bavarian serials. To complicate things even more, airplanes of the Bavarian sequence got a 'pseudo-Idflieg' serial with the addition of the year of manufacture to the Bavarian serial (i.e. Otto LVG 154 was transformed into LVG B.154/14). This Bavarian trouble is related to the serials 1-200 in 1914 and 1915.

Known LVG B-Type Production - 1915
Type Qty Serials Notes
B.I 131 200/15-330/15 LVG B.I, Lowest/highest known (201/329)
B 20 331/15-350/15 Euler B.I (Series VI)
B.I 1 472/15 LVG B.I
B 2 481/15-482/15 Euler B.I
B.II 20 709/15-728/15 LVG B.II
B 63 731/15-793/15 LVG B.II or mix of B.I/B.II
B.I 130 971/15- 1099/15 LVG B.II or mix of B.I/B.II
B 6 1307/15- 1312/15 LVG
B.I 12 1361/15- 1372/15 Euler B.I (Series VII)
B 8 1503/15- 1510/15 LVG B.II(Ot) with machine gun rail
B 56 1562/15- 1617/15 LVG B(Ot)
The serial blocks are deduced from known serials and are surely incomplete.


Known LVG B-Type Production - 1916 & 1917
Type Qty Serials Notes
B.I 20 620/16-639/16 LVG B.I(Ot) built by Otto in Munich as trainers
B.IIa 200 1350/17-1549/17 LVG B.IIa(Schul); Schutte-Lanz built as trainers
B.III 100 2300/17-2399/17 LVG B.III(SSW); SSW-built as trainers
B.III 100 2800/17-2899/17 LVG B.III(Eu); Euler-built as trainers
B.III 100 3200/17-3299/17 LVG B.III; LVG-built as trainers
B.III 300 3300/17-3599/17 LVG B.III(Schul); Schutte-Lanz-built as trainers
There seems to be additional orders for 200 B.III from LVG and 100 B.III from Hansa.



