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Hannover CL.I

Hannover CL.II

Hannover CL.III

Hannover CL.IV

Hannover CL.V

Kjeller Flyvernaskinsfabrik F.F.7 Hauk (Hawk)



Designed by the Hannoversche Wag-gonfabrik AG, the Hannover CL.II was produced in mid-1917 in response to an official requirement for a high performance two-seat fighter for mainly low-level tactical support of ground troops. The CL.II, which first went into operational service in late 1917, was unique for a single-engined design in having a biplane tail assembly-for greater field of fire by the observer/gunner-and for a two-seater was relatively small in overall dimensions. Its deep, ply-covered fuselage gave the machine great strength, while the close-set upper wing and narrow lower wings offered its crew an excellent field of vision both above and below. In combat the Hannover proved itself as a formidable opponent to the Allied fighters, able to manoeuvre with reasonable agility at most combat altitudes, and able to absorb battle damage to a high degree without serious results.

An improved version, the CL.III, had a 160-hp Mercedes D.III engine, and incorpo-rated modifications to the wingtips and ailerons, but only 80 machines were built due to the outstanding demands for Mercedes engines for single-seat fighters. Returning to the original 180-hp Argus engine, the next variant was designated CL.IIIa and saw large quantity production. First production CL.IIs arrived on the Western Front in October 1917 and, along with the Halberstadt CL.II, became the backbone of the German Schutz-staffeln (protection flights), escorting, the slower two-seat reconnaissance machines. As such Hannovers were initially employed in a variety of roles, including artillery spotting, reconnaissance, and photo sorties, apart from their nominal role of providing fighter cover for the older machines of the patrol flights.

Though extremely well constructed, the CL.II was temporarily grounded in May-June 1918 due to a rash of wing failures, but after the safety factors of the wing fitting had been improved to double their former figure.

A progressive development of the Cl II designed by Hermann Dorner, the Cl III was intended to offer improved altitude capability with the 160 hp Mercedes D III water-cooled engine. Despite some airframe strengthening, the Cl III possessed a slightly reduced structural weight and marginally smaller overall dimensions. The Typenprufung was successfully passed on 23 February 1918, and an order placed for 200 aircraft with deliveries to commence in the following month. In the event, as a result of shortages of the Mercedes engine, only 80 Cl IIIs were delivered, the remainder of the order being completed with 180 hp Argus As III(O) licence-built by Opel as the Cl IIIa. This version was to remain in production until the end of hostilities, 573 being delivered. The designation Cl IIIb was allocated to the version that was to have been powered by the 185 hp NAG C III engine, and the Cl IIIc was a twin-bay version built specifically as a test-bed for the NAG engine. The Cl III and IIIa entered service in April 1918, serving primarily with the Schlachtstaffeln operating in the ground attack fighter role. Oddly, the Hannoversche Waggonfabrik completed a further 100 Cl IIIs and 38 Cl IIIa's after the Armistice.

Hannovers continued to equip first-line units throughout late 1918. A total of 293 CL.IIs and CL.IIIs were in service on September 1 of that year.

The C.IV, the next development, did not go into production, but from it was evolved the CL.V. In mid-1918, the Idflieg prepared a specification calling for a Jagdzweisitzer - a two-seat fighter intended to engage the newer Allied single-seaters on even terms, emphasising high speed, diving capability and manoeuvrability, and carrying a fixed forward-firing armament of twin synchronised machine guns plus a third gun in the rear cockpit. To meet this requirement, which called for the aircraft to be tested to single- seat fighter load requirements, Hermann Dorner produced an extremely rugged and compact airframe. Designated Cl V, the prototype was powered by a 185 hp BMW IIIa engine and, tested -against a similarly-powered Fokker D VII, demonstrated comparable speed and climb. Twenty examples were ordered for operational evalu-ation, but instead of being ordered into large production, Hannover's chief designer, Hermann Dorner, was requested to develop the CL.V for a new category of two-seat fighter (Jagdzweisitzer) specification. With the original biplane tail replaced by one of monoplane configuration, the Cl V was ordered into production, a contract for 100 aircraft being placed in September 1918, over 80 CL.Vs were thus built and tested to the new specification - each armed with two forward and one rear-firing machine-guns although it is doubtful if any of the 46 completed before the end of hostilities reached the Front, a further 62 being completed after the Armistice. A stripped down example of the Cl V was to establish a world altitude record of 27,355 ft (8 340 m) on 22 November 1919. During 1923-24, the Kjeller Flyvernaskinsfabrik at Halden, Norway, built 14 Cl Vs under licence for the Norwegian Army as the F.F.7 Hauk (Hawk), these remaining in service until 1929.


Kjeller Flyvernaskinsfabrik F.F.7 Hauk (Hawk)


After the war Hannovers continued to be built, mainly as civil passenger machines or for export to other countries.

Engine: 180-hp Argus As III
Seats: 2
Span: 11.70 m (38 ft 4.75 in)
Length: 7.58 m (24 ft 10.5 in)
Maximum speed: 166 km/h (103 mph) at 5000 m (16400 ft)
Service ceiling: 7500 m (24 600 ft)

Engine: 160-hp Mercedes D.III

Cl. IIIa
Engine: 180-hp Argus As III(O)
Max speed, 103 mph (165 km/h) at 16,405 ft (5 000 m).
Time to 3,280 ft (1000 m), 5.3 min.
Endurance, 3 hrs.
Empty weight, 1,653 lb (750 kg).
Loaded weight, 2,447 lb (1110 kg).
Span, 38 ft 4.5 in (11,70 m).
Length, 24 ft 10.25 in (7,58 m).
Height, 9 ft 2.25in (2,80 m).
Wing area, 351.97 sq ft (32,70 sq.m).

Engine: 185 hp NAG C III

Cl. V
Engine: 185 hp BMW IIIa
Max speed, 109 mph (175 km/h) at 6,560 ft (2 000 m).
Time to 9,840 ft (3 000 m). 12 min.
Range, 211 mls (340 km).
Empty weight. 1588 lb (720 kg).
Loaded weight, 2,381 lb (1080 kg).
Span, 34 ft 5 in (10,49 m).
Length, 22 ft 11.5 in (7,00 m).
Height, 9 ft 3.25 in (2,84 m).
Wing area, 306.76 sq ft (28,50 sq.m).
Seats: 2
Armament: 3 mg






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