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Friedrichshafen FF33

Страна: Германия

Год: 1915

Friedrichshafen - FF31 - 1914 - Германия<– –>Friedrichshafen - FF34 - 1915 - Германия


В.Обухович, А.Никифоров Самолеты Первой Мировой войны


Осенью 1914 г. совершил первый полет опытный гидросамолет FF 33. Он был создан на базе двухместного патрульного гидросамолета FF 29 и отличался более мощным двигателем Мерседес D.II (120 л. с.) и усовершенствованным трехопорным поплавковым шасси с хвостовым поплавком. На первых шести машинах вооружение не устанавливалось, а место пилота находилось в задней кабине.
  Самолет оказался очень удачным и строился во многих модификациях и сериях. Так, FF 33b был оснащен рядным двигателем Майбах и двухреданными основными поплавками. Место пилота было оборудовано в передней кабине. Стрелок был вооружен подвижным турельным пулеметом. Всего было выпущено 5 самолетов.
  На варианте FF 33e устанавливались двигатели Бенц Bz.III (150 л. с.) или Майбах III. Оборудование самолета было дополнено радиопередатчиком. Шасси стало двухпоплавковым, а вместо хвостового поплавка в конструкцию был включен подфюзеляжный киль. Всего было изготовлено 190 машин этой модификации. Самолет применялся для разведки прибрежных районов с береговых гидродромов и как корабельный разведчик. Именно FF 33e был на борту вспомогательного крейсера "Волк", полтора года топившего транспортные суда в Тихом и Индийском океанах.
  FF 33j имел улучшенную аэродинамику и был оснащен радиостанцией. В этой серии в 1917 г. был выпущен и учебно-тренировочный самолет FF 33s с двойным управлением (20 машин).
  Второй серией самолетов FF 33 стали вооруженные патрульные модификации, предназначенные для борьбы с морской авиацией противника. Эти машины имели уменьшенный размах крыльев и укороченный фюзеляж, вооружались турельным пулеметом.
  FF 33f использовался как разведчик-истребитель. Всего было изготовлено 5 самолетов с двигателем Бенц Bz.III. Вариант FF 33h имел улучшенную аэродинамику, усиленную коробку крыльев и оснащался двигателем Бенц Bz.III. Этот самолет предназначался для применения в качестве двухместного истребителя. Было произведено 50 экземпляров.
  FF 33l представлял собой вооруженный разведчик с уменьшенными размерами планера, двигателем Бенц Bz.III и улучшенными летными характеристиками. Всего было выпущено 130 самолетов. Одна машина была изготовлена с колесным шасси.


Технические данные Фридрихсхафен FF 33e
Двигатель 1 x Бенц Bz.III (150 л. с.)
Размеры;
  размах х длина х высота 16,75 х 10,45 х 3,73
Площадь крыльев 52,7 м2
Вес:
  пустого 1008 кг
  взлетный 1635 кг
Максимальная скорость 119 км/ч
Время набора высоты 1000 м 17,5 мин
Потолок 2500 м
Дальность 450 км
Продолжительность полета 6 ч
Экипаж 2 чел.


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


Friedrichshafen 33 Variants

  The FF 33s were undoubtedly the most multifarious of the early German patrol seaplanes. Nevertheless, their many variants could be basically divided into two categories. The 33/33b, 33e, 33j and 33s, which were mostly unarmed reconnaissance patrol seaplanes carrying a small load of bombs, were all of three-bay wing format. The 33f, 33h and 331, on the other hand, were fighters of two-bay wing layout, intended for armed patrols and on occasion for escort to reconnaissance patrol machines.

  The Reconnaissance FFs. Stemming from the FF 33, all variants were of basically similar airframe construction, with differing engine, equipment installations, flotation gear and wingspan, as will be outlined later. The initial FF 33 appeared at the end of 1914 and was a quite orthodox fabric-covered wooden structure in which the pilot sat in the aft cockpit. Like the earlier FF 29, it was powered with a 120 h.p. Mercedes D II engine, and in general differed little except for modification of the float shape. The fuselage was a simple slab-sided braced box-girder structure of spruce longerons and spacers tapering to a vertical knife-edge, and with a slightly rounded top decking. A small amount of sweepback was incorporated in the wings, which were based on two main spars with wooden ribs, the trailing edges of which were linked with a wire member which imparted a scalloped effect to the profile. The ailerons, of inverse taper, were of steel-tube construction, likewise the tail assembly, and of these control surfaces only the rudder was balanced. However, only six aircraft of this type were supplied to the German Navy.
  In the F F 33b, which followed, the positions of the crew were reversed, with the pilot now sitting in the forward position. In the rear cockpit the observer was equipped with a manually operated machine-gun for defence purposes. A more powerful engine, the 160 h.p. Maybach, was fitted and the radiators were sited on the fuselage sides adjacent to the front cockpit. The floats were of two-step design, with flat bottoms forward and vee section aft. As far as is known, only five of this type were built.
  The next variant was the FF 33e, which was still generally similar to its predecessors but differed most noticeably in the float arrangement, the main floats being considerably lengthened and the tail float abandoned. In its place a long underfill was substituted, and this became a characteristic of practically all subsequent Friedrichshafen aircraft. This modification of the float system resulted in the most seaworthy machine to date. Another variation from the earlier machines was the installation of the 150 h.p. Benz Bz. III engine, the reliability of which was superlative for long "over water" patrols. With this engine the radiator system was again revised, the cooler now being located against the leading edge of the top wing. The FF 33e was the first of the series to be equipped with radio-telegraphy equipment, but at this stage only a transmitter was fitted. No defensive armament was installed, as development of protection escort machines was proceeding simultaneously. Some 188 FF 33es were constructed from March 1915 onwards, the final batch supplied from September 1917 to January 1918 being equipped solely as school machines and fitted with dual control.
  A further refinement in the series came with the FF 33j, the most noticeable feature of which was the cleaning up of the nose-entry and the addition of a spinner to the propeller hub. A headrest for both pilot and observer was fitted, and altogether a much more pleasing appearance resulted. Both transmitting and receiving radio equipment was now installed, which made for an all-round improvement in communications. Furthermore, tools, spare parts and sea anchors were carried to facilitate repair in case of forced alighting; also full navigation equipment and signalling gear was installed.
  Doubtless the most famous of all the FF seaplanes was the 33e "841" Wolfchen carried by the German auxiliary cruiser Wolf, whose depredations from November 1916 to February 1918 extended as far as the Indian and Pacific Oceans. Wolfchen was hoisted overboard on a derrick and tackle and proceeded to scout ahead of the cruiser, sending by radio to her parent ship such intelligence as became available. In all, some fifty-six flights were carried out during this period, and between each considerable maintenance was often necessary. This represented a commendable achievement on the part of all concerned, particularly as the aircraft had to be protected as much as possible against the effects of exposure and tropical climates.
  Translated extracts from the Wolfchen log exemplify accomplishment:
  "Pacific Ocean. 2nd June 1917. Orders. Merchant steamer which has been sighted to North of Raoul Island to be stopped and brought to Wolf."
  The ship had suddenly appeared while Wolf was hove-to close to the island, engaged on engine repairs and trimming bunkers. Wolfchen started at 15.30 hours and flew north. On reaching the steamer the FF 33e descended to within 200 feet and dropped the following message in English:
  "Steer south to German cruiser and do not use wireless. If not obeyed you will be bombed."
  The second time the seaplane flew over the steamer it dropped a bomb only 20 yards from her bows. At once she changed course and steered for Wolf, escorted by Wolfchen. After this threat she did not use her wireless. It was the New Zealand ship Wairuna of 3,900 tons, bound for San Francisco from Auckland. The ship and her cargo were worth many hundred thousand pounds.
  "Pacific Ocean. 16th June 1917. Orders. Hold up four-masted schooner sighted in the west and bring to Wolf''
  Wolfchen started at 15.50 hours and flew west. It spiralled down from 500 to 250 feet. Its first two attempts to drop a message on the deck failed owing to the drift of the vessel. Both fell some distance to leeward. At the seaplane's third approach a bomb was dropped from 250 feet close by the bows. The ship at once hauled in sail and displayed the United States flag. Wolfchen ordered the vessel to steer south-east and intimated that she would be bombed if she did not follow. She at once turned in the given direction, and with Wolfchen circling overhead, was led to Wolf. It was the American schooner Winslow of 567 tons, with a cargo of coal, provisions, petrol and timber, from San Francisco. Unfortunately the petrol was useless for aircraft. Owing to bad weather, Wolfchen was again dismantled and stored away on the afternoon of 17th June 1917.
  "Indian Ocean. 25th September 1917. Orders. Investigate patch of smoke which has been sighted and report on vessel, course and distance."
  It proved to be the Japanese ship Hitachi Maru of 6,900 tons. The Wolfchen received a further order to support Wolf in holding up the vessel and to bomb her if she committed any hostile act. At the first shot from Wolf the ship turned to starboard intent upon escape. Thereupon a bomb was dropped about 30 yards ahead of her; about the same time the cruiser again fired, so that Wolfchen was led to believe that the ship was resisting. Wolfchen therefore flew up again and dropped another bomb from about 700 ft., which fell close by the port side. The explosion blew two men overboard and the steamer then hove to. Wolfchen then ceased bombing, but continued to circle round until the prize crew had gone on board.
  The seaplane then alighted close by the vessel and discovered that the nuts on the propeller had loosened, and, in consequence of the lash on the prop-shaft, the engine could not throw true against the cranks.
  The final variant of the reconnaissance FF 33 machines was the 33s, which was simply a 33j equipped with dual control for use solely as a school aircraft.

