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Albatros C.III

Two-Seat Biplane Reconnaissance Aircraft

Albatros C.III

Two-Seat Biplane Reconnaissance Aircraft

OVERVIEW
SPECIFICATIONS
ARMAMENT
VARIANTS
HISTORY
MEDIA
OVERVIEW



The effective Albatros C.III biplane became the most-produced of the C-type reconnaissance aircraft fielded by the Germans during World War 2.
National Flag Graphic
ORIGIN: Imperial Germany
YEAR: 1916
MANUFACTURER(S): Albatros Flugzeugwerke - Germany
PRODUCTION: 600
OPERATORS: Austria-Hungary; Bulgaria; Finland; Imperial Germany; Latvia; Lithuania; Poland; Ottoman Empire (Turkey)
SPECIFICATIONS



Unless otherwise noted the presented statistics below pertain to the Albatros C.III model. Common measurements, and their respective conversions, are shown when possible.
CREW: 2
LENGTH: 26.25 feet (8 meters)
WIDTH: 38.39 feet (11.7 meters)
HEIGHT: 10.17 feet (3.1 meters)
WEIGHT (EMPTY): 1,874 pounds (850 kilograms)
WEIGHT (MTOW): 2,987 pounds (1,355 kilograms)
ENGINE: 1 x Mercedes III OR Benz Bz.III liquid-cooled inline engine developing 160 / 150 horsepower (respectively).
SPEED (MAX): 87 miles-per-hour (140 kilometers-per-hour; 76 knots)
RANGE: 342 miles (550 kilometers; 297 nautical miles)
CEILING: 11,155 feet (3,400 meters; 2.11 miles)




ARMAMENT



STANDARD:
1 x 7.92mm Spandau MG08 machine gun in nose
1 x 7.92mm Parabellum machine gun in rear cockpit

OPTIONAL:
Up to 200lb of internal stores (bomb bay).
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.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 te C-series; in service through the end of the war; refined fuselage design.


HISTORY



Detailing the development and operational history of the Albatros C.III Two-Seat Biplane Reconnaissance Aircraft.  Entry last updated on 12/1/2016. Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com.
Albatros built several "C-type" twin-seat reconnaissance biplanes for the German Air Service in World War 1 but none were produced to the levels of the Albatros C.III model introduced in 1916. By this time, the war had bogged down in the quagmire of trench warfare and any viable military weapon was in play to unseat the defender - including armed scouts which provided essential over-the-horizon reporting, observation of enemy movements far away, and engagement of targets of opportunity. Before her final days, the successful C.III model ended in the inventories of the German Empire, Bulgaria, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, and the Ottoman Empire.

Continuing the long line of what essentially proved to be "short-term" reconnaissance biplanes, the Albatros C.III was an effort to improve upon the successes of the earlier C.I, itself an armed form of the original Albatros B.II model series. The C.I, however, flipped its crew with the pilot at front and the observer/gunner at rear. The C.III carried this design quality and followed the lines of the earlier designs quite closely. It retained the dual-bay biplane wing arrangement, forward-mounted engine, and conventional tail unit. Its undercarriage was fixed and consistent with the period, centered on two large main wheels and a wood tail skid. The engine mount was of particular note for its large exhaust manifold assembly emanating from the upper engine section, decidedly obstructing the forward view. A sole 7.92mm Spandau machine gun was set to the starboard side of the engine, synchronized to fire through the spinning, two-bladed propeller arrangement. The rear observer/gunner managed a trainable 7.92mm Parabellum machine gun to protect the aircraft's more vulnerable "six".

In practice, the C.III was a valuable aircraft for the German Air Service, capable of undertaking a variety of roles beyond that of reconnaissance flights. It could be outfitted with up to 200lb of internally-held drop stores for light bombing of valued targets. Its machine guns could also strafe unprotected ground targets as they were found. Handling and agility of the mount was deemed good and crews favored the C.III over all other C-type designs from Albatros. Its overall construction made for a robust military instrument which carried it through to the final days of the war - something of a rarity for early-war biplanes. Many existed after the Armistice and were forced to be handed over to the Allies for destruction or reissue to allied nations.

The C.III was deployed with one of two engine installations - one being a 150 horsepower Benz Bz.III and the other a 160 horsepower Mercedes D.III inline. Speeds reached approximately 87 miles per hour with a service ceiling of 11,000 feet and mission endurance window of about four hours. The Albatros C.VI was a variant of the C.III line which incorporated a 180 horsepower Argus As III series 6-cylinder inline. The new engine led to a reinforced engine mounting but provided a slight increase in performance - notably speed. Production of this variant was very limited. A floatplane form was also devised and this became the one-off Albatros W.2. These featured a Mercedes D.II engine with the applicable floatplanes added to the fuselage in place of its wheeled undercarriage.




MEDIA









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.
City-to-City Ranges
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  NYC
Graph showcases the Albatros C.III's operational range (on internal fuel) when compared to distances between major cities.
Aviation Era
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Unit Production Comparison
Comm. Market HI*: 44,000 units
Military Market HI**: 36,183 units
600
600

  * Commercial Market High belongs to Cessna 172.

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


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Supported Roles
A2A
Interception
UAV
Ground Attack
CAS
Training
ASW
Anti-Ship
AEW
MEDEVAC
EW
Maritime/Navy
SAR
Aerial Tanker
Utility/Transport
VIP
Passenger
Business
Recon
SPECOPS
X-Plane/Development
A2A=Air-to-Air; UAV=Unmanned; CAS=Close Support; ASW=Anti-Submarine; AEW=Airborne Early Warning; MEDEVAC=Medical Evac; EW=Electronic Warfare; SAR=Search-Rescue