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Reconnaissance Biplane Aircraft


Reconnaissance Biplane Aircraft


The C.VI was an LVG attempt at producing an improved form of their C.V two-seat reconnaissance platform.
National Flag Graphic
ORIGIN: Imperial Germany
YEAR: 1918
MANUFACTURER(S): Luftverkehrsgesellschaft GmbH (LVG) - Germany
OPERATORS: Cezchoslovakia; Finland; Imperial Germany; Lithuania; Poland; Soviet Union; Switzerland

Unless otherwise noted the presented statistics below pertain to the LVG C.VI model. Common measurements, and their respective conversions, are shown when possible.
LENGTH: 24.44 feet (7.45 meters)
WIDTH: 42.65 feet (13 meters)
HEIGHT: 9.35 feet (2.85 meters)
WEIGHT (EMPTY): 2,083 pounds (945 kilograms)
WEIGHT (MTOW): 3,064 pounds (1,390 kilograms)
ENGINE: 1 x Benz Bz.IV 6-cylinder water-cooled straight engine developing 200 horsepower.
SPEED (MAX): 106 miles-per-hour (170 kilometers-per-hour; 92 knots)
RANGE: 249 miles (400 kilometers; 216 nautical miles)
CEILING: 21,325 feet (6,500 meters; 4.04 miles)
RATE-OF-CLIMB: 550 feet-per-minute (168 meters-per-minute)

1 x 7.92mm LMG 08/15 forward-fixed machine gun
1 x 7.92mm Parabellum MG14 machine gun on trainable mount in rear cockpit.

Up to 200lb of conventional drop stores.
Graphical image of an aircraft medium machine gun
Graphical image of an aircraft conventional drop bomb munition

Series Model Variants
• C.VI - Base Production Model Designation


Detailing the development and operational history of the LVG C.VI Reconnaissance Biplane Aircraft.  Entry last updated on 12/8/2016. Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©
The LVG C.VI became one of the final German two-seat aircraft to see quantitative production in World War 1 and appeared as an improved C.V. The war would finish before the end of 1918, ensuring that the C.VI maintained a relatively short and quiet military existence. Some 1,100 examples were delivered in all with production handled by Luft-Verkehrs-Gesellschaft GmbH (hence the abbreviation of "LVG" used in the designation).

Willy Sabersky-Mussigbrodt brought the original C.V fighter design of 1917 from his former bosses at DFW (Deustche Flugzeug-Werke) to his new bosses at LVG. The C.V was of similar scope to the upcoming C.VI, this being a two-seat, reconnaissance-minded aircraft that fought well in the fighter role and could be called upon for light strike duty. The success of the C.V encouraged a more refined product and this became the C.VI with first flight achieved in 1917. The C.VI differed slightly from her predecessor and sought to make for improvements of which included better visibility for the two-man crew (who suited up with parachutes and heated flight suits). Onboard communications was made possible by a radio system utilizing Morse code though the system could only send out a message and not receive. An antenna was lowered from under the fuselage when the radio was in use. Offensive and defensive armament was left relatively unchanged in the new aircraft. However, the C.VI failed to make much of an impact for a losing Germany, arriving much too late in the war effort to make much of a long-standing difference.

Externally, the C.VI sported an aerodynamic conical nose housing the engine and radiator. The engine was mounted at the extreme forward end of the design and powered a two-bladed wooden propeller. A fixed, forward-firing machine gun was afforded to the pilot, this synchronized to fire through the spinning propeller blades without incident. The pilot sat aft of the engine and gun system and aft of the upper wing assembly. The uneven span wing assemblies were arranged in a typical biplane fashion featuring an upper and lower wing - the former longer in span than the latter. These assemblies were connected to the fuselage (and to one another) by way of struts and cabling. The wings sported double bays and parallel struts for support. The rear gunner/observer sat in tandem directly aft of the pilots position with an excellent view of the rear and side quadrants of the aircraft. In his control was typically a trainable machine gun sitting atop a ring. The fuselage contoured from its aerodynamic nose into a slab-sided fuselage which then tapered off into a conventional empennage. The empennage was characterized by its single vertical tail fin and applicable horizontal tailplanes. The undercarriage was fixed in typical World War 1 fashion, featuring two main landing gear legs (single-wheeled) and a utilitarian tail skid. Construction of the fuselage was semi-monocoque, covered over in formed plywood usually left in a clear varnish. The wings were constructed of both wood and metal and covered over in canvas fabric.

The forward machine gun was a 7.92mm LMG 08/15 system. The rear cockpit held a 7.92mm Parabellum MG14 series machine gun on a ring mounting. Beyond the pair of onboard machine guns, the C.VI could be called upon to strike at ground targets by way of Fliegermaus bomblets or Wurfgranate grenades. The C.VI was cleared up to 200lbs of external ordnance delivered from underwing racks. Beyond her warfighter role, the C.VI could easily be fielded as a photographic reconnaissance mount with the rear observer handling a camera through a sliding trapdoor on the floor of the cockpit.

Power was supplied from a single Benz Bz.IV, 6-cylinder, water-cooled in-line engine delivering 200 horsepower. This supplied the C.VI with a top speed of 103 miles per hour, a service ceiling of 21,300 feet and a rate of climb of 550 feet per minute. The engine also allowed for a maximum range of 242 miles. The forward-mounted engine took on a streamlined look unlike those of earlier World War 1 fighter attempts. This sleekness was generally broken up by the radiator display and the "horn-like" exhaust stack consistent with other World War 1 mounts.

The C.VI entered German air service in 1918. Once in action, the maneuverability of the mount was noted as quite adequate for her size. She was fielded as a offensive/defensive measure along the West Front for the duration of war alongside the previous C.V models. Her primary sorties revolved around observation and general reconnaissance of enemy movements and placement with the regular trench strafing and bombing sortie when needed.

Some C.VIs continued a subdued existence following the war. Some were converted into three-passenger airliners (plus pilot makes four) for flights across Europe. Operators of the C.VI ultimately included the German Empire, Belgium, Czechoslovakia, Finland, Lithuania, Poland, the Soviet Union and Switzerland. The last of the functional wartime C.VIs, this encompassing two from Lithuania, survived up to 1940.

Three preserved C.VIs still exist today - these on display in the UK, Belgium and France.


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
Hi: 120mph
Lo: 60mph
This entry's maximum listed speed (106mph).

Graph average of 90 miles-per-hour.
City-to-City Ranges
Graph showcases the LVG C.VI'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 (1,100)
Comm. Market HI*: 44,000 units
Military Market HI**: 36,183 units

  * Commercial Market High belongs to Cessna 172.

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

Altitude Visualization
Small airplane graphic
Supported Roles
Ground Attack
Aerial Tanker
A2A=Air-to-Air; UAV=Unmanned; CAS=Close Support; ASW=Anti-Submarine; AEW=Airborne Early Warning; MEDEVAC=Medical Evac; EW=Electronic Warfare; SAR=Search-Rescue
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 pioneering aircraft
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 representing modern aircraft
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 War
Military lapel ribbon for experimental x-plane aircraft
* Ribbons not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective campaigns/operations.

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