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Hansa-Brandenburg KDW

Страна: Германия

Год: 1916

Single-seat seaplane fighting scout

Hansa-Brandenburg - KDD - 1916 - Германия<– –>Hansa-Brandenburg - KF - 1916 - Германия


В.Обухович, А.Никифоров Самолеты Первой Мировой войны


На основе KD был разработан поплавковый одноместный разведчик-истребитель KDW.


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


Brandenburg K.D.W.

  During 1916 Ernst Heinkel prepared a design for a single-seat scout for the Austrian Army. Although conventional in most respects, the aircraft featured a novel system of wing bracing in the form of four vee struts joined in the centre of the wing bay by their apices. This arrangement gave a star configuration, and the aircraft was, in fact, dubbed "star strutter". The Brandenburg K.D. (Kampf Doppeldecker), as the type was designated, was license-built by the Austrian factories of Phonix and Ufag as the D I (Hansa Brandenburg D I (Ph) Series 28 and Hansa Brandenburg D I (Ufag) Series 65). Phonix subsequently developed the design on more conventional lines and introduced a more orthodox strut arrangement and empennage. This variant went into further production as their own D II and D III series.
  In view of the demand for seaplane-station fighter defence aircraft and his considerable seaplane design experience, Heinkel decided to convert the K.D. to a seaplane fighter type as a stop gap, to reinforce the supply of Albatros W 4 and Rumpler 6BI seaplanes. In actual fact, the prototype adaptation amounted to little more than a slight increase in wingspan and mounting the K.D. airframe on a twin-float chassis. Later, the inclusion of a certain amount of fin area below the rear fuselage was found necessary to compensate the additional keel surface presented by the floats, and ultimately an upper fin was also added. Despite these modifications the K.D.W., like the landplane version, proved very difficult to fly. Due to the blanketing of the small rudder by the deep fuselage, directional stability was extremely poor, and recovery from a spin was more by luck than by any degree of skill.
  The prototype (Marine No. 748) and early production models were fitted with the 150 h.p. Benz engine and a car-type radiator; likewise an interim production batch (Nos. 1067-1076), which also had additional outsplayed vee struts to brace the wingtips. All remaining aircraft were fitted with the 160 h.p. Maybach engine and flush-type radiator mounted in the centresection of the top wing to starboard of the centre. Exhaust manifolds were of the chimney type in the Benz-powered aircraft, except on the prototype, which had stub pipes. The Maybach K.D.W.s had a collector manifold with only a single ejector pipe showing on the starboard side.
  Engines were neatly faired with hooded metal panels, which curved in from the upper longerons, giving a "head and shoulders" cross-section which afforded the pilot quite good forward vision. The fuselage itself was based on four spruce longerons, with ply formers forward and spruce spacers and transverse diagonal bracing members aft of the cockpit section. There was very little taper in fuselage depth. The curved decking maintained almost the same height as the depth between the longerons and extended right aft to the sternpost. The whole of the fuselage was plywood covered, as were also the vertical fins.
  Tail surfaces were framed from steel tube and fabric covered. The rectangular rudder had a small balance portion atop the fuselage, but when the upper fin was introduced on the later models this was deleted. The large triangular tailplane, to which the unbalanced parallel chord elevators were hinged, was mounted directly on the upper longerons and braced to the underside of the fuselage with two streamlined steel struts.
  The wings were of straightforward rectangular profile, of equal span and fabric covered. Their conventional wooden construction was based on two main spars, with a further auxiliary spar at approximately two-thirds chord, to which were hinged the unbalanced parallel-chord ailerons. The attachment point for the upper outboard vee of the "star-strut" interplane bracing was located almost at the extreme end of the aileron, and it was found in practice that the considerable overhang portion of the upper wing tended to flex as the ailerons were actuated, reducing the sensitivity of these controls. In consequence, a light steel-tube vee was fitted, splaying outward from the lower strut anchorage, to brace the upper wing more rigidly and make the aileron control more positive. The "star-struts" themselves were basically light-gauge circular steel tubes faired with plywood. Centre-section struts were of plain circular steel tube, like the auxiliary tip struts, and of inverted vee form.
  The undercarriage chassis comprised a neat pair of N struts of steel tube faired with ply. The floats themselves, of single-step design, wedge-shaped forward and tapering to a vertical knife-edge at the stern, were wooden and built up on a framework of ply formers and spruce stringers and covered with mahogany ply. They were connected at the strut stations with rigid steel-tube spreaders and the complete chassis braced fore and aft with stranded cables.
  An interesting point about the Heinkel K.D. and K.D.W. fighter prototypes is that they were developed structurally and aerodynamically before any thought seems to have been given to the armament. This was especially noticeable on the land aircraft, with guns mounted on the top wing. On the K.D.W.s a single synchronised Spandau machine-gun was mounted on the starboard side of the extreme nose, far beyond the reach of the pilot to correct any stoppage. Only on the final batch of twenty aircraft, delivered between October 1917 and February 1918, were twin Spandau guns fitted, clamped either side of the cockpit. By then the type was obsolescent and was being replaced by the far more efficient and flexible Brandenburg W 12. Altogether a total of 58 K.D.W.s were supplied.
  Although these production batches of seaplanes may seem small, they must be viewed in comparison with total aircraft supplies, when by the end of the war a total of some 2,500 seaplanes had been produced, as compared with 44,000 aircraft for land warfare.