LVG B.I
  
  The LVG B.I (internal company designation D.IV - the D.I to D.III were biplanes based on the Farman pusher) designed by Franz Schneider first flew on 8 March 1913; it was his first biplane design. German aviators of the time wanted a robust aircraft with room for photography equipment and a modest bomb load. The aircraft needed a significant duration and range and further needed to be easy to assemble and disassemble for transportation. Reliability was essential but speed was thought to be relatively unimportant. Of course, this was before the war when air-to-air combat was only a theory.
  Not only was the B.I the first truly successful LVG aircraft, it set a new standard of reliable military performance for its time. Its 100 hp Mercedes provided great reliability for the time and enough power to give this robust aircraft good performance. Equally important, it had fine flying qualities. The wings could be folded back against the fuselage by removing a few bolts and without disconnecting any bracing cables, speeding disassembly and reducing the likelihood of failures.
  Initial examples of the B.I (the military designation given later) had a Stossfahrgestell (shock undercarriage) with skid designed to prevent nose-overs, but later machines eliminated this in favor of a simpler, lighter design.
  The B.I introduced the distinctive Schneider/LVG cranked aileron design. One of about 200 aviation-related inventions Schneider patented, the purpose of this design was that there would always be an aileron surface exposed to the air flow. The positive benefit expected was not mentioned in the patent but was to improve aileron control response and stability. From contemporary pilot reports the ailerons apparently improved stability in turbulence and reduced aileron control forces.
  The LVG Type Schneider, as the B.I was initially known, was the first aircraft type to meet the Army's 1913 specifications. In Spring 1913 the Fliegertruppe ordered eight LVG B.I biplanes, designated B.45-48/13 and B.51-54/13, for service evaluation.
  Early flight evaluation was done by Lt. Victor Carganico, who was very impressed by the flying qualities, especially its stability in turbulent weather. Carganico became an ardent advocate of the LVG B.I and demonstrated it to Flieger Abteilung throughout the country. Like most B-types, the pilot flew the aircraft from the rear cockpit and the observer was in front to provide a better field of view forward and downward.
  The B.I was so successful that it put LVG on the path to become one of the most successful aviation manufacturers in Germany. Three biplane designs, those from Albatros, Aviatik, and LVG, formed the core of early wartime reconnaissance aircraft for the Fliegertruppe, which considered the LVG the best of the three. The LVG was considered to possess superior detail design, streamlining, and airfoil section to the Albatros, giving better performance and flying characteristics. As a result the LVG B.I was the most numerous type in service during this time.
  This early in aviation, the necessary strength required of an airplane's structure for safe flight was not known with confidence. Then as now the "G" loading the aircraft had to withstand, known as the safety factor, was the important metric. For modern civil aircraft in the USA a 'normal category' aircraft must demonstrate a load factor of minus one to plus 3.8 Gs without permanent deformation or damage, with a load 1.5 times that (-1.5 to +5.7 Gs) before structural failure. For aircraft to be certified for aerobatics the load factor for no damage is -3 to +6 Gs, with the load factor before ultimate structural failure again 1.5 times that, or -4.5 to +9 Gs.
  After a Rumpler Taube suffered wing failure leading to a fatal accident during maneuvers in September 1913, the Army tested some of its aircraft for structural strength. LVG B.S.S1/13 suffered wing failure during the test at only 2.6 G, which was clearly unsatisfactory. Note that the requirement for a light civil aircraft of normal category is 5.7 G before structural failure. LVG reinforced a set of wings and these achieved a load factor of 3.3 G before failure, a result considered acceptable for the time but well below the 5.0 target and below the 5.7 G ultimate (that is, failure) considered satisfactory today for a light civilian - not military - aircraft.
  Recall that 5.7 G is the required ultimate load factor for a normal category light aircraft; an acrobatic aircraft must demonstrate a 6.0 G load factor with no damage and 9.0 G before failure, the ultimate load factor. One would think that a standard combat aircraft would need to demonstrate at least the strength that is now required for a normal category light plane, and a fighter aircraft would be required to demonstrate the strength now required for an acrobatic category airplane. Eventually that would be the case, with lower requirements for large aircraft like bombers, but in the early period of aviation the requirements for structural strength were still being explored as aviators attempted more maneuvers that generated different flight loads on their aircraft.
  To return to the B.I story, additional flight experience revealed the need for additional structural strength in certain conditions. Steep glides revealed the top wing distorted significantly and the Fliegertruppe required installation of additional cable bracing to the inner spars of the upper wing. The fuselage longerons were discovered to be too weak and required replacement by stronger parts. Few aircraft had been delivered by this time and subsequent production aircraft had reinforced wing spars and longerons.
  Continued pre-war maneuvers revealed new knowledge put to good use by the Fliegertruppe, and later in 1913 the LVG B.I set a new world endurance record with a flight of nine and a half hours. The LVG's success was reflected in military orders. In 1913 112 LVG B.I aircraft were ordered, the largest number of any type. Of that total, 24 were to be built under license by Euler, and LVG B.I 94/13 was sent to Euler as a pattern aircraft.
  Unfortunately, August Euler thought he knew better than Schneider and LVG and significantly modified the airframe's structure. The changes Euler made harmed the strength and performance of the license-built aircraft, which had the designation Euler B.I. These changes meant the LVG B.I and Euler B.I must be regarded as separate designs despite their similar appearance.
  The LVG B.I continued to impress during prewar flying competitions and the Swiss air service ordered six aircraft, although out-break of war limited delivery to two aircraft. Two B.I aircraft were allegedly delivered to the Japanese army but this remains unconfirmed.
  In January 1914 the Bavarian Fliegertruppe, which had a significant degree of autonomy, ordered six LVG B.I biplanes. The Bavarian-based Gustav Otto Flugmaschinenwerke had also negotiated a manufacturing license with LVG and received an order from the Bavarian authorities for a further six B.I aircraft. The Bavarians continued to order the B.I and of the first 30 machines received, 14 were built by LVG and 16 were built by Otto. When the war started, the Bavarian Fliegertruppe had 24 LVG B.I biplanes, 19 Otto pusher biplanes, and two other aircraft.
  The exact number of B.I biplanes built by Otto is unknown but about 125-130 have been identified from work numbers, plus 21 ordered in 1915 and another 20 in 1916 that carried Idflieg designations. Otto-built B.I aircraft can be distinguished from LVG-built aircraft by the installation of the front center-section struts; only Otto-built aircraft have these struts positioned inside the fuselage sides. Later production Otto-built aircraft also had vertical demarcation lines between the nose and rear fuselage; LVG-built aircraft and early production Otto-built B.I aircraft had a slanted join line.
  Most production B.I biplanes used the 100 hp Mercedes D.I. Later in the production run more powerful 110-120 hp engines from Argus, Benz, and Mercedes were installed to improve performance. After being replaced at the front by newer types, remaining B.I aircraft were converted to dual control and used as trainers in Prussia and Bavaria and at the LVG company flight schools at Koslin and Johannisthal.
LVG B.I with tricycle nose gear in early war service with the Bavarian Flying Corps. Note early style of Eisernes Kreuz on rudder.
LVG B.I flown by the Bavarians. Note the interesting rudder cross.
LVG B.I no. 2 from the LVG factory school at Johannisthal with early brow radiator.
LVG B.I of the Herzog Karl Friedrich Fliegerschule at Gotha Number 14. The black & white circle was the unit marking.
LVG B.I trainer as indicated by the wood wheels. School number 32.
LVG B.I B.1123/15 is an armed B.I with turret installed in the rear cockpit. It looks like it was converted to an early C.I and confusingly has a second serial number, 108/15.
LVG B.I 211/15.
LVG B.I(Otto) serving with FFA 8b (Bavarian) The white fuselage band is an early marking for the unit.
LVG B.I 00.16 trainer of the Austro-Hungarian Luftfahrtruppe, Summer 1916.
LVG B.I built for Turkey
Photo of an LVG B.I trainer with skid under-carriage issued as a postcard. (Peter M. Grosz Collection/STDB)
Early LVG B.I with skid under-carriage.
LVG B.I with skid under-carriage in the field with a cavalry man, the army's original reconnaissance asset. (Peter M. Grosz Collection/STDB)
Pre-war LVG B.I trainer with skid under-carriage and 120 hp Argus As.II engine; the exhaust pipe goes down, through the engine cowling and exhausts below the fuselage. (Peter M. Grosz Collection/STDB)
LVG B.I trainer with wood wheels and mud guards. (Greg VanWyngarden)
This early-production LVG B.I with skid under-carriage has no national insignia but wears competition # "11" on the rear fuselage, indicating the photo was taken at a flying competition before the war.
Clear photo of an LVG B.I trainer with skid under-carriage. (Peter M. Grosz Collection/STDB)
Max Immelmann sits alone in the pilot's aft cockpit of a running LVG B.I during his flight training days at Johannisthal.
LVG B.I B.18/13 with crew in front of the LVG flying school at Johannisthal. (Peter M. Grosz Collection/STDB)
LVG B.I 93/13 was a pre-war trainer without national insignia. (Greg VanWyngarden)
Early-production LVG B.I B.102/13 with skid under-carriage has no national insignia, indicating training use. (Peter M. Grosz Collection/STDB)
LVG B-type. The turned aluminum nose panels with fabric covered wings and rear fuselage were typical for early LVG designs. (Reinhard Zankl)
Observer posing in a LVG B. The small gravity fuel tank under the upper wing and engine-turned metal panels are clearly shown. (Reinhard Zankl)
LVG B.I No.14 trainer at the Herzog Eduard Fliegerschule at Gotha. The Mercedes engine has no exhaust header and each cylinder has its own exhaust pipe. The flight school aircraft were privately owned so did not have military serial numbers; Fliegertruppe men were give pilot training under contract. (Peter M. Grosz Collection/STDB)
Fahnrich Max Immelmann (left) and his observer, Lt. Ehrhardt von Teubern, pose in front of their LVG B.I 318/15 after having been attacked by an armed, French Farman biplane. Immelmann described the attack as: "When we landed, they counted our bullet-holes. There are about five or six harmless ones in the wings. A solitary one grazed our main spar, without breaking it. One shot went clean through the engine's bed. The metal cowling which encloses the lower part of the engine looks like a sieve."
Propaganda photo showing LVG B-type with small gravity tank and insignia painted inboard on the wings. The notation indicates the flying officers are briefing at their field site before flight. (Reinhard Zankl)
LVG B.I B.215/15 appears to be at a home training unit. Some guards demonstrate a bomb.
Early-production LVG B B.108 (/13?) wears its national insignia well inboard on the top and bottom of both wings.
Another view of the air and ground crew posing with LVG B.I B.269/15. Note the small gravity tank (Greg VanWyngarden)
Air and ground crew pose with LVG B.I B.269/15. (Greg VanWyngarden)
Well-used LVG B.I trainer no. 37. (Reinhard Zankl)
LVG B.I with skid under-carriage, pilot Lt. Freiherr von Thuna, and observer Lt. Fritz von Falkenhayn, son of the German War Minister. Engine is a 100 hp Mercedes D.I. (Peter M. Grosz Collection/STDB)
Hptm. Heimbach in LVG B.l B425/14 with engine running before take-off.
LVG B.I with two bullet holes patched and dated. (Greg VanWyngarden)
Another photo of LVG B.I 223/14.
LVG B.I probably on the Eastern Front. (Greg VanWyngarden)
LVG B.I with FFA 6 ready for its next flight with ground crewmen. (Peter M. Grosz Collection/STDB)
LVG B.I with apparatus under the fuselage for dropping bombs with two bombs. (Peter M. Grosz Collection/STDB)
LVG B.I and crew with a mechanic in the cockpit. (Greg VanWyngarden)
LVG B-type with small gravity tank. Note insignia painted outboard on both sides of all wings. (Reinhard Zankl)
LVG B.I with bomb-dropping chutes behind the landing gear to prevent bombs catching onto the aircraft after the observer has dropped them. (Greg VanWyngarden)
LVG B.I in the snow with Krahnen, Koops, Hauptmann von Kaltenborn, and mechanics.
Lt. Kessing with an LVG B-type. (Bruno Schmaling)
An LVG B.I from FeldfliegerAbteilung 16 is decorated with an Iron Cross. German warplanes that had participated in conspicuous actions were sometimes decorated with an honorary Iron Cross award as shown here.
LVG B-type trainer in its hangar. (Reinhard Zankl)
LVG B-type in the field. Note early insignia painted inboard on both sides of all wings. (Reinhard Zankl)
LVG B.I trainer at FEA 8 with trainee Arthur Rahn. Arthur Rahn later served in Fl. Abt. 7 and then became a well-known six-victory ace flying in Jastas 19, 18, 15, and 19 again. The Fokker Dr.I in the NMUSAF is painted in his Jasta 19 markings.
LVG B-type in the field with ground crew. (Reinhard Zankl)
Flyers pose with LVG B.I trainer. (Greg VanWyngarden)
Early LVG B-type with small gravity tank. The photo shows flying officers with the iron cross 1st or 2nd class. (Reinhard Zankl)
