Military Factory logo

Pfalz D.XV

Imperial Germany (1918)
Picture of Pfalz D.XV Biplane Fighter Aircraft

The Pfalz D.XV was simply approved too late in World War 1 to affect its outcome for Germany - fewer than a handful were actually completed before the Armistice.


Detailing the development and operational history of the Pfalz D.XV Biplane Fighter Aircraft.  Entry last updated on 11/19/2016. Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com

Pfalz Flugzeugwerke managed a small collection of fighting aircraft for the German Empire of World War 1 (1914-1918). Their chief claim to fame became the Pfalz D.III (detailed elsewhere on this site) but this fighter design never matched the quality and capability of contemporaries offered from Albatros and Fokker. Other offerings included the D.VI, D.VII, D.VIII, D.XII, D.XV and Dr.1 (triplane). In the D.XV, the company delivered a single-seat biplane fighter in the last week of the war (November 1918) to which no more than a handful were delivered and none are known to have seen combat service.

The D.XV marked the last fighter entry in the war for Pfalz. The aircraft relied on the tried-and-proven biplane wing arrangement which incorporated parallel struts (N-type) in a single-bay format. The mainplanes were of uneven span with the lower assembly also of smaller area and ailerons were fitted to the upper wing element. The pilot sat aft and under the upper wing mainplane at midships in an open-air cockpit. The engine was mounted forward in the usual way and drove a two-bladed wooden propeller. The tail relied on a large-area, rounded vertical fin with low-set horizontal planes. The undercarriage, of the tail-dragger variety, held two forward main legs under the center mass of the fuselage and a simple tail skid at rear. Armament was 2 x 7.92mm LMG 08/15 machine guns set immediately forward of the cockpit.

Power was derived from a single BMW IIIa 6-cylinder water-cooled engine of 185 horsepower. Performance included a maximum speed of 126 miles per hour with a mission endurance window of about one and one-half hours to two hours in the air. Rate-of-climb was 1,640 feet-per-minute and the listed service ceiling was 22,965 feet.

The Allied push during the early and middle parts of 1918 began to signal the end of the German Empire's role in the Grand War. Design work on the Pfalz D.XV was had in that summer and two forms were generated - the D.XVf with aerodynamically unbalanced ailerons and the D.XV (Spezial) with overhanging, balanced ailerons. The aircraft was evaluated for a short period prior to the end of the war and found to be speedy and very agile - though pilots noted difficulties in landing and some stubbornness at the tail section.

The design was finally approved for serial production on November 4th, 1918 but this proved too little too late - the Armistice was signed on November 11th to end the war.

It is believed that at least two D.XV aircraft were completed in full while over seventy airframes lay awaiting their finalization work. After the war, Pfalz Flugzeugwerke was forced into bankruptcy and was no more as an aircraft-maker. The French moved in and overtook Pfalz manufacturing capabilities to ensure no war-making goods could be had for the German Empire in the post-war years.

Any available statistics for the Pfalz D.XV 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: 150mph
Lo: 75mph
    This entry's maximum listed speed (126mph).

    Graph average of 112.5 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 Pfalz D.XV'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
2
2


  * 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: 1918
Classification Type: Biplane Fighter Aircraft
Manufacturer(s): Pfalz Flugzeugwerke - Imperial Germany
Production Units: 2
Global Operators:
Imperial Germany
Structural - Crew, Dimensions, and Weights:
Unless otherwise noted the presented statistics below pertain to the Pfalz D.XV model. Common measurements, and their respective conversions, are shown when possible.

Operational
CREW


Personnel
1


Dimension
LENGTH


Feet
21.33 ft


Meters
6.5 m


Dimension
WIDTH


Feet
28.22 ft


Meters
8.6 m


Dimension
HEIGHT


Feet
8.86 ft


Meters
2.7 m


Weight
EMPTY


Pounds
1,631 lb


Kilograms
740 kg


Weight
LOADED


Pounds
2,028 lb


Kilograms
920 kg

Installed Power - Standard Day Performance:
1 x BMW IIIa 6-cylinder water-cooled engine developing 185 horsepower and driving two-bladed propeller at the nose.

Performance
SPEED


Miles-per-Hour
126 mph


Kilometers-per-Hour
203 kph


Knots
110 kts


Performance
RANGE


Miles
221 mi


Kilometers
355 km


Nautical Miles
192 nm


Performance
CEILING


Feet
22,966 ft


Meters
7,000 m


Miles
4.35 mi


Performance
CLIMB RATE


Feet-per-Minute
1,640 ft/min


Meters-per-Minute
500 m/min

Armament - Hardpoints (0):

2 x 7.92mm LMG 08/15 machine guns synchronized to fire through the spinning propeller blades.
Visual Armory:

Graphical image of an aircraft medium machine gun
Variants: Series Model Variants
• D.XV - Base Series Designation
• D.XVf - Unbalanced ailerons
• D.XV (Spezial) - Balanced ailerons with overhang