The Pfalz D.III excelled in dive attacks on Allied observation balloons.
Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited:
Credit: Image from the Public Domain.
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.
Status Retired, Out-of-Service
[ 600 Units ] : Pfalz Flugzeug-Werke GmbH - Germany
Bavaria; German Empire
22.80 ft (6.95 m)
30.84 ft (9.4 m)
8.76 ft (2.67 m)
(Showcased structural dimension values pertain to the Pfalz D.IIIa production model)
1,532 lb (695 kg)
2,061 lb (935 kg)
(Showcased weight values pertain to the Pfalz D.IIIa production model)
1 x Mercedes D.III 6-cylinder liquid-cooled inline engine developing 160 horsepower driving a two-bladed propeller unit at the nose.
(Showcased powerplant information pertains to the Pfalz D.IIIa production model)
103 mph (165 kph; 89 kts)
16,995 feet (5,180 m; 3.22 miles)
820 ft/min (250 m/min)
(Showcased performance values pertain to the Pfalz D.IIIa production model; Compare this aircraft entry against any other in our database)
2 x 7.92mm LMG 08/15 Spandau machine guns
(Showcased armament details pertain to the Pfalz D.IIIa production model)
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.
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