AEG PE (Panzer Einsitzer)
Imperial Germany (1918)
One flyable prototype was completed of the ultimately-abandoned AEG PE attacker - performance against enemy fighters providing the death knell.
Detailing the development and operational history of the AEG PE (Panzer Einsitzer) Ground Attack Triplane Prototype Aircraft. Entry last updated on 5/15/2018. Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com
The aircraft took on a conventional form and seated its pilot in an open-air cockpit under and aft of the upper wing assembly. The mid-wing assembly was affixed at shoulder-height along the sides of the fuselage and the lower wing members were set at the bottom of the fuselage sides. The undercarriage was wheeled at its two main legs and fixed in flight, a skid bringing up the tail when ground running. The tail unit was conventional for the period and used a single vertical fin with low-set horizontal planes. Armament was 2 x 7.92mm LMG 08/15 machine guns set over the nose and synchronized to fire through the spinning propeller blades. Additionally 4 x small diameter drop bombs could be carried. Construction of the aircraft included light-alloy skinning along the fuselage and fabric skinning along the wing members. Armoring was used at the more vital components of the aircraft due to the low-flying nature involved in the ground-attack role.
Performance from the Benz Bz.IIIb V8 liquid-cooled piston engine of 192 horsepower included a maximum speed of 103 miles per hour and a rate-of-climb of 565 feet per minute.
A first-flight was recorded during March 1918.
While the third wing made for good controlling and inherent stability, it was found to add too much drag and therefore reduce performance needed for fighter-versus-fighter dueling. This helped to end the PE project in full and only one flyable prototype was ever completed. The AEG DJ.I was a ground-attack offshoot of the project that only made it to evaluations before the end of the war in November of 1918.
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Relative Maximum Speed Rating
This entry's maximum listed speed (103mph).
Graph average of 90 miles-per-hour.