O.Thetford, P.Gray German Aircraft of the First World War (Putnam)
Aviatik D III
Emerging from the Aviatik workshops in late 1917, the D III was another experimental type, and two prototypes were built. Both aircraft took part in the second D types Competition at Adlershof in 1918. During two test climbs to 5,000 m. (16,400 ft.) times of 20.5 min. and 22.5 min. were recorded. In order to obtain an increase in gap, the lower wings were mounted on a small keel extended from the fuselage. As in the D II, the fuselage was plywood covered, the cylinder-heads of the ungeared 195 h.p. Benz IIIb vee-eight motor being left well exposed. Span was 9.0 m. (29 ft. 6 3/8 in.) upper and 8.04 m. (26 ft. 4 5/8 in.) lower, with an area of 21 sq.m. (226.8 sq.ft.). The gross weight was 864 kg. (1,901 lb.).
J.Herris Aviatik Aircraft of WWI (A Centennial Perspective on Great War Airplanes 10)
The Aviatik D.III, powered by an experimental ungeared 195 hp Benz Bz.IIIbo V-8 flew for the first time in November 1917 and competed in the First Fighter Competition. The lower wing was mounted on a keel to give adequate gap between the wings to avoid airflow interference. The forward fuselage was of steel tube with plywood skinning and the wings were fabric covered wood. The initial type test was performed from 9-12 February 1918, at the end of the First Fighter Competition. The D.III prototype was then returned to Aviatik for modifications, and type-testing was resumed in April. A second prototype was built with a geared 195 hp Benz Bz.IIIbm V-8.
The Aviatik D.III did not make a big impression during the competition but a small number with 195 hp Benz Bz.IIIbo engines were built for test and evaluation. Performance was considered superior to the Albatros D.V, although by this time that was not a particularly high standard. Aviatik continued to develop the D.III and it also competed at the Second Fighter Competition along with the similar Aviatik D.IV.
Note: Both Daimler (making the Mercedes engines) and Benz V-8 engines were built in both geared and ungeared versions as reflected in their designations. Geared engines had the suffix 'm' for 'mit' (with), meaning with gears, while the ungeared engines had the suffix 'o' for ‘ohne’ (without), meaning without gears.
Aviatik D.III Specifications
Engine: 195 hp Benz Bz.IIIbo V-8
Wing: Span 9.0 m
Area 21.0 m2
General: Loaded Weight 864 kg
Climb: 1000m 2.5 min
2000m 5.7 min
3000m 11.0 min
4000m 17.0 min
W.Green, G.Swanborough The Complete Book of Fighters
AVIATIK D III Germany
Flown for the first time in November 1917, the first prototype D III was powered by an ungeared Benz Bz IIIbo eight-cylinder Vee engine rated at 195 hp, was of mixed construction with a steel-tube forward fuselage, plywood fuselage skinning and fabric wing skinning, and carried an armament of twin synchronised 7,92-mm LMG 08/15 machine guns. A distinguishing feature was provided by a small, keel-like extension beneath the fuselage which served to increase the wing gap. Initial Typen-Prufung was performed at Adlershof during 9-12 February 1918, and after modifications by Aviatik, the D III was returned to Adlershof in April for resumption of type testing, together with a second prototype powered by a geared Bz IIIbm engine. By this time a small series of Bz IIIbo-powered D IIIs was under construction for service test and evaluation. Performance of the D III was considered to be superior to that of the Albatros D V although no details have apparently survived other than those relating to climb tests conducted in March 1918 with the Bz IIIbo-powered first prototype.
Time to 3,280 ft (1 000m), 2.5min, to 6,560ft (2 000 m), 5.7 min, to 9,840 ft (3 000 m), 11 min, to 13,125 ft (4 000 m), 17 min.
Loaded weight, 1,905 lb (864 kg).
Span, 29 ft 6 3/8 in ((9,0 m).
Wing area, 226.5 sq ft (21,0 m2).
Flight, September 11, 1919.
The Aviatik, Type D III
In 1918 another single-seater type was brought out. This machine, which had the series number D III, was fitted with a Vee type 195 h.p. eight-cylindered high-speed Benz engine. As other machines of the D type it had one pair of struts aside, and it was similar to the type C VIII, in that it had a keel structure projecting down from the bottom of the fuselage, to which was attached the bottom plane. The planes were heavily staggered, so as to give the pilot a better view. The radiator was placed in the top plane.