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Albatros C.I

Imperial Germany (1915)
Picture of Albatros C.I Biplane Reconnaissance Aircraft

The German Albatros C.I was a widely-used reconnaissance aircraft in World War One.


Detailing the development and operational history of the Albatros C.I Biplane Reconnaissance Aircraft.  Entry last updated on 3/20/2016. Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com

The Albatros C.I series of aircraft was the next evolution in the brand's reconnaissance aircraft line. Stemming from the development of the production Albatros B.II, the C.I shared many of the common characteristics in the initial design including the biplane wing assembly and basic fuselage design. Where it differed from the B.II, however, was in crew layout, the implementation of self-defense armament and improved performance capabilities. The C.I would become the aircraft on which many a German ace would be introduced to aerial combat and hone his skills on before graduating to the new breed of true fighter.

The C.I, like the B.II before it, featured crew accommodations for two personnel in the form of one pilot and a rear "observer" that doubled as a gunner. Unlike the B.II, the C.I switched the positions of the pilot and observer to a more traditional layout, putting the pilot forward just behind the engine, and the observer to the rear. This allowed the pilot a more traditional viewpoint from the front of his machine while allowing the rear observer/gunner a greater area to which train his gun in for self-defense. Armament consisted of a single 7.5mm Parabellum machine gun in the rear gunner area. Beyond that, the system was a reconnaissance aircraft not built for straight up engagements, though the C.I did find its fair share of success in that field.

The Albatros C.I offered up performance improvements thanks to the Mercedes D.III liquid-cooled inline engine. Performance increased the maximum speed from the B.II's 66 miles per hour to the C.I's 87 miles per hour. The endurance of the newer C.I did suffer quite a bit, however, from 4 hours of flightier in the B.I to just 2 hours of flight time in the C.I. Nevertheless, the powerplant was one of the best and most powerful available when compared to its contemporaries and handling was reported as good to excellent, making for a lethal weapon despite these shortcomings.

Any available statistics for the Albatros C.I Biplane Reconnaissance 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).






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.

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Relative Maximum Speed Rating
Hi: 100mph
Lo: 50mph
    This entry's maximum listed speed (87mph).

    Graph average of 75 miles-per-hour.
Aviation Era
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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
500
500


  * Commercial Market High belongs to Cessna 172.

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


Altitude Visualization
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Origin: Imperial Germany
Year: 1915
Type: Biplane Reconnaissance Aircraft
Manufacturer(s): Albatros Flugzeugwerke - Imperial Germany
Production: 500
Global Operators:
Bulgaria; Imperial Germany; Lithuania; Poland; Sweden; Turkey
Historical Commitments / Honors:

Military lapel ribbon for Operation Allied Force
Military lapel ribbon for the Arab-Israeli War
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Britain
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Midway
Military lapel ribbon for the Berlin Airlift
Military lapel ribbon for the Chaco War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cold War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cuban Missile Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for the Falklands War
Military lapel ribbon for the French-Indochina War
Military lapel ribbon for the Golden Age of Flight
Military lapel ribbon for the 1991 Gulf War
Military lapel ribbon for the Indo-Pak Wars
Military lapel ribbon for the Iran-Iraq War
Military lapel ribbon for the Korean War
Military lapel ribbon for the 1982 Lebanon War
Military lapel ribbon for the Malayan Emergency
Military lapel ribbon for the attack on Pearl Harbor
Military lapel ribbon for the Six Day War
Military lapel ribbon for the Soviet-Afghan War
Military lapel ribbon for the Spanish Civil War
Military lapel ribbon for the Suez Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for the Vietnam War
Military lapel ribbon for Warsaw Pact of the Cold War-era
Military lapel ribbon for the WASP (WW2)
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 1
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 2
Military lapel ribbon for the Yom Kippur
* Ribbons not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective campaigns/operations.
Measurements and Weights icon
Structural - Crew, Dimensions, and Weights:
Unless otherwise noted the presented statistics below pertain to the Albatros C.I model. Common measurements, and their respective conversions, are shown when possible.

Operational
CREW


Personnel
2


Dimension
LENGTH


Feet
25.75 ft


Meters
7.85 m


Dimension
WIDTH


Feet
42.32 ft


Meters
12.9 m


Dimension
HEIGHT


Feet
10.30 ft


Meters
3.14 m


Weight
LOADED


Pounds
2,624 lb


Kilograms
1,190 kg

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

Performance
SPEED


Miles-per-Hour
87 mph


Kilometers-per-Hour
140 kph


Knots
76 kts


Performance
CEILING


Feet
9,843 ft


Meters
3,000 m


Miles
1.86 mi

Supported Weapon Systems:

Graphical image of an aircraft medium machine gun
Armament - Hardpoints (0):

STANDARD:
1 x 7.92mm MG14 Parabellum machine gun in rear gunner's position.
Variants: Series Model Variants
• C.I - Initial C-series model; based on the B.II unarmed reconnaissance biplane; 1 x 7.5mm machine gun in rear gunner position; Mercedes D.III engine delivering 160hp.
• C.Ia - Improved C.I model with Argus As III series engine.
• C.Ib - Dual-Control Trainer Variant
• C.I-V - Single Experimental Prototype Model
• C.III - Derived from the B.III reconaaissance biplane; 1 or 2 x 7.5mm machine guns in rear gunner position; Mercedes D.III engine delivering 160hp.
• C.V - Developed from the C.III; 2 x 7.5mm machine guns in rear gunner position; Mercedes D.IV 8-cylinder engine delivering 220hp; refined fuselage design.
• C.VII - Replacement Model beginning in mid-1916 for the underperforming C.V model.
• C.X - Improved over the C.V design; fitted with Mercedes D.IVa engine delivering 260hp; refined fuselage design.
• C.XII - Regarded as best of the C-series; in service through the end of the war; refined fuselage design.