Aviatik D III


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Aviatik D III

Flown for the first time in November 1917, the first prototype D.III was powered by an ungeared Benz Bz Illbo eight-cylinder Vee engine rated at 195hp, was of mixed construction with a steel-tube forward fuselage, plywood fuselage skinning and fabric wing skinning, and carried an armament of twin synchronised 7.92mm LMG 08/15 machine guns. A distinguishing feature was provided by a small, keel-like extension beneath the fuselage which served to increase the wing gap. Initial Typen-Prüfung was performed at Adlershof during 9-12 February 1918, and after modifications by Aviatik, the D.III was returned to Adlershof in April for resumption of type testing, together with a second prototype powered by a geared Bz Illbm engine. By this time a small series of Bz Illbo-powered D.Ills was under construction for service test and evaluation. Performance of the D.III was considered to be superior to that of the Albatros D.V although no details have apparently survived other than those relating to climb tests conducted in March 1918 with the Bz Illbo-powered first prototype.

W.Green, D.Swanborough "The Complete Book of Fighters", 2000

Aviatik D IIIA three-view drawing (1280 x 942)

 ENGINE1 x 195hp Benz Bz IIIbo
  Take-off weight864 kg1905 lb
  Wingspan9.00 m30 ft 6 in
  Length8.47 m28 ft 9 in
  Height3.08 m10 ft 1 in
  Wing area21.00 m2226.04 sq ft
 ARMAMENT2 x 7.92mm

Anonymous, 18.04.2021 15:53

One might speculate that the main problem with this aircraft may have been the engine. None of the aircraft fitted with the Benz Bz III series of engines were accepted for production. Unlike the more famous Mercedes D III straight-six engines used on numerous German aircraft, such as the Fokker D VII, the 195-hp Benz was a liquid-cooled V-8, inspired by the French Hispano-Suiza 8A, but it was never successful.


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