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Albatros D.II

Imperial Germany (1916)
Picture of Albatros D.II Biplane Fighter

The Albatros D.II built upon the success of the D.I by improving it design and performance figures.


Detailing the development and operational history of the Albatros D.II Biplane Fighter.  Entry last updated on 4/11/2016. Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com

Albatros produced a variety of capable fighter mounts throughout World War 1 and the original D.I series proved instrumental in winning back air superiority from the Triple Entente. The D.I exhibited powerful engines coupled with dual-synchronized machine guns and an impressive rate-of-climb to make for a most lethal adversary. However, the skies of World War 1 were a constantly changing front for advances in technology often meant that a weapon system being a complete success one day could very well be made obsolete the next. As such, a powerful line of aircraft could easily be superseded by another within months of being developed, usually leading to short-lived production runs and operational tenures. The Albatros series would be no exception.

The Albatros D.II naturally followed the Albatros D.I into operation with the Imperial German Army Air Service (Luftstreitkrafte) during the war1. The D.II introduced a few fundamental improvements and differed from the D.I primarily in its use of N-shaped struts positioned between the upper forward fuselage and the upper wing assembly. Additionally, the type was fitted with side-mounted air brakes to bring the aircraft to reduced speeds as needed. The upper wing assembly was also lowered to help promote better pilot visibility - the pilot could now look out and over his upper wing. An improved radiator system was housed in an aerodynamic installation that was affixed to the upper wing center section. The aircraft first made its appearance in September of 1916 over the skies of the Western Front, operating from Jagdstaffeln 2 and Jagstaffeln 11 under the commands of Oswald Boelche and Manfred von Richthofen respectively.

Externally, the D.II was conventional with the times, featuring a biplane wing assembly consisting of a lower and upper wing unit supported against one another and the fuselage via parallel struts and cabling. The fuselage was well contoured from nose to tail with the engine fitted to a forward compartment powering a two-bladed wooden propeller unit. The pilot was seated in an open-air cockpit amidships with excellent views around the wings. The fuselage tapered into the empennage which sported a single rounded vertical tail fin and a pair of horizontal planes. The undercarriage was fixed into position and made up of two single-wheeled braced main landing gear legs as a basic tail skid.

Once in operational service, the D.II immediately placed its mark on the air war and was noted for its rater impressive rate-of-climb - 3,280 feet in five minutes - and improvement over the rate the original D.I already enjoyed in a fight. The dual-synchronized 7.92mm LMG 08/15 machine gun arrangement remained and stability was improved to the point that the aircraft played well in helping the Germans to establish air superiority in their favor once again - at least for the moment. Boelcke alone was to score 11 downed enemy aircraft in the span of just 16 days. On September 17th, 1916, Manfred von Richthofen netted his first confirmed air kill while flying his red-colored D.II. According to sources, about 100 D.IIs were ultimately produced.

Like other fighter developments during World War 1, the D.II operated for only a short time before being replaced by the Albatros D.III in production. The D.III was developed with improved maneuverability in mind. In all, the series would entail the D.I, D.II, D.III, D.V and D.Va production models before the end of the war in November of 1918.

Any available statistics for the Albatros D.II Biplane Fighter 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: 120mph
Lo: 60mph
    This entry's maximum listed speed (109mph).

    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 Albatros D.II'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
100
100


  * Commercial Market High belongs to Cessna 172.

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


Altitude Visualization
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National Flag Graphic
National Origin: Imperial Germany
Service Year: 1916
Classification Type: Biplane Fighter
Manufacturer(s): Albatros Werke GmbH - Germany
Production Units: 100
Global Operators:
Austria-Hungary; Imperial Germany; Poland
Measurements and Weights icon
Structural - Crew, Dimensions, and Weights:
Unless otherwise noted the presented statistics below pertain to the Albatros D.II model. Common measurements, and their respective conversions, are shown when possible.

Operational
CREW


Personnel
1


Dimension
LENGTH


Feet
24.28 ft


Meters
7.4 m


Dimension
WIDTH


Feet
27.89 ft


Meters
8.5 m


Dimension
HEIGHT


Feet
9.68 ft


Meters
2.95 m


Weight
EMPTY


Pounds
1,422 lb


Kilograms
645 kg


Weight
LOADED


Pounds
1,958 lb


Kilograms
888 kg

Engine icon
Installed Power - Standard Day Performance:
1 x Mercedes D.IIIa liquid-cooled 6-cylinder inline engine developing 160 horsepower.

Performance
SPEED


Miles-per-Hour
109 mph


Kilometers-per-Hour
175 kph


Knots
94 kts


Performance
RANGE


Miles
163 mi


Kilometers
263 km


Nautical Miles
142 nm


Performance
CEILING


Feet
17,060 ft


Meters
5,200 m


Miles
3.23 mi


Performance
CLIMB RATE


Feet-per-Minute
656 ft/min


Meters-per-Minute
200 m/min

Armament - Hardpoints (0):

STANDARD:
2 x 7.92mm Spandau LMG 08/15 fixed, forward-firing synchronized machine guns.
Supported Weapon Systems:

Graphical image of an aircraft medium machine gun
Variants: Series Model Variants
• D.I - Base D-series
• D.II - Lowered top wing; Fundamental and minor aerodynamic changes.
• D.III - V-shaped struts introduced
• D.V - Streamlined fuselage
• D.Va - Slightly modified D.V model