O.Thetford, P.Gray German Aircraft of the First World War (Putnam)
Pfalz Experimental Triplane
No data is available on this 1917 triplane version of the Pfalz D III, which is reported never to have flown. Engine, 160 h.p. Mercedes D III.
W.Green, G.Swanborough The Complete Book of Fighters
PFALZ DR-TYP Germany
In the late autumn of 1917, the Pfalz Flugzeug-Werke completed and flew a triplane derivative of the standard D III biplane. Retaining the 160 hp Daimler D III engine, this experimental model (for which no designation is recorded) featured ailerons on both upper and lower wings. It would seem that manufacturer’s trials were unsuccessful, however, as this triplane was never demonstrated to the military authorities at Adlershof.
J.Herris Pfalz Aircraft of WWI (A Centennial Perspective on Great War Airplanes 5)
Pfalz D.III Triplane Conversion
The excellent performance displayed by the Sopwith Triplane in combat with Albatros fighters lead to a burst of triplane enthusiasm within Idflieg, who suggested the triplane configuration to many German manufacturers. To quickly produce a triplane fighter, Pfalz converted a standard Pfalz D.III to a triplane. The aircraft demonstrated slower speed and climb than a standard D.III, with poor flight characteristics. Interestingly, the same aircraft was flown as a biplane, with the middle wings removed, to determine the difference in performance between the biplane and triplane configurations. As a biplane the climb rate was better than as a triplane. The additional weight and drag of the additional wing plus airflow interference from the closely-spaced wings contributed to this poor performance.