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Kondor D.VII

Single-Seat, Single-Engine Fighter Prototype

The Kondor D.VIIwas a biplane evolution of the earlier Dreidecker triplane form for the German company during World War 1.
Authored By: Staff Writer | Edited: 7/31/2019
National Flag Graphic


Year: 1918
Status: Cancelled
Manufacturer(s): Kondor Flugaeugwerke - German Empire
Production: 1
Capabilities: Fighter; Interception; X-Plane;
Crew: 1
Length: 20.34 ft (6.2 m)
Width: 27.89 ft (8.5 m)
Height: 7.55 ft (2.3 m)
Weight (Empty): 1,323 lb (600 kg)
Weight (MTOW): 3,814 lb (1,730 kg)
Power: 1 x Mercedes D.III engine developing 160 horsepower and driving a two-bladed propeller unit at the nose.
Speed: 112 mph (180 kph; 97 kts)
Range: 157 miles (252 km; 136 nm)
Operators: German Empire (cancelled)
During World War 1 (1914-1918), Kondor Flugzeugwerke of the German Empire was based out of Essen and the primary personnel in the company were Walter Rethel and Paul G. Ehrhardt. During mid-1917, the company tried, rather unsuccessfully, to sell the German air service on its "Dreidecker" single-seat triplane fighter as severe vibration issues kept this design grounded. Then came the D.I, D.II, and D.VI fighters which adopted a more traditional biplane wing arrangement - save for the D.VI which went a step further and attempted to split the upper wing member in an effort to afford its pilot a better view out-of-the-cockpit. None of these designs succeeded in their attempts but this did not stop the company from moving forward with other design ideas.

The D.VII was the next evolution of the Kondor fighter line and an offshoot of the original Dreidecker - though redesigned from the ground-up into a biplane fighting form. This meant the loss of the uppermost wing member common to the triplane arrangement which simplified construction, saved on weight, and reduced drag in the process. Over the hub of the propeller was fitted an oversized spinner for additional aerodynamic efficiency. The fuselage was well-rounded and streamlined from nose-to-tail. The tail was made up of the usual triple plane arrangement and the undercarriage was wheeled at the main legs. The two wing assemblies were joined to one another by a rather unique tripod-style strut support system with the upper wing further connected to the top of the fuselage and the lower wing networked into the undercarriage supports.

Internally, a steel-tubed "cage" made up the framework of the aircraft with metal used at critical areas (such as the engine block). Plywood could be found at the fuselage, along the lower wings, and throughout the tail section. Before long, the Mercedes D.III was used to power the new aircraft and this outputted 160 horsepower when driving the two-bladed propeller unit at the nose.

Armament would have followed the Kondor norm - 2 x 7.92mm LMG 08/15 air-cooled machine guns set over the nose and synchronized to fire through the spinning propeller blades.

Testing of the D.VII occurred during the Spring of 1918 but the design was not included as part of the June 1918 trials to fulfill the D-type fighter requirement for the German air service. Even so, by this time development of the D.VII appears to have ended with attention having moved on to the Kondor E.3 (D.I) parasol-winged fighter for July 1918 (detailed elsewhere on this site).


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

Graphical image of an aircraft medium machine gun

Variants / Models

• D.VII - Base Series Designation; single prototype completed and test flown in mid-1918.
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