A single, poorly-performing prototype was all that was realized of the AEG Dr.I triplane fighter project during World War 1.
Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited:
Credit: Image from the Public Domain.
The end of the D.I biplane fighter for AEG did not mark the end of work on the series. The design was evolved into a triplane form as the Dr.I. The triplane made its mark through several notable designs put forth by the Allies and the Germans and advantages included maximized control due to the increase in lift and drag. Such fighters held a short-lived mastery of the skies for designs ultimately reverted back to biplane types. Nevertheless, just about every major aircraft firm attempted a three-winged (or more) design before the end of the war.
Development of the Dr.I originated from a review of a captured British Sopwith Triplane fighter during July of 1917. This possessed the Germans to develop something of equal capability lest they be outdone in the air by their long-time enemy. In October of 1917, AEG attempted just that and took their ultimately-abandoned D.I biplane and added a third wing member between the existing upper and lower sections. The aircraft retained the fuselage, tail unit and armament suite (2 x 7.92mm machine guns) of the D.I as well as the wheeled tail-dragger undercarriage. Power was derived from a Daimler D.IIIa 6-cylinder water-cooled inline piston engine of 170 horsepower.
Despite the third wing element, the Dr.I showcased poor handling and the added drag reduced performance of an already poor-performing fighter (maximum speed was 106 miles per hour). As quickly as the Dr.I appeared, it was abandoned as no interest in the type had formed.
The war would progress without it.
[ 1 Units ] : Allgemeine Elektricitats-Gesellschaft AG (AEG) - Imperial Germany
German Empire (cancelled)
- X-Plane / Developmental
20.01 ft (6.1 m)
27.89 ft (8.5 m)
8.69 ft (2.65 m)
(Showcased structural dimension values pertain to the AEG Dr.I production model)
1,510 lb (685 kg)
2,072 lb (940 kg)
(Showcased weight values pertain to the AEG Dr.I production model)
1 x Daimler D.IIIa 6-cylinder water-cooled inline piston engine developing 170 horsepower and driving a two-bladed propeller at the nose.
(Showcased powerplant information pertains to the AEG Dr.I production model)
106 mph (170 kph; 92 kts)
15,092 feet (4,600 m; 2.86 miles)
286 miles (460 km; 248 nm)
1,300 ft/min (396 m/min)
(Showcased performance values pertain to the AEG Dr.I production model; Compare this aircraft entry against any other in our database)
2 x 7.92mm LMG 08/15 machine guns synchronized to fire through the spinning propeller blades.
(Showcased armament details pertain to the AEG Dr.I production model)
Dr.I - Base Series Designation; single prototype completed.
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