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Albatros D.Va


Biplane Fighter Aircraft


Imperial Germany | 1917



"The Albatros D.Va was a variant on the D.V series of German aircraft."



Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 08/22/2019 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site; No A.I. was used in the generation of this content.
The Albatros D.I of 1916 proved instrumental in bringing air superiority back into the favor of the German Empire during World War 1 thanks to her stellar rate-of-climb, aerodynamically refined design and lethal pairing of synchronized machine guns. However, as technology drove events throughout the war, the aircraft lived a relatively short operational tenure before being outclassed by the latest offerings from the Triple Entente. The D.II was unveiled a short time later that year as a slightly improved model with a better rate-of-climb, a lowered upper wing assembly for improved pilot visibility out-of-the-cockpit and generally retained much of the original's successful design. The D.III followed in late 1916 but was something of a departure from the preceding forms in its use of "Vee" struts to join the upper and lower wing assemblies (earning it the nickname of "V-Strutter" from the British). This revision went on to see severe structural issues, particularly during high stress moves such as diving, for the remaining life of the series to the point that her pilots became very critical of the type. Attempts were made to rectify this deficiency by strengthening wing spars but a true solution was never formalized. By this point in the war, the D.III was noted as less maneuverable compared to her newer contemporaries - a lethal draw in an aerial dogfight where positioning was everything.

To fulfill a new German requirement for an "improved D.III", Albatros delivered its D.V model (the sequential "D.IV" designation was used on a cancelled Albatros fighter development) which became a lighter version of their D.III with a slightly lowered upper wing among other refinements. However, the structural issue remained and maneuverability was not improved to the point that even fabled German ace, Manfred von Richthofen, penciled a scathing review of the mount - citing it as even inferior to the D.III which it was to replace. Regardless, German authorities were desperate for fighters and ordered 900 of the type.

Albatros engineers returned to the drawing boards with their D.V to attempt another improved form. This work gave birth to the D.Va off-shoot which was given revised wing assemblies that were reinforced with heavier ribbing and strong spars against a stronger fuselage. Cabling was modified to create a more responsive fighter platform. However, these changes led to an increase in operating weight so a high-compression Mercedes D.IIIau engine was installed to help counter the gains. Despite the promising work, the aircraft's structural issues were never fully ironed out and the new engine did little to help improved performance and maneuverability against the latest fighters being fielded by Britain and France.

The German Empire was quick to order the D.Va to help stock its depleted aircraft inventories and find more modern replacements for its outmoded Fokker Dr.I and Pfalz D.III series fighters. The D.Va was delivered to German aerodrome units beginning in October of 1917 and a total of 1,662 were ultimately purchased. The type soldiered on with front line units up until the end of the war to which hundreds were still in active service in the final year (1918). On paper, the D.Va was formally replaced by the Fokker D.VII and the D.Va became the last of the "D-series" fighters for Albatros - a series that started with so much promise back in 1916 and ultimately doomed to history due to its inherent limitations by the end of the war - such was the power of technology in World War 1 where gains made one month could be lost just as quickly.

In the post-war world, the D.Va stocked the inventory of the newly-formed Polish Air Force. Beyond the German Empire and Poland, there were no other global operators of the D.Va. Only two D.Va series aircraft survived the war and are in the charge of the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C. and the Australian War Memorial respectively.

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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 Albatros D.Va Biplane Fighter Aircraft.
1 x Mercedes Illa 6-cylinder in-line engine developing 180 horsepower driving a two-bladed wooden propeller unit at the nose.
Propulsion
116 mph
186 kph | 100 kts
Max Speed
18,698 ft
5,699 m | 4 miles
Service Ceiling
232 miles
373 km | 201 nm
Operational Range
907 ft/min
276 m/min
Rate-of-Climb
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 Albatros D.Va Biplane Fighter Aircraft.
1
(MANNED)
Crew
24.6 ft
7.50 m
O/A Length
29.7 ft
(9.05 m)
O/A Width
8.9 ft
(2.70 m)
O/A Height
1,510 lb
(685 kg)
Empty Weight
2,059 lb
(934 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 Albatros D.Va Biplane Fighter Aircraft .
STANDARD:
2 x 7.92mm Spandau LMG 08/15 fixed, forward-firing machine guns synchronized to fire through the spinning propeller blades.
Variants
Notable series variants as part of the Albatros D.Va family line.
D.I - Base D-series
D.II - Lowered top wing; Fundamental and minor aerodynamic changes.
D.III - V-shaped struts introduced
D.V - Streamlined fuselage
D.Va - Slightly modified D.V model
Operators
Global customers who have evaluated and/or operated the Albatros D.Va. Nations are displayed by flag, each linked to their respective national aircraft listing.

Total Production: 1,662 Units

Contractor(s): Albatros Werke GmbH - Germany
National flag of the German Empire National flag of Poland

[ German Empire; Poland ]
Relative Max Speed
Hi: 120mph
Lo: 60mph
Aircraft Max Listed Speed (116mph).

Graph Average of 90 MPH.
Era Crossover
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Showcasing Aircraft Era Crossover (if any)
Max Alt Visualization
Small airplane graphic
Production Comparison
1662
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
EarlyYrs
WWI
Interwar
WWII
ColdWar
Postwar
Modern
Future
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Image of the Albatros D.Va
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.
AIR-TO-AIR COMBAT
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 Albatros D.Va Biplane Fighter Aircraft appears in the following collections:
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