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Pfalz D.XV


Biplane Fighter Aircraft


Imperial Germany | 1918



"The Pfalz D.XV was simply approved too late in World War 1 to affect its outcome for Germany - fewer than a handful were actually completed before the Armistice."



Authored By: Staff Writer | 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.
Pfalz Flugzeugwerke managed a small collection of fighting aircraft for the German Empire of World War 1 (1914-1918). Their chief claim to fame became the Pfalz D.III (detailed elsewhere on this site) but this fighter design never matched the quality and capability of contemporaries offered from Albatros and Fokker. Other offerings included the D.VI, D.VII, D.VIII, D.XII, D.XV and Dr.1 (triplane). In the D.XV, the company delivered a single-seat biplane fighter in the last week of the war (November 1918) to which no more than a handful were delivered and none are known to have seen combat service.

The D.XV marked the last fighter entry in the war for Pfalz. The aircraft relied on the tried-and-proven biplane wing arrangement which incorporated parallel struts (N-type) in a single-bay format. The mainplanes were of uneven span with the lower assembly also of smaller area and ailerons were fitted to the upper wing element. The pilot sat aft and under the upper wing mainplane at midships in an open-air cockpit. The engine was mounted forward in the usual way and drove a two-bladed wooden propeller. The tail relied on a large-area, rounded vertical fin with low-set horizontal planes. The undercarriage, of the tail-dragger variety, held two forward main legs under the center mass of the fuselage and a simple tail skid at rear. Armament was 2 x 7.92mm LMG 08/15 machine guns set immediately forward of the cockpit.

Power was derived from a single BMW IIIa 6-cylinder water-cooled engine of 185 horsepower. Performance included a maximum speed of 126 miles per hour with a mission endurance window of about one and one-half hours to two hours in the air. Rate-of-climb was 1,640 feet-per-minute and the listed service ceiling was 22,965 feet.

The Allied push during the early and middle parts of 1918 began to signal the end of the German Empire's role in the Grand War. Design work on the Pfalz D.XV was had in that summer and two forms were generated - the D.XVf with aerodynamically unbalanced ailerons and the D.XV (Spezial) with overhanging, balanced ailerons. The aircraft was evaluated for a short period prior to the end of the war and found to be speedy and very agile - though pilots noted difficulties in landing and some stubbornness at the tail section.

The design was finally approved for serial production on November 4th, 1918 but this proved too little too late - the Armistice was signed on November 11th to end the war.

It is believed that at least two D.XV aircraft were completed in full while over seventy airframes lay awaiting their finalization work. After the war, Pfalz Flugzeugwerke was forced into bankruptcy and was no more as an aircraft-maker. The French moved in and overtook Pfalz manufacturing capabilities to ensure no war-making goods could be had for the German Empire in the post-war years.

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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 Pfalz D.XV Biplane Fighter Aircraft.
1 x BMW IIIa 6-cylinder water-cooled engine developing 185 horsepower and driving two-bladed propeller at the nose.
Propulsion
126 mph
203 kph | 110 kts
Max Speed
22,966 ft
7,000 m | 4 miles
Service Ceiling
221 miles
355 km | 192 nm
Operational Range
1,640 ft/min
500 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 Pfalz D.XV Biplane Fighter Aircraft.
1
(MANNED)
Crew
21.3 ft
6.50 m
O/A Length
28.2 ft
(8.60 m)
O/A Width
8.9 ft
(2.70 m)
O/A Height
1,631 lb
(740 kg)
Empty Weight
2,028 lb
(920 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 Pfalz D.XV Biplane Fighter Aircraft .
2 x 7.92mm LMG 08/15 machine guns synchronized to fire through the spinning propeller blades.
Variants
Notable series variants as part of the Pfalz D.XV family line.
D.XV - Base Series Designation
D.XVf - Unbalanced ailerons
D.XV (Spezial) - Balanced ailerons with overhang
Operators
Global customers who have evaluated and/or operated the Pfalz D.XV. Nations are displayed by flag, each linked to their respective national aircraft listing.

Total Production: 2 Units

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

[ German Empire ]
Relative Max Speed
Hi: 150mph
Lo: 75mph
Aircraft Max Listed Speed (126mph).

Graph Average of 113 MPH.
Era Crossover
Pie graph section
Showcasing Aircraft Era Crossover (if any)
Max Alt Visualization
Small airplane graphic
Production Comparison
2
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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1 / 1
Image of the Pfalz D.XV
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 Pfalz D.XV Biplane Fighter Aircraft appears in the following collections:
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