Flight and ground crew with LVG B-type of FFA 8b. (Bruno Schmaling)
LVG B.I and staff of Flieger-Abteilung 21.
LVG B.I 421 at the front.
LVG B.I with the 'Y' brindle cable bracing ordered by the Fliegertruppe to prevent wing deformation at 'high' speed. (Peter M. Grosz Collection/ STDB)
LVG B-type with small gravity tank. Note insignia painted outboard on both sides of all wings. (Reinhard Zankl)
LVG B.I of FFA 4 and crew in the snow on the Eastern Front in early 1915. The pilot in the dark coat is Franz Ray. Franz Ray later became a 17-victory ace, serving in Jasta 1, then Jasta 28w, and finally Jasta 49 (and was a subject of a Sanke Card). The observer in the LVG holds a Fliegerkammer 1911 L30 Zeiss.
LVG B.I with air and ground crew. (Greg VanWyngarden)
LVG B.I B.223/154 after internment, the radiator differs from the side radiators fitted at internment.
LVG B.I trainer with aviators from the Austro-Hungarian Luftfahrtruppen and German Fliegertruppe & national insignia on wheel cover. (Peter M. Grosz Collection/STDB)
LVG B.I with crew (Greg VanWyngarden)
LVG B.I assigned to FFA 28 is loaded with some 10 kg Goldschmidt incendiary bombs. The aircraft has a bombing chute attached to the side. The LVG could carry 4-5 of these primitive bombs. (Peter M. Grosz Collection/STDB)
LVG B.I thought to be assigned to FFA 5b shows its method of carrying bombs. The small 4-bladed propeller on the left front landing gear strut powers the fuel pump.
LVG B.I with aileron control cables led through the wing; previous models had external cables. The 4-bladed propeller powered the fuel pump. A metal strip on the lower wing is a walkway. (Peter M. Grosz Collection/STDB)
LVG B.I fitted with a bomb-launching chute photographed in winter 1914; the photo was reproduced as a postcard. The 'a' after the serial indicates a repaired aircraft or replacement for the original. (Peter M. Grosz Collection/STDB)
LVG B.I B.275/13 being readied for take-off. It has an early, non-standard presentation of its national insignia on the wings. (Peter M. Grosz Collection/STDB)
LVG B.I B.223/14 with skid under-carriage and engine running ready for take-off. It has national insignia on the top and bottom of all wings at an extreme outboard position and ID streamers to preclude 'friendly' fire; the photo was taken early in the war. (Peter M. Grosz Collection/STDB)
LVG B.I 223/14 was later interned in Holland and flown as LA 25 in the Dutch air service.
LVG B.I B228/14 during take-off. The LVG cranked ailerons are distinctive. (Peter M. Grosz Collection/STDB)
Mechanic prepares to start LVG B.I B.425/14 on a snowy field.
Hptm. Heimbach in LVG B.I B425/14 with engine running before take-off.
LVG B.I B.211/15 and a comrade are ready for their next mission. A barograph has been fitted, likely for monitoring training flights. (Peter M. Grosz Collection/STDB)
LVG B.I B.251/15 (work no. 361) after capture by the French.
LVG B.I in a field hangar at FFA 62, the unit Boelcke and Immelmann were originally assigned to; boards have been provided to make it easier to move the aircraft. The aircraft is Max Immelmann's B.I 318/15. It was damaged in an attack by a French Farman biplane. (Bruno Schmaling)
LVG B.I B.55/14 in flight.
LVG B-type trainers making a formation flight at a flight school.
LVG B.I with engine running ready for take-off. (Greg VanWyngarden)
Two LVG B.I aircraft of Bavarian FFA 5 parked by their tents at La Pouilerie Ferme in the war's early months. (Peter M. Grosz Collection/STDB)
LVG B.I two-seat reconnaissance biplanes were the most numerous German type at the front early in the war. Here several of these robust, reliable aircraft are shown at the front. Early LVG designs featured a kink in the aileron trailing edges that immediately distinguishes them from other manufacturers'aircraft. (Aeronaut)
LVG B.I trainers numbers 2, 9, and 10 of the LVG factory flying school in Johannisthal. The school trained army pilots under contract and owned the airplanes, so they did not carry military serial numbers. The Parseval airship shed was destroyed on 10 October 1915 and the photo was taken after that. (Peter M. Grosz Collection/STDB)
LVG B-type in the field. Note early insignia painted inboard on both sides of all wings. The different insignia position on the upper wings indicates one has been replaced.
The ground crew maneuvers an LVG B.I across an airfield.
LVG B.I 935 being retrieved by a truck. (Greg VanWyngarden)
Habicht is seen in front of one of FFA 24's hangars. As on the other converted A.IIIs, the wings were mounted in the upper position on E 6/15. (Peter M. Grosz collection/STDB)
LVG B.I in the field with Fokker Eindecker E.I 6/15 of Uffz. Dietrich of FFA 24 in 1915 - so the LVG was probably from FFA 24 too. The Fokker displayed the name Habicht (Hawk) and an insignia of a hawk, one of the very first personal markings on a German fighter. (Peter M. Grosz Collection/STDB)
Lineup of LVG B.I trainers under inspection on 5 January 1915.
Captured LVG B.I on display in France.
LVG B.I on a permanent field in Germany. (Peter M. Grosz Collection/STDB)
Early LVG B.I with skid under-carriage. Note the extreme outboard position of the insignia under the upper wing. (Peter M. Grosz Collection/STDB)
The LVG Doppeldecker System Schneider trainer shown here was designed by Franz Schneider. It met the Army's requirements for a two-seat reconnaissance aircraft and was very successful. The orders for this aircraft established LVG as one of the most important German aircraft manufactures. This aircraft, retroactively designated the LVG B.I, became the foundation of LVG success and the ancestor of LVG designs up to and including the LVG C.IV. The LVG B.I was the most numerous of the aircraft types with which the Fliegertruppe started the war. This one was powered by a 110 hp Benz Bz.II.
Otto-built LVG B.I(Ot) photographed with its pilot. The aircraft bears the black and white fuselage band markings of aircraft in units of ‘‘Armee-Abteilung Gaede". (Peter M. Grosz Collection/STDB)
LVG B.I trainers at the LVG flying school at Koslin. (Peter M. Grosz Collection/STDB)
LVG B-type of FFA 8b. (Bruno Schmaling)
Flight crew with LVG B-type of FFA 8b. (Bruno Schmaling)
Otto-built LVG B.I(Ot) Bauernmichel. (Reinhard Kastner)
The crew of this LVG B-type assigned to FFA 6b poses proudly with their aircraft. Note the early national insignia painted inboard on the top of the lower wing. (Bruno Schmaling)
Otto-built LVG B.I(Ot); the pilot waits while residual fuel is drained. (Peter M. Grosz Collection/STDB)
LVG B.I '50' with Lt. Oskar Seitz who flew in FA(A) 292b and FA(A) 188b as well as Jasta 30. The aircraft was incorrectly marked 50/15; that serial belonged to an Albatros B.II. The front strut inside the longeron indicates it is Otto-built.
LVG B.I(Ot) fitted with a Rapp V-8 engine. Rapp built the 145 hp Rp.II 90° V-8 in 1914 and this one of a few installed in trainers. Recurrent carburetor fires caused its quick removal from service. In July 1917 investors bought Rapp and changed the name to Bavarian Motor Works (BMW) that is well known today. (Peter M. Grosz Collection/STDB)
LVG B.I(Ot) 88 has been marked as 88/16 after repair. Powered by a 100 hp Mercedes D.I, as a trainer if has wood wheels due to the rubber shortage in wartime Germany. (Peter M. Grosz Collection/STDB)
LVG B.I(Ot) 639/16 is a trainer with wood wheels and a 120 hp Argus As.II. (Peter M. Grosz Collection/STDB)
LVG B.I under construction in the factory. (Peter M. Grosz Collection/STDB)
On 13 September 1915, the LFT purchased ten damaged LVG B.I biplanes in Germany. Subsequently numbered 00.14-00.21, they were repaired and flown at the Hansa-Brandenburg flying school at Fuhlsbuttel where many Austro-Hungarian pilots received their basic training.
Ex-German Army LVG B.I aircraft 00.16 was one of eight (00.14-00.21) obtained by Austria-Hungary. Powered by a 100 hp Mercedes and repaired at Fuhlsbuttel in July 1916, it had dual controls.
Versuchsflugzeug L.V.G. B I, Flugzeugnummer 00.16
Экспериментальный самолет L.V.G. B I, номер самолета 00.16
One of three LVG B.I aircraft the Ottoman air service purchased from the Fliegertruppe. This may have been Turkish LVG 2 (B.1015/15, work number 657), or LVG 3 (B.1017/15, work number 658). (Peter M. Grosz Collection/STDB)
LVG B-types of FAA 9b. (Bruno Schmaling)
LVG B-types among other aircraft (Euler B.I, Halberstadt D, etc.) under repair in a repair depot.
LVG B.I B.223/14 after landing at Venlo, Limburg in the Netherlands on 28 June 1915 and being interned, which drew quite a crowd of locals. It had 100 hp Mercedes 17761. It became LA25 and was written off in a crash on 23 April 1917.
LVG B.I 79 stripped for repair. The observer sat over the fuel tank. (Peter M. Grosz Collection/STDB)
A German Military (L.V.G) biplane loaded on a railway truck ready to be sent to the Front.
Early LVG B.I with skid under-carriage and over-engine radiator packed on a flat-car for delivery.
Disassembled LVG B-types of FAA 8b. (Bruno Schmaling)
LVG B.I trainer No.4 of the LVG flying school at Johannisthal. An airship is in the Zeppelin hangar at left; the Parseval hangar at right is empty. Two NFW trainers are at left. (Peter M. Grosz Collection/STDB)
Tarmac scene at Johannisthal in early 1915 NFW and LVG training aircraft used by the FMF (Freiwilliges MarinefIiegerkorps - Volunteer Naval Flying Corps) in front of the airship sheds. Almost all flying instruction concentrated on the take-off and landing phases of flight. Flying tests consisted of successfully carrying out a number of 'figure-of-eights' flown at an altitude of 200 metres and landings made within a given distance from a specified point on the aerodrome. The nose of the airship 'Hansa', seen in the far building, has been marked with the German national insignia on its undersurfaces.
DFW and LVG trainers at Flieger-Ersatz-Abteilung 8 at Graudenz. The two aircraft in the middle and the one at left are DFW MD14s, later designated B.Is. The two aircraft at far right and the one second from left are LVG B.Is.
LVG B-types in the hangar at Feld-Flieger-Abteilung 1b. A hangar was an uncommon luxury during the war.
LVG B-types in wood hangars.
A German Military (L.V.G.) biplane in a somewhat undignified attitude.
LVG B-type doing a head stand at Johannisthal. (Reinhard Zankl)
LVG B-type trainer No. 4 on its nose. (Reinhard Zankl)
LVG B.I No.20 crashed without injuries at the Herzog Karl Eduard Fliegerschule in Gotha. (Peter M. Grosz Collection/ STDB)
LVG B.I after a bad landing photographed with the pilot. (Greg VanWyngarden)
Patched LVG B.I in a pose all too common for trainers. (Peter M. Grosz Collection/STDB)
LVG B.I 223/14 after a landing accident. Repaired, it was interned in Holland on 28 August 1915 and flown by the Dutch air service as LA 25. (Peter M. Grosz Collection/ STDB)
LVG B.I 892/14 marked in early-war style. (Peter M. Grosz Collection/ STDB)
LVG B.I trainer '35' at the LVG flying school at Koslin in an all too typical pose. (Peter M. Grosz Collection/STDB)
Crash of well-patched LVG B.I B.262/15.
LVG B-type in a common pose
Above: LVG B.I B.157/13 trainer after a bad landing. (Peter M. Grosz Collection/STDB)
LVG B.I trainer after bad landings. The aircraft has an interesting presentation of its national insignia on the rudder. (Peter M. Grosz Collection/STDB)
LVG B-type on its nose. (Reinhard Zankl)
LVG B.I trainer B.2X/14 '10' after being roughly treated by its pilot. The small gravity tank is clearly visible. (Peter M. Grosz Collection/STDB)
LVG B.I 152 after an accident on 20 October 1915. Pilot trainee Lt. Sigwart of the Bavarian air service celebrates his survival. LVG-built with work no. 152, it had its engine installed at Otto in August 1914. (Peter M. Grosz Collection/STDB)
LVG B.I B.299 on its nose. (Greg VanWyngarden)
LVG B.I trainer after bad landings. (Peter M. Grosz Collection/STDB)
Early LVG B.I trainer after a bad landing; the skid under-carriage was unable to prevent this result if the landing approach was bad enough. (Peter M. Grosz Collection/STDB)
LVG B.I B889/14 'S 63' trainer missing its wheels after some mediocre airmanship. (Peter M. Grosz Collection/STDB)
LVG B.I badly damaged after a forced landing. The propeller is undamaged, indicating the engine was not running when the aircraft crashed. The national insignia are very early presentation. (Peter M. Grosz Collection/STDB)
LVG B.I badly damaged after a crash into a building. Damage to the building itself appears to be relatively minor. Its brick construction indicates a permanent training facility in Germany. (Peter M. Grosz Collection/STDB)
Accident between LVG B.I trainers at Herzog Eduard Fliegerschule at Gotha.
The pilot of LVG B.I B.464/14 has apparently found the only tree in the area to crash into.
LVG B.I trainer 571/14 had been rebuilt by the Otto company before being crashed by Gefreiter Druckstein of the Bavarian air service on 2 October 1917. (Peter M. Grosz Collection/STDB)
Crash of LVG B.I B.337/14 at a field in Germany.
LVG B.I(Ot) trainer 129 crashed by Lt. Dessloch on 23 February 1916. Dessloch was with FEA 1b at this time. He was later CO of KeK Ensisheim, later Jasta 16b and CO of Jasta 35b. The rudder had been salvaged from LVG 85. (Peter M. Grosz Collection/STDB)
Crashed LVG B.I with 120 hp Benz Bz.II engine attached to FEA 5 at Hannover; the first cell of the radiator is insulated.
LVG B.I that has been pranged. (Greg VanWyngarden)
Crash of LVG B.I.
LVG B.I B51 badly crashed. Note the nonstandard national insignia. (Greg VanWyngarden)
Remains of an LVG B.I captured by the French and photographed at St. Cyr on 1 April 1916. (Greg VanWyngarden)
LVG B.I B.251/15 has been forced down and captured by the French. It came from 2.Festungsflieger Abteilung Metz, and was captured on 13 April 1915 between Braisne and Viel-Arcy; the crew was taken POW. The insignia are painted in the early war style. The damage is primarily to the undercarriage. (Reinhard Zankl)
Additional images of LVG B.I B.251/15 after being forced down and captured by the French. (Peter M. Grosz Collection/STDB)
LVG B-Types

