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Hannover CL.V

Two-Seat Interceptor / Biplane Fighter

Imperial Germany | 1918

"The CL.V marked the last of the Hannover CL biplane fighters to achieve operational service during World War 1."

Power & Performance
Those special qualities that separate one aircraft design from another. Performance specifications presented assume optimal operating conditions for the Hannover CL.V Two-Seat Interceptor / Biplane Fighter.
1 x BMW IIIa engine developing 186 horsepower and driving a two-bladed wooden propeller at the nose.
115 mph
185 kph | 100 kts
Max Speed
29,528 ft
9,000 m | 6 miles
Service Ceiling
345 miles
555 km | 300 nm
Operational Range
990 ft/min
302 m/min
The nose-to-tail, wingtip-to-wingtip physical qualities of the Hannover CL.V Two-Seat Interceptor / Biplane Fighter.
23.0 ft
7.00 m
O/A Length
34.6 ft
(10.55 m)
O/A Width
9.4 ft
(2.85 m)
O/A Height
1,587 lb
(720 kg)
Empty Weight
2,381 lb
(1,080 kg)
Available supported armament and special-mission equipment featured in the design of the Hannover CL.V Two-Seat Interceptor / Biplane Fighter .
2 x 7.92mm MG08 machine guns in fixed, forward-firing mountings and synchronized to fire through the spinning propeller blades.
1 x 7.92mm MG14 Parabellum machine gun on trainable mounting in rear cockpit.
Notable series variants as part of the Hannover CL.V family line.
CL.V - Base Series Designation
F.F.7 "Hauk" - Norwegian license-built version of the CL.V; production by Kjeller.

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.

The final fighter entry by the Hannoversche Waggonfabrik AG (Hannover) concern of Germany for the German Air Service during World War 1 (1914-1918) became the "CL.V". The aircraft was a further development of the two-seat CL.III biplane which, itself, was an evolution of the first twin-seat CL.II biplane product of 1917 (both detailed elsewhere on this site). The CL.V mark arrived in the war's final months and, therefore, would have a very limited impact on the outcome - production would total only about 120 units with many arriving after the Armistice of November 1918 had already been signed.

Even as the CL.II and CL.III forms were making their way to fighter squadrons for Germany, German authorities were on the lookout for an Allied fighter-killer. Work on a successor was underway by mid-1918, just months before the war would officially end. What was sought was a stable, highly-capable gunnery platform utilizing a crew of two, having excellent maneuverability/agility, and heightened performance with good diving capabilities. All told, this mount would outshine anything the Allies could get into the air to face it and (hopefully) work to change the tide of the air war in Germany's favor. Standard armament was to be twin forward-facing machine guns with a trainable rear-facing machine gun giving the aircraft optimal firepower for the role.

Hermann Doner of Hannover drew up a new fighting biplane along these lines, utilizing all the lessons learned from his previous attempts through the CL.II and CL.III. Powered by a BMW IIIa series engine of 186 horsepower, the aircraft was designated as the "CL.V" and this would become the company's last attempt at a fighter before the end of the war (pre-war the company was tied to the railway industry and was not an aeroplane maker).

Engineers went with an equal-span biplane wing configuration featuring single bays and single "I-plane" struts. The upper wing member sat close to the fuselage with a section of the trailing edge cut-out at the pilot's position helping to improve visibility some. The engine was positioned in the nose in the usual way and this served to drive the two-bladed propeller unit. The crew of two were seated in tandem with the pilot forward and gunner aft - the gunner's position was, as in the CL.II and CL.III before it, again raised for optimal firing angles. The tail unit originally incorporated the CL.II's biplane configuration but the production form adopted a more traditional single-finned unit. The undercarriage was of typical tail-dragger configuration for the period, involving wheels under center-forward mass and a simple skid under the tail.

The CL.V compared favorably to other similar fighter types of the day, including the famous Fokker D.VII, despite its twin-seat configuration. Authorities were sold on the design enough to order an initial production batch of 100 aircraft (these with single-finned tail units) in September of 1918. However, the Armistice of November 1918 arrived much too soon for the effort to gain traction and only about forty-six or so of the fighters were completed - none destined to reach the Front before the end.

Even so, Hannover continued serial production of the fighter under the limitations of the Armistice during the ensuing months and this resulted in a further sixty-two fighters being added to the stable. At least one, following weight-reduction modifications, went on to achieve a World Altitude Record of 27,362 feet during November 1919.

Beyond this, fourteen CL.V fighting biplanes were produced under license by Kjeller Flyvemaskinsfabrik of Halden, Norway in 1923 for service with the Norwegian Army Air Service where they were designated as Kjeller FF.7 "Hauk" ("Hawk"). These flew into 1929, some equipped with skis for ground-running on snow, before being replaced by more modern, advanced types.

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Global customers who have evaluated and/or operated the Hannover CL.V. Nations are displayed by flag, each linked to their respective national aircraft listing.

Total Production: 122 Units

Contractor(s): Hannoversche Waggonfabrik - German Empire / Kjeller Flyvemaskinfabrik - Norway
National flag of the German Empire National flag of Norway

[ German Empire; Norway (post-war) ]
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Image of the Hannover CL.V
Image from the Public Domain.

Going Further...
The Hannover CL.V Two-Seat Interceptor / Biplane Fighter appears in the following collections:
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