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Junkers CL.I

Imperial Germany (1918)

Detailing the development and operational history of the Junkers CL.I Monoplane Fighter.

 Entry last updated on 3/20/2014; Authored by Staff Writer; Content ©

  Junkers CL.I  
Picture of Junkers CL.I Monoplane Fighter

The Junkers CL.I could have been so much more had it not been for production difficulties encountered in war time Germany.

The Junkers CL.I was something of a break-through aircraft design for its time, appearing during the latter stages of World War 1 (1914-1918). Due to production difficulties in war-torn Germany, the aircraft saw only limited manufacture numbering less than 50 units. Junkers approached the CL.1 with a largely metal design coupled to a low-wing assembly - this at a time when manufacturers favored fabric-over-wood aircraft utilizing an upper and lower wing assembly (biplane).

Development of the CL.1 was formed along the lines of the preceding all-metal designs in the Junkers D.I and the J.I. The CL.1 was given a standard operating crew of two seated in tandem with the pilot in the forward open-air cockpit and his gunner/observer in the rear cockpit. The engine was mounted at the front in the usual way with a single-finned tail unit at the rear. Power was served from a Mercedes D.IIIa series 6-cylinder, liquid-cooled, inline engine developing 180 horsepower. This, coupled to the airframe design, provided a maximum speed of 100 miles per hour with a service ceiling reaching 19,600 feet. The aircraft featured an armament suite of 3 x 7.92mm machine guns - two fixed, forward-firing and the third on a trainable mount in the rear cockpit - as standard along with provision for antipersonnel grenade dispensers mounted under the fuselage.

Despite the revolutionary design, German factories were heavily experienced in the rapid construction of fabric-over-wood aircraft and found the metal design of the CL.1 difficult to incorporate into well-accepted practices. The promising CL.I therefore foundered and held little impact by war's end. Despite the CL.1's failed showing, the concept of all-metal construction in aircraft grew into the norm heading into the interwar years. Indeed, all-metal aircraft were the norm during World War 2, making fabric-over-wood mounts largely obsolete.
Any available statistics for the Junkers CL.I Monoplane Fighter 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).
Junkers CL.I Specifications
National Flag Graphic
Imperial Germany
Year: 1918
Type: Monoplane Fighter
Manufacturer(s): Junkers - Germany
Production: 47
Supported Mission Types
Ground Attack
Close-Air Support
Airborne Early Warning
Electronic Warfare
Aerial Tanker
Passenger Industry
VIP Travel
Business Travel
Special Forces
Crew: 2
Length: 25.92 ft (7.9 m)
Width: 39.50 ft (12.04 m)
Height: 8.69 ft (2.65 m)
Empty Weight: 2,315 lb (1,050 kg)

Installed Power
1 x Mercedes D.IIIa 6-cylinder liquid-cooled inline engine generating 180hp.

Standard Day Performance
Maximum Speed: 100 mph (161 kph; 87 kts)
Service Ceiling: 19,685 ft (6,000 m; 3.73 mi)

2 x 7.92mm machine guns in fixed, forward-firing mounts on fuselage.
1 x 7.92mm machine gun on trainable mounting in rear cockpit.

Antipersonnel Grenade Dispensers

Operators List
Imperial Germany

Series Model Variants
• CL.I - Base Series Designation