Halberstadt D.II / D.III Biplane Fighter
The Halberstadt D.II became a refined form of the original D.I prototype fighter - production reached beyond 125 units during World War 1.
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The Halberstadt D.II was the embodiment of the earlier D.I prototype of only which two were completed (and detailed elsewhere on this site). The D.II served as a refined form and did away with the former model's cumbersome radiator fit and improved upon cockpit visibility by way of a raised position for the pilot. In all other respects, however, the D.II remained faithful to the D.I and retained its wings, fuselage, tail unit and starboard-side mounted 1 x 7.92mm LMG 08/15 machine gun. Power to the newer aircraft stemmed from a Mercedes D.II 6-cylinder engine of 120 horsepower and this was used to drive a two-bladed propeller at the nose. Early D.II aircraft carried the D.I's balanced ailerons as well but these were discard later in the production run in favor of a chord-width unbalanced set.
Design of the aircraft was attributed to Karl Theis.
Production of the D.II model, based on findings from evaluation of the D.I, began with a batch order for twelve units and this led to a follow-on order for twenty-four more fighters. which appeared in both the D.II and D.III guise, the latter outfitted with the Argus As. II engine of 120 (this fit originally seen in the original D.I prototype of 1915). An additional thirty D.III models then followed by these were superseded by the improved D.V variant while still on the production lines. License manufacture of the D.II was also taken up by competitors Aviatik and Hannover, delivering the Aviatik D.I and Hannover D.I respectively. Each company added thirty aircraft to the total.
As robust as the D.II was in wartime service, its now-obsolete nature led to its retirement from frontline duties as soon as 1917 - such was the speed of technology during the war.
The Halberstadt D.II also fought for Ottoman Empire forces in the Middle East Theater.