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Schutte-Lanz Dr.I


Triplane Fighter Protoype


Imperial Germany | 1918



"The Schutte-Lanz Dr.I triplane fighter failed to impress in the D-type competition of May-June 1918 - one flyable prototype was built."



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.
With the emergence of "triplane" fighters as viable fighting during 1917, many companies attempted such aircraft designs during World War 1 (1914-1918). A triplane wing arrangement offered inherently strong handling and lifting properties (at the expense of added drag and vision out-of-the-cockpit) which were sought after qualities by pilots caught up in close-in dogfighting where out-turning an opponent meant the difference between life and death. The German concern of Schutte-Lanz, who had been attempting to sell the German Air Service on fighter designs since earlier in the war, moved on the trend established by the British Sopwith Triplane by developing the Schutte-Lanz Dr.I triplane fighter.

At its core, the Dr.I was an offshoot of the earlier D.III biplane fighter attempt (detailed elsewhere on this site) save for the wing arrangement and a relocated tailskid. It retained the fuselage, undercarriage and tail section of its forerunner which accelerated development work considerably. The wings differed some in offering less surface area - an extra pair of wings was sandwiched between the upper and lower appendages and were joined both at the fuselage and at the N-strut support members. An interesting design note regarding the wings was the staggered placement of the lower-most appendage, this just slightly aft of the upper two planes - this quality believed to have improved downward vision for the pilot.

Power to the aircraft was from a Mercedes D.III six-cylinder inline liquid-cooled engine of 160 horsepower. This drove a two-bladed wooden propeller at the nose.

Armament would consist of the standard arrangement of 2 x 7.92mm LMG 08/15 series machine guns. These were set over the nose and synchronized to fire through the spinning propeller blades.

The Dr.I was Schutte-Lanz's contribution to the second D-type competition that followed the first of early-1918. The second meeting was held from late-May to late-June that same year. However, the Dr.I failed to impress and the ultimately design fell to the pages of aviation history as a result. The age of the triplane had also ended with air services reverting back to tried-and-true biplane fighter types for the time being.

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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 Schutte-Lanz Dr.I Triplane Fighter Protoype.
1 x Mercedes D.III 6-cylinder liquid-cooled inline piston engine developing 160 horsepower and driving two-bladed propeller unit at the nose.
Propulsion
115 mph
185 kph | 100 kts
Max Speed
19,685 ft
6,000 m | 4 miles
Service Ceiling
283 miles
455 km | 246 nm
Operational Range
1,000 ft/min
305 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 Schutte-Lanz Dr.I Triplane Fighter Protoype.
1
(MANNED)
Crew
20.5 ft
6.25 m
O/A Length
26.3 ft
(8.01 m)
O/A Width
9.8 ft
(3.00 m)
O/A Height
1,653 lb
(750 kg)
Empty Weight
1,984 lb
(900 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 Schutte-Lanz Dr.I Triplane Fighter Protoype .
PROPOSED:
2 x 7.92mm LMG 08/15 machine guns set over the nose and synchronized to fire through the spinning propeller blades.
Variants
Notable series variants as part of the Schutte-Lanz Dr.I family line.
Dr.I - Base Series Designation; single prototype completed.
Operators
Global customers who have evaluated and/or operated the Schutte-Lanz Dr.I. Nations are displayed by flag, each linked to their respective national aircraft listing.

Total Production: 1 Units

Contractor(s): Schutte-Lanz - German Empire
National flag of the German Empire

[ German Empire (cancelled) ]
Relative Max Speed
Hi: 120mph
Lo: 60mph
Aircraft Max Listed Speed (115mph).

Graph Average of 90 MPH.
Era Crossover
Pie graph section
Showcasing Aircraft Era Crossover (if any)
Max Alt Visualization
Small airplane graphic
Production Comparison
1
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
1 / 1
Image of the Schutte-Lanz Dr.I
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
X-PLANE
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 Schutte-Lanz Dr.I Triplane Fighter Protoype appears in the following collections:
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