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Albatros C.V

Biplane Reconnaissance Aircraft

The Albatros C.V was a step backwards in the evolution of the C-series aircraft systems.
Authored By: Staff Writer | Edited: 7/31/2019
National Flag Graphic


Year: 1916
Status: Retired, Out-of-Service
Manufacturer(s): Albatros Flugzeugwerke - Germany
Production: 400
Capabilities: Reconnaissance (RECCE);
Crew: 2
Length: 29.36 ft (8.95 m)
Width: 41.93 ft (12.78 m)
Height: 11.68 ft (3.56 m)
Weight (MTOW): 3,494 lb (1,585 kg)
Power: 1 x Mercedes D.IV 8-cylinder liquid-cooled inline engine developing 220 horsepower and driving a two-bladed wooden propeller at the nose.
Speed: 106 mph (170 kph; 92 kts)
Ceiling: 16,404 feet (5,000 m; 3.11 miles)
Range: 280 miles (450 km; 243 nm)
Operators: German Empire
The Albatros C.V can, in some ways, be approached as a step backwards in the progression of the C-series as a whole. Though the intent to produce a top-notch reconnaissance biplane aircraft, the system fell short of expectations mostly due to problems incurred with the new Mercedes powerplant, one that on many occasions malfunctioned in some fashion. Though 400 full examples of this model were produced, the C.V would see operational from early 1916, eventually being replaced in full by a more potent Albatros C.VII design by 1917.

The C.V was in effect an entire departure from previous C-series type designs. This particular model was fitted with an impressive Mercedes D.IV 8-cylinder liquid-cooled engine capable of an equally impressive 220 horsepower. The system could outperform its predecessors through both maximum speed and operational ceiling with a flight time of just over three hours. The aircraft was crewed by a pilot in the front cockpit area and an observer/gunner in the rear cockpit area. The rear gunner had access to an arrangement of ring-mounted 7.5mm Parabellum machine guns for defensive purposes. Up to 220lbs of external ordnance could be mounted for the bomber role if need be. Wing design was of a conventional biplane approach and the fuselage was aerodynamically refined for maximum performance.

Where the system faltered, however, was in the unreliability of the Mercedes powerplant of eight cylinders. Many accidents were caused by the engine malfunctioning in flight, putting quite a performance blemish on the C.V model from the get-go. The Albatros C.V would eventually be replaced by the more capable C.VII series. The C.V would also go on to hold an Albatros production line distinction of being the 2,500th such aircraft produced by the firm, this event occurring in the war year of 1917.


2 x 7.5mm ring-mounted LMG 14 Parabellum machine guns in rear gunner position.

Up to 220lbs of bombs.

Graphical image of an aircraft medium machine gun
Graphical image of an aircraft conventional drop bomb munition

Variants / Models

• 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.
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