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Aviatik D.I / D.II / D.III / Dr.I / Berg Scout / Type 30.24

Lohner Serie 115

 

Lohner-D1
Lohner DI

 

The D.I was designed to replace the Hansa-Brandenburg D.I series. The Aviatik D.I holds the distinction of becoming the first indigenously-designed fighter to be build in whole in Austria.

The D.I began life in prototype form in August of 1916 with a first flight recorded on January 24th, 1917. The test flight proved fatal, however, and took the life of its test pilot. As such, the initial design was revised to compensate for defects and three more prototypes soon emerged, each charged with a distinct development purpose as well as its 8mm Schwarzlose machine gun fitted to the top wing assembly. After additional testing, production aircraft were ordered and delivered - these with the synchronized (via a propeller interrupter gear) 2 x 7.92mm Schwarzlose forward-firing machine guns along the upper sides of the engine.

Design-wise, the Aviatik D.I was of a conventional single-seat biplane arrangement. Wings were fitted as an upper and lower staggered assembly of equal span with parallel struts and single bays. The engine - an Austro-Daimler water-cooled inline producing 200 horsepower - was fitted to the extreme forward portion of the fuselage and powered a two-blade propeller. The undercarriage was of a fixed arrangement and made up of two main landing wheels and a tail skid. The spacious cockpit was situated aft of the engine at about amidships and offered a relatively good field of vision (as good as vision gets in a biplane). The pilot sat behind the upper wing assembly (which was held relatively close to the top of the engine compartment) behind a simple windscreen in an open-air cockpit. The fuselage tapered into the empennage which featured a single large vertical tail fin and applicable horizontal planes. Performance specifications included a top speed of 115 miles per hour, a service ceiling of approximately 20,100 feet and operational endurance totaling 2 hours, 30 minutes.

 

Often called the Berg Scout, in honour of the chief designer of Austro-Hungarian Aviatik, Julius von Berg, this basic single-seat scout design was originally designated Serie 30.14. Though primary manufacture of the Aviatik D.I was handled by Austrian Aviatik, license-production was also undertaken at multiple facilities. These included Lohner, Lloyd, MAG, Thone und Fiala and WKF under various batch series designations and differed mainly in horsepower output of their selected Austro-Daimler engines. In all, roughly 700 of all types were produced from 1917 into 1918. Deliveries began in the Fall of 1917 and continued on into October of 1918.

Development was protracted and production did not begin until early 1917, the sub-type having by this time progressed to Type 30.21. As the D.I, this was ordered in large numbers (possibly as many as 1200) and about 700 were delivered by Aviatik (Serie 38), WKF (Serie 84), MAG (Serie 92), Thbne und Fiala (Serie 101) and Lohner (Serie 115). Repeat batches with higher numbers were ordered, the bulk of those delivered having the 200-hp engine and final batches the 235-hp version.

 

Built by the Austrian-Hungarian Aeroplane Works in Vienna-Stadlau, this type was used for recce duties by the Austrian Air Force during the Great War.

Aviatik-D
batch No37 Aviatik-Berg, Uherske Hradiště-Maratice 1919

 

When in action, early-form D.Is exhibited engine overheating issues and structural weaknesses (namely the fabric tearing away from the understructure or loss of parts and wings while at high speeds). The guns on the original production models were also situated well out of reach of the pilot meaning that a jammed gun stayed jammed until the pilot landed his mount for repairs. As production continued, the structure received attention in areas and was reinforced based on pilot feedback. Likewise, the guns were now moved within reach of the pilot. Engine overheating was solved in-the-field by simply flying without the engine covers on.

 

The engine made the D.I unpopular because it tended to overheat badly; most photographs show the top cowling panels, and

sometimes the side panels, removed to assist cooling. Initial armament was a single 8-mm Schwarzlose machine-gun mounted above the upper wing to fire over the propel-ler, but two of these guns, with synchronizing gear, in the top decking flanking the cylinders became standard armament. In almost every case the guns were so far forward that the pilot could not reach them to clear a stop-page, though many pilots fitted string to the cocking handles.

 

The D.1 was replaced progressively from the Balkan and Italian fronts during 1918 by the preferred Albatros scouts.

 

The D.I appeared in a revised form as the D.II with a cantilever low wing assembly. The D.II was produced in limited quantities in two batches beginning in 1918 but arrived too late to see useful delivery to combat units. The D.I was also considered in a few other notable "one-off" prototype forms - mainly the D.III, a high-altitude variant fitting a Hiero engine of 230 horsepower and the Dr.I (Type 30.24), a triplane design based on the D.I biplane.


D.I Srs 38
D.I Srs 138
D.I Srs 238
D.I Srs 338
D.I Srs 84
D.I Srs 184
D.I Srs 284
D.I Srs 384
D.I Srs 92
D.I Srs 101
D.I Srs 115
D.II Srs 39
D.II Srs 339

 

Engine: 185 hp Daimler
Wingspan: 8.4 m
Length: 7.6 m
Loaded weight: 865 kg
Maximum speed: 186 kph
Service ceiling: 6400 m
Endurance: 3 hr 30 min
Armament: one synchronized machine gun incl. one flanking the cockpit

 

Aviatik D.I
Engine: 1 x Austro-Daimler liquid-cooled 6-cylinder, 200 horsepower.
Length: 6.95 m (22 ft 93in)
Wingspan: 26 ft 3 in (8.00m)
Height: 8.14 ft (2.48m)
Empty Weight: 1,475lbs (669kg)
Maximum Take-Off Weight: 1,878lbs (852kg)
Maximum Speed: 115mph (185kmh; 100kts)
Maximum Range: 225miles (362km)
Service Ceiling: 20,177ft (6,150m)
Armament: 2 x 8mm Schwarzlose synchronized forward-firing machine guns.
Accommodation: 1

 

aviatekbergd1

Aviatek Berg D.1

 

Lohner-D1-ld
Lohner DI

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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