TECHNICAL DATA
  Description: Single-seat seaplane fighting scout.
  Manufacturer: Hansa und Brandenburgische Flugzeug-Werke G.m.b.H.
  Power Plant:
   One 150 h.p. Benz Bz III 6 cylinder in-line water-cooled engine.
   One 160 h.p. Maybach Mb III 6 cylinder in-line water-cooled engine.
  Dimensions: Span, 9.25 m. (30 ft. 4 1/4 in.). Length, 8 0 m. (26 ft. 3 in.). Height, 3.35 m. (10 ft. 11 7/8 in.). Area, 20 sq.m. (216 sq.ft.).
  Weights: Empty, 940 kg. (2,068 lb.). Loaded, 1,210 kg (2,662 lb.).
  Performance: Maximum speed, 170 km.hr. (106.25 m.p.h.). Climb, 1,000 m (3,280 ft.) in 5.9 min. 2,000 m. (6,560 ft.) in 14 min.; 3,000 m. (9,840 ft) in 21 mm. Duration 2 1/2 hr. with 160 litres fuel.
  Armament: One fixed Spandau machine-gun forward mounted on starboard of nose. Last twenty aircraft were fitted with twin machine-guns.
  Serial Numbers: Fifty-eight aircraft delivered. Marine Numbers: 748, 783, 784, 912-921, 1067-1076, 1380-1394, 1554-1573.


Brandenburg W 11
  Built during late 1916, the W 11 was a slightly larger and more powerful version of the series-built K.D.W. single-seat fighter seaplane. Only two machines were built - Nos. 988-989. Engine, 200 h.p. Benz Bz IV. Span, 100 m. (32 ft. 9 3/4 in.). Length, 8.2 m. (26 ft. 10 7/8 in.). Height, 3.32 m. (10 ft. 10 5/8 in.). Area, 31.4 sq.m. (339 sq.ft.). Weights: Empty, 935 kg. (2,057 lb.). Loaded, 1,215 kg. (2,673 lb.). Speed, 176 km.hr. (110 m.p.h.). Armament, two Spandau machine-guns.


W.Green, G.Swanborough The Complete Book of Fighters


BRANDENBURG KDW Germany

  The KDW twin-float single-seat fighter seaplane was essentially a conversion of the land-based KD (D I) to provide an interim aircraft for floatplane station defence. The only major change introduced on the prototype apart from provision of a twin-float chassis was some slight extension of the wings, but the fin area was later increased to compensate for the increased keel area resulting from the addition of the floats. The prototypes were fitted with the 150 hp Benz Bz III six-cylinder water-cooled engine, but apart from a pre-production batch of 10 similarly-powered aircraft, all subsequent examples of the KDW had the 160 hp Maybach Mb III six-cylinder water-cooled engine. The first production series was armed with a single synchronised 7,92-mm LMG 08/15 machine gun mounted on the starboard side of the nose, but the final batch of 20 delivered between October 1917 and February 1918 had a gun mounted on each side of the cockpit and additional Vee-type interplane bracing struts. A total of 58 KDW float fighters was delivered.

Max speed, 106 mph (170 km/h).
Time to 3,280 ft (1000 m), 5.9 min, to 6,560 ft (2 000 m), 14 min.
Range, 310 mis (500 km).
Empty weight, 1,673 lb (759 kg).
Loaded weight, 2,290 lb (1 039 kg).
Span, 30 ft 6 1/8 in (9,30 m).
Length, 25 ft 9 1/2 in (7,86m).
Height, 10 ft 11 7/8 in (3,35m).
Wing area, 313.77 sq ft (29,15 m2).