  The Fighter Patrol FFs. The principal visible difference between the reconnaissance and fighter FFs was in the reduction of overall dimensions and the introduction of two-bay wing format to improve manoeuvrability. The 150 h.p. Benz engine still remained the standard power unit.
  First of these two-seat fighter patrol types was the 33f, introduced in October 1915 and probably the first German naval lighting scout. Armament was a manually operated Parabellum gun for the observer. However, no more than five of these machines had been supplied when the type was superseded by the FF 33h. In this model the nose-entry was improved. Some had a radiator of aerofoil section built into the centre-section of the top wing. The ailerons and floats were also redesigned, all with a view to reducing head resistance. Modification to the float chassis included the introduction of steel-tube load struts between the floats instead of only cables as previously. Some inboard bay bracing cables were duplicated as a precaution against breakage should the gunner decide to shoot between the prop disc and the struts (as he was expected to do if necessary!) and sever one of the wires. Coming into service in January 1916, the 33hrs continued to operate until eventually some forty-five were in service.
  In September 1916 the FF 33l was introduced, and production finally totalled some 135 aircraft. The fuselage length and wingspan were still further reduced, a spinner was fitted to the propeller and, finally, the aircraft achieved a reasonably happy compromise between performance and manoeuvrability - a prerequisite that plagues the design of all naval aeroplanes. For a somewhat cumbersome machine the 33l possessed marked agility, and this enabled the pilot to make use of the fixed forward gun which was now added to the armament. Its degree of seaworthiness was reasonably good, and take-off and landing from open sea in winds up to force 3 could be accomplished. On some machines the forward gun was deleted and a radio transmitter carried in its stead. By and large, the FF 33ls were able to afford a good degree of protection for their unarmed reconnaissance brethren on long patrols over the North Sea.

TECHNICAL DATA
  Description:
   Two-seat reconnaissance patrol twin float seaplane (33e).
   Two-seat fighter patrol escort twin float seaplane (331).
  Manufacturers: Flugzeugbau Friedrichshafen G.m.b.H. Manzell and Warnemunde.
  Power Plant: One 150 h.p. Benz Bz III 6 cylinder in-line water-cooled engine.
  Dimensions: Span, 16.75 m. (54 ft. 11 1/2 in.), 33e; 13.3 m. (43 ft. 7 5/8 in.), 33l. Length, 10.45 m. (34 ft. 3 1/2 in.), 33e; 8.825 m. (28 ft. 11 1/2 in.), 33l. Height, 3.725 m. (12 ft. 2 5/8 in.), 33c; 3.95 m. (12 ft. 10 1/2 in.), 33l. Wing area, 52.7 sq.m. (569.2 sq.ft.), 33c; 40.54 sq.m. (437.8 sq.ft.), 33l.
  Weights: Empty, 1,008 kg. (2,217.6 lb.), 33e; 916 kg. (2,021.8 lb.), 33l. Loaded, 1,635 kg. (3,636.6 lb.), 33e; 1,373 kg. (3,020.6 lb.), 33l.
  Performance: Maximum speed, 119 km.hr. (74.5 m.p.h.), 33e; 136 km.hr. (85 m.p.h.), 33l. Initial climb, 1,000 m. (3,280 ft.) in 17.5 min., 33e; in 8 min., 33l. Duration, approximately 5-6 hr., both types.
  Armament:
   33e - None. (Some aircraft fitted with rear gun.)
   33l - One fixed Spandau machine-gun forward and one manually operated Parabellum machine-gun in rear cockpit.

  N.B. Data is general. Nearly all production machines had detail differences rom batch to batch.


J.Herris Friedrichshafen Aircraft of WWI (A Centennial Perspective on Great War Airplanes 21)


Friedrichshafen FF33 Series

  Of the 854 seaplanes Friedrichshafen provided to the Navy, 427, or half, were from the FF33 family. Friedrichshafen's seaplanes were consistently more robust and reliable than those from competing manufacturers and had good flying and seakeeping qualities, the key reasons Friedrichshafen aircraft dominated the Navy's production orders. While combat aviators greatly appreciate sparkling performance, reliability is even more important, and that is especially true of seaplanes. Survival time in cold northern waters is often measured in minutes if the seaplane lets the crew down, so reliability is a seaplane's most important quality. Friedrichshafen's seaplanes did not have the exceptional high-altitude performance of Rumpler reconnaissance planes nor the remarkable maneuverability of the Fokker Triplane, but they excelled in reliability. That gained them leadership in the competition to provide reconnaissance seaplanes to the German Navy. And Friedrichshafen's FF33 family built that leadership.
  The first orders for Friedrichshafen's FF33 were placed in December 1914, with the first aircraft delivered in April 1915. The final FF33 orders were placed in March 1918, with deliveries completed in November 1918. Given the pace of aircraft development during the war, this longevity of one design was remarkable and a testament to its flying qualities and robust structure.

Reconnaissance & Fighter Variants

  The FF33 series included both 3-bay aircraft designed for reconnaissance or training (FF33, FF33B, FF33E, FF33J, and FF33S) and armed two-bay aircraft intended for fighting (FF33F, FF33H, and FF33L). It is still uncertain why all these designs were called variants of the basic FF33 and what the common design elements were throughout the entire series. Certainly Army aircraft types with smaller differences between them were given different type designations.
  On the other hand, Army aircraft were generally ordered in large batches compared to Navy aircraft, for which a typical production batch was five or ten aircraft. This resulted in significant variations between production batches of naval aircraft of the same type.

FF33 & FF33A

  The initial FF33 order was placed in December 1914 for the variant known as the FF33A. These six aircraft, MN 416-421, were all powered by the 100 hp Mercedes D.I. The FF33 variant, MN 426 and 451-455, were powered by the 120 hp Mercedes D.II. Actually, they were under-powered and subsequent aircraft in the FF33 series had more power.

FF33B & FF33D

  The next members of the FF33 family were the FF33B and FF33D. In an endeavor to provide enough power, these aircraft were powered by the 160 hp Maybach. The FF33B were MN 456-458, class BFT, and the FF33D were MN 459-460, class CB; at this time class CB meant an armed two-seat reconnaissance type. At this early stage of the war Maybach engines were primarily intended for airships and production capacity was insufficient to support naval aircraft requirements in addition; no more FF33 aircraft received Maybach engines.

FF33C

  The next production order for FF33 series aircraft was for the FF33C, MN 471-473. These aircraft were class BFT and received 160 hp Mercedes D.III engines, the first FF33 series aircraft to receive the more powerful Mercedes and also the last until the Roland-built FF33S trainers were ordered in November 1917. Despite their Mercedes engines, these aircraft were the production prototypes for the FF33E aircraft that was powered by the 150 hp Benz Bz.III. In fact, the official Atlas deutscher und auslander Seeflugzeuge designated MN 471-473 as FF33E aircraft (see the SVK table on page 6), but SVK war diary records them as being delivered as FF33C aircraft. MN 471 was delivered to the SVK on April 6, 1915 and was accepted on April 10 pending successful sea-keeping based on the tests to come. Subsequently, FF33C MN 472 arrived at SVK on May 11 and was accepted on May 18, and FF33C MN 473 was delivered on May 22 and accepted on June 19.
  The three FF33C aircraft were intensively tested by the SVK and did so well all three were sent to operational units. MN471 went to Borkum, MN472 went to Zeebrugge, and MN473 flew to Putzig.

FF33E

  With the success of the FF33C aircraft during testing at the SVK, the first FF33E production order soon followed. The main difference between the types was the 150 hp Benz used in the FF33E aircraft, further Mercedes engines being assigned to Army aircraft until late in the war. MN 479 was the first FF33E to reach operational service, arriving at Libau naval air station on August 18, 1915.
  The FF33E was ordered to fulfill a number of duties. Those class B could carry a few light bombs and were used for operations and training. Those class BFT could carry light bombs and a wireless transmitter, and were used for armed reconnaissance. Those class HFT could carry light bombs and a wireless transmitter and receiver, and like their class B siblings were used for armed reconnaissance. Only one FF33E, MN 510, was class C, an armed two-seater.

FF33F

  Essentially, the FF33F was the armed version of the FF33E; the FF33F was class C, an armed two-seater with one flexible gun. Only one small batch of FF33F aircraft, MN 534-538, were built.

FF33H

  The next member of the FF33 series was the FF33H, the FF33G designation apparently not being used for an aircraft actually built. The FF33H aircraft were class C, armed two-seaters with one flexible gun. However, they differed from previous variants in that they were more compact, two-bay aircraft instead of three-bay aircraft. The intention of this design change was to improve their maneuverability and speed during combat, for which they were armed, but without a fixed gun for the pilot. The FF33H was built in a series of small batches interspersed with batches of the FF33E; see the tables for details.

FF33J

  The FF33J was the next production variant of the series. It was a three-bay aircraft, class HFT, and designed for the same roles as the FF33E. Small batches (MN 922-931, MN 1095-1104, MN 1289- 1298, and MN 3031-3060) totalling 60 aircraft were built. The FF33J had a more streamlined nose than the FF33E with a propeller spinner the FF33E lacked and also had a streamlined headrest for the observer.

FF33K

  The FF33K was a step toward the FF33L. It was a two-bay, class C2MG aircraft. Only one aircraft, Marine Number 932, was built as the first aircraft of the first FF33L production batch. The FF33K had a larger wingspan than the definitive FF33L and its tail surfaces were similar to the older FF33 series aircraft instead of the more refined surfaces of the FF33L.

FF33L

  The final and best FF33 variant was the FF33L, a two-bay floatplane with a more streamlined nose for better performance. The first order was placed in September 1916, and ordered continued into February 1917. A total of 125 FF33L aircraft were
built, 40 in class C2MG and 85 class CHFT. The FF33L was fairly agile for its size and the class C2MG aircraft, with their fixed gun for the pilot, were particularly suited for escort and offensive use. The FF33L did not possess the maneuverability or speed of the later Brandenburg W.12, but the FF33L was more robust and could operate in higher sea states than the W.12.
  Like many naval aircraft, the FF33L underwent modifications between its relatively small production batches, the most noticeable of which were changes in the vertical tail surfaces. The first change started with batch 1158-1177, which featured a new tail design that eliminated the fin. FF33L #3144 was also tested with new tail surfaces, although these was not adopted for production.

FF33S

  The dual-control FF33S was the dedicated training version of the FF33E. One batch, MN3001-3030 was ordered from Friedrichshafen and two from Roland (789-790 and 6501-6520) for a total of 52 aircraft.