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  The LVG B.II was a smaller, lighter derivative of the B.I designed to provide better performance and agility. The B.II followed the B.I into production and service and by the end of August 1915 finally exceeded the number of B.I aircraft at the. front.
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LVG B-Type Specifications
LVG B.l LVG B.II LVG B.III
Engine 100 hp Mercedes D.I 120 hp Mercedes D.II 120 hp Mercedes D.II
120 hp Mercedes D.II 110 hp Benz Bz.II
120 hp Argus As.II
110 hp Benz Bz.II
Span, Upper 14.5 m 12.12 m 12.51 m
Span, Lower 12.5 m - -
Gap 1.95 m - -
Wing Area 42.5 m2 - -
Length 9.00 m 8.3 m 7.89 m
Empty Weight 765 kg 726 kg 710 kg
Loaded Weight 1,132 kg 1,074 kg 1,042 kg
Maximum Speed 90-100 km/h 105 km/h 120 km/h
Climb to 800 m 14 minutes - -
Climb to 2,000 m 24.5 minutes - -
Climb to 3,000 m - - 28 minutes
Note: The B.I wings had 2° dihedral and 40 cm sweepback.


LVG B-Type Production
Known LVG B-Type Production - 1913
Type Qty Serials Notes
B.I 4 51/13 - 54/13
B.I 12 93/13 - 104/13
B.I? 2 108/13 - 109/13
B.I 13 134/13 - 146/13
B.I 7 153/13 - 159/13
B 14 160/13 - 173/13 Euler B.I (Series I)
B.I 18 174/13 - 191/13
B.I 1 244/13
B.I 3 257/13-259/13
B.I 6 274/13-279/13
The serial blocks are not necessarily complete.


Known LVG B-Type Production - 1914
Type Qty Serials Notes
B.I 3 1/14-3/14 Lowest/highest known (1/3)
B.I 1 7/14
B.I 6 12/14-17/14 Lowest/highest known (12/17)
B.I 1 21/14
B 12 40/14-51/14 Euler B.I (Series II)
B 5 55/14-59/14 Lowest/highest known (55/59)
B 16 142/14- 157/14 Euler B.I (Series III/IV)
B.I 4 204/14-207/14 Lowest/highest known (204/207)
B.I 7 212/14-218/14 Lowest/highest known (212/218)
B.I 9 223/14-231/14 Lowest/highest known (223/231)
B 18 403/14-420/14 Euler B.I (Series V)
B.I 1 518/14
B.I 21 571/14-591/14
B.I 69 888/14-956/14
B.I 20 1051/14- 1070/14
B 23 1105/14-1127/14 B.I/B.II mix?
The serial blocks are not necessarily complete, or interrupted by other types in case of single acquisition. 1914 is especially troublesome, as most information is missing. Airplanes were acquired in bits and pieces and civil aircraft were taken over. In addition, a lot of serials came from the late historian Peter M. Grosz, but there seems to be a mix up with Bavarian aircraft, which got separate Bavarian serials. To complicate things even more, airplanes of the Bavarian sequence got a 'pseudo-Idflieg' serial with the addition of the year of manufacture to the Bavarian serial (i.e. Otto LVG 154 was transformed into LVG B.154/14). This Bavarian trouble is related to the serials 1-200 in 1914 and 1915.

Known LVG B-Type Production - 1915
Type Qty Serials Notes
B.I 131 200/15-330/15 LVG B.I, Lowest/highest known (201/329)
B 20 331/15-350/15 Euler B.I (Series VI)
B.I 1 472/15 LVG B.I
B 2 481/15-482/15 Euler B.I
B.II 20 709/15-728/15 LVG B.II
B 63 731/15-793/15 LVG B.II or mix of B.I/B.II
B.I 130 971/15- 1099/15 LVG B.II or mix of B.I/B.II
B 6 1307/15- 1312/15 LVG
B.I 12 1361/15- 1372/15 Euler B.I (Series VII)
B 8 1503/15- 1510/15 LVG B.II(Ot) with machine gun rail
B 56 1562/15- 1617/15 LVG B(Ot)
The serial blocks are deduced from known serials and are surely incomplete.


Known LVG B-Type Production - 1916 & 1917
Type Qty Serials Notes
B.I 20 620/16-639/16 LVG B.I(Ot) built by Otto in Munich as trainers
B.IIa 200 1350/17-1549/17 LVG B.IIa(Schul); Schutte-Lanz built as trainers
B.III 100 2300/17-2399/17 LVG B.III(SSW); SSW-built as trainers
B.III 100 2800/17-2899/17 LVG B.III(Eu); Euler-built as trainers
B.III 100 3200/17-3299/17 LVG B.III; LVG-built as trainers
B.III 300 3300/17-3599/17 LVG B.III(Schul); Schutte-Lanz-built as trainers
There seems to be additional orders for 200 B.III from LVG and 100 B.III from Hansa.


LVG B.II
  
  The LVG B.II was a smaller, lighter, more agile development of the popular and successful LVG B.I. Reducing the wingspan, length, and weight moderately improved performance and maneuverability compared to the B.I. However, the structure was essentially the same other than the reduced dimensions and the B.II retained the robust reliability of the B.I. Like the B.I, engine cowling panels were aluminum, the cockpit sides were plywood, and the rear fuselage and flying surfaces were wood with fabric covering.
  Production of the B.II started late in 1914 and the first B.II aircraft arrived at the front by December. From then on the B.II supplemented, then gradually replaced the B.I. By August 1915 the number of B.II aircraft at the front slightly exceeded the number of B.I aircraft, and the B.II remained at the front for a short time after the B.I was withdrawn. Once withdrawn from the front the B.II continued to serve successfully as a trainer due to its robust structure and good handling qualities.
LVG B.II 654 of an unknown flying school in 1918.
LVG B.II B.715/15 circa 1915/1916. Unit unknown.
LVG B.II(Ot) B.1510/15 of the Bulgarian air service.
LVG B.II S.97 of the German Naval Air Service.
LVG B.II LA29 of the Netherlands Air Service. B.II 1069/15 landed in Holland on 19 March 1916 and was interned. It was taken in service as LA29. It was armed with a Madsen machine gun fitted outside the aft cabane strut.
Another LVG B.II with no identification numbers visible. (Peter M. Grosz Collection/STDB)
Two photos of a LVG B.II without military serial numbers or flight school numbers visible. (Peter M. Grosz Collection/STDB)
LVG B.II preparing to take off. (Peter M. Grosz Collection/STDB)
LVG B.II running up in the snow for take-off. (Peter M. Grosz Collection/STDB)
LVG B.II trainer at a field in Germany. (Peter M. Grosz Collection/STDB)
LVG B.II trainers lined up at a field in Germany. (Peter M. Grosz Collection/STDB)
LVG B.II trainer taking off from a snowy field in Germany. (Peter M. Grosz Collection/STDB)
LVG B.II trainer of FEA 10 photographed 10 October 1917 by another aircraft from the unit.
Unidentified LVG B.II in flight. (Peter M. Grosz Collection/STDB)
LVG B.II aircraft photographed by FEA I on 15 May 1916.
LVG B.II 534; the location and apparent lack of military serial indicate a civilian trainer. (Peter M. Grosz Collection/STDB)
LVG B.II trainer 654 with 1918 insignia. (Reinhard Zankl)
LVG B.II B.723. The LVG B.II had a cutout in the rear of the upper wing for better field of view for the pilot; the B.I did not have a cutout and that is the key way to distinguish between the two types. (Peter M. Grosz Collection/STDB)
LVG B.II 1510 ready for take-off. (Greg VanWyngarden)
LVG B.II B.916/14 with an unknown pilot. The engine is a 110 hp Benz Bz.II. (Reinhard Zankl)
These photos of LVG B.II 712/15 show how Max Immelmann refitted its machine gun. Two mounts were secured on either side of the observer's cockpit allowing him to reposition it as needed.
LVG B.II B.715/15 in early markings scheme. (Peter M. Grosz Collection/STDB)
LVG B.II 738/15 in flight. (Peter M. Grosz Collection/STDB)
LVG B.II 1038/15 trainer at afield in Germany. (Peter M. Grosz Collection/STDB)
LVG B.II 1048/15. The LVG B.II was a straight-forward development of the robust B.I. The dimensions and weight were reduced somewhat from those of the B.I to improve performance and agility. (Peter M. Grosz Collection/STDB)
Sailors pose with LVG B.ll S.97 assigned to the German Navy.
Otto-built LVG B.II(Ot)
LVG B.II(Ot) 1510/15 is an Otto-built machine at the front. Eight of this type (1503/15-1510/15) were built. It had rails on both sides of the observer's cockpit for mounting a machine gun. (Peter M. Grosz Collection/STDB)
LVG B.II(Ot) B.1563/15 trainer with decorated wheel covers in Germany. (Peter M. Grosz Collection/STDB)
LVG B.IIa(Schul) photographed on 19 February 1918. Was this pristine aircraft a prototype?( Peter M. Grosz Collection/STDB)
The LVG B.II(Schul) was a B.II license-built by Schutte-Lanz, a company better known for building airships. (Peter M. Grosz Collection/STDB)
LVG B.II(Schutte-Lanz) 1397/17 at a flight school in Germany. (Greg VanWyngarden)
Fuselage structure of a LVG B.IIa(Schul). (Peter M. Grosz Collection/STDB)
LVG B.II being used for aerial camera experiments.
LVG B.II of FFA 6b with an unknown pilot. The engine is a 110 hp Benz Bz.II. (Bruno Schmaling)
Well-maintained LVG B.II with pilot. (Peter M. Grosz Collection/STDB)
LVG B.II fitted with a wireless transmitter for artillery spotting. The radio and antenna are mounted outside of the tight cabin. (Peter M. Grosz Collection/STDB)
An LVG B.II is armed with a captured Lewis gun; the wire attached to the interplane strut prevents the observer from firing into the propeller arc. (Greg VanWyngarden)
Tail of LVG B.IIa (Schul) 237/17 photographed with a student.
LVG B.II and crew of FFA 6b; the aircraft has an early over-engine brow radiator. (Bruno Schmaling)
Franz und Emil review their notes before their next flight in an LVG B.II with early brow radiator.
LVG B.II being photographed. A Madsen gun has been mounted on a gun ring on the observer's cockpit. (Greg VanWyngarden)
LVG B.II aircraft and crew with early Carbonit bomb reproduced as Sanke card 37.
LVG B.II aircraft and crewman with early 5 kg and 10 kg Carbonit bombs.
Armed LVG B.II flown by the Dutch air service as LA29. Only one LVG B.II (later named LA29) was interned in Holland during the war. This was LVG B.II 1069/15 which was interned on 19 March 1916 when it landed at Herpt, Limburg. It had Mercedes #23447. LA29 was the first Dutch airplane with a wireless set. LA29 later became L900 and L800.
Armed LVG B.II flown by the Dutch air service; is this also LA29?
LVG B.II in Bulgarian Service. LVG B.II(Ot) 1510/15 is an Otto-built machine at the front. Eight of this type (1503/15-1510/15) were built. It had rails on both sides of the observer's cockpit for mounting a machine gun.
Armed LVG B.II with gun mounting rails for the observer and side radiators.
LVG B.II aircraft in service with the Bulgarian air service. The aircraft feature leading-edge radiators and are armed; mounting rails for machineguns are on both sides of the observer's cockpit. A Madsen machinegun is fitted.
LVG B.IIa fuselage in the Polish Aviation Museum in Krakow. (Greg Vanwyngarden)
Fuselage restoration.
Top: Tail restoration.
Bottom: Engine bearer restoration.
LVG B.IIa Krakow, Poland Museum
It is probable that this aircraft, before reaching the Berlin DLS collection, was assembled from the two different machines, the fuselage from a standard production LVG B.II and wings from LVG B.IIa Schutte-Lanz production (S-L Werk Nr 350/17). It would explain different types of markings discovered on this machine, (all photos Piotr Mrozowski)
View of the rear cockpit.
View of the rear cockpit.
ZAK acceptance stamp certifying acceptance of the aircraft after rebuilding. The Preussische Inspektion der Fliegertruppen was one of the German WWI organizations
LVG B.II S.106 has come to grief; it is assigned to the Navy.
LVG B.II B.1025/15 after a bad landing. (Peter M Grosz Collection/STDB)
LVG B.IIa(Schul) 1392/17 destroyed in a training accident. (Peter M. Grosz Collection/STDB)
LVG B.II 719/15 after a rough landing. (Greg VanWyngarden)
LVG B.II 1039/15 after a bad landing. (Peter M. Grosz Collection/STDB)
LVG B.II(Schutte-Lanz) 1399/17 trainer after a crash. (Greg VanWyngarden)
LVG B.IIa(Schul) 1506/17 destroyed in a training accident. (Peter M. Grosz Collection/STDB)
Remains of LVG B.IIa(Schul) 1530/17 destroyed by fire. (Peter M. Grosz Collection/STDB)
LVG C-Types
  