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


Brandenburg KDW

  The Brandenburg KDW [Kampf Doppeldecker Wasser - literally 'combat biplane water') was developed from the earlier Brandenburg KD (Kampf Doppeldecker) landplane fighter. The Brandenburg KD was designed in Germany in 1916 and went into production for the Luftfahrtruppe, the Austro-Hungarian air service, as the Brandenburg D.I fighter.
  The Brandenburg KD, or D.I, was basically a conventional, wire-braced wooden design of the time except for one notably different feature, the interplane struts. The metal interplane struts, streamlined by laminated wood fairings, were designed as a set of four triangles that met at their apex, giving a unique star appearance. The star-strut design was very strong and eliminated the need for the drag-producing bracing wires featured by contemporary designs. The resulting Brandenburg KD was a strong, fast fighter. Unfortunately, its single machine gun was mounted in a streamlined housing above the wing, making it impossible for the pilot to clear jams during flight. Worse, the KD lacked both maneuverability and stability, and was prone to stalling and spinning with little provocation.
  The German Navy's need for a seaplane station defense fighter led to development of the Brandenburg KDW, a straight-forward conversion of the KD to a floatplane fighter. Floats replaced the wheels and both the wing span and area were increased to provide additional lift to compensate for the extra weight of the floats. Fortunately, a synchronized machine gun was mounted on the starboard side of the fuselage instead of the clumsy, over-wing mounting used by the KD. Initially the gun was mounted too far forward to be reached by the pilot in case of a jam during flight, but this was rectified with the first production series. The final production series was intended to mount two guns adjacent to the cockpit where the pilot could reach them in flight, but some machines carried only one gun.
  The three prototype aircraft had the 150 hp Benz Bz.III engine with car-type, frontal radiator. Aircraft of the second production series had the 150 hp Benz Bz.III (if intended for the Baltic) or the 160 hp Mercedes D.III engine with radiator in the starboard side of the upper wing (if intended for Flanders or the North Sea). All aircraft of the first, third, and fourth production series had the 160 hp Maybach Mb.III engine with radiator in the starboard side of the upper wing. In the summer of 1917 early production aircraft were refitted with additional small interplane struts bracing the upper wing to increase torsional stiffness of the longer span wing, thereby improving aileron response. From the third production batch these struts were installed during production.
  Based so closely on the KD, the KDW inherited its performance and flying qualities. These included structural strength and good speed for a floatplane fighter, although the additional weight and drag of the floats and longer wings necessarily reduced speed and climb given that engine power was essentially the same. Less happily, the KDW also inherited the poor stability and flying qualities of the KD. A number of changes to the vertical tail surfaces were made during production in an attempt to improve these, but without notable success. As a result, the KDW was able to engage reconnaissance seaplanes and similar targets with a reasonable chance of success, but was at a distinct disadvantage in combat with contemporary landplane fighters. The KDW's most significant operational success was when the first example, Marine Number 748, downed Russian Ilya Mouromets IM-6, a four-engine reconnaissance-bomber, one of only three downed in air-to-air combat during the war.
  The KDW was delivered in small batches from September 1916 to February 1918. Only about 2,365 aircraft were produced for the German navy during the war, so the 58 KDW aircraft produced represented a reasonable success. However, the competing Albatros W4, the floatplane conversion of the successful Albatros D.I fighter, was produced in twice the numbers of the KDW, 118 being delivered from September 1916 to December 1917. Although the KDW with 160 hp Mercedes D.III had a slight speed advantage over the Albatros W.4, the KDW with the 150 hp Benz was slower. Furthermore, the W.4 had better climb rate and maneuverability, better visibility from the cockpit, and, perhaps most important, much better flying characteristics. Both types served on the Flanders front, the North Sea, and in the Baltic. Eventually the KDW succumbed to the same poor flying qualities and cockpit vision problems as its landplane predecessor, the D.I.


KDW Production
Marine Number Qty Notes
748, 783, 784 3 Prototypes. 1 gun, 150 hp Benz Bz.III engine. Completed September 1916.
912-921 10 1 gun, 160 hp Maybach Mb.III engine. Series completed February 1917.
1067-1076 10 1 gun, either 160 hp Mercedes D.III engine (aircraft destined for the Western Front) or 150 hp Benz Bz.III engine (aircraft destined for the Baltic). Series completed in March and April 1917.
1380-1394 15 1 gun, 160 hp Maybach Mb.III engine. Series completed in summer 1917.
1554-1573 20 1 or 2 guns, 160 hp Maybach Mb.III engine. Series delivered between October 1917 and February 1918.


C.Owers Hansa-Brandenburg Aircraft of WWI Vol.2: Biplane Seaplanes (A Centennial Perspective on Great War Airplanes 18)