Friedrichshafen FF33 Series Production
Type Marine Numbers Quantity Date Ordered Naval Class & Notes
FF33A 416-420 5 December 1914 100 hp Mercedes D.I
FF33A 421 1 December 1914 B, 100 hp Mercedes D.I
FF33 426 1 November 1914 B, 120 hp Mercedes D.II
FF33 451-455 5 January 1915 B, 120 hp Mercedes D.II
FF33B 456-460 5 January 1915 CB, MN 459-460 were the FF33D
FF33C 471-473 3 March 1915 BFT, 160 hp Mercedes D.III
FF33E 478-483 6 June 1915 BFT
FF33E 491-496 6 June 1915 BFT
FF33E 497-508 12 August 1915 BFT
FF33E 510 1 August 1915 C
FF33E 529-533 5 October 1915 B
FF33F 534-538 5 October 1915 C
FF33E 541-550 10 November 1915 BFT
FF33E 553-562 10 November 1915 BFT
FF33E 591-595 5 January 1916 BFT
FF33H 596-600 5 January 1916 C
FF33E 633-637 5 January 1916 BFT
FF33H 638-642 5 January 1916 C
FF33E 659-663 5 March 1916 BFT
FF33H 664-668 5 March 1916 C
FF33E 680-684 5 April 1916 BFT
FF33H 685-689 5 April 1916 C
FF33E 690-694 5 April 1916 BFT
FF33H 695-699 5 April 1916 C
FF33E 715-724 10 May 1916 BFT
FF33E 725-729 5 May 1916 HFT
FF33H 730-734 5 May 1916 C
FF33E 736-740 5 May 1916 HFT
FF33H 741-745 5 May 1916 C
FF33S 789-790 2 November 1917 S, Roland built, Mercedes D.III
FF33E 802-811 10 May 1916 HFT
FF33H 812-821 10 May 1916 C
FF33E 822-841 20 June 1916 HFT
FF33E 850-859 10 July 1916 HFT
FF33E 860-869 10 July 1916 B
FF33E 870-881 12 August 1916 HFT
FF33E 882-884 3 September 1916 HFT
FF33E 885-889 5 August 1916 B
FF33J 922-929 8 September 1916 HFT
FF33J 930-931 2 September 1916 HFT

Friedrichshafen FF33 Series Production
Type Marine Numbers Quantity Date Ordered Naval Class &, Notes
FF33L 932-941 10 September 1916 C2MG; 932 was the sole FF33K
FF33L 1001-1010 10 November 1916 CHFT
FF33L 1085-1094 10 October 1916 CHFT
FF33J 1095-1104 10 October 1916 HFT
FF33L 1117-1126 10 December 1916 C2MG
FF33L 1158-1177 20 January 1917 CHFT, revised tail
FF33L 1234-1278 45 February 1917 CHFT
FF33L 1279-1288 10 February 1917 C2MG
FF33J 1289-1298 10 February 1917 HFT
FF33E 1577-1596 20 June 1917 C2MG
FF33E 1980-1999 20 September 1917 S
FF33S 3001-3030 30 December 1917 S
FF33J 3031-3060 30 March 1918 HFT
FF33L 3144-3153 10 Late 1918 C2MG
FF33L 3154-3193 40 Late 1918 C2MG,- order cancelled December 1918
FF33S 6501-6520 20 November 1917 S, Roland built, Mercedes D.III
Note: Unless noted otherwise in the tables, all FF33 series aircraft had the 150 hp Benz Bz.III. Some early FF33 aircraft had Mercedes or Maybach engines prior to an agreement between the Army St Navy that reserved Mercedes engines for Army aircraft and allocated some Benz engines to the Navy. Later, when Mercedes production caught up to demand somewhat, a few naval aircraft like the FF33S aircraft built by Roland were given Mercedes engines.

Friedrichshafen FF33 Subtype Specifications
Specification FF33 FF33A FF33B & D FF33E & F
Engine 120 hp Mercedes D.II 100 hp Mercedes D.I 160 hp Maybach Mb.HI 150 hp Benz Bz.III
Span, Upper 16.75 m 16.75 m 16.80 m 16.80 m
Span, Lower - - - 15.15 m
Wing Area - - 60.00 m2 52.70 m2
Length - - 10.20 m 10.27 m
Height - - 3.73 m 3.73 m
Empty Weight 1,000 kg 1,000 kg 1,010 kg 984-1,010 kg
Loaded Weight 1,600 kg 1,600 kg 1,655 kg 1,635-1,675 kg
Max Speed 110 km/h - 100 km/h 119-128 km/h
Cruise Speed - - - 110 km/h
Range - - - 600-700 km
Climb to 500 m - - - 5-7 minutes
Climb to 1,000 m - - - 9.9-15.5 minutes
Climb to 1,500 m - - - 16-28 minutes
Note: FF33E/F weight and performance specifications vary depending on production batches.

Friedrichshafen FF33 Subtype Specifications
Specification FF33H FF33J FF33K FF33L
Engine 150 hp Benz Bz.III 150 hp Benz Bz.III 150 hp Benz Bz.III 150 hp Benz Bz.III
Span, Upper 14.20 m 16.70 m 14.20 m 13.20 m
Span, Lower 12.66 m 15.00 m 12.66 m 11.70 m
Wing Area 43.40 m2 52.50 m2 43.40 m2 40.54 m2
Length 9.60 m 10.30 m 9.60 m 8.95 m
Height 3.75 m 3.72 m - 4.00 m
Empty Weight 948 kg 1,045 kg 948 kg 917 kg
Loaded Weight 1,477 kg 1,585 kg 1,477 kg 1,388 kg
Max Speed 123 km/h 125 km/h 135 km/h 139 km/h
Cruise Speed - 115 km/h - -
Range 615 km 550 km 675 km 450 km
Climb to 500 m 4.5 minutes - 7 minutes -
Climb to 800 m - - 12.5 minutes 6 minutes
Climb to 1,000 m 11 minutes - 16.5 minutes 8 minutes
Climb to 1,500 m 18.5 minutes - - 13.5 minutes

German Naval Aircraft Classes
Class Meaning
B Two-seat aircraft with bombing equipment
BFT Two-seat aircraft with bombing equipment and wireless transmitter
Bu U-boat aircraft (U-Boot Flugzeug]
C Two-seat aircraft with one flexible machine gun
C2MG Two-seat aircraft with one flexible and one fixed machine gun
C3MG Two-seat aircraft with one flexible and two fixed machine guns
CHFT Two-seat aircraft with one flexible machine gun and wireless transmitter and receiver
CK Two-seat aircraft with one flexible cannon and one or two fixed machine guns
E Single-seat flying boat (Einsitzerboot]
ED Single-seat aircraft with twin floats [Einsitzer mit Doppelschwimmer)
ED2MG Single-seat aircraft with twin floats and two machine guns
FL Aircraft for control of wire-guided attack boats (Fernienkflugzeug)
G Twin-engine aircraft [Grossflugzeug)
HFT Two-seat aircraft with bombing equipment and wireless transmitter and receiver.
R Aircraft with three or more engines [Riesenflugzeug)
S Two-seat training aircraft with dual controls [Schulflugzeug)
T Torpedo aircraft [Torpedoflugzeug)
U Practice aircraft (Uebungsflugzeug fur Alleinflieger)
V Test aircraft (Versuchsflugzeug zur Erprobung von Motoren, Propellern, Instruments, usw.)


J.Herris German Seaplane Fighters of WWI (A Centennial Perspective on Great War Airplanes 2)


FF33L - Fighter Forerunner

  The main purpose of fighter aircraft is to attack enemy aircraft. Some early fighters like the Vickers Gunbus and SPAD pulpit fighters had a gunner with flexible gun and no gun for the pilot, but the fighter soon evolved and a fixed gun for the pilot became essential. Thus to be included in this work, a fixed gun for the pilot was a requirement, and the C2MG variant of the Friedrichshafen FF33L qualifies. Of the 145 production FF33Ls, 60 were the C2MG category with fixed gun for the pilot; the other 85 were category CHFT with wireless transmitter and receiver and a flexible gun for the observer, but no gun for the pilot. An additional 40 of the C2MG version of the FF33L were ordered but not built and the order was cancelled in December 1918.
  The FF33 series was built in greater numbers, 491, than any other German naval aircraft and perhaps any WWI floatplane. The early FF33A and FF33B were unarmed reconnaissance seaplanes built in small numbers. The main early production aircraft was the FF33E, also an unarmed reconnaissance floatplane. The FF33H was an armed development of the FF33E with a flexible gun for the observer and smaller span for better maneuverability. The FF33J was a replacement for the FF33E and the FF33S was a trainer.
  The FF33L, the final version of the large FF33 family, was designed for use as an escort and patrol fighter and its C2MG variant was the first German seaplane to mount a fixed gun for the pilot. The FF33L was developed from the FF33H and was somewhat smaller and more streamlined than earlier FF33 floatplanes to increase speed and maneuverability compared to its general-purpose ancestors. For a seaplane of the time the FF33L had good maneuverability and handling and fair speed, and it was an effective escort for its unarmed reconnaissance companions over the North Sea and Baltic.
  While its offensive capabilities were modest, the C2MG valiant of the FF33L was the transitional design to the floatplane fighter and showed the need for more effective aircraft like the faster, more maneuverable Brandenburg W12 that truly warranted being called fighters through their enhanced offensive combat capability.

FF33L Production Orders
Marine Numbers Category Qty Delivery Dates
932-941 C2MG 10 Jan.-Feb./1917
1001-1010 CHFT 10 Mar.-July/1917
1085-1094 CHFT 10 Apr.-June/1917
1117-1126 C2MG 10 Apr.-June/1917
1158-1177 CHFT 20 Apr.-June/1917
1234-1278 CHFT 45 May-Oct./1917
1279-1288 C2MG 10 June/1917
1577-1596 C2MG 20 Aug.-Sep/1917.
3144-3153 C2MG 10 Late 1918
3154-3193 C2MG 40 Cancelled 12/18
Marine #3144 had an experimental tail design.


