Diamler's work in the field of biplane fighters began in 1915 when the automotive concern, at the request of German authorities, set up an aircraft division to help built aero-engines and aeroplanes for the war effort. In 1917, the company utilized its core of engineers to develop the single-seat "L6" biplane fighter which was adopted into the German air ranks as the D.II but only six would be built before the end of the war in November 1918. Alongside this work came the "L8", a one-off twin-seat escort fighter prototype form that was to be fielded under the "CL.I" designation. The single-seat "L9" (D.II) followed as a more advanced form of the original L6 yet only realized as a single prototype. In April of 1918, aeronautics engineer Hanns Klemm joined the Daimler team and his design ideas largely influenced what became the "L11" of 1918.
Like the L6 and L9 models before it, the L11 was a single-seat, single-engine fighting aircraftusing the in-house Daimler D.IIIb V8 water-cooled engine of 185 horsepower. The chief difference of the L11 when compared to the earlier Daimler designs was its use of a parasol mainplane - a single mainplane member set over the fuselage supported through reinforced struts angled down to the fuselage sides. This quality provided excellent lift and opened up downward/all around views for the pilot when compared to biplanes of the period. Its mounting was well-ahead of midships and only slightly aft of the engine/propeller area. Additionally, the mainplane was given swiveling wing tips for added control.
Like the other Daimler entries, the L11 was aerodynamically refined by World War 1 standards, a large spinner added to the propeller's center and playing well against the rounded forward fuselage to reduce unnecessary drag at the forward section. The fuselage tapered elegantly towards the tail which seated a conventional single-finned triple pane arrangement. The rest of the fighter was traditional and included a twin-wheeled "tail dragger" undercarriage for ground-running and open-air cockpit for the single crewman.
While no armament was detailed, it is assumed that the L11 would have followed World War 1 standards by incorporating a twin-gunned arrangement over the nose, synchronized to fire through the spinning propeller blades.
A first-flight of the L11 prototype was recorded on November 8th, 1918 though the war ended would end quite soon through the Armistice of November 11th. Development of the L11 continued however, though now with less expediency, into the following year at which point the design was flight tested during February - showing good promise for an aircraft of this class. However, this sole, flyable prototype was all that was developed of the design as Daimler returned to its automotive roots in the post-war years due to post-war military restrictions set upon Germany by the victors.
The subsequent Daimler L14 was an attempt at converting the L11 into a twin-seat fighter but this design fell to aviation history as a single flyable example as well - essentially ending the line of Daimler-originated fighters of The Great War period - none proving a true success.
(OPERATORS list includes past, present, and future operators when applicable)
✓Air-to-Air Combat, Fighter
General ability to actively engage other aircraft of similar form and function, typically through guns, missiles, and/or aerial rockets.
✓X-Plane (Developmental, Prototype, Technology Demonstrator)
Aircraft developed for the role of prototyping, technology demonstration, or research / data collection.
26.7 ft (8.15 m)
39.4 ft (12.00 m)
8.5 ft (2.60 m)
1,146 lb (520 kg)
2,646 lb (1,200 kg)
+1,499 lb (+680 kg)
(Showcased structural values pertain to the base Daimler L11 production variant)
1 x Daimler D.IIIb V8 water-cooled engine developing 185 horsepower driving two-bladed wooden propeller at the nose.
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