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Rumpler C.III


Armed Reconnaissance Biplane


Imperial Germany | 1916



"The Rumpler C.III series served the German Empire well and set up the stage for the much improved C.IV to follow."



Authored By: Dan Alex | Last Edited: 07/31/2019 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site; No A.I. was used in the generation of this content.
Rumpler Flugzeugwerke followed their Rumpler C.I biplane reconnaissance aircraft with the improved C.III series. The Rumpler name eventually became associated with excellent high-flying, long endurance reconnaissance aircraft and was built from successes such as the C.I and C.III - though both were eventually outdone by the strong C.IV to follow.

The Rumpler concern was born from Edmund Rumpler, an Austrian-born engineer who settled the Rumpler Luftfahrtzeugbau in Berlin in 1909. In its early years, the company was content with license production of the Etrich Taube series monoplane, a rather primitive aircraft with swallow-like wings and tail unit. It was not until the arrival of World War 1 that the wartime economy allowed for more experimentation and the possibility of netting lucrative defense contracts with the Imperial German government. As such, Rumpler took to in-house design and development of his own reconnaissance-minded airframe following conventional rules of the day. The designs became successful two-seat, biplane-winged armed scouts that would carve out a niche in the German aircraft inventory.

The original C.I was purchased by the German Air Service (the "Luftstreitkrafte") in 1915 and, amazingly, managed a frontline existence into 1918 - the final year of the war. Its arrangement was traditional with the engine (powered a two-bladed wooden propeller) at the front of the boxy fuselage, the crew in open-air cockpits at center (seated inline) and a traditional tail unit featuring a single vertical tail fin. The biplane wing arrangement was consistent with the period and showcased parallel struts with the necessary cabling. The undercarriage was fixed and incorporated a simple tail skid at the rear along with its two wheeled leg units. The type was used beyond the German Empire for the Ottoman Empire was allowed operation of the biplane. Latvia, Poland and Yugoslavia all became post-war users.

With that said, it was only natural to evolve the existing design based on operational experience and this begat the C.III production model (recognized by Rumpler as "Model 6A5"). The C.III brought about greater understanding of aerodynamic principles and their effects on fighter-type aircraft. Refinements were instituted throughout in trying to produce a well-conditioned airframe for the rigors of military service. Several changes later and the refined "Model 6A6" was realized. The C.III was given a single Benz Bz IV series engine of 220 horsepower which allowed for operations over 13,000 feet with a range of 300 miles and a top speed of 85 miles per hour. For 1916 standards, this was quite impressive. Additionally, the C.III was longer than the C.I while featuring a wider wingspan - changes intended to promote improved performance specifications. Armament included a single forward-firing 7.92mm machine gun and a single 7.92mm machine gun on a trainable mount in the rear cockpit. The crew of two - the pilot and the observer/gunner - sat in individual open-air cockpits with the pilot in the front seat just aft of the engine mounting.

Impressed with the C.III, German authorities moved to secure some 70-75 aircraft though records indicate that there may never have been more than 50 available during its peak usage. The C.III superseded the C.I types and operated in the same manner, armed scouting of enemy positions and engaging when appropriate. Rumpler began work on an even more improved C-series biplane scout and this became the C.IV. With the arrival of the C.IV, the C.III's value was lessened considerably to the point that few remained into late 1917 - unlike the C.I which endured into early 1918 after being introduced in 1915. The C.IV itself remained a frontline system for the German Air Service until the end of the war in November of 1918.

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Power & Performance
Those special qualities that separate one aircraft design from another. Performance specifications presented assume optimal operating conditions for the Rumpler C.III Armed Reconnaissance Biplane.
1 x Benz Bz.IV engine developing 220 horsepower driving a two-bladed propeller unit at the nose.
Propulsion
85 mph
136 kph | 73 kts
Max Speed
13,123 ft
4,000 m | 2 miles
Service Ceiling
298 miles
480 km | 259 nm
Operational Range
City-to-City Ranges
Operational range when compared to distances between major cities (in KM).
NYC
 
  LON
LON
 
  PAR
PAR
 
  BER
BER
 
  MOS
MOS
 
  TOK
TOK
 
  SYD
SYD
 
  LAX
LAX
 
  NYC
Structure
The nose-to-tail, wingtip-to-wingtip physical qualities of the Rumpler C.III Armed Reconnaissance Biplane.
2
(MANNED)
Crew
26.9 ft
8.20 m
O/A Length
41.3 ft
(12.60 m)
O/A Width
10.7 ft
(3.25 m)
O/A Height
1,852 lb
(840 kg)
Empty Weight
2,778 lb
(1,260 kg)
MTOW
Design Balance
The three qualities reflected below are altitude, speed, and range. The more full the box, the more balanced the design.
RANGE
ALT
SPEED
Armament
Available supported armament and special-mission equipment featured in the design of the Rumpler C.III Armed Reconnaissance Biplane .
STANDARD:
1 x 7.92mm machine gun in fixed, forward-firing mount at upper forward fuselage.
1 x 7.92mm machine gun in flexible mounting in rear cockpit.

OPTIONAL:
Up to 220lbs of external stores.
Variants
Notable series variants as part of the Rumpler C.III family line.
C.III - Base Military Designation
6A5 - Rumpler Company Designation
6A6 - Simplified rear fuselage
C.IV - Improved C.III form
Operators
Global customers who have evaluated and/or operated the Rumpler C.III. Nations are displayed by flag, each linked to their respective national aircraft listing.

Total Production: 75 Units

Contractor(s): Rumpler Flugzeugwerke - Imperial Germany
National flag of the German Empire

[ German Empire ]
Relative Max Speed
Hi: 100mph
Lo: 50mph
Aircraft Max Listed Speed (85mph).

Graph Average of 75 MPH.
Era Crossover
Pie graph section
Showcasing Aircraft Era Crossover (if any)
Max Alt Visualization
Small airplane graphic
Production Comparison
75
36183
44000
Entry compared against Ilyushin IL-2 (military) and Cessna 172 (civilian) total production.
MACH Regime (Sonic)
Sub
Trans
Super
Hyper
HiHyper
ReEntry
RANGES (MPH) Subsonic: <614mph | Transonic: 614-921 | Supersonic: 921-3836 | Hypersonic: 3836-7673 | Hi-Hypersonic: 7673-19180 | Reentry: >19030
Aviation Timeline
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Image of the Rumpler C.III
Image from the Public Domain.

Mission Roles
Some designs are single-minded in their approach while others offer a more versatile solution to airborne requirements.
RECONNAISSANCE
Recognition
Some designs stand the test of time while others are doomed to never advance beyond the drawing board; let history be their judge.
Going Further...
The Rumpler C.III Armed Reconnaissance Biplane appears in the following collections:
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