FF33L Specifications
Engine 150 hp Benz Bz.III
Span 13.3 m
Length 8.825 m
Wing Area 40.54 sq. m.
Empty Wt. 916 kg
Gross Wt. 1,373 kg
Max Speed 136 km/h
Climb to 1,000 m 8 minutes
  


А.Александров, Г.Петров Крылатые пленники России


В морской авиации также использовался класс Ц. 20 сентября 1916 г. у берега о-ва Руно, что в Рижском заливе, после вынужденной посадки, случившейся при возвращении с разведывательного полета к Моонзунду и Аренсбургу, в руки русских пилотов попал германский двухпоплавковый биплан "Фридрихсхафен ФФ. 33", модель Фау-8 образца 1916 г. (Friedrichshafen FF 33h, "h" - восьмая буква немецкого алфавита), с мотором "Бенц" 160 л. с. Аппарат потребовал лишь малого ремонта, а затем перелетел в Ревель, где его отрегулировали и зачислили в списки флотской авиации под кодовым номером АБ-1 ("Альбатрос" с "Бенцем"-первый). Новая карьера продлилась недолго: в апреле 1917 г. самолет передали заводу В. А. Лебедева для последующего копирования. Однако заказ на 175 подобных гидроаэропланов не был выполнен, к тому же к осени 1917 г. конструкцию уже считали устаревшей. Сфотографированный во дворике завода Лебедева на Комендантском аэродроме Петрограда (46, а), фюзеляж "Фридрихсхафена" предстает перед нами с закрашенными бортовыми и хвостовыми крестами и номером, с демонтированными крыльями, поплавками и стойками. В его задней кабине оставлена пулеметная турель (46, б), под который заметна шнуровка обшивки и ступенька для подъема и спуска наблюдателя. Некто в шляпе демонстрирует, как легок хвост самолета (46, в), при этом на обеих частях стабилизатора и на рулях глубины видны, по крайней мере, на оригинале, германские морские номера аппарата - 698. На заднем плане заметна часть вывески "Общество воздухоплавания В. А. Лебедева". Что касается компании "Флюгцойгбау Фридрихсхафен", то она была основана в 1913 г.; в конце следующего года появилась модель ФФ.29, спроектированная инженером Теодором Кобером (Flugzeugbau Friedrichshafen GmbH; Theodor Kober) и давшая затем рождение серии аппаратов марки ФФ.33, чья восьмая модификация реализовалась в 45 машинах (производилась с марта 1916 г.).


E.Hauke, W.Schroeder, B.Totschinger Die Flugzeuge der k.u.k. Luftfahrtruppe und Seeflieger 1914-1918


Kampfflugboote
K 149 Type Friedrichshafen FF 33H (Schwimmerflugzeug) Bz 150


Журнал Flight


Flight, October 16, 1919.


SOME FRIEDRICHSHAFEN "MILESTONES"

  PROBABLY no other German aircraft firm can show such a series of seaplanes as that produced by the Friedrichshafen Aircraft Works (Flugzeugbau Friedrichshafen) during the War, and for this reason a brief reference to the various types, illustrated by photographs, may not be without interest to readers of FLIGHT. The illustrations have been published in Flugsport, and the following is a translation of the descriptive matter accompanying the photographs :-
  "The Friedrichshafen Aircraft Works is the oldest German firm which has devoted its energies almost exclusively to the production of seaplanes. The firm was founded in 1912 and has produced a great number of seaplane types, under the efficient leadership of its founder and managing director, Dipl. Ing. Theodor Kober, who has been ably supported by his associates, in close co-operation with the Naval authorities and with various scientific institutions. The main sphere of activity of the firm was the construction, testing, and quantity production of seaworthy single-engined seaplanes of the types used by the German Navy for reconnaissance flights over the North Sea and the Baltic. That the firm was successful in this is proved by the fact that they have been able to supply practically all the requirements of the German Navy, and that a number of other firms have built their machines under licence. Among these may be mentioned the Luftfahrzeug Gesellschaft, the Sablatnig Aircraft Works, the Gothaer Waggonfabrik and the Warnemunde Aircraft Works. As the seaworthiness of a machine depends not only on the right shape of float, but also upon the strength of the floats and undercarriage, on the correct amount of buoyancy and on controllability when alighting, it will be seen what an abundance of experience has to be collected in order to fulfil the specifications for a seaworthy seaplane. A large proportion of the experiments was formed by tests on floats, of which over 100 types were produced. The F.F. machines, which have been well proved during the War, are all of the twin-float type, although before the War single-float machines and flying boats were also tried.
  "One object of the experiments was, among other things, to determine the number and placing of steps which best suited the different types of machines for starting and landing, and what float shape gave the best results for taxying. At the same time the floats should combine small air resistance and great rigidity with small weight, while the most suitable, strongest, and lightest construction of float details also required much work and very many experiments. The following are the most important types of seaplanes produced by the Friedrichshafen Aircraft Works :-

"The F.F. 29
  is a bomber with a 120 h.p. Mercedes engine (Fig. 1). The main floats are comparatively short, and a tail float is therefore fitted under the stern of the fuselage. The radiator is placed above the engine, and the exhaust pipes are passed under the lower plane. The pilot occupies the rear seat, while the observer sits in front, where are also the bomb releases. The petrol gravity tank is hung on the cabane struts.

"The F.F. 33,
  which is shown in Fig. 3, was fitted with a 120 h.p. Mercedes engine. It was a bomber of very similar design to the type F.F. 29, except for the floats, which were of considerably different shape.

"The F.F. 33B
  was designed for reconnaissance and had a 160 h.p. Maybach engine (Fig. 4). It was similar to the 29 and 33 types in general design, but the pilot sat in front, the observer occupying the rear seat where was mounted on a gun ring a machine gun by means of which he could fend off attacks. The radiator is in two halves, mounted on each side of the fuselage. While the floats of the F.F. 31 were provided with a Vee bottom nose, those of the F.F. 33B had a Vee bottom at the heel, and were flat-bottomed in front.

"The F.F. 33E,
  shown in Figs. 5 and 6, was used for bombing and reconnaissance, with and without wireless. In general arrangement it is similar to the 29 and 33 types. While the first machine of this type still retained the tail float (see inset Fig. 5) later machines were found not to require this on account of the long main floats with which they were fitted. The radiator was mounted on the leading edge of the top plane. Generally speaking, the fuselage, wing bracing, wings and ailerons were designed to give good aerodynamic efficiency.

"The F.F. 33F,
  shown in Fig. 7, was a development of the 33. It was, however, designed as a fighter, and was probably the first to be successfully employed by the German Navy in various theatres of war. The wing area was considerably reduced, which resulted in greater manoeuvrability. The pilot sat in front, and the observer, who was provided with a machine gun mounted on a gun ring, occupied the rear seat. In addition to the substitution of the smaller wings, with only two pairs of struts on each side, this machine was altered later on by being fitted with a shorter and better stream line fuselage.

"The F.F. 33H,
  which is shown in Figs. 8 and 9, was a development of the 33F. The fuselage, which was much shorter, was provided with a fin below as well as above, and the ailerons were redesigned to give smaller resistance. The radiator was built in flush with the top plane, which also contained the petrol gravity tank. The floats were also redesigned to give smaller air resistance. A great improvement in this machine was the incorporation of horizontal struts between the floats instead of cable, so that it was possible for the gunner to fire forward, between the inner pair of inter-plane struts and the propeller tips, since any damage accidentally done to the wing bracing in the inner bay was of minor importance as the load would be taken by the float tubes.

"The F.F. 33J.
  "This type was fitted with a 150 h.p. Benz engine, and was used as a reconnaissance machine, fitted with wireless. It has been extremely successful, and has given excellent results during the War. The 33 J (Figs. 10 and 11) is a direct descendant of the 33E. It is particularly seaworthy, is easy to fly, and very reliable, even for long-duration work. This machine is the first seaplane to be used successfully on all the seas of the world, and was used as a ship's 'plane on the Wolf. The main specification of the F.F. 33J is as follows: Weight, empty and without water, 2,300 lbs.; load, 1,185 lbs., total weight, 3,485 lbs.; length overall, 34 ft.; span, 55 ft.; float capacity, 61 cu. ft.; speed, 71-77.5 m.p.h. according to load; speed when taking off, 50 m.p.h.; climb to 4,950 ft. in 25 mins.; duration, 5 hours. This type is, so to speak, unbeaten in any theatre of war, as it was purely for military reasons that the 33J was supplanted by machines of 200 h.p. Owing to its proved capabilities the type was retained as a practice and school machine, in which form it was known as

"the F.F. 33S.
  "During the last years of the War practically all the German seaplane pilots were trained on this type (Fig. 12), and nothing more need, therefore, be said about its utility as a practice and school machine.

"The F.F. 33L.
  "This machine, which is shown in Figs. 13 and 14, is a further development of the 33H. It is fitted with 150 h.p. Benz or Mercedes engines. It formed a very happy compromise between the demands for seaworthiness and for performance. In accordance with its use as a fighter the 33L possesses great manoeuvrability, and is very seaworthy in any sea up to a rougness degree of 3. It is easy and comfortable to fly. Its main characteristics are: Weight, empty and without water, 2,070 lbs.; load, 1,045 lbs.; total weight, 3,115 lbs.; length overall, 30 ft.; span, 43 ft. 6 ins.; float capacity, 49 cu. ft.; horizontal speed, 80 to 86 m.p.h.; climb, 6,600 ft. in 30 mins; duration, 3 1/2 hours. This machine was equipped with one movable and one fixed machine gun, or one movable gun and a wireless outfit.


Flight, October 23, 1919.

SOME FRIEDRICHSHAFEN "MILESTONES"

<...>
  "As a result of the very extensive experience of seaplane construction for War purposes, the Friedrichshafen aircraft works on Lake Constance and its branch factory at Warnemunde are in a position to, and are making every effort to, take up the construction of seaplanes for commercial purposes. As the firm has up till now chiefly devoted its energies to the construction of seaworthy seaplanes, it will be seen that it is in a better position than many other firms to construct seaworthy commercial and sporting seaplanes of all types. Especially suitable for this purpose would be the types which have proved themselves during the war, such as F.F. 49C, 33J(S), 33L, 41A, and 64. The type F.F. 49C is, it will be seen from the particulars given above, especially suitable for commercial work. The useful load of 1,430 lbs. may be divided up in different ways, according to the purpose for which the machine is intended, between crew, fuel passengers and mail. For instance, with sufficient fuel for 3 1/2 hours over 600 lbs. of useful load could be carried. For passenger carrying it would be easy to provide seating accommodation, either open or closed, enabling the machine to carry two or possibly three passengers in addition to the pilot.
  "Seaworthiness means safety. Safety is one of the chief considerations for a commercial aeroplane. Since the seaworthiness of this type has never, in spite of the greatest efforts, been beaten by the machines of any other firm, it would appear that also in post-war competition it will be one of the most suitable types and difficult to beat. Much the same may be said about the lower-powered machines FF. 33J, F.F. 33S and F.F. 64. Especially would the latter machine offer great advantages for commercial work to ship-owners for carrying on board as a ship's 'plane. For instance, it would be possible without going into port, or in other words without any appreciable loss of time, to put ashore or to take on board single passengers or mail. Or, before arriving at the port of destination an officer could be sent ashore in the machine with the ship's papers, thus not only saving time but possibly also making a considerable profit on goods carried through being first in. Also the passenger who is in a hurry can be sent on ahead in the machine, thus shortening his time of crossing by as much as 10 hours. On the other hand, the machine can fetch mail from ashore so that the mail can be on board the ship several hours before she reaches port. The machine can be employed to assist in navigation on approaching the coast in bad weather, and it can also be utilised for flying ahead of the ship, spotting for floating mines. In case of accident it may possibly be used for obtaining assistance quickly. Also from the land, the machine can be used with advantage. For instance, a merchant could be flown out to meet the incoming ship, which is carrying an agent, so that all the business could be transacted by the time the ship arrived in port, thus beating the competitors who have remained ashore. For use by salvage companies it would be possible to use the seaplane for taking an engineer to the place of the stranding in the shortest possible time, where he could photograph the stranded ship and even, if the sea is not too rough, alight and go on board the wrecked ship, so that the salvage contract could be completed before a competitor could arrive by steamer in the ordinary way. F.F. 33L is very suitable for practice flying for young pilots, and would make a good sporting machine. It is light and very comfortable to fly and requires little storage space, while being easy to dismantle and erect. All of which are qualities that make it specially suitable as a sporting machine for the private owner.
  "If it is a question of carrying relatively great loads at lower speeds, a machine similar to the type F.F. 41A or to the type F.F. 33, with two 260 h.p. Mercedes engines, would be suitable."

