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Rumpler C.III

Imperial Germany (1916)
Picture of Rumpler C.III Armed Reconnaissance Biplane

The Rumpler C.III series served the German Empire well and set up the stage for the much improved C.IV to follow.


Detailing the development and operational history of the Rumpler C.III Armed Reconnaissance Biplane.  Entry last updated on 4/15/2016. Authored by Dan Alex. Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com

Rumpler Flugzeugwerke followed their Rumpler C.I biplane reconnaissance aircraft with the improved C.III series. The Rumpler name eventually became associated with excellent high-flying, long endurance reconnaissance aircraft and was built from successes such as the C.I and C.III - though both were eventually outdone by the strong C.IV to follow.

The Rumpler concern was born from Edmund Rumpler, an Austrian-born engineer who settled the Rumpler Luftfahrtzeugbau in Berlin in 1909. In its early years, the company was content with license production of the Etrich Taube series monoplane, a rather primitive aircraft with swallow-like wings and tail unit. It was not until the arrival of World War 1 that the wartime economy allowed for more experimentation and the possibility of netting lucrative defense contracts with the Imperial German government. As such, Rumpler took to in-house design and development of his own reconnaissance-minded airframe following conventional rules of the day. The designs became successful two-seat, biplane-winged armed scouts that would carve out a niche in the German aircraft inventory.

The original C.I was purchased by the German Air Service (the "Luftstreitkrafte") in 1915 and, amazingly, managed a frontline existence into 1918 - the final year of the war. Its arrangement was traditional with the engine (powered a two-bladed wooden propeller) at the front of the boxy fuselage, the crew in open-air cockpits at center (seated inline) and a traditional tail unit featuring a single vertical tail fin. The biplane wing arrangement was consistent with the period and showcased parallel struts with the necessary cabling. The undercarriage was fixed and incorporated a simple tail skid at the rear along with its two wheeled leg units. The type was used beyond the German Empire for the Ottoman Empire was allowed operation of the biplane. Latvia, Poland and Yugoslavia all became post-war users.

With that said, it was only natural to evolve the existing design based on operational experience and this begat the C.III production model (recognized by Rumpler as "Model 6A5"). The C.III brought about greater understanding of aerodynamic principles and their effects on fighter-type aircraft. Refinements were instituted throughout in trying to produce a well-conditioned airframe for the rigors of military service. Several changes later and the refined "Model 6A6" was realized. The C.III was given a single Benz Bz IV series engine of 220 horsepower which allowed for operations over 13,000 feet with a range of 300 miles and a top speed of 85 miles per hour. For 1916 standards, this was quite impressive. Additionally, the C.III was longer than the C.I while featuring a wider wingspan - changes intended to promote improved performance specifications. Armament included a single forward-firing 7.92mm machine gun and a single 7.92mm machine gun on a trainable mount in the rear cockpit. The crew of two - the pilot and the observer/gunner - sat in individual open-air cockpits with the pilot in the front seat just aft of the engine mounting.

Impressed with the C.III, German authorities moved to secure some 70-75 aircraft though records indicate that there may never have been more than 50 available during its peak usage. The C.III superseded the C.I types and operated in the same manner, armed scouting of enemy positions and engaging when appropriate. Rumpler began work on an even more improved C-series biplane scout and this became the C.IV. With the arrival of the C.IV, the C.III's value was lessened considerably to the point that few remained into late 1917 - unlike the C.I which endured into early 1918 after being introduced in 1915. The C.IV itself remained a frontline system for the German Air Service until the end of the war in November of 1918.

Any available statistics for the Rumpler C.III Armed Reconnaissance Biplane are showcased in the areas immediately below. Categories include basic specifications covering country-of-origin, operational status, manufacture(s) and total quantitative production. Other qualities showcased are related to structural values (namely dimensions), installed power and standard day performance figures, installed or proposed armament and mission equipment (if any), global users (from A-to-Z) and series model variants (if any).






Our Data Modules allow for quick visual reference when comparing a single entry against contemporary designs. Areas covered include general ratings, speed assessments, and relative ranges based on distances between major cities.

Image of collection of graph types

Relative Maximum Speed Rating
Hi: 100mph
Lo: 50mph
    This entry's maximum listed speed (85mph).

    Graph average of 75 miles-per-hour.
Relative Operational Ranges
NYC
 
  LON
LON
 
  PAR
PAR
 
  BER
BER
 
  MOS
MOS
 
  TOK
TOK
 
  SYD
SYD
 
  LAX
LAX
 
  NYC
Graph showcases the Rumpler C.III's operational range (on internal fuel) when compared to distances between major cities.
Aviation Era Impact
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Useful in showcasing the era cross-over of particular aircraft/aerospace designs.
Unit Production Comparison
Comm. Market HI*: 44,000 units
Military Market HI**: 36,183 units
75
75


  * Commercial Market High belongs to Cessna 172.

  ** Military Market High belongs to Ilyushin Il-2.


Altitude Visualization
Small airplane graphic
  Compare this entry against other aircraft using our Comparison Tool  
Supported Mission Types:
Air-to-Air
Interception
Unmanned
Ground Attack
Close-Air Support
Training
Anti-Submarine
Anti-Ship
Airborne Early Warning
MEDEVAC
Electronic Warfare
Maritime/Navy
Aerial Tanker
Utility/Transport
Passenger Industry
VIP Travel
Business Travel
Search/Rescue
Recon/Scouting
Special Forces
X-Plane/Development
National Flag Graphic
National Origin: Imperial Germany
Service Year: 1916
Classification Type: Armed Reconnaissance Biplane
Manufacturer(s): Rumpler Flugzeugwerke - Imperial Germany
Production Units: 75
Global Operators:
Imperial Germany
Structural - Crew, Dimensions, and Weights:
Unless otherwise noted the presented statistics below pertain to the Rumpler C.III model. Common measurements, and their respective conversions, are shown when possible.

Operational
CREW


Personnel
2


Dimension
LENGTH


Feet
26.90 ft


Meters
8.2 m


Dimension
WIDTH


Feet
41.34 ft


Meters
12.6 m


Dimension
HEIGHT


Feet
10.66 ft


Meters
3.25 m


Weight
EMPTY


Pounds
1,852 lb


Kilograms
840 kg


Weight
LOADED


Pounds
2,778 lb


Kilograms
1,260 kg

Installed Power - Standard Day Performance:
1 x Benz Bz.IV engine developing 220 horsepower.

Performance
SPEED


Miles-per-Hour
85 mph


Kilometers-per-Hour
136 kph


Knots
73 kts


Performance
RANGE


Miles
298 mi


Kilometers
480 km


Nautical Miles
259 nm


Performance
CEILING


Feet
13,123 ft


Meters
4,000 m


Miles
2.49 mi

Armament - Hardpoints (6):

STANDARD:
1 x 7.92mm machine gun in fixed, forward-firing mount at upper forward fuselage.
1 x 7.92mm machine gun in flexible mounting in rear cockpit.

OPTIONAL:
Up to 220lbs of external stores.
Visual Armory:

Graphical image of an aircraft medium machine gun
Variants: Series Model Variants
• C.III - Base Military Designation
• 6A5 - Rumpler Company Designation
• 6A6 - Simplified rear fuselage
• C.IV - Improved C.III form