Type KDW

  The Brandenburg KD (D.I) land based fighter was the basis of the KDW single seat fighting floatplane. The floatplane retained the "star struts" of the KD; in fact the prototype was virtually a KD fuselage mounted on floats with wings of slightly increased area. The KDW was designed due to a requirement for a naval air station defence fighter.
  The fuselage followed the construction of the KD with four spruce longerons, ply formers forward, spruce spacers and transverse diagonal bracing members aft the cockpit and ply covering, eliminating the need for internal wire bracing. Metal panels enclosed the engine. The fuselage was deep and tapered to a vertical knife edge. A synchronised Maxim 08/15 machine gun was mounted on the starboard side. Initially this was mounted too far forward for the pilot to be able to rectify a jam while in flight. On later machines it was mounted within reach of the pilot. The fin was ply covered, while the tail surfaces were of metal tube with fabric covering.
  The horizontal tailplane was mounted on the longerons and braced by steel tubes to the lower longeron. The parallel chord elevators were of steel tube and fabric covered.
  The KDW proved as difficult to fly as its landplane counterpart. It was necessary to increase the fin area below the fuselage, and an upper fin had to be added as well. The machine had poor directional stability due to the deep fuselage blanketing the rudder and spin recovery was marginal, "more by luck than by any degree of skill."(38)
  The prototype received the MN 748, and five batches were constructed as noted in the table, for a total of 58 aircraft. The prototype and early production aircraft up to MN 1076 were fitted with the 150-hp Benz and a nose mounted radiator. On 27 June 1917, flying on all Brandenburg KDW and CC fighters was forbidden until an additional pair of light tubular struts supporting the wing overhang were fitted, thereby obviating the benefit of the star-strut arrangement. This modification was standard on the last two batches. The aircraft from the first, third and fourth batches were fitted with the 160-hp Maybach Mb.III engine and an aerofoil radiator mounted in the wing to starboard of the centre line. The Maybach powered examples can be identified by their single exhaust manifold on the starboard side. Aircraft of the second production batch had either the 150-hp Benz Bz.III if intended to serve in the Baltic, or, if intended for the North Sea and Flanders, the 160-hp Mercedes D.III. The selection of engine provides a statement as to what area was considered the greater threat to the seaplanes.
  The German Navy found the "star-strutters," both the KDW and CC, heavy, tricky and unsafe to fly. The view from the cockpit of the KDW was poor, making it unsuitable for air fighting as the risk of a collision was constant. The type was known as the "Spider" in service due to the unusual strut arrangement. The survivors of the 58 KDW fighters were stored at the Navy Depot at Hage.
  KDW fighters MNs 1571 - 1573 were to go to Turkey but were instead sent to the Seddin depot. One KDW is reported by Turkish sources to have been used by the Ottoman air force as a maritime reconnaissance machine. When it arrived it had no armament and was powered by a Mercedes engine. KDW MN 1557 was sent to Japan post-war. The Japanese showed more interest in the Brandenburg floatplanes than any of the Allied powers, even receiving Austro-Hungarian Brandenburg C.I biplanes.


Service use of the KDW(39)

  Prototype MN 748 was flown to Angernsee where it was to be tested under actual service conditions. Here the Germans were facing the Russians. Sikorsky bombers that, together with other aircraft, carried out attacks against the German base. MN 748 commenced its first mission on 12 September 1916, as escort to torpedo bombers. On 23 September MN 748 was in the hands of Ltn.d.R. Fritz Hammer when he intercepted one of the giant Sikorsky bombers and after making four runs at the bomber, Hammer succeeded in forcing it down near a forest near Dunamunde. During the combat Hammer had been caught up in the turbulence from the Sikorsky's engines and had nearly lost control of his small floatplane, a type not known for its stability.
  On 12 February 1917, Zeebrugge had the following Brandenburg aircraft out of a total of 53 aircraft on strength:
   KDW: MNs 912 - 916, and 1067 - 1068
   W.11: MNs 988 - 990
   CC: MNs 1137, 1139, 1141, 1143, and 1145
   W.12: MNs 1014 - 1015
  The superlative W.12 would replace the obsolescent KDW in the fighter role.
  The 28 March 1918, was not a good day for the KDW fighter-trainers of the floatplane school at Putzig. KDW fighters MNs 1385 and 1072 were part of a group of three when they collided. The KDW had been criticized for the lack of visibility from the cockpit, particularly when trying to fly in formation. MN 1385 cut off the tail of MN 1072 that crashed, killing the pilot. MN 1385 also crashed but the pilot survived. The third KDW, MN 917, also crashed trying to avoid the other two and although destroyed, the pilot survived. This was not the end of the saga as MN 915 took off to assist the machine side-slipping out of a turn at 100 metres and crashing, again destroying the aircraft but the pilot managing to survive. The pilots owed their survival to being picked up by local fishing boats. The school did not have a fast motor launch and the unit's diary recorded this fact.
  As a result all KDW training was cancelled, the machines being grounded. As the current course could not be completed without these machines the ban was soon lifted and the KDW floatplanes were soon flying, and crashing, again. However, not all the blame could be levelled at the Brandenburg as Albatros W.4 and Rumpler 6B2 biplanes also contributed to the statistics. In the period of one month eight single-seat floatplanes had been destroyed or seriously damaged, five of them being KDW fighters with three deaths on the Brandenburg machines. It appears that the school continued to use the Brandenburgs till at least July, with one, 1387, being shipped from there to Hage in early November.
  Given the small number of marine aircraft built for the German Navy, the KDW was a reasonable success. The competing Albatros W.4 floatplane based on the D.I biplane fighter was built in double the numbers of the KDW, had a better performance, and was a better fighting machine due to its speed and the view from the cockpit.
  The British confidential Types of German Seaplanes and Flying Boats of July 1918, contains photographs and silhouettes of the KDW wherein it is described as "Brandenburg Seaplane 1917." Apart from stating that the machine was powered by a 150-hp Benz or 160-hp Maybach, no other technical information is described. A second entry repeats the description but states the motor is a 200-hp Benz and it is apparent that the aircraft is the W.11; however, it is illustrated with photographs of a machine bearing MN 508. This Marine Number was assigned to a Friedrichshafen FF33E. This error was repeated for the Type NW. As the photographs have been copied from a German publication the question arises if they were designed to mislead the Allies, yet the photograph of the Type GW show MN 700 and correctly identifies the engines as 160-hp Mercedes.

