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Hansa-Brandenburg B.I (Type D/FD)


Biplane Reconnaissance Aircraft


Imperial Germany | 1914



"The Hansa-Brandenburg B.I was designed by Ernst Heinkel and was an unarmed reconnaissance aircraft of World War 1."



Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 11/11/2020 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site; No A.I. was used in the generation of this content.
Ernst Heinkel - whose German firm Heinkel would gain some level of notoriety in World War 2 - designed a series of reconnaissance aircraft for the Hansa-Brandenburg firm during World War 1. The B.I was one such aircraft, an unarmed two-seat reconnaissance platform that made its way to the frontlines for a time. Though a serviceable aircraft in her own right, the B.I went on to set the stage for the more capable C.I and C.II aircraft - these being armed reconnaissance versions with more capabilities - appearing from 1916 and onwards. First flight of the B.I occurred in 1914 with deliveries to the Imperial and Royal Aviation Troops of the Austro-Hungarian Empire thereafter.

The B.I fuselage took on a boxy-type appearance complete with slab sides, a straight-faced top and a somewhat-curved forward underside. The engine was fitted to the extreme forward of the design and powered a two-blade wooden propeller. As a biplane, the B.I featured an upper and lower wing assembly that saw both wings staggered in their placement and were of an unequal span (the upper assembly with a wider span). Each wing sported two bays with parallel struts and applicable cabling. The pilot sat direct aft of the engine compartment and behind and beneath the upper wing assembly. The pilot was accompanied by his observer who was situated directly behind him in a combined cockpit area - that is, there was not two distinct cockpits in the B.I, which was conventional in other two-seaters from other nations. The fuselage tapered off into the empennage that featured a single vertical tail fin and horizontal planes. The undercarriage of the B.I was nothing more than two braced and fixed main landing gear wheels coupled with a simple tail skid under the empennage. The B.I did not carry any armament for self-defense.

The B.I operated with an empty weight of 1,680lbs and a gross weight of 2,340lbs. Range was listed at 190 miles with a top speed equaling 78 miles per hour. A service ceiling of 10,500 feet was possible with a rate-of-climb of 430 feet-per-minute.

The B.I was produced in two major variants. While both retained their base military designation of "B.I", Hansa-Brandenburg assigned the company designations of "Type D" and "Type FD" to denote their difference in selected engines. The Type D model was the initial production form and powered by the Benz Bz.II series engine. The Type FD was the second production form and powered by the Benz Bz.III series engine of 160 horsepower.

Aero, a Czechoslovakian firm, produced the B.I in both wartime and in the after-years as the "Ae 10", with this experience proving priceless in development of other derivatives for the firm. Along with the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Norway was another notable B.I user. Poland fielded the type in the post-war years with their Polish Air Force.

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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 Hansa-Brandenburg (Type FD) Biplane Reconnaissance Aircraft.
1 x Benz Bz.III 6-cylinder water-cooled inline engine developing 160 horsepower driving a two-bladed wooden propeller at the nose.
Propulsion
78 mph
125 kph | 67 kts
Max Speed
10,499 ft
3,200 m | 2 miles
Service Ceiling
186 miles
300 km | 162 nm
Operational Range
430 ft/min
131 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 Hansa-Brandenburg (Type FD) Biplane Reconnaissance Aircraft.
2
(MANNED)
Crew
27.8 ft
8.46 m
O/A Length
43.1 ft
(13.13 m)
O/A Width
9.5 ft
(2.90 m)
O/A Height
1,676 lb
(760 kg)
Empty Weight
2,337 lb
(1,060 kg)
MTOW
Design Balance
The three qualities reflected below are altitude, speed, and range. The more full the box, the more balanced the design.
RANGE
ALT
SPEED
Variants
Notable series variants as part of the Hansa-Brandenburg B.I (Type D/FD) family line.
B.I (Type D) - Initial Production Model; fitted with the Benz Bz.II series engine.
B.I (Type FD) - Second Production Model; fitted with the Benz Bz.III series engine.
Operators
Global customers who have evaluated and/or operated the Hansa-Brandenburg B.I (Type D/FD). Nations are displayed by flag, each linked to their respective national aircraft listing.

Total Production: 50 Units

Contractor(s): Hansa-Brandenburg - German Empire
National flag of Austria National flag of the Austro-Hungarian Empire National flag of Czechia National flag of Hungary National flag of Norway National flag of Poland National flag of Yugoslavia

[ Austria-Hungary; Czechoslovakia (post-war); Kingdom of Hungary; Poland; Norway; Kingdom of Yugoslavia (post-war). ]
Relative Max Speed
Hi: 100mph
Lo: 50mph
Aircraft Max Listed Speed (78mph).

Graph Average of 75 MPH.
Era Crossover
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Showcasing Aircraft Era Crossover (if any)
Max Alt Visualization
Small airplane graphic
Production Comparison
50
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 Hansa-Brandenburg B.I (Type D/FD)
Image from the Public Domain.

Mission Roles
Some designs are single-minded in their approach while others offer a more versatile solution to airborne requirements.
RECONNAISSANCE
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 Hansa-Brandenburg B.I (Type D/FD) Biplane Reconnaissance Aircraft appears in the following collections:
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