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Phonix C.I

Austria-Hungary (1917)
Picture of Phonix C.I Reconnaissance Biplane Fighter

The reconnaissance C.I was one of over two dozen airplane types produced by Phonix during World War 1.


Detailing the development and operational history of the Phonix C.I Reconnaissance Biplane Fighter.  Entry last updated on 4/11/2016. Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com

The Phonix C.I was a rather simplistic two-seat armed reconnaissance fighter utilized by the Austro-Hungarian Empire during World War 1. The system was produced by the Phonix Flugzeug-Werke firm. Phonix Flugzeug-Werke had already obtained some pivotal experience in the realm of aircraft manufacturing by the time it took on its own projects. Among the first types the firm produced were of Albatros origin and by the end of hostilities, Phonix would be responsible for the production of nearly two dozen different aircraft types totaling over 1,000 constructed planes.

The Phonix C.I was not going to win any design awards but her structure and layout proved serviceable enough. Her design was dominated by two unequal span wings with single bays in a biplane arrangement. The wings sported parallel struts that formed a "vee" when viewed from the front. The engine dominated the forward view and fuselage and powered a simple two-blade wooden propeller. The forward fuselage underside was given a curved contour that led up into the slab-sided main body. The fuselage tapered off into a conventional empennage sporting a large-area vertical tail fin and horizontal planes. The undercarriage was conventional for the time and fitted two large main wheels and a tail skid. Accommodations were available for two personnel, the pilot and the rear observer/gunner.

Power was supplied from a single Hiero 6-cylinder liquid-cooled inline engine of 230 horsepower. Performance specifications included a top speed of 110 miles per hour with a ceiling of 17,715 feet. Range was limited to an engine endurance of 3.5 hours. Wingspan reached 36 feet, 1 inches and the gross weight topped 2,436lbs.

The C.I became the primary reconnaissance service mount of the Austro-Hungarian air force by 1917. The first C.I was delivered to the air corps on March 2nd, 1917. In addition to its reconnoitering duties, the aircraft was also called on to perform artillery spotting duties for the army. While not strictly limited to armed reconnaissance, the C.I would also be called upon to strafe ground targets, engage enemy air targets or bomb ground targets through its meager 100lb bomb load.

Standard armament included a pair of 8mm Schwarzlose machine guns. One 8mm system was fitted in a forward fixed position while the other was situated in a trainable mounting in the rear cockpit. Optional ordnance came in the form of four light 12 kilogram bombs or two 25 kilogram bombs as required.

The final C.I was delivered to Austro-Hungarian forces on October 1st, 1918.

Italian fighter ace - scoring 34 victories - and aviation legend Major (El Mayor) Francesco Baracca was reportedly downed on the Montello by the rear gunner of a Phonix C.I on June 21st, 1918. Some early reports believed the Major survived the crash landing but committed suicide to avoid capture behind enemy lines. The Italians claimed that Baracca was downed by enemy ground fire. His body was later recovered by Italian forces near the Piave River and examined, ultimately revealing a bullet wound to the right temple (NY Times, July 2nd, 1918).

Baracca remained the consummate and well-respected foe, noted by his chivalrous deeds to his enemies including the providing of small gifts to those captured alive and attending to the graves of those recovered dead.

Any available statistics for the Phonix C.I Reconnaissance Biplane 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).






Our Data Modules allow for quick visual reference when comparing a single entry against contemporary designs. Areas covered include general ratings, speed assessments, and relative ranges based on distances between major cities.

Image of collection of graph types

Relative Maximum Speed Rating
Hi: 120mph
Lo: 60mph
    This entry's maximum listed speed (110mph).

    Graph average of 90 miles-per-hour.
City-to-City Ranges
NYC
 
  LON
LON
 
  PAR
PAR
 
  BER
BER
 
  MOS
MOS
 
  TOK
TOK
 
  SYD
SYD
 
  LAX
LAX
 
  NYC
Graph showcases the Phonix C.I's operational range (on internal fuel) when compared to distances between major cities.
Aviation Era
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Useful in showcasing the era cross-over of particular aircraft/aerospace designs.
Unit Production Comparison
Comm. Market HI*: 44,000 units
Military Market HI**: 36,183 units
110
110


  * Commercial Market High belongs to Cessna 172.

  ** Military Market High belongs to Ilyushin Il-2.


Altitude Visualization
Small airplane graphic
  Compare this entry against other aircraft using our Comparison Tool  
National Flag Graphic
Origin: Austria-Hungary
Year: 1917
Type: Reconnaissance Biplane Fighter
Manufacturer(s): Phonix Flugzeug-Werke - Austria
Production: 110
Global Operators:
Austria-Hungary; Sweden
Historical Commitments / Honors:

Military lapel ribbon for Operation Allied Force
Military lapel ribbon for the Arab-Israeli War
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Britain
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Midway
Military lapel ribbon for the Berlin Airlift
Military lapel ribbon for the Chaco War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cold War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cuban Missile Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for the Falklands War
Military lapel ribbon for the French-Indochina War
Military lapel ribbon for the Golden Age of Flight
Military lapel ribbon for the 1991 Gulf War
Military lapel ribbon for the Indo-Pak Wars
Military lapel ribbon for the Iran-Iraq War
Military lapel ribbon for the Korean War
Military lapel ribbon for the 1982 Lebanon War
Military lapel ribbon for the Malayan Emergency
Military lapel ribbon for the attack on Pearl Harbor
Military lapel ribbon for the Six Day War
Military lapel ribbon for the Soviet-Afghan War
Military lapel ribbon for the Spanish Civil War
Military lapel ribbon for the Suez Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for the Vietnam War
Military lapel ribbon for Warsaw Pact of the Cold War-era
Military lapel ribbon for the WASP (WW2)
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 1
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 2
Military lapel ribbon for the Yom Kippur
* Ribbons not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective campaigns/operations.
Measurements and Weights icon
Structural - Crew, Dimensions, and Weights:
Unless otherwise noted the presented statistics below pertain to the Phonix C.I model. Common measurements, and their respective conversions, are shown when possible.

Operational
CREW


Personnel
2


Dimension
LENGTH


Feet
24.67 ft


Meters
7.52 m


Dimension
WIDTH


Feet
36.06 ft


Meters
10.99 m


Dimension
HEIGHT


Feet
9.68 ft


Meters
2.95 m


Weight
LOADED


Pounds
2,436 lb


Kilograms
1,105 kg

Engine icon
Installed Power - Standard Day Performance:
1 x Hiero 6-cylinder liquid-cooled inline engine developing 230 horsepower.

Performance
SPEED


Miles-per-Hour
110 mph


Kilometers-per-Hour
177 kph


Knots
96 kts


Performance
RANGE


Miles
163 mi


Kilometers
262 km


Nautical Miles
141 nm


Performance
CEILING


Feet
17,717 ft


Meters
5,400 m


Miles
3.36 mi

Supported Weapon Systems:

Graphical image of an aircraft medium machine gun
Graphical image of an aircraft conventional drop bomb munition
Armament - Hardpoints (4):

STANDARD:
1 x 8mm Schwarzlose machine gun in forward-fixed mount.
1 x 8mm Schwarzlose machine gun in trainable rear position.

OPTIONAL:
Up to 110lbs of bombs.
Variants: Series Model Variants
• C.I - Base Production Series Designation