(38) Gray, P. & Thetford, O. German Aircraft of the First Word War, Putnam, UK, 1962.
(39) This section is based on the pioneering work of Ron Kinter. See "The Brandenburg KDW Operational History," Over the Front Journal, Vol.24, No.3, P.217.


Brandenburg KDW Production
Marine Numbers Class Engine Delivered Notes
748 ED 150 Bz.III Sept. 1916 Prototype. Completed Sept. 1916
783 - 784 ED 150 Bz.III Sept. 1916 Prototypes. Completed Sept. 1916
912 - 921 ED 160 Mb.III Jan. - Feb. 1917 Completed Feb. 1917
1067 - 1076 ED 160 D.III/ 150 Bz.III Oct. 1917 - Apr. 1918 Completed in Mar. & Apr 1917. Aircraft for North Sea had Mercedes. Aircraft for Baltic had Benz.
1380 - 1394 ED 160 Mb.III Mar. - Aug. 1917 Additional interplane struts as standard.
1554 - 1573 E2MG 160 Mb.III One or two machine guns. Completed between Oct. 1917 &. Feb. 1918. Additional interplane struts.


Brandenburg KDW Specifications
Source Typenschau (see note) Gray & Thetford SVK MN 784 SVK MN 914 SVK MN 1067 SVK MN 1554 Brandenburg 3-View
Dimensions in m
Span, Upper 9.30 9.25 9.300 9.300 9.300 9.250 9.300
Span, Lower 9.30 - 9.300 9.300 9.300 9.250 9.300
Chord, Upper 1.655 - 1.650 1.650 1.650 1.650 1.650
Chord, Lower 1.655 - 1.650 1.650 1.650 1.650 1.650
Length 7.86 8.0 8.000 7.900 7.900 8.000 7.860
Height - 3.35 3.150 3.370 3.370 3.350
Areas in m2
Wings 29.15 20 - - - - -
Ailerons 1.85 - 1.85 1.85 1.85 1.74 -
Elevators 1.10 - 1.08 1.10 1.10 1.10 -
Rudder 0.64 - 0.65 0.64 0.62 0.53 -
Weights in kg
Empty 759 940 768 759 775 940 768
Loaded 1,039 1,210 1.048 1,059 1,065 1,210 1,048
Performance
Speed in km/hr 172 170 - - - - -
Time to 800 m 3 min. - 4 min. 3 min. 3 min. 4.5 min. -
Time to 1000 m 4 min. 5.9 min. 4.5 min. 4 min. 4 min. 5.9 min. 4.5 min.
Time to 1500 m 6 min. - 7.5 min. 6 min. 7 min. 9.5 min. -
Time to 2000 m 9 min. 14 min. 11 min. 9 min. 11 min. 14.9 min. 11 min.
Time to 3000 m 16 min. 21 min. 21.5 min. 16 min. 22.5 min. 21 min. 21.5 min.
Endurance - 2.5 hour - - - - -
Motor 160-hp Maybach/150-hp Benz 150-hp Benz Bz.III/160-hp Maybach Mb .III 150-hp Benz 160-hp Maybach 150-hp Benz 160 Maybach 150-hp Benz
Note: The Typenschau specifications are for a machine with a single machine gun.

