O.Thetford, P.Gray German Aircraft of the First World War (Putnam)
Alter Type A I
Single seat "Nieuport type" machine produced by Ludwig Alter Werke, Darmstadt. Engine, probably Oberursel U II 120 h.p.
W.Green, G.Swanborough The Complete Book of Fighters
ALTER A.l Germany
Conceptually adhering closely to the Nie 11 Bebe if not an outright copy of the French design, the A.l single-seat fighter, designed by Kallweit and Ketterer and built by the Ludwig Alter-Werke of Darmstadt, was first flown in February 1917 by Georg Sell. A single-bay sesquiplane with I-type interplane struts, the A.l was of wooden construction with fabric and plywood covering. Armament consisted of two synchronised 7,92-mm LMG 08/15 machine guns and power was provided by a 110 hp Goebel Goe II seven-cylinder rotary engine. The A.l was demonstrated to the Idflieg (Inspektion der Fliegertruppe), but the type was rejected, performance being considered inadequate and the structure being viewed as insufficiently robust, further development being discontinued.
Max speed, 110 mph (177km/h).
Time to 9,840 ft (3000m), 12.8min.
Loaded weight, 1,124 lb (510 kg).
J. Herris German Aircraft of Minor Manufacturers in WW1. Vol I (A Centennial Perspective on Great War Airplanes 49)
The firm had been established in 1871 in Darmstadt as a general trading company. After the death of Ludwig Alter, the founder, in 1915, the firm was remodeled as an aircraft factory. The firm had been engaged in the production of furniture and domestic goods pre-war. The factory specifically repaired Albatros, D.F.W, and Aviatik machines. The company also supplied military vehicle wheels, ammunition boxes, and all types of boxes for military purposes as well as hangars. It is assumed that these would have been pre-fabricated wooden hangars. With the commencement of aeronautical activities, the staff remained at about 300 workers with engineers Kallweit and Ketterer in charge, with Herr Georg Seel as the firm's test pilot.
In October 1916 the firm received an order for a copy of the Nieuport fighter.
The overhaul and repair of aircraft was the firm's main activity till the end of hostilities. The firm's experience with wood working was helpful, but it experienced great difficulty in the early days due to the lack of skilled workers, especially metal workers. Later it was in a position to respond to the demands that the military placed on it.