DFW C.V Biplane Reconnaissance Aircraft
The German DFV C.V biplane proved its value from 1916 up until the early months of 1918 - the last year of the Great War.
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The DFW C.V series of biplane aircraft was of German design in World War 1. The system was particularly noted for its good handling characteristics, power derived from its Benz engine and strong dogfighting capabilities even when matched against the best aircraft fielded by the West. Primarily fielded as a reconnaissance aircraft the C.V was in actuality a multipurpose platform capable of handling most sorties of the day. In the end, the DFW C.V was produced to the tune of some 3,250 aircraft under the banners of DFW, Aviatik and Halberstadt among others.
Design of the DFW C.V was highly conventional for biplanes of the time. As the system saw service from 1916 through 1918, it is surprising to think of a World War 1 aircraft design lasting as long as the C.V did considering the day-to-day technological developments of the day. Seating was tandem with the pilot in front of the observer/gunner - which was in contrast to earlier reconnaissance types which fielded the observer/gunner in front of the pilot.
One of the more interesting design characteristics of the C.V (and other World War 1 aircraft) was the tall chimney-type exhaust tower for the engine. One can only think that such a structure did not endear itself well to pilots in a dogfight, considering the engine and chimney assembly sat in front of the pilot. Wings were of standard fair, though not staggered but the lower assembly shorter than the upper. Construction was mostly of wood covered in fabric though some metal was used in the tail section. Armament of the C.V consisted of a single 7.92mm Spandau type MG08/15 synchronized machine gun in a fixed-forward position operated by the pilot and a single 7.92mm Parabellum type MG14 machine gun in the rear cockpit operated by the observer/gunner. Up to 100 kilograms of external stores could also be utilized when in the strike role. It should be noted that the C.V utilized some impressive aerodynamic designing in its fuselage.
In combat, the C.V proved to be an ace-maker especially when coupled with the impressive Benz series engines. Speed and handling were reportedly quite good and made even better in experienced hands. The C.VI appeared in single example form as an improved C.V model but this never materialized into a full production run. The C.V went on to see life after the conflict for a time and ultimately saw service with Estonia, Finland, Poland and the Ottoman Empire to name a few.