J.Herris - Friedrichshafen Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
Early production FF33E floatplanes had a tail float and a rudder of larger chord than later production FF33E aircraft. In addition, MN 501 uses the early side-mounted radiator.
J.Herris - Friedrichshafen Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
MN 559 represents a transition between early and later production FF33E floatplanes; it had the early large-chord rudder but the tail float was replaced by a small fin. The fuselage cross had a thin black outline but the tail and wing crosses are on white backgrounds.
J.Herris - Friedrichshafen Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
MN 744 was an FF33H based at Angersee in the Baltic. It featured a personal or unit marking of two diagonal stripes; in contrast, most of these aircraft did not feature any distinctive markings. It was delivered in August or September 1916.
В.Обухович, А.Никифоров - Самолеты Первой Мировой войны
Фридрихсхафен FF 33
J.Herris - Friedrichshafen Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
FF33E MN 841 Wolfchen in one of the color schemes used during the voyage of Wolf; the markings were added after its return to Germany. Ltn.z.S. M.A. Stein and Oberflugmeister Paul Fabeck, SMS Wolf, March 1918.
J.Herris - Friedrichshafen Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
FF33E MN 841 (ersatz) Wolfchen replacement airframe for propaganda after Wolf’s successful return to Germany. This aircraft may have been an FF33J based on its headrest and nose that looks to have been designed for a spinner.
J.Herris - Friedrichshafen Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
MN 933 was the first FF33L. The finish appears to be plain fabric with varnished plywood and its metal cowling either clear coated or painted light gray.
J.Herris - Friedrichshafen Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
MN 938 was an FF33L class C2MG based at Zeebrugge. As indicated by his personal markings, it was flown in the Summer of 1917 by Friedrich Christiansen, OC of Zeebrugge, before the arrival of the faster Brandenburg W.12.
J.Herris - Friedrichshafen Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
MN 1162 was an FF33L class CHFT. It featured a white triangular pennant as a personal or unit marking although the unit and location are unknown. Standard late-war camouflage was applied.
J.Herris - Friedrichshafen Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
MN 1257 was an FF33L class CHFT with modified tail surfaces. It wore the standard late-war naval camouflage.
J.Herris - Friedrichshafen Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
MN 3144 was an FF33L class C2MG with experimental tail surfaces. It was finished in late-war naval camouflage with the engine cowling painted darker than standard.
J.Herris - Friedrichshafen Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
FF33L class CHFT MN 1271 in Bulgarian naval service in 1919.
J.Herris - Friedrichshafen Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
This FF33L with non-standard tail surfaces was in postwar Netherlands service.
J.Herris - Friedrichshafen Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
FF33L in postwar Netherlands service.
J.Herris - Friedrichshafen Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
Marine Number 453 was a Friedrichshafen FF33 powered by a 120 hp Mercedes D.II.
Журнал - Flight за 1916 г.
BACK FROM A SCOUTING EXPEDITION OVER THE NORTH SEA. - The pilot is being carried ashore from his craft on returning. The machine is of the F.F. 19 type. (The letters F.F. mean Flugzeugban Friedrichshafen, the German Naval Aircraft Factory.) In the background will be seen two other machines of a similar type.
H.Cowin - Aviation Pioneers /Osprey/
Even when the German navy found an aeroplane it liked, as in the case of the Friedrichshafen FF 33 two seater, it seemed that it could not resist vacillating over equipment fit. Take the case of the FF 33 which was bought in larger quantities than any other naval aeroplane, here any economy-of-scale effect was largely dissipated, particularly early on, by buying small batches of differing versions. Thus, for those of a real 'rivet counting' persuasion, the contract history of the FF 33 makes superb reading, with the purchase of the first 247 aircraft involving 8 variants and no less than 42 contracts, none being larger than for 10 aeroplanes. For the record, total FF 33 deliveries amounted to 409 machines between December 1914 and October 1917. Shown here is a 33B being beached at Xanthi on the Black Sea in 1916. The 33B was an unarmed reconnaissance version powered by a 160hp Maybach, giving it a top level speed of 68mph at sea level. Only five of this variant were ever ordered.
J.Herris - Friedrichshafen Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
Sanke card from a photo of an early Friedrichshafen FF33 variant that bombed Dover.
J.Herris - Friedrichshafen Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
Marine Number 419 was a Friedrichshafen FF33A, while Marine Number 294 was an FF29. The early FF33 and FF33A were virtually FF29 aircraft; later FF33 variants used more powerful engines, mostly the 150 hp Benz Bz.III.
C.Owers - Hansa-Brandenburg Aircraft of WWI. Volume 2 - Biplane Seaplanes /Centennial Perspective/ (2)
Brandenburg FB MN 514 in water with Friedrichshafen FF33 MN 452 in background.
J.Herris - Friedrichshafen Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
Friedrichshafen FF33B Marine Number 458 was a powered by a 160 hp Maybach Mb.III. Only three FF33B aircraft, MN 456-458, were built; they were class BFT. The FF33 was underpowered with only 100-120 hp, and installation of the 160 hp Maybach was an attempt to give the aircraft adequate power.
J.Herris - Friedrichshafen Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
Friedrichshafen FF33D Marine Number 459 ready to launch.
J.Herris - Friedrichshafen Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
Friedrichshafen FF33D Marine Number 460 was a powered by a 160 hp Maybach Mb.III. Only two FF33D aircraft, MN 459-460, were built; they were class CB, meaning an armed two-seater. Later the class designation for an armed two-seater was shortened to class C. The FF33D was the first FF33 variant to be armed with a machine gun as shown. While assigned to Zeebrugge, on the night of 22/23 Jan. 1916, this aircraft attacked Dover with 10 bombs.
J.Herris - Friedrichshafen Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
Friedrichshafen FF33D Marine Number 459 in a lineup of FF33 floatplanes outside the factory. The distinctive side radiator for its 160 hp Maybach Mb.III is clearly visible. The five FF33B and FF33D floatplanes built were the only FF33 variants powered by the Maybach, which did not have sufficient production capacity at the time to support greater production quantities of aircraft.
A.Imrie - German Naval Air Service /Arms & Armour/
Friedrichshafen FF33E 501 at Travemunde during the winter of 1915/16. The machine has been cleared for flight, indicated by the 'Flugbereit' notice displayed between the floats. Although when delivered this aircraft was a bombing machine, wireless telegraphy appears to have been fitted retrospectively; the windmill-driven generator can be seen fitted to the side of the fuselage near the observer's cockpit.
J.Herris - Friedrichshafen Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
Friedrichshafen FF33E Marine Number 501 on patrol. This early FF33E retains the tail float featured by earlier designs, but later production batches of the FF33E would eliminate the tail float for reduced weight and drag.
J.Herris - Friedrichshafen Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
Another image of Friedrichshafen FF33E Marine Number 501 on patrol.
J.Herris - Friedrichshafen Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
An early model Friedrichshafen FF33E covered with ice. The early FF33 floatplanes like this one had a tail float like the preceding FF29 aircraft.
O.Thetford, P.Gray - German Aircraft of the First World War /Putnam/
Friedrichshafen FF 33e.
Журнал - Flight за 1917 г.
A COLD JOB. - A German seaplane on its return from a flight over the North Sea in winter.
J.Herris - Friedrichshafen Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
Friedrichshafen FF33E without tail float.
J.Herris - Friedrichshafen Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
Friedrichshafen FF33E Marine Number 549 with ground crew.
J.Herris - Friedrichshafen Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
Friedrichshafen FF33E Marine Number 553 landing.
J.Herris - Friedrichshafen Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
Friedrichshafen FF33E Marine Number 553 on the water.
J.Herris - Friedrichshafen Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
Friedrichshafen FF33E Marine Number 557 on the beach at Warnemunde; it was ordered in November 1915.
J.Herris - Friedrichshafen Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
FF33E Marine Number 559 with old insignia.
J.Herris - Friedrichshafen Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
Friedrichshafen FF33E Marine Number 560 was a class BFT ordered in November 1915. By this production batch the FF33E had lost the tail float used on early FF33E aircraft.
J.Herris - Friedrichshafen Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
Friedrichshafen FF33E Marine Number 633 was the first of a batch of five aircraft ordered in January 1916 and was class BFT. This aircraft has the tail surface design characteristic of the main FF33E production aircraft, with the rudder and fin below the fuselage larger than those of Marine Number 560.
J.Herris - Friedrichshafen Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
An FF33E in flight. Unfortunately, the Marine Number is not legible, but the vertical tail surfaces resemble those of Marine Number 633. The FF33E was the iconic mid-war German floatplane.
J.Herris - Friedrichshafen Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
Friedrichshafen FF33E Marine Number 634 on its beaching at Warnemunde; it was ordered in January 1916.
J.Herris - Friedrichshafen Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
Friedrichshafen FF33E Marine Number 661 on its beaching dolly at Warnemunde.This aircraft was part of a batch of five ordered in March 1916. On 8 June 1916, sister aircraft FF33H #639, flown by Flugmeister Ponater and Ltn.z.S. Boenisch, shot down a French flying boat. The two crewmen were rescued by a U-boat and brought to Zeebrugge. On 20 August #639 caught fire in flight and force-landed near Ostend; the observer was slightly burned.
C.Owers - Hansa-Brandenburg Aircraft of WWI. Volume 2 - Biplane Seaplanes /Centennial Perspective/ (2)
There are at least eight floatplanes in this line up. NW 525, and Friedrichshafen FF 33E 715 and 727 can be identified.
J.Herris - Friedrichshafen Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
Friedrichshafen FF33E Marine Number 717 was a class BFT ordered in May 1916 and features the larger vertical tail without tail float.
J.Herris - Friedrichshafen Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
J.Herris - Friedrichshafen Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
Friedrichshafen FF33E Marine Number 729 was a class HFT ordered in May 1916 and has the larger vertical tail.
J.Herris - Friedrichshafen Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
The Friedrichshafen FF33 series was the most common early observation floatplane; here FF33E it 738 rendezvouses with a U-boat. The FF33 was noted for its robust construction and good sea keeping, a reputation upheld by subsequent Friedrichshafen designs.
J.Herris - Friedrichshafen Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
A Friedrichshafen FF33E (or FF33F?) operating with a U-boat.
Журнал - Flight за 1917 г.
The co-operation of German Air-Raiders with Hun U-Boats. - A German pilot going aboard a U-boat from his seaplane.
J.Herris - Friedrichshafen Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
H.Cowin - Aviation Pioneers /Osprey/
