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Albatros D.I

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Albatros D.I
Type Fighter
Manufacturer Albatros Flugzeugwerke
Introduced 1916
Primary user Germany
Number built 50

The Albatros D.I was a German fighter aircraft used during World War I. Although its operational career was short, it was the first in the line of Albatros D types forming the bulk of the equipment of the fighter squadrons of both the German and the Austrian air services for the last two years of the war. The D.I was the fighter which set the "classic" fighter configuration, to which the great majority of such aircraft conformed well into the 1930s, having biplane wings, a single crew member, and two Maxim machineguns synchronised to fire through the propeller arc.

Design and development

The D.I was designed by Robert Thelen, R. Schubert and Gnädig, as an answer to the latest Allied fighters, such as the Nieuport 11 Bébé and the Airco D.H.2, which had proved superior to the Fokker Eindekker and other early German fighters, and established a general Allied air superiority. It was ordered in June 1916 and introduced into squadron service that August. The D.I used a plywood semi-monocoque fuselage (inherently lighter and stronger than the fabric-skinned box-type fuselage then in common use, as well being easier to give an aerodynamically clean shape) and was powered by either a 150 hp Benz Bz.III or a 160 hp Mercedes D.III six-cylinder watercooled inline engine. The D.I thereby became the most powerful single seat fighting scout aircraft yet introduced into use in the German Air Force. The additional power enabled twin fixed Spandau machineguns to be fitted without any loss in performance.[1]

The D.I had a relatively high wing loading for its time, and was not particularly manoeuvrable. This was compensated by its superior speed and firepower, [1] and it quickly proved the best all-round fighter available.

Operational history

A total of 50 pre-series and series D.I aircraft were in service by November 1916, replacing the early Fokker and Halberstadt D types, giving real "teeth" to the new Jagdstaffeln (fighter squadrons). Further production of D.Is was not undertaken, however; instead, a reduction in the gap between the top and bottom planes in order to improve the pilot's forward and upward vision resulted in the otherwise identical Albatros D.II, which became Albatros' first major production fighter.


Template:Country data German Empire

Specifications (D.I)




  1. 1.0 1.1 Gray and Thetford 1970


  • Gray, Peter, and Thetford, Owen. "German Aircraft of the First World War". London: Putnam & Co Ltd., 1970. ISBN 0-370-00103-6.
  • Taylor, John W.R. "Albatros D.I and D.II". Combat Aircraft of the World from 1909 to the Present. New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1969. ISBN 0-425-03633-2.

Related content

Related development
Albatros D.II Comparable aircraft
Nieuport 11 Designation sequence
D.I - D.II - D.III - D.IV - D.V - D.VI - D.VII - Dr.I - D.VIII - D.IX - D.X - Dr.II - D.XI - D.XII

Template:Idflieg fighter designations

cs:Albatros D.I de:Albatros D I es:Albatros D.I fr:Albatros D.I pl:Albatros D.I

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.
It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Albatros D.I".