Aircraft / Aviation Vehicles & Artillery Small Arms Warships & Submarines Military Ranks Military Pay Chart (2024) Special Forces
Aviation / Aerospace

Daimler D.I (L6)

Biplane Fighter Aircraft [ 1918 ]

Twenty Daimler D.I biplane fighters were contracted for by the German government - just six were completed before the Armistice of November 1918.

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 10/07/2020 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site.

Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft's (Daimler) experience in the automotive business prior to World War 1 (1914-1918) gave the company an advantage when it turned its attention to helping out the Imperial German war effort. By request of the German government itself, the company formed an aeroplane-making division in the middle of 1915 to help meet wartime demand for fighters. This resulted in their first venture into the field - the Daimler "D.I" biplane fighter, known to the company as the "L6" (design attribution given to Karl Schopper).

The aircraft followed basic form and function of existing types namely due to expediency. An over-under biplane wing arrangement was used (single bay, equal span) that incorporated parallel struts and support cabling. The mainplanes were fitted well ahead of midships but aft of the nose. The nose section housed the engine through a rounded, streamlined design approach to promote aerodynamic efficiency. An open-air cockpit was used to give the pilot the best possible all-around visibility - though this was mainly hampered by the biplane wing arrangement, a common failing of many fighters of the period. The upper wing member was, however, held relatively low against the top of the fuselage, giving the pilot a better view out over the aircraft thanks to a cut-out section of trailing edge. The fuselage was rounded for its length and tapered towards the rear at which point a traditional three-planed tail arrangement was featured. For ground-running, a strutted twin-wheeled main landing gear held up most of the weight of the aircraft - a simple tailskid bringing up the rear.

The engine of choice became the all-new, in-house Daimler D.IIIb V8 water-cooled/liquid-cooled piston engine developing an impressive 185 horsepower while driving a two-bladed (fixed pitch) wooden propeller at the nose in tractor fashion.

Armament were twin 7.92mm LMG 08/15 series air-cooled, belt-fed machine guns synchronized to fire through the spinning propeller blades by way of "interrupter" gear.

Dimensions of the finalized form included a running length of 23.10 feet, a wingspan of 32.5 feet, and a height of 9 feet. Empty weight measured 1,655lb against an MTOW of 2,040lb.

Because of engine issues, the L6 struggled to see its first flight, managing to reach its flight testing phase only in November of 1917 and this lasted into March of the following year. During this time, imbalance (tail heaviness) was addressed by reworking the mainplane's interior cellule arrangement. Once the issue was ironed out, the aircraft could be moved on to government hands for type testing/certification (as part of the second "Idflieg" fighter competition of 1918) and this was recorded in July of 1918.

During this showing, the aircraft exhibited power loss at high altitudes, restricting its operating ceiling. Nevertheless, the potential - and need - was there and German authorities contracted for an initial batch of twenty of the fighters that same month. However, before serial production could really ramp up, the war ended with the Armistice of November 1918 - first-deliveries of these fighters did not occur until December and, even then, just six were ultimately completed before the Armistice itself.

As tested, the aircraft had a maximum speed of 114 miles-per-hour with an endurance window of about two hours. Time to 19,700 feet was around 30 minutes. These figures placed the new fighter on par with other late-war offerings - offering nothing new nor better and was of largely conventional design and performance.©MilitaryFactory.com
Note: The above text is EXCLUSIVE to the site www.MilitaryFactory.com. It is the product of many hours of research and work made possible with the help of contributors, veterans, insiders, and topic specialists. If you happen upon this text anywhere else on the internet or in print, please let us know at MilitaryFactory AT gmail DOT com so that we may take appropriate action against the offender / offending site and continue to protect this original work.


Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft (Daimler) - German Empire
German Empire
Operators National flag of the German Empire
Service Year
Imperial Germany
National Origin
Project Status

General ability to actively engage other aircraft of similar form and function, typically through guns, missiles, and/or aerial rockets.