Perhaps the best known Friedrichshafen FF 33 of all was 'Wolfchen', or baby wolf, an FF 33E, serial 841, that served as the over-the-horizon eyes of the notorious German merchant raider, SMS Wolf. At sea for fifteen months, from 30 November 1916, Wolf sank, or captured, 28 allied merchant ships, aided by the scouting efforts of 'Wolfchen's' crew, pilot Lt Strein and observer Oberflugmeister Fabeck, who made 50 sorties during the three ocean cruise. This photograph, taken on 6 March 1918, shows the aircraft redecorated after its triumphant return; during the voyage 'Wolfchen' was operated without the display of any national insignia other than the German War Ensign, which was flown from the innermost starboard rear interplane strut as occasion demanded. With 162 examples of the FF 33E built, this was the most common version of all. Basic figures for the FF 33E indicate a top level speed of 78mph at sea level, along with a range of 340 miles.
J.Herris - Friedrichshafen Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
The crew preparing to put FF33E Wolfchen over the side to fly to Kiel on 6 March 1918. Fabeck is in the pilot's cockpit and Stein is checking the hoisting rig. Wolfchen is painted on the engine cowling as well as the aft fuselage.
J.Herris - Friedrichshafen Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
Friedrichshafen FF33E Wolfchen and her crew photographed for propaganda purposes on 6 March 1918 on the raider Wolf. Ltn. zur See d.R. M.A. Stein (left) and Oberflugmeister der See Paul Fabeck (right) were the crew and each could handle both positions. Fabeck had just completed his pilot's exam when he joined Wolf's crew on 9 November 1916. From July 1918 Farber served in Flandern II, Ostende. The wireless reel is clearly visible forward of the fuselage cross.
J.Herris - Friedrichshafen Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
Wolfchen and her crew photographed 6 March 1918 for commemorative purposes on the raider Wolf. Stein and Fabeck shared piloting duties in Wolfchen.
A.Imrie - German Naval Air Service /Arms & Armour/
Crew of 'Wolfchen', Leutnant zur See Stein (left) and Oberflugmeister Fabeck pose in front of their seaplane on 6 March 1918 after their long voyage, during which Wolf sank, mined or captured 28 Allied vessels, and returned home loaded with booty from her victims. For much of the time the aircraft was exposed on deck to tropical heat and heavy rain; extensive renovation was necessary to her fabric-covered surfaces, the mainplanes eventually being re-covered in heavyweight silk overpainted with grey oil paint.
J.Herris - Friedrichshafen Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
Friedrichshafen FF33E Wolfchen on the raider Wolf. At this time Wolfchen had been tidied up and national insignia repainted on her fuselage and wing surfaces. Most of her voyage, she flew without markings of any kind. The deck is crowded with prisoners and internees taken from the merchant ships that Wolf had sunk or captured. This photo gives some idea of the very limited space available for deck handling and storage of Wolfchen.
J.Herris - Friedrichshafen Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
The raider Wolf arriving at Kiel after successfully completing her 15-month raiding voyage.The starboard wings of Wolfchen are just visible amid ship and another seaplane flies overhead (above 'x').
J.Herris - Friedrichshafen Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
The ersatz FF33E Wolfchen. The aircraft's original fabric quickly rotted in the severe maritime operating environment and it had to be recovered several times during its voyage. Captured silk was the only available material that was even remotely suitable, and for much of its voyage Wolfchen was covered with silk and painted light deck gray.
J.Herris - German Seaplane Fighters of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
Freidrichshafen FF33E Marine #841 Wolfchen was the most famous German floatplane. Seen here after its return to Germany and after being restored to a dramatic finish it never wore on operations, Wolfchen was the reconniassance carried into the Indian Ocean and back by the German merchant raider Wolf, the most successful of all Germany's raiders in WWI. Wolfchen played a key role in Wolf's success. During the voyage Wolfchen was covered in plain, unmarked fabric, and atone point was recovered by captured silk fabric after its original fabric wore out. The FF33E was a reliable maid of all work among German floatplanes and served for most of the war, but only Wolfchen became famous.
J.Herris - Friedrichshafen Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
Friedrichshafen FF33E Wolfchen beached. This is the aircraft used for propaganda purposes after Wolf returned to Germany, and differs in many details from Wolfchen as used during the voyage, including smaller insignia, outward-tilted exhaust, blunt-ended struts, etc. This is thought to be a different aircraft entirely but may have been a rebuilt Wolfchen. (Peter M. Bowers Collection, Museum of Flight)
J.Herris - Friedrichshafen Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
Friedrichshafen FF33E Marine Number 871 was a class HFT ordered in August 1916.
J.Herris - Friedrichshafen Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
Friedrichshafen FF33E MN 885 in Bulgarian navy service at Varna.
J.Herris - Development of German Warplanes in WWI /Centennial Perspective/
One of the most common early reconnaissance floatplanes, a Friedrichshafen FF33, being recovered by a warship after a mission. The FF33 used the 150 hp Benz Bz.III engine.
Журнал - Flight за 1919 г.
F.F. 33E
J.Herris - Friedrichshafen Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
Friedrichshafen FF33H (FF33E ???) in Bulgarian navy service.
J.Herris - Friedrichshafen Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
A Friedrichshafen FF33E in Bulgarian service.
J.Herris - Friedrichshafen Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
Friedrichshafen FF33E in Bulgarian navy service.
J.Herris - Friedrichshafen Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
Friedrichshafen FF33E Marine Number 1981 was a class S, or training aircraft with dual controls, ordered in September 1917. It was part of batch 1980-1999. Subsequent FF33 series aircraft ordered as dual-control trainers were given the designation FF33S and were essentially the same as the dual-control FF33E.
J.Herris - Friedrichshafen Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
A striking view of a Friedrichshafen FF33F. Unfortunately, the Marine Number to verify that is not fully visible, but there appears to be a gun mounting for the observer. The FF33F was the armed version of the FF33E.
Журнал - Flight за 1919 г.
F.F. 33F
J.Herris - Friedrichshafen Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
The observer of a Friedrichshafen FF33F passes a message to a U-boat. Again there appears to be a gun-ring and gun mounted for the observer.
J.Herris - Friedrichshafen Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
Friedrichshafen FF33H Marine Number 596 was the first production FF33H. A class C, it was ordered in January 1916. The FF33H was a more compact design than the FF33E, having two bays of struts compared to the three bays of struts used in previous FF33 variants.
J.Herris - Friedrichshafen Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
Friedrichshafen FF33H Marine Number 600 was the last aircraft in the first production batch of FF33H floatplanes. A class C, it was ordered in January 1916 along with #596 above. The intention of the reduced span of the FF33H was to improve maneuverability of this armed sub-type to make it more effective during air-to-air combat.
J.Herris - Friedrichshafen Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
Friedrichshafen FF33H Marine Number 695 at Angersee.
O.Thetford, P.Gray - German Aircraft of the First World War /Putnam/
Friedrichshafen FF 33h (Marine number 695).
J.Herris - Friedrichshafen Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
Friedrichshafen FF33H Marine Number 695 flying a mission from Angersee. This aircraft, an armed class C, was the first aircraft of the 5th FF33H production batch ordered in April 1916. The red identification pennants can be seen attached to both #695 and the aircraft from which the photo was taken.
J.Herris - Friedrichshafen Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
Another view of Friedrichshafen FF33H Marine Number 695.
J.Herris - Friedrichshafen Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
True or false? If the original caption to this photograph is to be believed, the crew of this Friedrichshafen FF 33H are busy rescuing the crew of a downed enemy floatplane. There are, however, a number of anomalies if that is the case. First, there is a suspicious total lack of wing debris from the 'enemy' craft; and the distinct similarity of the two machines' floats indicates that the whole event was staged at some publicist's behest. An armed version of the FF 33E, some 40 FF 33Hs were built, the variant entering service in January 1916. Using the same 150hp Benz Bz III as that of the FF 33E, the FF 33H had a top level speed of 73 mph at sea level, along with a typical patrol endurance of around 5.5 hours.
A.Imrie - German Naval Air Service /Arms & Armour/
Nine Freidrichshafen FF33 about to leave the ramp at Libau on 12 September 1916 to join with aircraft from Windau and Angernsee for a combined operation of some 20 seaplanes against Russian naval forces in the Gulf of Riga. This action saw the first operational use of twin-engined torpedo-carrying seaplanes, but their primary target, the battleship Slava, was not hit. The ship on the left in this picture is the seaplane-carrier SMS Glyndwr.
J.Herris - Friedrichshafen Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
This rear view of Friedrichshafen FF33H Marine Number 699 shows the older tail surfaces to advantage. These were from the earlier FF33 variants and were replaced with more streamlined surfaces in the FF33L. Friedrichshafen seaplanes were robust, reliable craft that could withstand the rigors of maritime service and had good seakeeping.
Friedrichshafen FF33H Marine Number 699 was the last aircraft in the production batch of FF33H floatplanes ordered in April 1916 that included #695 and was also an armed class C
J.Herris - Friedrichshafen Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
Friedrichshafen FF33H Marine Number 731 in flight (left) and taxiing (right) was ordered in May 1916.
J.Herris - Friedrichshafen Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
J.Herris - Friedrichshafen Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
Friedrichshafen FF33H Marine Number 744 serving at Angersee illustrates the aircraft from which the FF33L was derived. The FF33H was already smaller and more streamlined than earlier FF33 models and mounted a flexible gun for the observer. The FF33L featured a spinner and more streamlined nose than the FF33H and a more streamlined tail as well, improving its performance. Addition of a fixed pilot's gun in its C2MG version made the FF33L the transitional design to a real naval fighter.
The observer's gun is clearly visible, and view illustrate additional markings that were rare for these mostly anonymous floatplanes.
J.Herris - Friedrichshafen Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
J.Herris - Friedrichshafen Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
Friedrichshafen FF33H Marine Number 819 was from another production batch also ordered in May 1916. Like other FF33H aircraft it was an armed class C floatplane.
J.Herris - Friedrichshafen Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
Friedrichshafen FF33H; the Marine Number is not visible but the observer's gun ring is clearly shown.
J.Herris - Friedrichshafen Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
Front view of a Friedrichshafen FF33H emphasizes its design heritage from earlier FF33 variants despite its two-bay wings.
Журнал - Flight за 1919 г.
F.F. 33H
J.Herris - Friedrichshafen Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
Friedrichshafen FF33H in Bulgarian navy service.
