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Schutte-Lanz Dr.I

Imperial Germany (1918)
Picture of Schutte-Lanz Dr.I Triplane Fighter Protoype

The Schutte-Lanz Dr.I triplane fighter failed to impress in the D-type competition of May-June 1918 - one flyable prototype was built.


Detailing the development and operational history of the Schutte-Lanz Dr.I Triplane Fighter Protoype.  Entry last updated on 11/6/2017. Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com

With the emergence of "triplane" fighters as viable fighting during 1917, many companies attempted such aircraft designs during World War 1 (1914-1918). A triplane wing arrangement offered inherently strong handling and lifting properties (at the expense of added drag and vision out-of-the-cockpit) which were sought after qualities by pilots caught up in close-in dogfighting where out-turning an opponent meant the difference between life and death. The German concern of Schutte-Lanz, who had been attempting to sell the German Air Service on fighter designs since earlier in the war, moved on the trend established by the British Sopwith Triplane by developing the Schutte-Lanz Dr.I triplane fighter.

At its core, the Dr.I was an offshoot of the earlier D.III biplane fighter attempt (detailed elsewhere on this site) save for the wing arrangement and a relocated tailskid. It retained the fuselage, undercarriage and tail section of its forerunner which accelerated development work considerably. The wings differed some in offering less surface area - an extra pair of wings was sandwiched between the upper and lower appendages and were joined both at the fuselage and at the N-strut support members. An interesting design note regarding the wings was the staggered placement of the lower-most appendage, this just slightly aft of the upper two planes - this quality believed to have improved downward vision for the pilot.
Power to the aircraft was from a Mercedes D.III six-cylinder inline liquid-cooled engine of 160 horsepower. This drove a two-bladed wooden propeller at the nose.

Armament would consist of the standard arrangement of 2 x 7.92mm LMG 08/15 series machine guns. These were set over the nose and synchronized to fire through the spinning propeller blades.

The Dr.I was Schutte-Lanz's contribution to the second D-type competition that followed the first of early-1918. The second meeting was held from late-May to late-June that same year. However, the Dr.I failed to impress and the ultimately design fell to the pages of aviation history as a result. The age of the triplane had also ended with air services reverting back to tried-and-true biplane fighter types for the time being.






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 (115mph).

    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 Schutte-Lanz Dr.I'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
1
1


  * Commercial Market High belongs to Cessna 172.

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


Altitude Visualization
Small airplane graphic
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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: Triplane Fighter Protoype
Manufacturer(s): Schutte-Lanz - German Empire
Production Units: 1
Operational Status: Retired, Out-of-Service
Global Operators:
Imperial Germany (cancelled)
Structural - Crew, Dimensions, and Weights:
Unless otherwise noted the presented statistics below pertain to the Schutte-Lanz Dr.I model. Common measurements, and their respective conversions, are shown when possible.

Operational
CREW


Personnel
1


Dimension
LENGTH


Feet
20.51 ft


Meters
6.25 m


Dimension
WIDTH


Feet
26.28 ft


Meters
8.01 m


Dimension
HEIGHT


Feet
9.84 ft


Meters
3 m


Weight
EMPTY


Pounds
1,653 lb


Kilograms
750 kg


Weight
LOADED


Pounds
1,984 lb


Kilograms
900 kg

Installed Power - Standard Day Performance:
1 x Mercedes D.III 6-cylinder liquid-cooled inline piston engine developing 160 horsepower and driving two-bladed propeller unit at the nose.

Performance
SPEED


Miles-per-Hour
115 mph


Kilometers-per-Hour
185 kph


Knots
100 kts


Performance
RANGE


Miles
283 mi


Kilometers
455 km


Nautical Miles
246 nm


Performance
CEILING


Feet
19,685 ft


Meters
6,000 m


Miles
3.73 mi


Performance
CLIMB RATE


Feet-per-Minute
1,000 ft/min


Meters-per-Minute
305 m/min

Armament - Hardpoints (0):

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

Graphical image of an aircraft medium machine gun
Variants: Series Model Variants
• Dr.I - Base Series Designation; single prototype completed.