C.Owers - Hansa-Brandenburg Aircraft of WWI. Volume 2 - Biplane Seaplanes /Centennial Perspective/ (2)
Marine #748 was the first KDW prototype. It was finished in stained wood for the fuselage and floats and clear-doped linen flying surfaces.
C.Owers - Hansa-Brandenburg Aircraft of WWI. Volume 2 - Biplane Seaplanes /Centennial Perspective/ (2)
Marine #921 was the last KDW in the first production batch. Like the prototypes, it was finished in stained wood for the fuselage and floats and clear-doped linen flying surfaces.
C.Owers - Hansa-Brandenburg Aircraft of WWI. Volume 2 - Biplane Seaplanes /Centennial Perspective/ (2)
Marine #1562 was part of the fourth and last KDW production batch. It was finished in the standard late-war German naval camouflage with three-color printed fabric on upper surfaces.
C.Owers - Hansa-Brandenburg Aircraft of WWI. Volume 2 - Biplane Seaplanes /Centennial Perspective/ (2)
This striking view of Marine #748, the first prototype, shows the washed out ailerons. Many WWI airplanes had the angle of attack of their ailerons reduced or 'washed out' to ensure the inner part of the wing stalled before the outer part, where the ailerons were fitted. With no 'wash out', the outer part of the wing would stall first and the pilot would lose aileron control at the beginning of the stall, making a spin much more likely. The metal fairings enclosing the apex of the wing star-struts of #748 are not seen on later aircraft.
J.Herris - German Seaplane Fighters of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
The prototype KDW Marine #748, as confirmed by the fairings over the apex of the struts. The Marine Number has not yet been applied.
C.Owers - Hansa-Brandenburg Aircraft of WWI. Volume 2 - Biplane Seaplanes /Centennial Perspective/ (2)
The KDW prototype before armament was fitted. No Marine Number is visible and the frontal, car-type radiator and overall aerodynamic cleanliness of the design are prominent.
J.Herris - German Seaplane Fighters of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
The KDW prototype before armament was fitted. No Marine Number is visible and the frontal, car-type radiator and overall aerodynamic cleanliness of the design are prominent.
C.Owers - Hansa-Brandenburg Aircraft of WWI. Volume 2 - Biplane Seaplanes /Centennial Perspective/ (2)
KDW #748, the machine used by Lt.d.RMI Fritz Hammer at Angernsee to bring down Sikorski IM-6 on 23 Sept 1916. The basic sturdiness of the design was tested during Hammer's running combat, in which he made four separate passes at the Russian bomber, once nearly losing control when he was caught in the turbulence of the bomber's wake. Note the position of the machine gun, which was so far forward that the muzzle can be seen close to the radiator.
C.Owers - Hansa-Brandenburg Aircraft of WWI. Volume 2 - Biplane Seaplanes /Centennial Perspective/ (2)
Hammer criticized the inaccessibility of the gun on the starboard side of #748, clearly out of reach, after his combat with the Sikorski. According to Hammer he might have been able to clear the simple jam that occurred on his fourth pass had he been able to reach this gun.
J.Herris - Development of German Warplanes in WWI /Centennial Perspective/
The KDW (Kampf Doppeldecker Wasser - literally 'combat biplane water') was Brandenburg's response to the single-seat floatplane fighter requirement. Based on their KD fighter, used as the Brandenburg D.I by the Austro-Hungarians but not by Germany, the KDW had the KD's unusual 'star-struts' that were streamlined and eliminated the need for bracing wires, but weighed more and interfered with the pilot's field of view. The KDW also had larger wings to support the additional weight of its floats. Marine #748 shown here was the prototype and forced down a Sikorski Ilya Mouromets in September 1916, one of only three downed by German aircraft during the war. Initially armed with a single synchronized gun, the last production batch of 20 aircraft could carry two guns. The KDW inherited the KD's problematic flying qualities and field of view for the pilot and only 58 were built.
Hammer criticized the inaccessibility of the gun on the starboard side of #748, clearly out of reach, after his combat with the Sikorski. According to Hammer he might have been able to clear the simple jam that occurred on his fourth pass had he been able to reach this gun.
A.Imrie - German Naval Air Service /Arms & Armour/
Only a few days after its acceptance on 23 September 1916, this Brandenburg KDW (748), flown by Leutnant Hammer from the Baltic air station at Angernsee, forced a large four-engined Russian Sikorsky to land by repeated attacks. Despite this initial success the KDW was unpopular with its pilots; it was said to be heavy and difficult to fly, and had such a poor forward view that it was considered unsuitable for air fighting due to the constant risk of collision that this imposed. It was known as the 'Spider' in service, due to the unusual star-strut arrangement of its interplane bracing struts. A total of 58 machines of the type was delivered, latterly having a 160hp Maybach engine in place of the 150hp Benz installed in the first production machines.
C.Owers - Hansa-Brandenburg Aircraft of WWI. Volume 2 - Biplane Seaplanes /Centennial Perspective/ (2)
