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Siemens-Schuckert D.IV Biplane Fighter Aircraft

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.

 Entry last updated on 10/26/2016; Authored by Staff Writer; Content ¬©

  Siemens-Schuckert D.IV  
Picture of Siemens-Schuckert D.IV Biplane Fighter Aircraft

Siemens-Schuckert D.IV

Service Year: 1918
Type: Biplane Fighter Aircraft
National Origin: Imperial Germany
Manufacturer(s): Siemens-Schuckert Werke - Germany
Total Units Built: 123

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.

Structural (Crew, Dimensions, Weights)

Operating Crew (Typical): 1
Overall Length: 18.70 feet (5.7 meters)
Overall Width: 27.40 feet (8.35 meters)
Overall Height: 8.92 feet (2.72 meters)

Weight (Empty): 1,190 lb (540 kg)
Weight (MTOW): 1,620 lb (735 kg)

Power / Performance (Engine Type, Top Speed)

Engine Type: 1 x Siemens-Halske Sh.III 11-cylinder geared rotary engine developing 160 horsepower.

Top Speed: 103 knots (118 mph; 190 kph)
Service Ceiling: 26,247 feet (8,000 meters; 4.97 miles)
Rate-of-Climb: 400 feet-per-minute (122 m/min)

Armament / Mission Payload

2 x 7.92mm LMG 08/15 machine guns

Global Operators (Customers, Users)

Imperial Germany; Switzerland

Siemens-Schuckert D.IV Variants

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.

Siemens-Schuckert D.IV Images