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Phonix D (Series)

Imperial Germany (1917)
Picture of Phonix D (Series) Biplane Fighter Aircraft
Picture of Phonix D (Series) Biplane Fighter Aircraft Picture of Phonix D (Series) Biplane Fighter Aircraft

The Phonix D-series proved a dependable aircraft once her handling kinks were worked out.


Detailing the development and operational history of the Phonix D (Series) Biplane Fighter Aircraft.  Entry last updated on 4/11/2016. Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com

The Phonix D.I was a single-seat fighter platform developed and produced by the Phonix Flugzeug-Werke firm in Germany. The aircraft was produced in over 200 (sources vary on the total) examples covering the D.I , D.II and the D.III variants. The prototype D.I first flew in 1917 and was unveiled shortly after Phonix had delivered its armed C.I reconnaissance fighter.

Phonix had already garnered some much-needed experience in the production of fighter aircraft for the Austro-Hungarian Empire during World War 1, ultimately producing some 22 different aircraft types during the course of the war. Its early forays were in manufacturing aircraft for other companies (including Albatros and Hansa-Brandenburg) while, in its later ventures, the firm broke free and produced their own wartime designs. By the beginning of 1917, Phonix Flugzeug-Werke jumped at the chance to replace the outclassed Hansa-Brandenburg D.I. The result was the Phonix D.I, an aircraft not too dissimilar from the Hansa-Brandenburg product it looked to replace.

The D.I was of a conventional biplane wing configuration featuring single bays with parallel struts angled forward. The front of the fuselage was dominated by the engine and cooling system, consisting of a Hiero liquid-cooled, 6-cylinder inline engine developing 200 horsepower (D.I). The cockpit, with seating for one, was situated directly aft of the powerplant compartment. The fuselage featured slab facings with some curvature under the engine to help promote aerodynamic qualities. The fuselage ended rather abruptly into the empennage which itself sported a unique collection of angular tail fins. The undercarriage was made up of two main landing wheels braced to the underside of the fuselage while a simple tail skid was fitted under the empennage. In all, the D.I was a stout and small design and, like other Phonix designs - was not going to win any beauty contests. Armament revolved around two forward-firing fixed 8mm Schwarlose machine guns. The D.I showcased a wingspan was 29 feet, 6.5 inches with the aircrafts top speed listed at 112 miles per hour. Endurance was rated at about 2 hours of flight time while a ceiling of 19,685 feet was possible.

In practice, the early form version of the D.I proved something of a disappointment. Though well-armed, relatively fast and offering good vision, the aircraft exhibited poor climbing capabilities, was difficult to maneuver and had some structural weaknesses. These limitations allowed the D.I to be used somewhat effectively as a photo-reconnaissance platform early in her service life.

Maneuverability was addressed through the introduction of the improved D.II variant fitting balanced elevators and ailerons. The D.II was itself further improved in the D.III. The D.III featured balanced ailerons on both wing assemblies as well as a Hiero inline engine of 230 horsepower. The D.III initially appeared on March 15th, 1918 with the final product delivered on November 4th, 1918. Ultimately, the D.-series, as a whole, proved serviceable and ended up a reliable and resilient mount. Pilots were quick to make use of her above-average diving capabilities in a fight.

The Phonix D-series was utilized by the Imperial and Royal Aviation Troops (KuKLFT) of Austria-Hungary as well as their naval branch. The air force and naval versions both entered service at the same time. Sweden became the only other operator of the aircraft, this in a post-war role and of the D.III variety.


Picture of the Phonix D (Series) Biplane Fighter Aircraft
Picture of the Phonix D (Series) Biplane Fighter Aircraft



Any available statistics for the Phonix D (Series) Biplane Fighter Aircraft 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 (112mph).

    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 D.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
208
208


  * 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: Imperial Germany
Year: 1917
Type: Biplane Fighter Aircraft
Manufacturer(s): Phonix Flugzeug-Werke - Germany
Production: 208
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 D.I model. Common measurements, and their respective conversions, are shown when possible.

Operational
CREW


Personnel
1


Dimension
LENGTH


Feet
21.72 ft


Meters
6.62 m


Dimension
WIDTH


Feet
31.17 ft


Meters
9.5 m


Dimension
HEIGHT


Feet
9.15 ft


Meters
2.79 m


Weight
EMPTY


Pounds
1,411 lb


Kilograms
640 kg


Weight
LOADED


Pounds
1,775 lb


Kilograms
805 kg

Engine icon
Installed Power - Standard Day Performance:
1 x Hiero liquid-cooled 6-cylinder inline engine developing 200 horsepower.

Performance
SPEED


Miles-per-Hour
112 mph


Kilometers-per-Hour
180 kph


Knots
97 kts


Performance
RANGE


Miles
87 mi


Kilometers
140 km


Nautical Miles
76 nm


Performance
CEILING


Feet
19,685 ft


Meters
6,000 m


Miles
3.73 mi

Supported Weapon Systems:

Graphical image of an aircraft medium machine gun
Armament - Hardpoints (0):

2 x 8mm Schwarzlose synchronized machine guns
Variants: Series Model Variants
• D.I - Base Production Series Designation; fitting Hiero inline engine of 200 horsepower; 2 x 8mm machine guns; 50 examples produced.
• D.II - Balanced ailerons (upper wing) and elevators.
• D.III (Type 9) - Balanced ailersons (both wings); fitting Hiero inline engine of 230 horsepower.