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Friedrichshafen FF.43

Floatplane Fighter Prototype

Imperial Germany | 1916

"Friedrichshafen attempted to sell German authorities on this floatplane fighter for base defense during World War 1 - one prototype was completed."

Power & Performance
Those special qualities that separate one aircraft design from another. Performance specifications presented assume optimal operating conditions for the Friedrichshafen FF.43 Floatplane Fighter Prototype.
1 x Mercedes D.III 6-cylinder water-cooled inline piston engine developing 160 horsepower driving two-bladed propeller unit at the nose.
103 mph
165 kph | 89 kts
Max Speed
9,843 ft
3,000 m | 2 miles
Service Ceiling
249 miles
400 km | 216 nm
Operational Range
445 ft/min
136 m/min
The nose-to-tail, wingtip-to-wingtip physical qualities of the Friedrichshafen FF.43 Floatplane Fighter Prototype.
28.1 ft
8.55 m
O/A Length
32.5 ft
(9.92 m)
O/A Width
11.0 ft
(3.35 m)
O/A Height
1,764 lb
(800 kg)
Empty Weight
2,381 lb
(1,080 kg)
Available supported armament and special-mission equipment featured in the design of the Friedrichshafen FF.43 Floatplane Fighter Prototype .
1 x 7.92mm LMG 08/15 belt-fed, air-cooled machine gun set over the nose synchronized to fire through the spinning propeller blades.
Notable series variants as part of the Friedrichshafen FF.43 family line.
FF.43 - Base Series Designation; single flyable prototype completed.
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.

The Flugzeugbau Friedrichshafen aero-concern was established in Germany in June of 1912, just prior to the events of World War 1 (1914-1918). In the scope of the war, the company became an entrenched player for the German military, eventually making a name of itself as a producer of seaplanes/floatplanes and large bombers (though proving less successful in the traditional fighter category). The company lasted only until 1923 but nonetheless left its impression on the war.

It was during the middle of 1916, as the war raged across Europe, that the company drew up plan for an all-new floatplane / biplane fighter with an inherent ability to take-off and land from/on water. The design was known as the FF.43 and intended to satisfy a defensive role for floatplane bases utilized by the Imperial German Navy at the time. The highly conventional floatplane was of single-seat, single-engine design with unequal-span, single-bay biplane wing arrangement. The definitive feature was its twin floats which permitted waterborne service.

The aircraft was powered by the Mercedes D.III 6-cylinder, water-cooled engine driving a two-bladed wooden, fixed-pitch propeller at the nose. As tested, the aircraft could manage a maximum speed of 101 miles-per-hour, a range out to 250 miles, and a service ceiling up to 9,800 feet.

Armament was 1 x 7.92mm LMG 08/15 belt-fed, air-cooled machine gun set over the nose and synchronized to fire through the spinning propeller blades.

In June, the German navy looked into the FF.43 and other competing designs for possible service adaptation. Friedrichshafen wrapped up its work on the floatplane fighter in August of 1916 and a first-flight was recorded on September 8th, 1916 - the example now in the hands of Seaplane Testing Command. The aircraft was trialed at Zeebrugge as if under operational use during October but was not selected for further work nor serial production.

The sole FF.43 floatplane fighter was scrapped in April of 1917.

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Global customers who have evaluated and/or operated the Friedrichshafen FF.43. Nations are displayed by flag, each linked to their respective national aircraft listing.

Total Production: 1 Units

Contractor(s): Flugzeugbau Friedrichshafen - German Empire
National flag of the German Empire

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Image of the Friedrichshafen FF.43
Image from the Public Domain.

Developments of similar form-and-function, or related, to the Friedrichshafen FF.43 Floatplane Fighter Prototype Specifications and Pictures.
Going Further...
The Friedrichshafen FF.43 Floatplane Fighter Prototype appears in the following collections:
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