The Siemens-Schuckert D series of fighters evolved from captured French-made Nieuport 11 aircraft. The D.III appeared as an improved D.I - a design which arrived too late to be of much use and was therefore relegated to trainer. The D.III was developed from the D.IIc longer wing span prototype and featured a smaller propeller with shortened landing gears.
Production of the D.III began as an initial batch of fifty aircraft with all being received by the end of February 1918. The D.III was well-received by her pilots as she sported unparalleled climbing attributes vital in any dogfight. The honeymoon was soon over, however, as the 160 horsepower proved to overheat consistently after just 10 hours of operation time. While engine issues were ironed out, the D.III was pulled from service in favor of the Fokker D.VII. D.III systems were back in service by July 1918 with their engines adjusted for better cooling along with a redesigned rudder. Thirty of these "new build" D.III series aircraft were delivered and put into action immediately.
The D.III was eventually followed up with the D.IV, another D.series design developed from a D.IIc short wing span prototype.
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