  The first generation of German C-type armed, two-seat reconnaissance airplanes were usually derived from their earlier B-type unarmed reconnaissance airplanes, and the LVG C-types followed that model.
  The LVG B.I was the most successful early B-type and the LVG C.I was the first operational C-type. The C.I was derived from the B.II and was soon superseded in production by the LVG C.II, a more refined design that was built in large numbers.
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LVG C-Type Specifications
LVG C.I LVG C.II LVG C.III LVG C.IV
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 14.5 m 12.68 m/12.85 m/&13.80 m (C.IIN) 12.7 m 13.6 m
Span, Lower - - - 10.9 m
Chord, Upper - - - 1.98-1.72 m
Chord, Lower - - - 1.77-1.58 m
Gap - - - 1.85 m
Wing Area 41.5 m2 37.6 m2 36 m2 38.2 m2
Length 8.61 m 8.1 m 8.0 m 8.51 m
Height 3.27 m 2.93 m 3.2 m -
Empty Weight 835 kg 845 kg 845 kg 1,050 kg
Loaded Weight 1,373 kg 1,405 kg 1,405 kg 1,600 kg
Maximum Speed 100 km/h 130 km/h - 172 km/h
Climb to 1,000 m - - - 6 minutes
Climb to 2,000 m - - - 13 minutes
Climb to 3,000 m - - - 24.5 minutes
Climb to 4,000 m - - - 43.5 minutes


Known LVG C-Type Production Orders
Type Date Qty Serials Notes
C.I
C.II Aug. 1915 50 C.493-542/15
C.II Aug. 1915 150 C.664-813/15
C.II 1 C.917/15 Powered by Maybach Mb.III
C.II Nov. 1915 50 C.2104-2153/15
C.II Nov. 1915 100 C.2154-2253/15
C.II Dec. 1915 50 No record of production
C.II Dec. 1915 125 C.4214-4288/15
C.4289-4338/15 75 built at Johannisthal
50 built in Koslin
C.II Feb. 1916 179 C.287-465/16
C.II Jan.1917 17
C.II(Ago) Aug. 1917 100 C.9900-9999/17 For use as advanced trainer
C.II(Ago) Jan. 1918 100 C.100-199/18 For use as advanced trainer
C.II(Ago) July 1918 100 C.5150-5249/18 For use as advanced trainer


LVG C.I

  The need to add defensive armament to two-seat reconnaissance aircraft became evident in early 1915 as the unarmed B-type two-seaters began to suffer increasing casualties due to more intensive air combat. Like other German manufacturers, LVG responded by modifying their successful unarmed B-types to carry armament.
  In this manner, the LVG C.I was quickly derived from the LVG B.I by moving the observer to the rear cockpit and installing a rotating machine gun turret. The gun turret was invented by Franz Schneider, LVG's chief designer.
  To manage the additional weight of the gun and turret and improve performance, a more powerful engine, the 150 hp Benz Bz.III, was installed. The LVG B.I and C.I had nearly the same dimensions and early production C.I aircraft retained the fuselage side radiators used by the B-types. Late-production LVG C.I aircraft used more advanced leading edge radiators.
  The LVG C.I was the first German two-seater to mount factory-installed defensive armament to reach the front, and was a satisfactory stop-gap pending the arrival of more advanced aircraft at the front. It retained the robust structure and good handling qualities of its B.I predecessor.
LVG C.I 289/15 of an unknown unit circa 1915/16. The decorated wheel covers are a unit or personal marking.
LVG C.I 316/15 of Flieger Ersatz Abteilung 3, the flying school at the Gotha. The inscription above the serial reads: "Flieg. Ers. Abt. 3, Gotha Telef 1040" and includes the telephone number as well as stating that it belongs to FEA3 at Gotha.
LVG C.I 323/15 of an unknown unit.
LVG C.I L.F.143b flown by Lt. Wilhelm Mattheu and Lt.Theo Osterkamp of M.F.Fl.Abt. 1, September 1916.
LVG C.I flown by Lt. Hans von Trotha and Lt. Rolf von Lersner of Kagohl 1, Staffel 4.
LVG C.I with diagonal stripe markings on the fuselage, ca. 1915. The stripes may indicate a Bavarian unit. The engine, exhaust, and magazine for the Parabellum are non-standard.
LVG C.I C.154/15 running up its engine. The LVG C.I was developed from the LVG B.I; it can be distinguished from the C.II by the side radiators and angled fuselage seam between the fabric and plywood. (Peter M. Grosz Collection/STDB)
Max Immelmann poses in and out of the cockpit of an LVG C.I that was probably 162/15 - the plane in which Oswald Boelcke achieved his first victory and was later passed on to Immelmann.
LVG C.I 164/15 at Johannisthal. (Peter M. Grosz Collection/STDB)
LVG C.I 170/15 waits for its next flight. (Peter M. Grosz Collection/STDB)
LVG C.I 174/15 next to the airship hangars at Adlershof still uses side radiators. (Peter M. Grosz Collection/STDB)
LVG C.I 289/15 with its flight crew and other men of the Abteilung. (Reinhard Zankl)
LVG C.I 298/15. This photo has been damaged and the upper right wingtip has been obscured.
LVG C.I 316/15 bears the small fuselage inscription "Flieg. Ers.Abt. 3 Gotha Telef 1040" indicating the aircraft is assigned to FEA 3 at Gotha and gives its phone number. Under the serial is the number 1080; was this the work number? (Reinhard Zankl)
LVG C.I 323/15 was beautifully-finished and sported a leading-edge radiator, which was less vulnerable than earlier radiators on the fuselage sides and generated less drag. With the fine finish and leading-edge radiator it appears much more modern than LVG C.I 154/15. (Peter M. Grosz Collection/STDB)
LVG B.I B.1123/15 is marked on the rudder; number 108 and on the fin and serial 108_/15 is on the fuselage side. There is a gun turret in the rear position and side radiators. This aircraft appears to be a B.I converted to C.I configuration, likely during development of the C.I. Or was the rudder with B-type serial salvaged from an earlier aircraft? (Peter M. Grosz Collection/STDB)
LVG C.I in front of the Parseval airship hangar at Johannisthal. (Peter M. Grosz Collection/STDB)
LVG C.I attached to FFA 61. (Bruno Schmaling)
LVG C.I with leading-edge radiator.
LVG C.I L.F.143b was assigned to the Navy. Both air and ground crew pose both pose with it before a flight. The tall observer on the right holding a camera is Theo Osterkamp, who became the highest-scoring German naval ace. The pilot next to him is Lt. Wilhelm Mattheus; both were serving in Marine Feldflieger-Abteilung 1 at this time. In this very aircraft, on 6 September 1916, this crew put in a claim for a Farman shot down. In spite of supporting witness statements, most accounts do not credit Osterkamp with what would have been his first victory on this date - though others indicate he might have been credited with it by some authorities. Mattheus also became a fighter pilot in MFJ I, received the Hohenzollern House Order, but died from wounds in late 1917. (Peter M. Grosz Collection/STDB)
The observer of an LVG C.I demonstrates his weapon.
LVG C.I of FFA 6b with individual marking. The personal marking on the C.I of FFA 6b is a somewhat faded Bavarian Lion. (Bruno Schmaling)
LVG C.I of FFA 6b with Bavarian Lion insignia. (Reinhard Zankl)
LVG C.I with light and dark fuselage stripes, likely a unit marking. (Reinhard Zankl)
This LVG C.I has been modified with a fixed Parabellum LMG 14 mounted over the wing for the pilot. The clip to secure the flexible gun when not in use is evident behind the observer. (Peter M. Grosz Collection/STDB)
This Parabellum LMG 14 may be the same one that was usually fitted to the observer's gun ring, and could be dismounted and re-mounted on this fitting allowing the observer to fire it forward and upwards.
Although this LVG C.I had a Schneider gun ring as usual, it has been fitted with an improvised mounting bracket on the interplane struts that allowed the Parabellum LMG 14 to be lifted off the gun ring and dropped into the bracket to fire forwards and upwards. The gun mounted on the side is a Mauser carbine (Model 15). The gun ring has a backrest (perhaps armored) but this was soon abandoned. Fl. Abt. 23, Roupy Aerodrome. (Greg VanWyngarden)
Close-up of another LVG C.I with a Schneider gun ring with a backrest (perhaps armored) but this was soon abandoned. (Greg VanWyngarden)
LVG C.I of MA 206 at Johannisthal. (Bruno Schmaling)
Closeup of an LVG C.I. (Reinhard Zankl)
LVG C.I piloted by Lt. Hans Ulrich von Trotha. The observer, Lt. Rolf Freiherr von Lersner, is waving to the camera. The "IV.1" legend on the fuselage indicates Kampfstaffel 4 (Kagohl 1), machine 1. The black and yellow bands on the fuselage were an addition, in the von Trotha family colors. Von Trotha was later the Executive Officer of the Gotha G.IV-equipped England Geschwader that bombed London. (Greg VanWyngarden)
LVG C.I photographed from another aircraft in flight.
LVG C.I in flight.
LVG C.I 36/15 after a bad landing in the snow.
LVG C.I 37/15 after a landing accident at FEA 4 at Posen. The poor field condition is obvious. (Bruno Schmaling)
Three photos of the crash of LVG C.I C.155/15 of FFA 6b. (Bruno Schmaling)
LVG C-Types
  
