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Aviatik B.I - Imperial Germany, 1914

Detailing the development and operational history of the Aviatik B.I Reconnaissance Biplane Aircraft.

 Entry last updated on 7/18/2017; Authored by Staff Writer; Content ¬©

  Aviatik B.I  
Picture of Aviatik B.I

The Aviatik B.I biplane aircraft became a capable reconnaissance platform serving with the German Empire up until early 1916.

The Aviatik B.I series handled reconnaissance duties for Germany in the early years of the war, serving up to about early 1916 before being replaced by more improved contemporaries. The system was sufficient in the role and was a product of the Automobil und Aviatikwerke company, which handled production out of facilities based in Austria and Leipzig.

The design of the B.I was basic for the time, of a biplane nature and utilizing a crew of two to handle piloting and observation duty. The crew sat in tandem, though the observer was kept in the front portion of the fuselage with the pilot behind him. In theory, this would have afforded the observer a pretty good view of the front forward facing though it would handicap the pilot by being seated further back than was the norm (the engine was fitted before both seats, pushing the pilot's overall perspective rearwards even more).

The B.I was conceived of from an original racing biplane design appearing in 1913. This was a pivotal undertaking for the Automobil und Aviatikwerke bureau as their previous designs were nothing more than copied French designs, a bit of flattery sent in the "enemies" direction one might think. Nonetheless, the Aviatik B.I served well for its tenure during the war and was eventually superceded by the B.II series, which sported an improved and more powerful Mercedes-brand engine.

Aviatik B.I Specifications

Service Year: 1914
Type: Reconnaissance Biplane Aircraft
National Origin: Imperial Germany
Manufacturer(s): Automobil und Aviatikwerke - Germany
Total Production: 1,200

Structural (Crew, Dimensions, Weights)

Operating Crew (Typical): 2
Overall Length: 26.15 feet (7.97 meters)
Overall Width: 45.83 feet (13.97 meters)
Overall Height: 10.83 feet (3.30 meters)

Weight (Empty): 1,874 lb (850 kg)
Weight (MTOW): 2,399 lb (1,088 kg)

Power / Performance (Engine Type, Top Speed)

Engine: 1 x Mercedes 6-cylinder liquid-cooled inline engine developing 100 horsepower.

Maximum Speed: 54 knots (62 mph; 100 kph)
Maximum Range: 216 nautical miles (249 miles; 400 km)
Service Ceiling: 16,404 feet (5,000 meters; 3.11 miles)

Armament / Mission Payload


Global Operators (Customers, Users)

Austria-Hungary; Imperial Germany; Kingdom of Italy; Paraguay; Turkey

Model Variants

B.I - Base Production Model Designation
B.II - Improved B.I version fitted with more powerful Mercedes powerplant; 1 x 7.7mm machine gun.

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