|FIGHTER||Virtual Aircraft Museum / Germany / Albatros|
In late 1928, the Albatros Flugzeugwerke at Johannisthal accepted from the Ernst Heinkel Flugzeugwerke four L.77v tandem two-seat fighter and reconnaissance aircraft that had been built by the latter under Albatros licence. Developed to a Reichswehr contract, the L.77v was a derivative of the L.76 Aeolus trainer and reconnaissance two-seater of 1926 which saw extensive use at the clandestine German flying training school at Lipezk in the Soviet Union. Possessing an airframe essentially similar to that of the L.76, with two-spar wooden wings primarily plywood covered, N-type interplane struts and a fabric-covered, welded steeltube fuselage, the L.77v was powered by a 600hp BMW VI 5.5 water-cooled 12-cylinder Vee-type engine. Armament comprised two fixed forward-firing 7.9mm machine guns and a similar weapon on a ring mounting in the rear cockpit. One of the L.77v aircraft was destroyed while under test in March 1929, the remaining three being assigned to Lipezk for armament trials, one being tested with a free-mounted 20mm cannon. From December 1929, these aircraft were flown from the Erprobungsstelle, or Test Centre, at Staaken, and were retired in October 1931.