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Siemens-Schuckert D.III

Imperial Germany (1917)

Detailing the development and operational history of the Siemens-Schuckert D.III Biplane Fighter Aircraft.

 Entry last updated on 10/26/2016; Authored by Staff Writer; Content ©

  Siemens-Schuckert D.III  
Picture of Siemens-Schuckert D.III Biplane Fighter Aircraft

The Siemens-Schuckert D.III was plagued by engine troubles early on, delaying its use along the Front for a time.

The Siemens-Schuckert D series of fighters evolved from captured French-made Nieuport 11 aircraft. The D.III appeared as an improved D.I - a design which arrived too late to be of much use and was therefore relegated to trainer. The D.III was developed from the D.IIc longer wing span prototype and featured a smaller propeller with shortened landing gears.

Production of the D.III began as an initial batch of fifty aircraft with all being received by the end of February 1918. The D.III was well-received by her pilots as she sported unparalleled climbing attributes vital in any dogfight. The honeymoon was soon over, however, as the 160 horsepower proved to overheat consistently after just 10 hours of operation time. While engine issues were ironed out, the D.III was pulled from service in favor of the Fokker D.VII. D.III systems were back in service by July 1918 with their engines adjusted for better cooling along with a redesigned rudder. Thirty of these "new build" D.III series aircraft were delivered and put into action immediately.

The D.III was eventually followed up with the D.IV, another D.series design developed from a D.IIc short wing span prototype.
Any available statistics for the Siemens-Schuckert 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).
Siemens-Schuckert D.III Specifications
National Flag Graphic
Imperial Germany
Year: 1917
Type: Biplane Fighter Aircraft
Manufacturer(s): Siemens-Schuckert Werke - Germany
Production: 130
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: 18.70 ft (5.7 m)
Width: 27.66 ft (8.43 m)
Height: 9.19 ft (2.80 m)
Empty Weight: 1,177 lb (534 kg)
MTOW: 1,598 lb (725 kg)

Installed Power
1 x Siemens-Halske Sh III 11-cylinder air-cooled rotary engine developing 160 horsepower.

Standard Day Performance
Maximum Speed: 112 mph (180 kph; 97 kts)
Service Ceiling: 26,247 ft (8,000 m; 4.97 mi)
Rate-of-Climb: 1,260 ft/min (384 m/min)

2 x 7.92mm machine guns

Operators List
Imperial Germany

Series Model Variants
• D.I - Pilot trainer; Nieuport 11 direct copy; 95 produced.
• D.II - Prototype; Siemens-Halske Sh III 160 horsepower rotary engine; larger fuselage to accomodate new engine; larger propeller blades.
• D.II - Larger and wider fuselage
• D.IIa - Prototype
• D.IIb - Prototype
• D.IIc - 2 Prototypes (long and short wing span versions)
• D.IIe - Prototype
• D.III - Upgraded powerplant to Siemens-Halske 160 horsepower rotary engine.
• D.IV - Late arriving and post-Armistice production variant; 60 produced.
• D.V - Proposed sesquiplane variant
• D.VI - Parasol Monoplane variant becoming the E.I.