24.0 ft
(7.30 meters)
32.5 ft
(9.90 meters)
9.0 ft
(2.75 meters)
1,653 lb
(750 kilograms)
Empty Weight
2,039 lb
(925 kilograms)
Maximum Take-Off Weight
+386 lb
(+175 kg)
Weight Difference

1 x Daimler D.IIIb V8 water-cooled engine developing 185 horsepower driving two-bladed propeller unit at the nose.
115 mph
(185 kph | 100 knots)
Max Speed
19,685 ft
(6,000 m | 4 miles)
230 miles
(370 km | 200 nm)
655 ft/min
(200 m/min)

MACH Regime (Sonic)
RANGES (MPH) Subsonic: <614mph | Transonic: 614-921 | Supersonic: 921-3836 | Hypersonic: 3836-7673 | Hi-Hypersonic: 7673-19180 | Reentry: >19030

2 x 7.92mm LMG 08/15 air-cooled, belt-fed machine guns in fixed, forward-firing mountings over the nose synchronized to fire through the spinning propeller blades.


D.I - Base Series Designation; six examples completed.
L6 - Daimler company designation of the D.I.

Military lapel ribbon for Operation Allied Force
Military lapel ribbon for the Arab-Israeli War
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Britain
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Midway
Military lapel ribbon for the Berlin Airlift
Military lapel ribbon for the Chaco War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cold War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cuban Missile Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for pioneering aircraft
Military lapel ribbon for the Falklands War
Military lapel ribbon for the French-Indochina War
Military lapel ribbon for the Golden Age of Flight
Military lapel ribbon for the 1991 Gulf War
Military lapel ribbon for the Indo-Pak Wars
Military lapel ribbon for the Iran-Iraq War
Military lapel ribbon for the Korean War
Military lapel ribbon for the 1982 Lebanon War
Military lapel ribbon for the Malayan Emergency
Military lapel ribbon representing modern aircraft
Military lapel ribbon for the attack on Pearl Harbor
Military lapel ribbon for the Six Day War
Military lapel ribbon for the Soviet-Afghan War
Military lapel ribbon for the Spanish Civil War
Military lapel ribbon for Special Forces
Military lapel ribbon for the Suez Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for the Ukranian-Russian War
Military lapel ribbon for the Vietnam War
Military lapel ribbon for Warsaw Pact of the Cold War-era
Military lapel ribbon for the WASP (WW2)
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 1
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 2
Military lapel ribbon for the Yom Kippur War
Military lapel ribbon for experimental x-plane aircraft


1 / 1
Image of the Daimler D.I (L6)
Image from the Public Domain.

Disclaimer | Privacy Policy | Cookies

2024 Military Pay Chart Military Ranks DoD Dictionary Conversion Calculators Military Alphabet Code Military Map Symbols

The "Military Factory" name and MilitaryFactory.com logo are registered ® U.S. trademarks protected by all applicable domestic and international intellectual property laws. All written content, illustrations, and photography are unique to this website (unless where indicated) and not for reuse/reproduction in any form. Material presented throughout this website is for historical and entertainment value only and should not to be construed as usable for hardware restoration, maintenance, or general operation. We do not sell any of the items showcased on this site. Please direct all other inquiries to militaryfactory AT gmail.com. No A.I. was used in the generation of this content; site is 100% curated by humans.

Part of a network of sites that includes GlobalFirepower, a data-driven property used in ranking the top military powers of the world, WDMMA.org (World Directory of Modern Military Aircraft), WDMMW.org (World Directory of Modern Military Warships), SR71blackbird.org, detailing the history of the world's most iconic spyplane, and MilitaryRibbons.info, cataloguing military medals and ribbons. Special Interest: RailRoad Junction, the locomotive encyclopedia.

©2023 www.MilitaryFactory.com • All Rights Reserved • Content ©2003-2023 (20yrs)