The Siemens-Schuckert D.IV biplane fighter was still in production after the armistice was signed and is considered the best fighter design of the Great War.
Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited:
Credit: Image from the Public Domain.
The Siemens-Schuckert D.IV was a further development of the D-series brand, itself a copy of the spectacular French Nieuport 11. Development of the D.IV stemmed from the D.IIc short wing span prototype ordered after production of the D.I was complete. Performance was improved in the D.IV with new wings and added to the already impressive rate-of-climb that the aircraft would be known for. The D.IV appeared in serviceable numbers in August of 1918, just a few months before Germany's inevitable defeat.
Some 60 D.IV systems were on hand to see operational service with some 123 total examples eventually produced. The D.IV proved to have tremendous climbing capabilities and offered up an impressive service ceiling. Armament consisted of twin 7.92mm LMG 08/15 series machine guns while power stemmed from a Siemens-Halske Sh.III 11-cylinder geared rotary engine of 160 horsepower. Top speed was nearly 120 miles per hour and the aircraft maintained an endurance of 2 hours. In many respects, the system outperformed the challenging Fokker designs and ultimately was regarded as the best fighter design for either side in the whole of the war.
With Germany's capitulation by November of 1918, the armistice was signed and Germany was banned from any future aircraft production - though surprisingly the D.VI continued production through the middle of 1919. Switzerland purchased many surplus D.IV aircraft in the post-war years, keeping them operational well into the 1920's. In any regard, the D.VI can be seen as the pinnacle of the Siemens-Schuckert D-series with the original French Nieuport 11 design to thank for it.
Status Retired, Out-of-Service
[ 123 Units ] : Siemens-Schuckert Werke - Germany
German Empire; Switzerland
18.70 ft (5.7 m)
27.40 ft (8.35 m)
8.92 ft (2.72 m)
(Showcased structural dimension values pertain to the Siemens-Schuckert D.IV production model)
1,190 lb (540 kg)
1,620 lb (735 kg)
(Showcased weight values pertain to the Siemens-Schuckert D.IV production model)
1 x Siemens-Halske Sh.III 11-cylinder geared rotary engine developing 160 horsepower driving a four-bladed propeller unit at the nose.
(Showcased powerplant information pertains to the Siemens-Schuckert D.IV production model)
118 mph (190 kph; 103 kts)
26,247 feet (8,000 m; 4.97 miles)
400 ft/min (122 m/min)
(Showcased performance values pertain to the Siemens-Schuckert D.IV production model; Compare this aircraft entry against any other in our database)
2 x 7.92mm LMG 08/15 machine guns
(Showcased armament details pertain to the Siemens-Schuckert D.IV production model)
D.I - Pilot trainer; Nieuport 11 direct copy; 95 produced.
D.II - Prototype; Siemens-Halske Sh III 160 horsepower rotary engine; larger fuselage to accomodate new engine; larger propeller blades.
D.II - Larger and wider fuselage
D.IIa - Prototype
D.IIb - Prototype
D.IIc - 2 Prototypes (long and short wing span versions)
D.IIe - Prototype
D.III - Upgraded powerplant to Siemens-Halske 160 horsepower rotary engine.
D.IV - Late arriving and post-Armistice production variant; 60 produced.
D.V - Proposed sesquiplane variant
D.VI - Parasol Monoplane variant becoming the E.I.
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