The prototype KDW Marine #748, as confirmed by the fairings over the apex of the struts. The Marine Number has not yet been applied.
J.Herris - German Seaplane Fighters of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
Marine Number 783, the second KDW prototype, showing its frontal radiator. The machine gun is far forward, out of the pilot's reach in case of jams. The wing structure is evident through the fabric. The Balkenkreuz on the wings appear to be painted over white backgrounds. Although it is difficult to see in this view, there is no fixed fin above the fuselage.
C.Owers - Hansa-Brandenburg Aircraft of WWI. Volume 2 - Biplane Seaplanes /Centennial Perspective/ (2)
Marine Number 783, the second KDW prototype, showing its frontal radiator. The machine gun is far forward, out of the pilot's reach in case of jams. The wing structure is evident through the fabric. The Balkenkreuz on the wings appear to be painted over white backgrounds. Although it is difficult to see in this view, there is no fixed fin above the fuselage.
C.Owers - Hansa-Brandenburg Aircraft of WWI. Volume 2 - Biplane Seaplanes /Centennial Perspective/ (2)
The inaccessible location of the machinegun is also clearly evident on the second KDW prototype, Marine #783. This aircraft was being ferried from Warnemunde to Windau by Lt.z.S. Joachim Cooler when it was forced down near Memel on 23 Sept., 1916. This aircraft may not have completed its journey, for it does not appear in subsequent flying entries at Windau. In March, 1917, Coeler was ordered to the Putzig Seekampfeinsitzerschule to be its commander. KDW Marine #748 is in the right background, identified by the metal fairings at the apex of its interplane struts.
C.Owers - Hansa-Brandenburg Aircraft of WWI. Volume 2 - Biplane Seaplanes /Centennial Perspective/ (2)
Marine Number 783, the second KDW prototype, clearly shows the forward mounting of the machine gun in this photo. Although the view of the rudder is washed out, the only fixed fin is shown below the fuselage.
C.Owers - Hansa-Brandenburg Aircraft of WWI. Volume 2 - Biplane Seaplanes /Centennial Perspective/ (2)
Side view of Marine Number 912, the first production KDW, shows the machine gun has been moved back to enable the pilot to reach it in flight to clear jams. This change was made on the basis of early combat reports on #748.
J.Herris - German Seaplane Fighters of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
Side view of Marine Number 912, the first production KDW, shows the machine gun has been moved back to enable the pilot to reach it in flight to clear jams. This change was made on the basis of early combat reports on #748.
C.Owers - Hansa-Brandenburg Aircraft of WWI. Volume 2 - Biplane Seaplanes /Centennial Perspective/ (2)
Another KDW from the first production batch was Marine #921, which initially went to Libau, arriving there on 24 Feb., 1917. This aircraft was apparently at Putzig by May, and was wrecked while being flown by Lt. Markwald on 11 August, 1917. This photo was taken in front of a Hansa-Brandenburg hangar, apparently prior to June, 1917, when additional bracing struts were ordered to be installed on all KDWs.
J.Herris - German Seaplane Fighters of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
An early Brandenburg KDW (no vertical fin above the fuselage) is launched as the pilot enters the cockpit. The engine appears to be a Benz due to the exhaust stack.
C.Owers - Hansa-Brandenburg Aircraft of WWI. Volume 2 - Biplane Seaplanes /Centennial Perspective/ (2)
The first KDW from the initial production batch, Marine #912 went to Zeebrugge. On 10 May, 1917, this aircraft was wrecked while being flown by Oblt.z.S Kurt Reinert, who later died from the injuries he sustained. Note that that Lt. Hammer's remarks were heeded; the machine gun is now located closer to the cockpit. Also the radiator has been moved to the upper wing, just right of center.
C.Owers - Hansa-Brandenburg Aircraft of WWI. Volume 2 - Biplane Seaplanes /Centennial Perspective/ (2)
A late production KDW, Marine Number unknown, displays the fixed upper fin added to later aircraft to improve stability and the additional small interplane struts added for better aileron effectiveness. Compare this aircraft with #1562 of the last production batch; this aircraft retains the plain finish of early production KDWs and the intermediate location of the guns, so may be of the third production batch.
C.Owers - Hansa-Brandenburg Aircraft of WWI. Volume 2 - Biplane Seaplanes /Centennial Perspective/ (2)
This appears to be another photo of the KDW, and provides an interesting view of the star struts augmented with the auxiliary bracing struts. This arrangement was strong and eliminated the need for drag-producing bracing wires, but was heavier than conventional wing bracing. The additional weight and drag of the auxiliary bracing struts basically eliminated the advantages of the star-strut design, and later designs returned to conventional wing struts.
J.Herris - German Seaplane Fighters of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