  The first generation of German C-type armed, two-seat reconnaissance airplanes were usually derived from their earlier B-type unarmed reconnaissance airplanes, and the LVG C-types followed that model.
  The LVG B.I was the most successful early B-type and the LVG C.I was the first operational C-type. The C.I was derived from the B.II and was soon superseded in production by the LVG C.II, a more refined design that was built in large numbers.
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LVG C-Type Specifications
LVG C.I LVG C.II LVG C.III LVG C.IV
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 14.5 m 12.68 m/12.85 m/&13.80 m (C.IIN) 12.7 m 13.6 m
Span, Lower - - - 10.9 m
Chord, Upper - - - 1.98-1.72 m
Chord, Lower - - - 1.77-1.58 m
Gap - - - 1.85 m
Wing Area 41.5 m2 37.6 m2 36 m2 38.2 m2
Length 8.61 m 8.1 m 8.0 m 8.51 m
Height 3.27 m 2.93 m 3.2 m -
Empty Weight 835 kg 845 kg 845 kg 1,050 kg
Loaded Weight 1,373 kg 1,405 kg 1,405 kg 1,600 kg
Maximum Speed 100 km/h 130 km/h - 172 km/h
Climb to 1,000 m - - - 6 minutes
Climb to 2,000 m - - - 13 minutes
Climb to 3,000 m - - - 24.5 minutes
Climb to 4,000 m - - - 43.5 minutes


Known LVG C-Type Production Orders
Type Date Qty Serials Notes
C.I
C.II Aug. 1915 50 C.493-542/15
C.II Aug. 1915 150 C.664-813/15
C.II 1 C.917/15 Powered by Maybach Mb.III
C.II Nov. 1915 50 C.2104-2153/15
C.II Nov. 1915 100 C.2154-2253/15
C.II Dec. 1915 50 No record of production
C.II Dec. 1915 125 C.4214-4288/15
C.4289-4338/15 75 built at Johannisthal
50 built in Koslin
C.II Feb. 1916 179 C.287-465/16
C.II Jan.1917 17
C.II(Ago) Aug. 1917 100 C.9900-9999/17 For use as advanced trainer
C.II(Ago) Jan. 1918 100 C.100-199/18 For use as advanced trainer
C.II(Ago) July 1918 100 C.5150-5249/18 For use as advanced trainer
The LVG C.II was the most numerous of the early LVG C-types. Here is LVG C.II 533/15 attached to Kagohl I, Kampfstaffel 3. The 'kink' in the upper left wing aileron (and right aileron) is a hallmark of the Franz Schneider designs. This aircraft has a 160 hp Mercedes D.III engine and the original style of gun turret. Its work number, 1241, is visible on both the fin and rudder. (Courtesy Bruno Schmaling)
LVG C-Types
  
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  The LVG C.III was a simple conversion of the C.II with its observer in front. Although seating the observer/gunner in the rear cockpit seemed to offer the best defensive field of fire, Idflieg was not ready to have all C-types built with the gunner in the rear cockpit until operational experience validated that. The C.III was limited to prototype status as, by the time it appeared, operational experience had indeed confirmed the superior defense provided by seating the gunner in the rear cockpit.
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LVG C-Type Specifications
LVG C.I LVG C.II LVG C.III LVG C.IV
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 14.5 m 12.68 m/12.85 m/&13.80 m (C.IIN) 12.7 m 13.6 m
Span, Lower - - - 10.9 m
Chord, Upper - - - 1.98-1.72 m
Chord, Lower - - - 1.77-1.58 m
Gap - - - 1.85 m
Wing Area 41.5 m2 37.6 m2 36 m2 38.2 m2
Length 8.61 m 8.1 m 8.0 m 8.51 m
Height 3.27 m 2.93 m 3.2 m -
Empty Weight 835 kg 845 kg 845 kg 1,050 kg
Loaded Weight 1,373 kg 1,405 kg 1,405 kg 1,600 kg
Maximum Speed 100 km/h 130 km/h - 172 km/h
Climb to 1,000 m - - - 6 minutes
Climb to 2,000 m - - - 13 minutes
Climb to 3,000 m - - - 24.5 minutes
Climb to 4,000 m - - - 43.5 minutes
The LVG C.III was converted from C.II 863/15. The front cockpit was fitted with an LVG gun turret for the observer. Of the tractor C-types with observer in the front cockpit only the LVG C.III had a rotating turret; the other types mounted the guns on rails built in to the fuselage. No production ensured because Idflieg had by now accepted that observer/gunners should be in the rear cockpit to provide better defense from attacking aircraft. (Peter M. Grosz Collection/SDTB)
LVG Torpedo Bomber Prototype

  The official designation for the LVG torpedo bomber prototype, if it actually had one, is uncertain. It has been called the 'LVG 1915' and has serial C.110 on the rudder, but its official designation is unknown. It was built to a German Navy requirement for a torpedo bomber and flight trials proved that it could carry the weight.
  Two different single-engine biplane designs were built to the naval requirement. One was the Albatros B.I S.69 and the other was this LVG. Both were three-bay biplanes. Although the Albatros prototype had a split under-carriage to enable the torpedo to be mounted at the aircraft's center of gravity, the rest of the airframe was visually similar to the three-bay Albatros B.I.
  In contrast, this large, three-bay biplane was derived from the two-bay LVG C.I but was significantly larger. Like the LVG C.I it was powered by a 150 hp Benz Bz.III engine. However, it was a single-seat aircraft with no gun armament; the observer/gunner and his gun were omitted to keep the aircraft as light as possible so it could carry the weight of a torpedo.
  A carrying rack was mounted under the fuselage to carry the torpedo and the under-carriage was a robust design with three struts on each side to withstand the loaded weight. Like the Albatros prototype, the under-carriage was split to enable the torpedo to be mounted at the center of gravity.
  The wing-span was significantly extended to provide more wing area to lift the heavy torpedo. Unlike the two-bay C.I with had ailerons on the upper wings only, the torpedo bomber had ailerons on all wings; an actuating rod connected the upper and lower ailerons on each side. The additional ailerons were required to maintain adequate roll control with the longer-span wings.
  Despite both Albatros and LVG prototypes demonstrating the ability to carry a torpedo, the Navy was not satisfied with the performance of either prototype - although the reasons were not specified. All subsequent WWI German torpedo bombers were two-engine biplane floatplanes, the single-engine landplane configuration being abandoned for carrying torpedoes. Performance of a 1915 biplane with torpedo was no doubt marginal.
The LVG torpedo bomber prototype built in 1915 with Flugmeister Herz in the cockpit. The object in the torpedo carrying rack is a test shape, not an actual torpedo. (Peter M. Grosz Collection/STDB)
This LVG D4 biplane (later designated S110), powered by a 150hp Benz, had its wing area increased by the insertion of an extra bay and, having a split axle undercarriage and heavy-duty tyres, was used by Kapitan Friedlainder early in 1915 to investigate the art of dropping a missile of torpedo weight. Sheet lead nailed to the wooden dummy, seen here in its rack under the fuselage, increased its weight on successive experiments, as a result of which Friedlander was able to make the first torpedo drop over water at Travemiinde on 11 June 1915. In September two torpedoes were dropped that ran true through the water, proving that this type of torpedo release was capable of operational use.
This photo of the LVG torpedo bomber prototype during evaluation shows the aircraft large wingspan. Both upper and lower ailerons have the characteristic LVG 'kink'. (Peter M. Grosz Collection/STDB)
This close-up of the LVG torpedo bomber prototype shows details of the complex and robust split under-carriage needed to carry a torpedo at the center of gravity. A test shape is mounted to the torpedo rack; it is likely weighted to approximate the weight of a torpedo for ground handling and flight evaluation. (Peter M. Grosz Collection/STDB)
This view of the LVG torpedo bomber prototype accentuates its distinctive appearance and highlights its size. The test shape is mounted and its serial number, C.110, is plainly visible on the rudder under the national insignia. Test pilot Flugmeister Herz is in the cockpit. (Peter M. Grosz Collection/STDB)
The LVG torpedo bomber prototype in flight without the test shape. Identification pennants stream from the wings. Wingtip skids appear to have been fitted, a reasonable precaution for an aircraft of this large wingspan. (Peter M. Grosz Collection/STDB)
LVG C-Types
  
