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Rumpler C.VII

Imperial Germany (1917)
Picture of Rumpler C.VII Long-Range, High-Altitude Two-Seat Reconnaissance Biplane Aircraft

The Rumpler C.VII two-seat reconnaissance biplane was fielded in two notable versions - an armed reconnaissance type and an unarmed photo-reconnaissance model.


Detailing the development and operational history of the Rumpler C.VII Long-Range, High-Altitude Two-Seat Reconnaissance Biplane Aircraft.  Entry last updated on 12/2/2016. Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com

Aerial reconnaissance proved just as crucial to the battlefields of World War 1 (19114-1918) as any machine gun, artillery system or tank. As such, both sides held a strong commitment to reconnaissance-minded platforms. These aircraft typically took the form of biplanes of the period but carried a second crewman in a second cockpit to act as a dedicated observer. The types were also either armed or left unarmed depending on design and over-battlefield need. The German concern of Rumpler developed several aircraft for this role and among the offerings became the Rumpler C.VII.

The C.VII was given a traditional biplane wing arrangement consisting of an upper and lower member set over and under the fuselage, respectively. These equal-span wings were braced by parallel interplane struts creating two bays when viewing the aircraft in the forward profile. The engine was fitted to the nose in the usual way and drove a two-bladed wooden propeller. The crewmen were seated in tandem open-air cockpits. The tail was of conventional design and layout as was the wheeled, fixed undercarriage (tail-dragger type).

The aircraft was formed from the previous work had on the Rumpler C.IV reconnaissance aircraft of 1917 but included built-in capabilities to allow it to fly higher than the previous model. This would give the new design a quality that could keep it from the dangers of ground-based fire and enemy interceptors of the day - allowing it to reconnoiter with a high degree of impunity. A higher operating ceiling also meant less oxygen and a much colder environment so the crew were given provision for oxygen and heated flight gear.

Power was had from a Maybach Mb IVa engine which was slightly lower-rated than the C.IV's Mercedes D.IV installation but was able to keep its output consistent at higher altitudes (unlike the Mercedes).

Armament became 1 x 7.92mm Spandau LMG 08/15 machine gun set over the nose and synchronized to fire through the spinning propeller blades. This was paired with 1 x 7.92mm Parabellum MG14 machine gun on a flexible mounting at the rear cockpit. The guns made the C.VII reasonably well-armed for a reconnaissance type, able to actively engage targets of opportunity along the front of the aircraft and defend its more vulnerable rear quadrants.

A first-flight involving a C.VII prototype was recorded during 1917 and the aircraft was in service before the end of the year and acquitted itself well. Another version (the "Rubild") appeared sans the forward armament fit and modified to carry more specialized reconnaissance equipment. Many of the Allied fighters of the day were limited in their interception ability when attempting to meet the C.VII when encountered at altitudes over 20,000 feet. The value of the aircraft was such that it served into the war's last months.

Beyond its service with the German Empire, the aircraft was also taken on by the Swiss Air Force and the Kingdom of Yugoslavia in the post-war period. The United States claimed a single example for evaluation after the war.

Any available statistics for the Rumpler C.VII Long-Range, High-Altitude Two-Seat Reconnaissance Biplane Aircraft 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: 120mph
Lo: 60mph
    This entry's maximum listed speed (109mph).

    Graph average of 90 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.VII'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
320
320


  * 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: 1917
Classification Type: Long-Range, High-Altitude Two-Seat Reconnaissance Biplane Aircraft
Manufacturer(s): Rumpler Flugzeugwerke - Imperial Germany
Production Units: 320
Global Operators:
Imperial Germany; Switzerland; United States (single example for evaluation); Yugoslavia
Structural - Crew, Dimensions, and Weights:
Unless otherwise noted the presented statistics below pertain to the Rumpler C.VII 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
41.50 ft


Meters
12.65 m


Dimension
HEIGHT


Feet
10.50 ft


Meters
3.2 m


Weight
EMPTY


Pounds
2,315 lb


Kilograms
1,050 kg


Weight
LOADED


Pounds
3,274 lb


Kilograms
1,485 kg

Installed Power - Standard Day Performance:
1 x Maybach Mb IVa engine developing 245 horsepower driving two-bladed propeller unit at the nose.

Performance
SPEED


Miles-per-Hour
109 mph


Kilometers-per-Hour
175 kph


Knots
94 kts


Performance
RANGE


Miles
364 mi


Kilometers
585 km


Nautical Miles
316 nm


Performance
CEILING


Feet
23,950 ft


Meters
7,300 m


Miles
4.54 mi

Armament - Hardpoints (0):

1 x 7.92mm machine gun in fixed, forward-firing fuselage position.
1 x 7.92mm machine gun in rear trainable cockpit position.
Visual Armory:

Graphical image of an aircraft medium machine gun
Variants: Series Model Variants
• C.VII - Base long-range armed reconnaissance model
• C.VII "Rubild" - High-altitude reconnaissance model; fitted with more specialized reconnaissance equipment; sans forward gun installation and other peripherals.