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Pfalz D.III

Imperial Germany (1917)

Detailing the development and operational history of the Pfalz D.III Biplane Fighter Aircraft.

 Entry last updated on 5/18/2016; Authored by Staff Writer; Content ©

  Pfalz D.III  
Picture of Pfalz D.III Biplane Fighter Aircraft

The Pfalz D.III excelled in dive attacks on Allied observation balloons.

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.
Any available statistics for the Pfalz D.III Biplane Fighter Aircraft 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).
Pfalz D.IIIa Specifications
National Flag Graphic
Imperial Germany
Year: 1917
Type: Biplane Fighter Aircraft
Manufacturer(s): Pfalz Flugzeug-Werke GmbH - Germany
Production: 600
Supported Mission Types
Ground Attack
Close-Air Support
Airborne Early Warning
Electronic Warfare
Aerial Tanker
Passenger Industry
VIP Travel
Business Travel
Special Forces
Crew: 1
Length: 22.80 ft (6.95 m)
Width: 30.84 ft (9.40 m)
Height: 8.76 ft (2.67 m)
Empty Weight: 1,532 lb (695 kg)
MTOW: 2,061 lb (935 kg)

Installed Power
1 x Mercedes D.III 6-cylinder liquid-cooled inline engine developing 160 horsepower.

Standard Day Performance
Maximum Speed: 103 mph (165 kph; 89 kts)
Service Ceiling: 16,995 ft (5,180 m; 3.22 mi)
Rate-of-Climb: 820 ft/min (250 m/min)

2 x 7.92mm LMG 08/15 Spandau machine guns

Operators List
Bavaria; Imperial Germany

Series Model Variants
• 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.