Military Factory logo
Icon of F-15 Eagle military combat fighter aircraft
Icon of Abrams Main Battle Tank
Icon of navy warships
Icon of AK-47 assault rifle

Pfalz D.III

Biplane Fighter Aircraft

The Pfalz D.III excelled in dive attacks on Allied observation balloons.
Authored By: Staff Writer | Edited: 7/31/2019
National Flag Graphic


Year: 1917
Status: Retired, Out-of-Service
Manufacturer(s): Pfalz Flugzeug-Werke GmbH - Germany
Production: 600
Capabilities: Fighter;
Crew: 1
Length: 22.80 ft (6.95 m)
Width: 30.84 ft (9.4 m)
Height: 8.76 ft (2.67 m)
Weight (Empty): 1,532 lb (695 kg)
Weight (MTOW): 2,061 lb (935 kg)
Power: 1 x Mercedes D.III 6-cylinder liquid-cooled inline engine developing 160 horsepower driving a two-bladed propeller unit at the nose.
Speed: 103 mph (165 kph; 89 kts)
Ceiling: 16,995 feet (5,180 m; 3.22 miles)
Rate-of-Climb: 820 ft/min (250 m/min)
Operators: Bavaria; German Empire
The Pfalz D.III was an exceptional aircraft produced in large numbers by Bavaria for Bavarian forces and; later, Imperial German air forces. The D.III biplane was a agile fighter capable of high-speed diving attacks and excelled at attacking Allied reconnaissance balloons and aircraft alike. Two 7.92mm machine guns complimented the system well and production ballooned by 1918.

Bavarian forces were the first to receive the highly-acclaimed Pfalz D.III's as control of the factories was Bavarian to begin with. Ultimately, German pilots would receive the units and they would begin to play a role on the Western Front, though appearing in large numbers to little too late to effect the outcome of the war.

The success of the Pfalz D.III system produced variants and an offshoot that improved upon the base system in the Pfalz D.XII, which reconfigured the radiator closer to the engine and featured other minor improvements to capabilities.


2 x 7.92mm LMG 08/15 Spandau machine guns

Graphical image of an aircraft medium machine gun

Variants / Models

• D.III - Base Production Model Designation
• D.IIIa - Guns repositioned to upper decking to assist pilot in clearing weapons of jams; subtle changes to horizontal stabilizer and wingtips; appearing in November of 1917; at least 430 examples produced.
• D.XII - Further development of the D.III featuring reconfiguration of radiator placement; improved engine performance.
Site Disclaimer  |  Privacy Policy  |  Cookies  |  Site Map Site content ©2003-, All Rights Reserved.

The "Military Factory" name and logo are registered ® U.S. trademarks protected by all applicable domestic and international intellectual property laws. All written content, illustrations, and photography are unique to this website (unless where indicated) and not for reuse/reproduction in any form. Material presented throughout this website is for historical and entertainment value only and should not to be construed as usable for hardware restoration, maintenance, or general operation. We do not sell any of the items showcased on this site. Please direct all other inquiries to militaryfactory AT

Part of a network of sites that includes, GlobalFirepower, a data-driven property used in ranking the top military powers of the world, and, the World Directory of Modern Military Aircraft.

Facebook Logo YouTube Logo