Robert A. Lynn
- Publicado en Amazon.com
Formato: Tapa blanda
ALBATROS ACES OF WORLD WAR I-PART 2
OSPREY PUBLISHING, 2007
QUALITY SOFTCOVER, $20.95, 96 PAGES, ILLUSTRATIONS, PHOTOGRAPHS
The Albatros D.1 was a German fighter aircraft used during World War I. It was designed by Robert Thelen, R. Schubert, and Gnadig, in an attempt to create an aircraft superior to the then dominant Nieuport 11 (Bebe) and Airco D.H.2. The aircraft was ordered in June, 1915 and introduced in August, 1916. It possessed a semi-monocoque fuselage (an advancement over the fabric-skinneed box-type fuselage then in common use) and was powered by either a 150 Hp Benz Bz III or a 160 Hp D III six-cylinder water-cooled inline engine. It generated a speed of 103 miles per hour, which was 15 miles per hour faster than the Eindecker it replaced. A total of 50 pre-series and Series D.1 aircraft were in service by November, 1916. Further production under this designation wasn't undertaken-a reduction in the gap between the top and bottom planes in order to improve the pilot's view resulted in the otherwise identical Albatros D.II-the first major production Albatros fighter.
The solution used in the D.II was to lower (by 14 inches) and slightly stagger the upper wing of the D.1. An initial batch of 100 aircraft was ordered in August, 1916. The standard D.II used a 160 Hp Mercedes D.III six-cylinder inline engine and was armed with two synchronized LMG 08/15 machine guns mounted on the cowling. Later examples replaced the Windhoff "ear" radiators with a Teeves and Braun radiator in the center section of the upper wing.
The D.II was also produced under license by LVG (Luft-Verkehrs-Geselleschaft) and Oeffag (Oesterreichische-Gesellschaft), the latter for the Austro-Hungarian Air Service (Luftfahrtruppen). The Oeffag machines used a 185 Hp Austro-Daimler engine.
D.IIs formed part of the initial equipment of Jagdstaffel 2 (Jasta 2), the first specialized fighter squadron in the Imperial German Army Air Service (such squadrons had existed in French and British service since 1915). Famous pilots included Oswald Boelcke and Manfred Richthofen. The new Jagdstaffels (or "Jastas") quickly won back air superiority for the Germans, as the Albatros outflew all contemporary Allied aircraft. The peak strength of D.IIs were 214 aircraft in January, 1917. The high point of German success was in March, 1917 when the Luftstreitkrafte (German Air Corps) shot down 120 British aircraft. The introduction of the Albatros, outstanding training, and the tactical employment by Oswald Boelcke were the reasons for the Germans taking back the skies over the Western Front.
The follow-up, Albatros D.III, was a highly successful single-seat, bi-plane fighter aircraft used by many top German aces, including Manfred von Richthofen, Ernst Udet, Erich Lowenhardt, Kurt Wolff, and Karl Emil Schafer. It became the pre-emininent fighter during the period of German aerial dominance known as "Bloody April" 1917. Peak service for the Albatros D.III was in November, 1917, with 446 aircraft on the Western Front. The D.III didn't disappear with the end of production, however. It remained in frontline service well into 1918. As of August 31, 1918, 54 D.III aircraft remained on the Western Front.
Ironically, the success of the Albatros helped ensure the loss of German air superiority over France in 1917. After April, 1917, the next generation of Allied fighters appeared over the Western Front. Combined with Allied industry out-producing the Central Powers, Germany had made several bad production designs. Its air leaders decided to standardize most production on the successful D.III fighter design, causing research and development work to stagnate. They also decided to build a Fokker version of a British Sopwith triplane whose ability to challenge modern designs was transitory at best. Finally, Boelcke had been killed in combat on 28 October 1916, and with his death many of his air tactics were abandoned-or at least didn't continue to evolve in response to new conditions.
From September, 1916 until November, 1918, bi-planes from the Albatros firm formed the primary equipment of Germany's fighter forces. Starting with the D.I of 1916, these aircraft underwent a continuous program of development and production to the D.Va of late 1917. Albatros fighters reached their zenith of deadly efficiency in the spring of 1917, when the Albatros D.III took a heavy toll of Allied aircraft. Nearly everyone of the 81 Jagdstaffein, or fighter squadrons, operated one or more types of highly decorated Albatros aircraft at some point in their history. This book, ALBATROS ACES OF WORLD WAR I-PART @ is a follow-up to Osprey Aircraft Aces 32 of World War One-Albatros Aces, and provides a superb look at the design and production of the Albatros series. It also details the careers of some of the war's best known and lesser-known aces. The exploits of such luminaries as Ernst Udet, Max Muller, Karl-Emil Schafer, and Julius Buckler are recounted through their own first-hand accounts, rare archival photography, and outstanding color artwork.
Lt. Colonel Robert A. Lynn, Florida Guard