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Daimler L14


Twin-Seat Escort Fighter Prototype


Imperial Germany | 1919



"The Daimler L14 was the last fighter entry attempted by the company on behalf of the German effort during World War 1."



Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 10/07/2020 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site; No A.I. was used in the generation of this content.
German automotive specialist Daimler was tasked by authorities to assist in aircraft and aero-engine production during The Great War (1914-1918). In response, the company arranged an aircraft division during the summer of 1915 and soon thereafter began construction of various products including the Friedrichshafen G.III heavy bomber (detailed elsewhere on this site). In 1917, the company introduced their own in-house biplane fighter design in the single-seat "D.I". This development was, in fact, taken into service by the Germans but only six of the type were produced before the end of the war (November 1918). Then followed the twin-seat "CL.I" (proposed escort fighter, prototype only), the single-seat "D.II" (evolved D.I, prototype only), and the single-seat "L11" (prototype only).

The end of the Daimler military aircraft line arrived with the "L14".

As the L9 was an evolution of the earlier L6 biplane fighter so too was the L14 an evolution of the earlier L11. It retained the monoplane parasol-style mainplane which sat above the fuselage and the member was supported through thick struts - enhancing out-of-the-cockpit vision when compared to biplanes of the period. The wing tips had the same swiveling function as the L11, giving better control, while streamlining was apparent in all of Daimler's designs with the L14 being no exception - the oversized spinner sat at the extreme front of the fighter followed by an elegantly-shaped fuselage. A conventional empennage and undercarriage were fitted to round out the basic features.

Like other Daimler designs, the L14 carried the Daimler D.IIIb V8 water-cooled engine, this fitted to the nose in the usual way, driving a two-bladed propeller unit (fixed pitch).

The key change from the L11 was the introduction of a second cockpit for a second crewman acting as an observer/dedicated machine gunner. The two crew were seated in open-air cockpits in tandem.

With its twin crew, the aircraft was expected to fulfill the role of escort fighter, retaining all combat aspects of a dedicated fighter type. The pilot was afforded a single 7.92mm LMG 08/15 air-cooled, belt-fed machine gun in a fixed, forward-firing mounting and synchronized to fire through the spinning propeller blades. At the observer's cockpit was a single 7.92mm Parabellum air-cooled machine gun of similar function though mounted atop a flexible system for more precise aiming.

Only a single prototype was completed by the time the war drew to a close in November of 1918. The Armistice ended the war and left the L14 without a buyer. Daimler attempted to interest the Chilean government during 1919 in a modified, mail-carrying form of its L14 (as the L14V) along with the earlier CL.I (modified to a similar civilian market standard) but these initiatives came to naught.

As test-flown, the L14 had a maximum speed of 128 miles-per-hour and a range out to 435 miles. Rate-of-climb reached 1,060 feet-per-minute. Empty weight measured 1,920lb against an MTOW of 2,800lb. Dimensions included a running length of a wingspan of 40.4 feet.

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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 Daimler L14 Twin-Seat Escort Fighter Prototype.
1 x Daimler D.IIIb V8 water-cooled engine developing 185 horsepower driving two-bladed propeller unit at the nose.
Propulsion
127 mph
205 kph | 111 kts
Max Speed
435 miles
700 km | 378 nm
Operational Range
1,060 ft/min
323 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 Daimler L14 Twin-Seat Escort Fighter Prototype.
2
(MANNED)
Crew
40.4 ft
(12.30 m)
O/A Width
1,918 lb
(870 kg)
Empty Weight
2,800 lb
(1,270 kg)
MTOW
Armament
Available supported armament and special-mission equipment featured in the design of the Daimler L14 Twin-Seat Escort Fighter Prototype .
PROPOSED:
1 x 7.92mm LMG 08/15 air-cooled machine gun in fixed, forward-firing mounting over the nose.
1 x 7.92mm Parabellum machine on trainable mounting in rear cockpit.
Variants
Notable series variants as part of the Daimler L14 family line.
L14 - Base Series Designation; single, flyable example completed.
Operators
Global customers who have evaluated and/or operated the Daimler L14. Nations are displayed by flag, each linked to their respective national aircraft listing.

Total Production: 1 Units

Contractor(s): Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft (Daimler) - German Empire
National flag of the German Empire

[ German Empire (cancelled) ]
Relative Max Speed
Hi: 150mph
Lo: 75mph
Aircraft Max Listed Speed (127mph).

Graph Average of 113 MPH.
Era Crossover
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Showcasing Aircraft Era Crossover (if any)
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 Daimler L14
Image from the San Diego Air and Space Museum image archives.

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 Daimler L14 Twin-Seat Escort Fighter Prototype appears in the following collections:
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