J.Herris - Friedrichshafen Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
Friedrichshafen FF33 floatplanes in Bulgarian navy service at Seeflugstation Varna.
E.Hauke, W.Schroeder, B.Totschinger - Die Flugzeuge der k.u.k. Luftfahrtruppe und Seeflieger 1914-1918
Seeflugzeug K 149, Type Friedrichshafen FF33H, Versuchsflugzeug
J.Herris - Friedrichshafen Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
Two views of Friedrichshafen FF33J Marine Number 930, the first FF33J built, on hoists. A three-bay design to class HFT, the FF33J was basically an FF33E with a more streamlined nose.The streamlining improved cruise speed by 5 km/h. Only four small production batches totalling 30 FF33J aircraft were built.
O.Thetford, P.Gray - German Aircraft of the First World War /Putnam/
Friedrichshafen FF 33j (Marine number 1095).
J.Herris - Friedrichshafen Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
A rear quarter view of Friedrichshafen FF33J Marine Number 1099 being launched using a hoist. The FF33J was an unarmed class HFT and the observer had a streamlined headrest.
J.Herris - Friedrichshafen Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
Friedrichshafen FF33L Marine Number 1174 (class CHFT) is at far left and FF33J Marine Number 1103 (class HFT) is in the center.
J.Herris - Friedrichshafen Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
Friedrichshafen FF33J Marine Number 3033 was a class HFT ordered in March 1918, a remarkable achievement for a basic design that originated in 1914. Unusually for a slow floatplane, the observer has a streamlined headrest. Late-war national insignia are prominent along with the streamlined nose with propeller spinner.
J.Herris - Friedrichshafen Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
Журнал - Flight за 1919 г.
F.F. 33J
J.Herris - Friedrichshafen Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
FF33J Marine Number 303x, a class HFT aircraft, preparing for a mission.
J.Herris - Friedrichshafen Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
Marine Number 932 was the only Friedrichshafen FF33K built. A class C2MG, it was an intermediate step to the definitive FF33L and was built as the first aircraft of the first FF33L production batch ordered in September 1916. The FF33L was a smaller, lighter, more refined design than the FF33K and offered better performance and maneuverability, so was the variant produced in quantity for the more aggressive C2MG role.
J.Herris - Friedrichshafen Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
J.Herris - Friedrichshafen Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
Marine Number 933 was the first Friedrichshafen FF33L built. A class C2MG, it was a smaller, lighter aircraft than the FF33K that was slightly faster and had double the rate of climb. It was also more maneuverable, all qualities that enhanced its effectiveness for its designed role as the Navy's first two-seat floatplane for the C2MG fighting role.
J.Herris - Friedrichshafen Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
As the first Friedrichshafen FF33L built, Marine Number 933 was the subject of a number of photos. These show the type's more compact, streamlined form and fixed pilot's gun to advantage.
J.Herris - Friedrichshafen Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
The Friedrichshafen FF33L was a smaller, faster variant of the FF33 series and 40 of the 125 built were configured with a fixed pilot's gun in addition to the flexible observer's gun as shown here.The limited top speed of the FF33L, 86 mph, made intercepting the Large America flying boats very difficult.
Friedrichshafen FF33L 933 was the first of the type built and served as the production prototype. Note that the plywood fairings alongside the nose are unpainted varnished plywood and that the fabric covered areas are clear doped linen. Prototypes were often prepared in this fashion for inspection purposes. Also note the synchronized LMG 08 machine gun for the pilot.
J.Herris - Friedrichshafen Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
J.Herris - Friedrichshafen Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
FF33L with the markings of Friedrich Christiansen on the crane at Zeebrugge. Christiansen flew FF33L Marine Number 938 frequently until October, 1917, when he switched to the faster, more maneuverable Brandenburg W.12. Although the Marine Number on this aircraft is somewhat obscured, it is thought to be #938, a class C2MG from the first FF33L production batch delivered in February 1917. Christiansen's personal markings were applied to his aircraft after he became Commanding Officer of Zeebrugge. (Peter M. Bowers Collection/Museum of Flight)
J.Herris - Friedrichshafen Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
Marine Number 1001 was the first Friedrichshafen FF33L of the second production batch. This batch was built as class CHFT. The weight of the wireless transmitter and receiver meant something else had to be eliminated, and that was the pilot's fixed gun, which could not be fitted. Of the 125 FF33L aircraft built, 85 were class CHFT. (Lower photo Peter M. Bowers Collection/Museum of Flight)
O.Thetford, P.Gray - German Aircraft of the First World War /Putnam/
Friedrichshafen FF 33l (Marine number 1001).
J.Herris - Friedrichshafen Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
J.Herris - Friedrichshafen Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
This head-on view of a Friedrichshafen FF33L shows its small frontal area for a floatplane, contributing to low drag.
The C2MG version of the Friedrichshafen FF33L was the first German naval aircraft with a fixed gun for the pilot and was the forerunner of the seaplane fighter. Here it is shown at the SVK at Warnemunde.
J.Herris - Friedrichshafen Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
FF33L in German markings and camouflage.The designers minimized frontal area for minimum drag.
J.Herris - German Seaplane Fighters of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
Friedrichshafen FF33L Marine Number 1009 is at the far right with FF33L Marine Number 1239 in front of it on the ramp.
J.Herris - Friedrichshafen Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
This lineup of floatplanes at Windau in the Baltic includes Friedrichshafen FF33L Marine Number 1009 at far right and 1239 second from right; both are class CHFT.
J.Herris - German Seaplane Fighters of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
FF33L C2MG #1123 at left and a companion FF33L, possibly C2MG #1124, at right, are ready for their next mission from Angernsee in 1917. The FF33L was smaller and more streamlined than earlier FF33 variants, giving it better speed and maneuverability. That, coupled with its fixed gun for the pilot, enabled it to undertake more aggressive missions than its antecedents, making it the transition stage to a true floatplane fighter.
J.Herris - Friedrichshafen Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
This lineup of Seeflugstaffel 1 at Angersee in the Baltic includes Friedrichshafen FF33L Marine Number 1123 (class C2MG) in the center foreground, FF33L #1094 (class CHFT) at far right, FF33L #1236 (class CHFT) second from right, FF33L #1091 (class CHFT) second from left, and FF33L #1175 (class CHFT) at far left. The aircraft in center background is FF33E Marine Number 805 (class HFT), the only aircraft in the photo that is not an FF33L.
J.Herris - Friedrichshafen Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
Friedrichshafen FF33L# 1162 was a class CHFT; the antenna mechanism can be seen alongside the observer's cockpit. (Peter M. Bowers Collection/Museum of Flight)
J.Herris - Friedrichshafen Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
Friedrichshafen FF33L Marine Number 1235, class CHFT, photographed on patrol.
J.Herris - Friedrichshafen Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
Friedrichshafen FF33L Marine Number 1244, class CHFT, without its spinner and approaching the ramp.
J.Herris - Friedrichshafen Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
Friedrichshafen FF33L Marine Number 1244, class CHFT, without its spinner tying up.
J.Herris - Friedrichshafen Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
Friedrichshafen FF33l; this was the final version of the excellent FF series of seaplanes. With its Benz BzIII engine it had an endurance of almost six hours.
J.Herris - Friedrichshafen Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
FF33L #1257, class CHFT, being recovered. This aircraft had the modified tail without fixed fin. From the clothing worn by the civilian onlookers the location was Turkey.
J.Herris - Friedrichshafen Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
FF33L #1262, class CHFT, with standard vertical tail surfaces. (The Peter M. Bowers Collection/The Museum of Flight)
J.Herris - Friedrichshafen Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
Seaplanes lined up at Windau in 1917 include at least seven Albatros W4 fighters, with Marine Numbers 911, 958, and 1107 visible on the original photo. Albatros W4 Marine #911 is the aircraft in the right background with the two circles on the fuselage. Marine #911 was the most successful Albatros W4 in the Baltic; Lt.z.S. Schulz downed three aircraft while flying it. Friedrichshafen FF33L Marine #1263, a category CHFT reconnaissance two-seater, is in the left foreground, and a similar machine is at right.
O.Thetford, P.Gray - German Aircraft of the First World War /Putnam/
Friedrichshafen FF 33l (Marine number 1578, with modified tail).
J.Herris - Friedrichshafen Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
FF33L #1590, class C2MG, had the modified tail without fixed fin.
J.Herris - Friedrichshafen Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
FF33L #3144, class C2MG, had an experimental enlarged rudder; this photo shows it without a spinner. (The Peter M. Bowers CollectionfThe Museum of Flight)
J.Herris - Friedrichshafen Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
Unter-Lt. Martin Lange by the nose of his FF33L.
Журнал - Flight за 1918 г.
Launching a German Seaplane from a Mother Ship. In the background a U. boat.
J.Herris - Friedrichshafen Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
A Friedrichshafen FF33L being launched by crane. If it was being recovered, the engine would be stopped; the fact it is running shows the aircraft was being launched. Along with its two-bay wings and smaller size, the FF33L had a refined tail design for greater agility compared to previous models of the FF33 series. (The Peter M. Bowers Collection/The Museum of Flight)
A.Imrie - German Naval Air Service /Arms & Armour/
Zeebrugge was the largest and most active of the Flanders coastal air stations and the number of aircraft operated by the different units based there sometimes exceeded 50 seaplanes, although the normal establishment was 35 aircraft. Seen here is a train-load of Friedrichshafen FF33s in late 1917, a type that gave excellent service but which was then being replaced by the higher-performance Brandenburg W12.
J.Herris - German Seaplane Fighters of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
Friedrichshafen FF33L floatplanes lined up on the Mole at Zeebrugge. German seaplanes from Zeebrugge frequently engaged seaplanes and landplanes of the Royal Naval Air Service. Landplanes normally had the advantage in these combats because they were not encumbered with floats, but a number of landplanes were downed by floatplanes.
J.Herris - Friedrichshafen Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
At Zeebrugge the floatplanes were stored on land for maintenance access and some protection from the weather. For missions the floatplanes were then transported by train from their storage location to the end of the Mole, where they were launched into the water for take-off. Use of the train enabled many aircraft to be launched quickly, and the locomotive was kept under steam at all times in case of emergency. The images of this train on this page are a series of video captures from a movie of the process. FF33L floatplanes Marine Numbers 1162, class CHFT, and 1281, class C2MG can be identified.
