Military Factory logo

LVG B (Series)

Imperial Germany (1915)

Detailing the development and operational history of the LVG B (Series) Unarmed Reconnaissance Scout / Trainer Biplane Aircraft.

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

  LVG B (Series)  
Picture of LVG B (Series) Unarmed Reconnaissance Scout / Trainer Biplane Aircraft

The LVG B-series of twin-seat biplane aircraft was produced in three distinct variants.

Prior to production of military aircraft, the LVG concern ("Luft-Verkehrs-Gesellschaft") was focused on manufacture of dirigibles which proved useful in reconnaissance sorties and artillery spotting, however vulnerable they were to ground and aircraft fire. The LVG B-series of aircraft became the company's first foray into military aviation and consisted of a lightweight two-seat biplane design which saw service in World War 1. Categorized as a reconnaissance aircraft, the system and its crew were charged with reconnoitering over enemy held territory, detailing enemy movements and positions in after-action reports and debriefings alike. Unlike later two-seat reconnaissance platforms encountered during the war, the B-series was unarmed and wholly susceptible to all kinds of aerial and ground dangers.

The initial production model, the B.I, was of a typical biplane configuration with an upper and lower wing assembly of unequal span joined together by various struts and cabling. The wings sported double bays with parallel struts and shorter supports at the fuselage. The engine was fitted at the extreme forward end of the fuselage with a conventional three-plane tail section at the rear. Power was supplied by a Mercedes D.I series inline liquid-cooled piston engine developing 100 horsepower. This supplied the aircraft with a top speed of 65 miles per hour with a four-hour endurance window. The pilot and his observer sat in tandem aft of the cockpit and under the upper wing assembly - the pilot in the rear and the observer to his front. The undercarriage consisted of two main landing gear wheels supported by struts under the main bulk of the fuselage and a tail skid at the rear. As stated above, the B.I was unarmed.

The German Luftstreitkrafte (air force) took deliveries of the B.I and, shortly thereafter, LVG began offering an improved form under the new designation of "B.II". This version introduced a more powerful Mercedes inline engine outputting 120 horsepower. Additionally, the upper wing assembly sported a "cut-out" section intended to better the views from the pilot's position. A trainer derivative - the "B.III" - was also introduced to help train upcoming pilots in the nuances of flight. The B.III was given a reinforced understructure to help contend with "rough flying".

Due to the inherent limitations of the aircraft line as a whole and advancing aeronautical technology throughout the war, the B-series was eventually removed from active frontline reconnaissance duties and relegated primarily to training. From then on, it was formally replaced by more capable types.
Any available statistics for the LVG B (Series) Unarmed Reconnaissance Scout / Trainer Biplane 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).
LVG B.I Specifications
National Flag Graphic
Imperial Germany
Year: 1915
Type: Unarmed Reconnaissance Scout / Trainer Biplane Aircraft
Manufacturer(s): Luft-Verkehrs-Gesellschaft (LVG) - Imperial Germany
Production: 100
Supported Mission Types
Ground Attack
Close-Air Support
Airborne Early Warning
Electronic Warfare
Aerial Tanker
Passenger Industry
VIP Travel
Business Travel
Special Forces
Crew: 2
Length: 27.23 ft (8.3 m)
Width: 39.76 ft (12.12 m)
Height: 9.68 ft (2.95 m)
Empty Weight: 1,601 lb (726 kg)
MTOW: 2,370 lb (1,075 kg)

Installed Power
1 x Mercedes D.I liquid-cooled inline piston engine developing 100 horsepower.

Standard Day Performance
Maximum Speed: 65 mph (105 kph; 57 kts)
Maximum Range: 261 mi (420 km; 227 nm)


Operators List
Imperial Germany; Imperial Russia

Series Model Variants
• B.I - Initial Production Model; fitted with Mercedes D.I series engine of 100 horsepower.
• B.II - Improved B.I; fitted with Mercedes D.II series engine of 120 horsepower.
• B.III - Two-Seat Trainer; reinforced throughout