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  Powered by the rare Mercedes D.IV straight-eight engine, the LVG C.IV was designed for long-range reconnaissance where its high speed would enable it to avoid interception. It was moderately successful, being just slightly faster than the competing Albatros C.V powered by the same engine. The C.IV was the last Schneider design to be built; he left LVG on 30 June 1916 suffering from serious health problems.
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LVG C-Type Specifications
LVG C.I LVG C.II LVG C.III LVG C.IV
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 14.5 m 12.68 m/12.85 m/&13.80 m (C.IIN) 12.7 m 13.6 m
Span, Lower - - - 10.9 m
Chord, Upper - - - 1.98-1.72 m
Chord, Lower - - - 1.77-1.58 m
Gap - - - 1.85 m
Wing Area 41.5 m2 37.6 m2 36 m2 38.2 m2
Length 8.61 m 8.1 m 8.0 m 8.51 m
Height 3.27 m 2.93 m 3.2 m -
Empty Weight 835 kg 845 kg 845 kg 1,050 kg
Loaded Weight 1,373 kg 1,405 kg 1,405 kg 1,600 kg
Maximum Speed 100 km/h 130 km/h - 172 km/h
Climb to 1,000 m - - - 6 minutes
Climb to 2,000 m - - - 13 minutes
Climb to 3,000 m - - - 24.5 minutes
Climb to 4,000 m - - - 43.5 minutes


Known LVG C-Type Production Orders
Type Date Qty Serials Notes
C.IV Dec. 1915 75 C.4339-4413/15
C.IV Feb. 1916 50 C.237-286/16
LVG B-Types

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  By the time the LVG B.III was developed in 1917 the aircraft at the front needed to be armed to survive. Consequently, the B.III was developed and used as a trainer. Only six B.III were ever listed at the front and these were in December 1915. This is clearly an error as the B.III was not built until 1917. Production of the LVG B.III and various late LVG C-types developed from the B.III as trainers continued until the Armistice.
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  At this point the history of LVG C-types becomes obscure. The next documented LVG C-type is the C.VIII, a handsome biplane with car-type radiator in the nose that was intended to replace the C.VI in production. As far as is known, only a single C.VIII prototype was completed before the Armistice.
  But what about the missing LVG C.VII? One source describes the LVG C.VII as an improved LVG B.III powered by a 160 hp Mercedes D.III engine built in 1918 and intended for use as a trainer. This may be true, but there is no confirmation and no photos of the type that have been identified. If this is true, then the logical hole between the C.VI and C.VIII is neatly filled.
  But it gets worse, as a photo exists of the LVG C.XI(Schul)! This aircraft matches the description given of the LVG C.VII; a modified B.III intended for training and built by Schutte-Lanz as indicated by the "Schul" suffix. The existence of the C.XI(Schul) then raises the question of what are the LVG C.IX and C.X, now the missing numbers in the series? These aircraft may well have been variations of the C.XI(Schul), perhaps with different engines or equipment, or perhaps designations assigned to versions of the C.XI(Schul) built by different manufacturers. Unfortunately for those who like tidy solutions for historical questions, currently no documentation of these 'missing' types in the LVG C-type numbering sequence has been found. Neither have photos of these missing types been identified.
  

LVG B-Type Specifications
LVG B.l LVG B.II LVG B.III
Engine 100 hp Mercedes D.I 120 hp Mercedes D.II 120 hp Mercedes D.II
120 hp Mercedes D.II 110 hp Benz Bz.II
120 hp Argus As.II
110 hp Benz Bz.II
Span, Upper 14.5 m 12.12 m 12.51 m
Span, Lower 12.5 m - -
Gap 1.95 m - -
Wing Area 42.5 m2 - -
Length 9.00 m 8.3 m 7.89 m
Empty Weight 765 kg 726 kg 710 kg
Loaded Weight 1,132 kg 1,074 kg 1,042 kg
Maximum Speed 90-100 km/h 105 km/h 120 km/h
Climb to 800 m 14 minutes - -
Climb to 2,000 m 24.5 minutes - -
Climb to 3,000 m - - 28 minutes
Note: The B.I wings had 2° dihedral and 40 cm sweepback.


LVG C-Type Specifications
LVG C.V LVG C.VI LVG C.VIII LVG C.XI(Schul)
Engine 200 hp Benz Bz.IV 220 hp Benz Bz.IVa 240 hp Benz Bz.IVu 160 hp Mercedes D.III
Span, Upper 13.60 m 13.0 m 13.0 m -
Span, Lower 12.83 m - - -
Chord, Upper 1.75 m - - -
Chord, Lower 1.60 m - - -
Gap 1.73 m - - -
Wing Area 40.5 m2 34.6 m2 35.7 m2 -
Length 8.07 m 7.45 m 7.0 m -
Height 3.36 m 2.8 m 2.8 m -
Empty Weight 1,009 kg 930 kg 975 kg -
Loaded Weight 1,505 kg 1,309 kg 1,380 kg -
Maximum Speed 170 km/h 170 km/h 165 km/h -
Climb to 1,000 m 3 minutes 4 minutes - -
Climb to 2,000 m 7 minutes 8 minutes - -
Climb to 3,000 m 12.5 minutes 15 minutes - -
Climb to 4,000 m 23.5 minutes 25.0 minutes - -
Climb to 6,000 m - 40.0 minutes - -


Known LVG B-Type Production - 1916 & 1917
Type Qty Serials Notes
B.I 20 620/16-639/16 LVG B.I(Ot) built by Otto in Munich as trainers
B.IIa 200 1350/17-1549/17 LVG B.IIa(Schul); Schutte-Lanz built as trainers
B.III 100 2300/17-2399/17 LVG B.III(SSW); SSW-built as trainers
B.III 100 2800/17-2899/17 LVG B.III(Eu); Euler-built as trainers
B.III 100 3200/17-3299/17 LVG B.III; LVG-built as trainers
B.III 300 3300/17-3599/17 LVG B.III(Schul); Schutte-Lanz-built as trainers
There seems to be additional orders for 200 B.III from LVG and 100 B.III from Hansa.


LVG B.III

  Designed in 1917, after Franz Schneider had left LVG, the LVG B.III was intended and used solely as a trainer. Although the Frontbestand table shows six LVG B.III aircraft at the front in December 1915, this is surely an error as the B.III was not built until 1917 and all were used as trainers.
  Likely designed by Diplom-Ingenieur Wilhelm Sabersky-Mussigbrodt, who designed the LVG C.V and C.VI, the B.III bore a close family resemblance to those aircraft. As such, there was no 'kink' in the ailerons characteristic of the earlier LVG types designed by Schneider,- instead, the ailerons had the pronounced washout present in so many other types, including the LVG C.V and C.VI.
  Typically powered by the 120 hp Mercedes D.II, the LVG B.III appears to have been the basis for later LVG C-types intended for training, including the LVG C.XI(Schul), which see.
LVG B.III prototype, 1917.
LVG B.III(Schul) 3300/17, April 1918.
LVG B.III(Schul) xxxx/17 apparently with wood fuselage.
LVG B.III 3250/18 late-war trainer with fuselage reinforcing strips, staggered wings, enlarged rudder, and wood wheels.
LVG B.III 'JUPP', a postwar civilian aircraft. D in white on fuselage, apparently number 329 was partially scrapped off.
LVG B.III D448 of the Aero Express, modified postwar to have separate cockpits instead of one large communal cockpit.
LVG B.III with LVG logo on rudder and large 'LVG' under each lower wing, postwar.
LVG B.III of the postwar Danish Air Service.
LVG B.III of Fokker's Lucht Toerisme used for postwar aerial sight-seeing in Holland.
This LVG B.III is probably the prototype. (Peter M. Grosz Collection/STDB)
This LVG B.III is probably the prototype. The photo below shows the aircraft before the designation was applied but with national markings. Franz Schneider had left LVG before the B.III was designed so the ailerons lack the characteristic 'kink' of Schneider designs. However, like many WWI designs they feature prominent washout. The photo above is from the Peter M. Grosz Collection/STDB
Front view of an LVG B.III still wearing national insignia. (Peter M. Grosz Collection/STDB)
LVG B.III(Schul) 3300/17 was built under license by Schutte-Lanz, a company well known for building airships in competition with the Zeppelin company. Photo taken April 17,1918. (Peter M. Grosz Collection/STDB)
This LVG B.III(Schul) was built under license by Schutte-Lanz, a company well known for building airships in competition with the Zeppelin company. Engine was a 120 hp Mercedes D.II. (Peter M. Grosz Collection/STDB)
LVG B.III 3250/18 trainer. A key recognition feature of the B.III and related trainers was the over-size rudder. (Peter M. Grosz Collection/STDB)
This image appears to be a post-war photograph of LVG B.III trainers collected for destruction; all the engines have been removed and all the aircraft are wearing 1918 national insignia. LVG B.III 3259/17 is visible in the left foreground. (Courtesy Reinhard Zankl)
A post-war photograph of LVG B.III trainer airframes collected for destruction; all the engines have been removed and all the aircraft are wearing 1918 national insignia. (Peter M. Grosz Collection/STDB)
LVG B.III trainer showing the engine and Hans Windhoff radiator with three side extensions (for engines with more than 120 hp) in closeup. (Peter M. Grosz Collection/STDB)
Engine and Hans Windhoff radiator details of an LVG B.III(Schul) built under license by Schutte-Lanz. The underwing gravity fuel tank is well-shown. The engine is a 120 hp Mercedes D.II. (Peter M. Grosz Collection/STDB)
LVG B.III in postwar civilian service. The initials "LVG" are painted underneath the lower wings and a large LVG logo is painted on the rudder, indicating ownership by LVG.
LVG B.III with the initials 'LVG' painted under each lower wing, indicating post-war ownership by the LVG company. This is likely the same aircraft.
Post-war photo of an LVG B.III with LVG logo on the rudder and a Fokker Triplane at right. (Peter M. Grosz Collection/STDB)
LVG B.III "Jupp". The photo shows no national insignia, indicating it was taken post-war. The serial number of 329 has been painted over and the 'D' indicates German registration. (Peter M. Grosz Collection/STDB)
LVG B.III D448 in post-war civilian service. "Aero Express" and the phone number are painted on the fin. (Peter M. Grosz Collection/STDB)
Post-war photo of an LVG B.III in service in the Netherlands. (Peter M. Grosz Collection/STDB)
LVG B.III in 1919 in civil service in the Netherlands.
This LVG B.III in the Netherlands post-war. The inscription on this Dutch B.III reads "Fokker's Luchttoerisme" or "Fokker's air tourism" so the aircraft is probably in an aerial joy-riding business.
LVG B.III of ELTA in Netherlands service photographed in 1919.
LVG B.III in 1921 in civil service in the Netherlands. It appears to be is use as a light transport with two passengers. Both Dutch LVG B.III's bear the inscription "Luchtlijn (airline) Leewarden - Amsterdam." So it appears this was an airline going from Leewarden to Amsterdam, etc.
LVG B.III in early post-war civil service in the Netherlands. It appears to have been heavily damaged in a landing accident.
An LVG B.III in post-war Danish service. The engine, propeller, and radiator are clearly shown.
Two LVG B.III aircraft in post-war Danish service for carrying airmail.
An LVG B.III in post-war Danish service being man-handled into position. The fuselage reinforcements show.
The pilot of an LVG B.III in post-war Danish service.
LVG B.III aircraft in Danish service in military use.
LVG B.III aircraft in Danish service in civilian use registered as T-DTOR.
LVG C-Types
  
