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Albatros D.Va

Biplane Fighter Aircraft

Albatros D.Va

Biplane Fighter Aircraft


The Albatros D.Va was a variant on the D.V series of German aircraft.
National Flag Graphic
ORIGIN: Imperial Germany
YEAR: 1917
STATUS: Retired, Out-of-Service
MANUFACTURER(S): Albatros Werke GmbH - Germany
OPERATORS: Imperial Germany; Poland

Unless otherwise noted the presented statistics below pertain to the Albatros D.Va model. Common measurements, and their respective conversions, are shown when possible.
LENGTH: 24.61 feet (7.5 meters)
WIDTH: 29.69 feet (9.05 meters)
HEIGHT: 8.86 feet (2.7 meters)
WEIGHT (EMPTY): 1,510 pounds (685 kilograms)
WEIGHT (MTOW): 2,059 pounds (934 kilograms)
ENGINE: 1 x Mercedes Illa 6-cylinder in-line engine developing 180 horsepower.
SPEED (MAX): 116 miles-per-hour (186 kilometers-per-hour; 100 knots)
RANGE: 232 miles (373 kilometers; 201 nautical miles)
CEILING: 18,698 feet (5,699 meters; 3.54 miles)
RATE-OF-CLIMB: 907 feet-per-minute (276 meters-per-minute)


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

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


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 ©
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.


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.

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Relative Maximum Speed Rating
Hi: 120mph
Lo: 60mph
    This entry's maximum listed speed (116mph).

    Graph average of 90 miles-per-hour.
City-to-City Ranges
Graph showcases the Albatros D.Va's operational range (on internal fuel) when compared to distances between major cities.
Aviation Era
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

  * Commercial Market High belongs to Cessna 172.

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

Altitude Visualization
Small airplane graphic
Supported Roles
Ground Attack
Aerial Tanker
A2A=Air-to-Air; UAV=Unmanned; CAS=Close Support; ASW=Anti-Submarine; AEW=Airborne Early Warning; MEDEVAC=Medical Evac; EW=Electronic Warfare; SAR=Search-Rescue
Supported Arsenal
Graphical image of an aircraft medium machine gun
Commitments / Honors
Military lapel ribbon for Operation Allied Force
Military lapel ribbon for the Arab-Israeli War
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Britain
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Midway
Military lapel ribbon for the Berlin Airlift
Military lapel ribbon for the Chaco War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cold War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cuban Missile Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for pioneering aircraft
Military lapel ribbon for the Falklands War
Military lapel ribbon for the French-Indochina War
Military lapel ribbon for the Golden Age of Flight
Military lapel ribbon for the 1991 Gulf War
Military lapel ribbon for the Indo-Pak Wars
Military lapel ribbon for the Iran-Iraq War
Military lapel ribbon for the Korean War
Military lapel ribbon for the 1982 Lebanon War
Military lapel ribbon for the Malayan Emergency
Military lapel ribbon representing modern aircraft
Military lapel ribbon for the attack on Pearl Harbor
Military lapel ribbon for the Six Day War
Military lapel ribbon for the Soviet-Afghan War
Military lapel ribbon for the Spanish Civil War
Military lapel ribbon for the Suez Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for the Vietnam War
Military lapel ribbon for Warsaw Pact of the Cold War-era
Military lapel ribbon for the WASP (WW2)
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 1
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 2
Military lapel ribbon for the Yom Kippur War
Military lapel ribbon for experimental x-plane aircraft
* Ribbons not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective campaigns/operations.