J.Herris - Friedrichshafen Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
Once the floatplanes reached the end of the Mole, the engines were started by the ground crew and the flight crew boarded the aircraft as shown on this page. The engines were started manually by the ground crew by swinging the propeller because the aircraft did not have starters. When afloat the observer could start the engine by swinging the propeller as he stood on one of the floats. However, it was much safer and more convenient for the ground crew to swing the propeller when the aircraft was on land.
J.Herris - Friedrichshafen Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
The photos on this page show the completion of crew boarding. Once the crew was in the aircraft, the ground crew handed up a cage of carrier pigeons (Brieftauben) to the observer. In these early days of radio, when radio reliability and performance were poor and indeed many aircraft had no radio, carrier pigeons were an essential backup method for long-range communication.
J.Herris - Friedrichshafen Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
Once the crew had boarded the aircraft with engine already running and the observer had the carrier pigeons and other gear, the floatplane was lifted by crane and placed in the water. As shown on this page, the observer handled the hook, disengaging it after the plane was on the water. The aircraft then taxiied away from the Mole for take-off. This FF33L has striped camouflage on the wings.
J.Herris - Friedrichshafen Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
The sequence on this page shows the FF33L taxiing away from the Mole for take-off, then lining up into the wind and taking off. The images on the preceding page are too dark to show details of the markings or Marine Number except for diagonal fuselage stripes. The upper photos on this page appear to show the markings of Christiansen's FF33L Marine Number 938.
J.Herris - Friedrichshafen Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
Once in flight the crew climbed to their patrol altitude while flying to their patrol area. Upon arrival in the patrol area the operational part of the mission started. This sequence shows the observer performing some of his most important functions, visual reconnaissance and in-flight photography.
For filming purposes the aircraft was fastened in place so it could be filmed with the engine running. Interestingly, this aircraft has been fitted with a semi-circular radiator as used in Rumplers instead of the standard rectangular radiator normally fitted. Was this for extra cooling during filming?
J.Herris - Friedrichshafen Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
The observer had other duties in addition to photography, including navigation and communication if the aircraft was equipped with a radio. Furthermore, as shown on this page, bomb dropping (upper left), attacking targets with the machine gun (upper right), and communicating via carrier pigeon (other photos) were also part of the observer's repertoire.
J.Herris - Friedrichshafen Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
Another duty for the patrolling FF33L floatplanes was intercepting and engaging enemy aircraft. In these frames from a propaganda film the FF33L (at left) is chasing a Rumpler 6B1 (at right) with cockades painted over its German crosses to represent an Allied aircraft.
J.Herris - Friedrichshafen Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
The images on this page show FF33L aircraft on patrol, then intercepting a ship.
J.Herris - Friedrichshafen Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
The images on this page record the FF33L floatplanes landing near the merchant vessel and stopping her to inspect her cargo for contraband.
J.Herris - Friedrichshafen Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
These images, taken from another FF33L floatplane on the surface, show FF33L Marine Number 1118 maneuvering to enable the observer to board the ship for inspection. The ship has heaved-to and lowered a small boat to help the observer board the ship.
J.Herris - Friedrichshafen Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
These are more images showing FF33L Marine Number 1118 maneuvering to enable the observer to board the ship for inspection. The ship has heaved-to and lowered a small boat to help the observer board. This was hazardous, especially during heavy seas.
J.Herris - Friedrichshafen Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
More images showing FF33L Marine Number 1118 maneuvering to enable the observer to board the ship for inspection. One can imagine how hazardous this process was during heavy seas.
These aircraft operated as flights to provide mutual protection during boarding operations and to rescue comrades in event of being forced down at sea due to combat or mechanical problems.
J.Herris - Friedrichshafen Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
To save fuel and thereby extend the duration of their patrol, the German floatplanes would often land and wait on the water until another patrolling floatplane found a target and returned to summon them. The observers would then need to 'prop' the engine to start it while standing on a float. Shown on this page are frames from a video of an FF33L waiting; note the propeller is not rotating.
C.Owers - Hansa-Brandenburg Aircraft of WWI. Volume 2 - Biplane Seaplanes /Centennial Perspective/ (2)
The Friedrichshafen floatplane on the end of the slipway has not had the lower wing crosses modified to the interim standard. There are two Brandenburg W.12 biplanes amongst these reconnaissance Friedrichshafens. MN 1403 is to the left and has only the fuselage crosses altered. MN 1401 on the right is presumed to be the same. (AHT AL0650-002)
J.Herris - Friedrichshafen Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
Above: FF33L in German naval camouflage fabric; details of thi situation are not known.
J.Herris - Friedrichshafen Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
FF33L; dashed lines on the tail show were the national insignia will be added.
J.Herris - German Seaplane Fighters of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
Friedrichshafen FF33L floatplanes from Zeebrugge on patrol over the North Sea sight a Dutch schooner.
J.Herris - German Seaplane Fighters of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
One of the Friedrichshafen FF33L floatplanes lands near the Dutch schooner to check it for contraband. German seaplanes captured or sunk a number of vessels like this that they found carrying contraband.
J.Herris - Friedrichshafen Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
Friedrichshafen FF33L 1271 in Bulgarian navy service at Varna in 1919.
J.Herris - Friedrichshafen Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
FF33L V3 in postwar Netherlands service with non-standard vertical tail surfaces.
J.Herris - Friedrichshafen Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
FF33L V3 in postwar Netherlands service taking off.
J.Herris - Friedrichshafen Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
FF33L V15 in postwar flight over the Netherlands displays the later Dutch national markings.
J.Herris - Friedrichshafen Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
FF33L V.22 in postwar Netherlands service with the original Dutch national insignia. A Macchi is at the right.
J.Herris - Friedrichshafen Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
FF33L V23 in postwar Netherlands service carrying the original national markings of an orange disk on the rudder.
J.Herris - Friedrichshafen Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
FF33L in postwar Netherlands service.
J.Herris - Friedrichshafen Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
FF33L in postwar Netherlands service.
А.Александров, Г.Петров - Крылатые пленники России
(КПР 46а)
А.Александров, Г.Петров - Крылатые пленники России
(КПР 46б)
А.Александров, Г.Петров - Крылатые пленники России
(КПР 46в)
Журнал - Flight за 1917 г.
THE MERCEDES HAS A COLD BATH. - A German seaplane after a rough "landing."
A.Imrie - German Naval Air Service /Arms & Armour/
Friedrichshafen FF33L 1010 being retrieved from the Baltic following an accident on the bombing range of the observers' school at Wiek on the island of Rugen, summer 1918. Powered by a 150hp Benz engine, this aircraft had an unrestricted front-line designation and was known as a CHFT type, meaning that it was equipped with a movable gun for the observer and was fitted with wireless telegraphy transmitting and receiving equipment.
J.Herris - Friedrichshafen Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
The success of Wolf was a huge morale booster at a time when German civilians were starving and German industry was very short of vital raw materials. This poster advertises a "German Air War Booty Exhibition" in Munich. At the top of the poster is a stylized image of the Wolfchen, and at the bottom a representation of some of the native peoples supposably seeing an airplane for the first time. This was artistic license because Wolfchen flew her missions over water out of the sight of land. However, the composition does make a more striking image than Wolfchen flying over an empty sea. Although Hollywood has a bad reputation for this kind of over-dramatization, it was hardly the first to do so.
The poster text reads: "German Airwar Spoils Exhibition, Munich 1918, Hall 3 in the Arena at the Exhibition Park on the Thereshien Heights every Saturday in any weather. Great Military concert. In poor weather Streichkonzert in the Hall of Honor. In good weather Regimental Music in the tribunal area of the Arena. Price of admission 60 Pfennigs. Children and Military half price.
Журнал - Flight за 1918 г.
A picture of a German seaplane which has captured a Russian sailing vessel in the Baltic.
O.Thetford, P.Gray - German Aircraft of the First World War /Putnam/
Friedrichshafen FF 33E
O.Thetford, P.Gray - German Aircraft of the First World War /Putnam/
Friedrichshafen FF 33L
J.Herris - Friedrichshafen Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
Friedrichshafen FF 33E Factory Drawing
J.Herris - Friedrichshafen Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
Friedrichshafen FF 33E SVK Drawing
J.Herris - Friedrichshafen Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
Friedrichshafen FF 33E SVK Drawing
J.Herris - Friedrichshafen Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
Friedrichshafen FF 33S SVK Drawing
J.Herris - Friedrichshafen Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
Friedrichshafen FF 33S Factory Drawing
J.Herris - Friedrichshafen Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
Friedrichshafen FF 33H SVK Drawing
J.Herris - Friedrichshafen Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
Friedrichshafen FF 33H SVK Drawing
J.Herris - Friedrichshafen Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
Friedrichshafen FF 33K SVK Drawing
J.Herris - Friedrichshafen Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
Friedrichshafen FF 33L SVK Drawing
J.Herris - Friedrichshafen Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
Friedrichshafen FF 33L SVK Drawing
J.Herris - Friedrichshafen Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
Friedrichshafen FF 33L SVK Drawing
J.Herris - Friedrichshafen Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
FF33E
J.Herris - Friedrichshafen Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
FF33E
J.Herris - Friedrichshafen Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
FF33E
J.Herris - Friedrichshafen Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
FF33K
J.Herris - Friedrichshafen Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
FF33K
J.Herris - Friedrichshafen Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
FF33L
J.Herris - Friedrichshafen Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
FF33L
J.Herris - Friedrichshafen Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
FF33L
J.Herris - Friedrichshafen Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
FF33L