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  LVG management replaced Schneider with Diplom-Ingenieur Wilhelm Sabersky-Mussigbrodt, who had designed the excellent DFW C.V that LVG was then building under license. Because license fees were required to be paid for aircraft produced under license, LVG management naturally preferred to build their own designs. Sabersky quickly succeeded in producing the LVG C.V, a refined development of the DFW C.V he had designed, and this aircraft was ordered into production. The C.V became the most successful LVG type in terms of number produced.
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LVG C-Type Specifications
LVG C.V LVG C.VI LVG C.VIII LVG C.XI(Schul)
Engine 200 hp Benz Bz.IV 220 hp Benz Bz.IVa 240 hp Benz Bz.IVu 160 hp Mercedes D.III
Span, Upper 13.60 m 13.0 m 13.0 m -
Span, Lower 12.83 m - - -
Chord, Upper 1.75 m - - -
Chord, Lower 1.60 m - - -
Gap 1.73 m - - -
Wing Area 40.5 m2 34.6 m2 35.7 m2 -
Length 8.07 m 7.45 m 7.0 m -
Height 3.36 m 2.8 m 2.8 m -
Empty Weight 1,009 kg 930 kg 975 kg -
Loaded Weight 1,505 kg 1,309 kg 1,380 kg -
Maximum Speed 170 km/h 170 km/h 165 km/h -
Climb to 1,000 m 3 minutes 4 minutes - -
Climb to 2,000 m 7 minutes 8 minutes - -
Climb to 3,000 m 12.5 minutes 15 minutes - -
Climb to 4,000 m 23.5 minutes 25.0 minutes - -
Climb to 6,000 m - 40.0 minutes - -


Known LVG C-Type Production Orders
Type Date Qty Serials Notes
C.V Apr. 1917 178 C.3200-3377/17
C.V Apr. 1917 22 C.4556-4577/17
C.V Aug. 1917 500 C.9400-9899/17
C.V Nov. 1917 250 C.14403-14652/17
C.V Dec. 1917 150 C.15815-15964/17
C.V Feb. 1918 100 C.1000-1099/18
C.V Mar. 1918 50 C.1750-1799/18
LVG C-Types
  
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  The next LVG was the C.VI, a more compact development of the C.V. Arriving at the front in May 1918, the C.VI offered improved performance and maneuverability compared to the C.V and gradually replaced it in combat units. Still in production at the Armistice, the C.VI had a successful post-war career with the air arms of other countries and therefore is better known today than its C.V predecessor despite the fact the C.V served longer and in greater numbers.
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LVG C-Type Specifications
LVG C.V LVG C.VI LVG C.VIII LVG C.XI(Schul)
Engine 200 hp Benz Bz.IV 220 hp Benz Bz.IVa 240 hp Benz Bz.IVu 160 hp Mercedes D.III
Span, Upper 13.60 m 13.0 m 13.0 m -
Span, Lower 12.83 m - - -
Chord, Upper 1.75 m - - -
Chord, Lower 1.60 m - - -
Gap 1.73 m - - -
Wing Area 40.5 m2 34.6 m2 35.7 m2 -
Length 8.07 m 7.45 m 7.0 m -
Height 3.36 m 2.8 m 2.8 m -
Empty Weight 1,009 kg 930 kg 975 kg -
Loaded Weight 1,505 kg 1,309 kg 1,380 kg -
Maximum Speed 170 km/h 170 km/h 165 km/h -
Climb to 1,000 m 3 minutes 4 minutes - -
Climb to 2,000 m 7 minutes 8 minutes - -
Climb to 3,000 m 12.5 minutes 15 minutes - -
Climb to 4,000 m 23.5 minutes 25.0 minutes - -
Climb to 6,000 m - 40.0 minutes - -


Known LVG C-Type Production Orders
Type Date Qty Serials Notes
C.VI Oct. 1917 3 14400-14402/17 Prototypes
C.VI Mar. 1918 250 1497-1796/18 Combined with last C.V production batch
C.VI May 1918 100 3900-3999/18
C.VI June 1918 150 4750-4899/18
C.VI July 1918 100 7600-7799/18
C.VI July 1918 200 7600-7799/18
C.VI July 1918 50 08.101-150 For Austria-Hungary. Order cancelled, none delivered
C.VI Aug. 1918 200 8900-9099/18
C.VI Oct. 1918 200 11100-12099/18 Serial numbers not confirmed
LVG C-Types
  
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  At this point the history of LVG C-types becomes obscure. The next documented LVG C-type is the C.VIII, a handsome biplane with car-type radiator in the nose that was intended to replace the C.VI in production. As far as is known, only a single C.VIII prototype was completed before the Armistice.
  But what about the missing LVG C.VII? One source describes the LVG C.VII as an improved LVG B.III powered by a 160 hp Mercedes D.III engine built in 1918 and intended for use as a trainer. This may be true, but there is no confirmation and no photos of the type that have been identified. If this is true, then the logical hole between the C.VI and C.VIII is neatly filled.
  But it gets worse, as a photo exists of the LVG C.XI(Schul)! This aircraft matches the description given of the LVG C.VII; a modified B.III intended for training and built by Schutte-Lanz as indicated by the "Schul" suffix. The existence of the C.XI(Schul) then raises the question of what are the LVG C.IX and C.X, now the missing numbers in the series? These aircraft may well have been variations of the C.XI(Schul), perhaps with different engines or equipment, or perhaps designations assigned to versions of the C.XI(Schul) built by different manufacturers. Unfortunately for those who like tidy solutions for historical questions, currently no documentation of these 'missing' types in the LVG C-type numbering sequence has been found. Neither have photos of these missing types been identified.
  

LVG C-Type Specifications
LVG C.V LVG C.VI LVG C.VIII LVG C.XI(Schul)
Engine 200 hp Benz Bz.IV 220 hp Benz Bz.IVa 240 hp Benz Bz.IVu 160 hp Mercedes D.III
Span, Upper 13.60 m 13.0 m 13.0 m -
Span, Lower 12.83 m - - -
Chord, Upper 1.75 m - - -
Chord, Lower 1.60 m - - -
Gap 1.73 m - - -
Wing Area 40.5 m2 34.6 m2 35.7 m2 -
Length 8.07 m 7.45 m 7.0 m -
Height 3.36 m 2.8 m 2.8 m -
Empty Weight 1,009 kg 930 kg 975 kg -
Loaded Weight 1,505 kg 1,309 kg 1,380 kg -
Maximum Speed 170 km/h 170 km/h 165 km/h -
Climb to 1,000 m 3 minutes 4 minutes - -
Climb to 2,000 m 7 minutes 8 minutes - -
Climb to 3,000 m 12.5 minutes 15 minutes - -
Climb to 4,000 m 23.5 minutes 25.0 minutes - -
Climb to 6,000 m - 40.0 minutes - -
LVG B.I trainer No.4 of the LVG flying school at Johannisthal. An airship is in the Zeppelin hangar at left; the Parseval hangar at right is empty. Two NFW trainers are at left. (Peter M. Grosz Collection/STDB)
Tarmac scene at Johannisthal in early 1915 NFW and LVG training aircraft used by the FMF (Freiwilliges MarinefIiegerkorps - Volunteer Naval Flying Corps) in front of the airship sheds. Almost all flying instruction concentrated on the take-off and landing phases of flight. Flying tests consisted of successfully carrying out a number of 'figure-of-eights' flown at an altitude of 200 metres and landings made within a given distance from a specified point on the aerodrome. The nose of the airship 'Hansa', seen in the far building, has been marked with the German national insignia on its undersurfaces.