This appears to be another photo of the KDW above, and provides an interesting view of the star struts augmented with the auxiliary bracing struts. This arrangement was strong and eliminated the need for drag-producing bracing wires, but was heavier than conventional wing bracing. The additional weight and drag of the auxiliary bracing struts basically eliminated the advantages of the star-strut design, and later designs returned to conventional wing struts.
C.Owers - Hansa-Brandenburg Aircraft of WWI. Volume 2 - Biplane Seaplanes /Centennial Perspective/ (2)
These photos, Marine Number unknown, clearly shows the light interplane struts ordered to be added to all KDWs in June, 1917. The light struts run from the front spar of the lower wing to both spars of the upper wing and increased the torsional stiffness of the upper wing, which improved aileron response. Compared to the prototypes, the machine gun has been moved back closer to give the pilot better access in case of jams. A fixed vertical fin has been added above the fuselage, which was not done on early production batches.
C.Owers - Hansa-Brandenburg Aircraft of WWI. Volume 2 - Biplane Seaplanes /Centennial Perspective/ (2)
These photos, Marine Number unknown, clearly shows the light interplane struts ordered to be added to all KDWs in June, 1917. The light struts run from the front spar of the lower wing to both spars of the upper wing and increased the torsional stiffness of the upper wing, which improved aileron response. Compared to the prototypes, the machine gun has been moved back closer to give the pilot better access in case of jams. A fixed vertical fin has been added above the fuselage, which was not done on early production batches.
C.Owers - Hansa-Brandenburg Aircraft of WWI. Volume 2 - Biplane Seaplanes /Centennial Perspective/ (2)
A KDW from the last production batch, #1562 was one of the aircraft originally sent to II.Seefliegerabteilung, presumably for assignment to a western front unit. Following a series of crashes at the Seekampfeinsitzerschule at Putzig, this and several other II.SFA machines were ordered to be transferred to I.SFA and sent to the Putzig school. Standard late naval lozenge camouflage was applied to this machine. The fixed vertical fin above the fuselage is enlarged compared to the prototypes and early production machines.
C.Owers - Hansa-Brandenburg Aircraft of WWI. Volume 2 - Biplane Seaplanes /Centennial Perspective/ (2)
Marine Number 1562 of the final KDW production batch displays the additional interplane struts and shows off the three-color hexagonal camouflage fabric used on the upper surfaces of German naval aircraft late in the war. The machine guns have been moved up in front of the pilot for better access.
J.Herris - German Seaplane Fighters of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
Marine Number 1562 of the final KDW production batch displays the additional interplane struts and shows off the three-color hexagonal camouflage fabric used on the upper surfaces of German naval aircraft late in the war. The machine guns have been moved up in front of the pilot for better access.
Essentially a float-equipped version of the Ernst Heinkel-designed Hansa-Brandenburg KD/D I of early 1916, with added outboard wing bracing, the first of the navy's 58 Hansa-Brandenburg KDWs was completed in September 1916. Typically, no less than three different engine types were fitted to the KDW, the initial 150hp Benz Bz III to the 13 aircraft, followed by the 160hp Mercedes D III in the next 10, while the last 35 machines received the 160hp Maybach Mb III. In the first 23 of these single seat fighters only one 7.92mm Spandau was fitted, whereas the last 35 mounted twin Spandaus. Top level speed was 106mph for the later fighters and range was cited as 310 miles. From a pilot's viewpoint, the KDW was not highly thought of, having virtually none existent visibility directly forward.
J.Herris - German Seaplane Fighters of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
Lt. d.RMi Fritz Hammer, flying the KDW prototype, Marine Number 748, from the German naval air station at Angernsee, downs a Russian four-engine Sikorski Il'ya Mouromets reconnaissance-bomber on 23 September 1916. Sikorski IM-6 crash-landed at its base with 293 bullet holes and three of its four crewmen wounded. This was one of only three air-to-air victories scored over these tough bombers during the war.
W.Green, G.Swanborough - The Complete Book of Fighters
The KDW was essentially a float-equipped conversion of the KD "star strutter".
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C.Owers - Hansa-Brandenburg Aircraft of WWI. Volume 2 - Biplane Seaplanes /Centennial Perspective/ (2)
Brandenburg KDW SVK Drawing
C.Owers - Hansa-Brandenburg Aircraft of WWI. Volume 2 - Biplane Seaplanes /Centennial Perspective/ (2)
Brandenburg KDW SVK Drawing
C.Owers - Hansa-Brandenburg Aircraft of WWI. Volume 2 - Biplane Seaplanes /Centennial Perspective/ (2)
Brandenburg KDW SVK Drawing
C.Owers - Hansa-Brandenburg Aircraft of WWI. Volume 2 - Biplane Seaplanes /Centennial Perspective/ (2)
Brandenburg KDW
C.Owers - Hansa-Brandenburg Aircraft of WWI. Volume 2 - Biplane Seaplanes /Centennial Perspective/ (2)
Brandenburg KDW
C.Owers - Hansa-Brandenburg Aircraft of WWI. Volume 2 - Biplane Seaplanes /Centennial Perspective/ (2)
Brandenburg KDW
C.Owers - Hansa-Brandenburg Aircraft of WWI. Volume 2 - Biplane Seaplanes /Centennial Perspective/ (2)
Brandenburg KDW