Military Factory logo
Icon of F-15 Eagle military combat fighter aircraft
Icon of Abrams Main Battle Tank
Icon of AK-47 assault rifle
Icon of navy warships
Icon of military officer saluting
Icon of a dollar sign

DFW T.28 Floh (Flea)

Biplane Fighter Prototype

DFW T.28 Floh (Flea)

Biplane Fighter Prototype

OVERVIEW
SPECIFICATIONS
ARMAMENT
VARIANTS
HISTORY
MEDIA
OVERVIEW



The proposed DFW T.28 Floh biplane fighter held several inherent flaws in its design - the greatest of these was its deep fuselage which limited forward vision.
National Flag Graphic
ORIGIN: Imperial Germany
YEAR: 1915
MANUFACTURER(S): Deutsche Flugzeug-Werke (DFW) - Imperial Germany
PRODUCTION: 1
OPERATORS: Imperial Germany (abandoned)
SPECIFICATIONS



Unless otherwise noted the presented statistics below pertain to the DFW T.28 Floh (Flea) model. Common measurements, and their respective conversions, are shown when possible.
CREW: 1
LENGTH: 14.76 feet (4.5 meters)
WIDTH: 20.34 feet (6.2 meters)
HEIGHT: 7.55 feet (2.3 meters)
WEIGHT (EMPTY): 926 pounds (420 kilograms)
WEIGHT (MTOW): 1,433 pounds (650 kilograms)
ENGINE: 1 x Mercedes D.I water-cooled inline piston engine developing 100 horsepower and driving a two-bladed propeller in the nose.
SPEED (MAX): 112 miles-per-hour (180 kilometers-per-hour; 97 knots)




ARMAMENT



1 x 7.92 Spandau LMG 08/15 machine gun
VARIANTS



Series Model Variants
• T.28 "Floh" - Base Series Designation; sole prototype completed and flown.


HISTORY



Detailing the development and operational history of the DFW T.28 Floh (Flea) Biplane Fighter Prototype.  Entry last updated on 4/5/2016. Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com.
Perhaps one of the ugliest biplane fighters ever designed, the DFW T.28 "Floh" ("Flea") was the product of Deutsche Flugzeug-Werke of the German Empire during World War 1 (1914-1918). It achieved its monumental first flight in 1915 as the war in Europe raged on. The T.28 was developed along the lines of a high-speed fighting biplane but held such poor qualities for the role that it became a largely forgotten entry as the wartime fighters went. Key deficiencies in the design included extremely poor forward visibility due to the deep fuselage, a rather ultra-thin fuselage design which gave the aircraft its ungainly appearance, and oversized tailplanes which added something of a comical design element.

It is perhaps best that the sole prototype crashed when attempting its first landing - reducing the chance that the design would be picked up for wartime production by the German air service.

Design-wise, the T.28 mimicked established biplane fighter characteristics of the day - a two-wing mainplane structure (single bay, parallel interstruts), a fixed wheeled undercarriage and open-air cockpit for its single pilot. The engine drove a two-bladed wooden propeller mounted at the nose in the usual way. Dimensionally, the aircraft was small by the standards of the day, showcasing a length of 14.8 feet and a wingspan of 21.3 feet. Empty weight was 925 lb against a gross weight of 1,435lb. Power was served through a Mercedes D.I water-cooled inline piston engine developing 100 horsepower. Maximum speed reached 112 miles per hour during a first flight and armament was rather modest - just 1 x 7.92mm LMG 08/15 Spandau machine gun in a fixed, forward-firing position.

The Floh came about during late 1915 as chief designer Hermann Dorner attempted to develop a compact, fast and agile fighter to compete with emerging Allied types (the air war of World War 1 was one of won-lost initiatives). The result was one of the more unique offerings of the World War 1 fighters and certainly one of the more forgettable entries. Construction incorporated the usual fabric-over-wood approach and, while the Floh achieved an impressive 100+ mile per hour top speed in testing, it suffered damage upon landing which hampered the project's reach. By the time it could be relevant again, attention on the part of German authorities had shifted to more traditional fighter designs and arrangements with better performance and armament support.




MEDIA









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 (112mph).

    Graph average of 90 miles-per-hour.
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
1
1

  * Commercial Market High belongs to Cessna 172.

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


Supported Roles
A2A
Interception
UAV
Ground Attack
CAS
Training
ASW
Anti-Ship
AEW
MEDEVAC
EW
Maritime/Navy
SAR
Aerial Tanker
Utility/Transport
VIP
Passenger
Business
Recon
SPECOPS
X-Plane/Development
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