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Albatros D.Va

Imperial Germany (1917)
Picture of Albatros D.Va Biplane Fighter Aircraft
Picture of Albatros D.Va Biplane Fighter Aircraft Picture of Albatros D.Va Biplane Fighter Aircraft
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The Albatros D.Va was a variant on the D.V series of German aircraft.


Detailing the development and operational history of the Albatros D.Va Biplane Fighter Aircraft.  Entry last updated on 5/16/2018. Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com

The Albatros D.I of 1916 proved instrumental in bringing air superiority back into the favor of the German Empire during World War 1 thanks to her stellar rate-of-climb, aerodynamically refined design and lethal pairing of synchronized machine guns. However, as technology drove events throughout the war, the aircraft lived a relatively short operational tenure before being outclassed by the latest offerings from the Triple Entente. The D.II was unveiled a short time later that year as a slightly improved model with a better rate-of-climb, a lowered upper wing assembly for improved pilot visibility out-of-the-cockpit and generally retained much of the original's successful design. The D.III followed in late 1916 but was something of a departure from the preceding forms in its use of "Vee" struts to join the upper and lower wing assemblies (earning it the nickname of "V-Strutter" from the British). This revision went on to see severe structural issues, particularly during high stress moves such as diving, for the remaining life of the series to the point that her pilots became very critical of the type. Attempts were made to rectify this deficiency by strengthening wing spars but a true solution was never formalized. By this point in the war, the D.III was noted as less maneuverable compared to her newer contemporaries - a lethal draw in an aerial dogfight where positioning was everything.

To fulfill a new German requirement for an "improved D.III", Albatros delivered its D.V model (the sequential "D.IV" designation was used on a cancelled Albatros fighter development) which became a lighter version of their D.III with a slightly lowered upper wing among other refinements. However, the structural issue remained and maneuverability was not improved to the point that even fabled German ace, Manfred von Richthofen, penciled a scathing review of the mount - citing it as even inferior to the D.III which it was to replace. Regardless, German authorities were desperate for fighters and ordered 900 of the type.

Albatros engineers returned to the drawing boards with their D.V to attempt another improved form. This work gave birth to the D.Va off-shoot which was given revised wing assemblies that were reinforced with heavier ribbing and strong spars against a stronger fuselage. Cabling was modified to create a more responsive fighter platform. However, these changes led to an increase in operating weight so a high-compression Mercedes D.IIIau engine was installed to help counter the gains. Despite the promising work, the aircraft's structural issues were never fully ironed out and the new engine did little to help improved performance and maneuverability against the latest fighters being fielded by Britain and France.

The German Empire was quick to order the D.Va to help stock its depleted aircraft inventories and find more modern replacements for its outmoded Fokker Dr.I and Pfalz D.III series fighters. The D.Va was delivered to German aerodrome units beginning in October of 1917 and a total of 1,662 were ultimately purchased. The type soldiered on with front line units up until the end of the war to which hundreds were still in active service in the final year (1918). On paper, the D.Va was formally replaced by the Fokker D.VII and the D.Va became the last of the "D-series" fighters for Albatros - a series that started with so much promise back in 1916 and ultimately doomed to history due to its inherent limitations by the end of the war - such was the power of technology in World War 1 where gains made one month could be lost just as quickly.

In the post-war world, the D.Va stocked the inventory of the newly-formed Polish Air Force. Beyond the German Empire and Poland, there were no other global operators of the D.Va. Only two D.Va series aircraft survived the war and are in the charge of the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C. and the Australian War Memorial respectively.


Picture of the Albatros D.Va Biplane Fighter Aircraft
Picture of the Albatros D.Va Biplane Fighter Aircraft



Any available statistics for the Albatros D.Va Biplane Fighter 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 (116mph).

    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 Albatros D.Va'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
1662
1662


  * 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: Biplane Fighter Aircraft
Manufacturer(s): Albatros Werke GmbH - Germany
Production Units: 1,662
Operational Status: Retired, Out-of-Service
Global Operators:
Imperial Germany; Poland
Structural - Crew, Dimensions, and Weights:
Unless otherwise noted the presented statistics below pertain to the Albatros D.Va model. Common measurements, and their respective conversions, are shown when possible.

Operational
CREW


Personnel
1


Dimension
LENGTH


Feet
24.61 ft


Meters
7.5 m


Dimension
WIDTH


Feet
29.69 ft


Meters
9.05 m


Dimension
HEIGHT


Feet
8.86 ft


Meters
2.7 m


Weight
EMPTY


Pounds
1,510 lb


Kilograms
685 kg


Weight
LOADED


Pounds
2,059 lb


Kilograms
934 kg

Installed Power - Standard Day Performance:
1 x Mercedes Illa 6-cylinder in-line engine developing 180 horsepower.

Performance
SPEED


Miles-per-Hour
116 mph


Kilometers-per-Hour
186 kph


Knots
100 kts


Performance
RANGE


Miles
232 mi


Kilometers
373 km


Nautical Miles
201 nm


Performance
CEILING


Feet
18,698 ft


Meters
5,699 m


Miles
3.54 mi


Performance
CLIMB RATE


Feet-per-Minute
907 ft/min


Meters-per-Minute
276 m/min

Armament - Hardpoints (0):

STANDARD:
2 x 7.92mm Spandau LMG 08/15 fixed, forward-firing synchronized machine guns.
Visual Armory:

Graphical image of an aircraft medium machine gun
Variants: Series Model Variants
• D.I - Base D-series
• D.II - Lowered top wing; Fundamental and minor aerodynamic changes.
• D.III - V-shaped struts introduced
• D.V - Streamlined fuselage
• D.Va - Slightly modified D.V model