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Halberstadt D.II

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Halberstadt D.II
Blue Halberstadt D.II flown by Boelcke
Type Fighter
Manufacturer Halberstadter Flugzeugwerke
Maiden flight Late 1915
Introduced Early 1916
Primary user Imperial German Army Air Service
Produced 1916
Number built 85

The Halberstadt D.II was a biplane fighter aircraft of the Imperial German Army Air Service that served through the period of Allied air superiority in early 1916, but had begun to be superseded in the Jagdstaffeln by the superior Albatros fighters by autumn of that year.

Design and development

The D.II was the production version of the experimental D.I. Lightened to improve performance, it also featured staggered wings, and a more powerful 120 hp Mercedes D.II engine. The frontal radiator of the D.I was replaced by a wing mounted radiator similar to that later used by the Albatros D.III and D.V. The two bay wings were very strongly braced, and the cockpit was raised in relation to where it had been on the D.I. This required a turtledeck to be built up on the rear fuselage to fair the cockpit into the lines of the fuselage. Lateral control was by ailerons, but there were no fixed tail surfaces, and over-sensitive Morane style balanced elevators similar to those employed by the Fokker Eindecker were retained. Although it must have shared the typical "Morane" elevator sensitivity, and the controls cannot have been well harmonised, it was very manoeuvrable in skilled hands, and could be dived safely at high speed. A single synchronised lMG 08/15 Spandau machinegun fired through the propeller arc.

If the only performance figures available for the type are accurate, the Halberstadt fighter’s speed and climb were little better than the Eindecker's, and inferior to such Allied contemporaries as the Nieuport 11 and the D.H.2, but it earned the respect of Allied fighter pilots, and was the preferred mount of the pilots of the early Jagdstaffeln, until the Albatros D.I became available.

The D.III and D.IV differed from the D.II mainly in having slightly enlarged, balanced ailerons, and were powered by the 120 hp Argus and 150 hp Benz engines respectively. The D.V was the last Halberstadt single- seat fighter of the war – it was designed specifically to compete with the Albatros, and had a streamlined nose with a small spinner.

Operational history

Like other early German fighter types, the D.II was at first supplied in ones and twos to the ordinary reconnaissance units or Fliegertruppe of the German Air Service – then gathered into small specialised fighter units – the Kampfeinsitzerkommandos. When the first true fighter squadrons (Jagdstaffeln) in the German Air Service were formed in mid 1916 the Halberstadt was initially the best fighter available, and was used by Oswald Boelcke to demonstrate his famous pioneering air fighting tactics (the Dicta Boelcke) to the new units. His Halberstadt was painted bright blue overall – probably the first instance of the gaudy personal finishes applied by German fighter pilots to their mounts for the remainder of the war.

As the new Albatros fighters came into service the Halberstadts were quickly replaced, although a few survived into early 1917. Manfred von Richthofen flew a red Halberstadt D.II for a few weeks in March 1917, after the spar of his Albatros D.III cracked in combat.


Template:Country data German Empire

Specifications (D.II)

General characteristics

  • Crew: one, pilot
  • Length: 7.3 m (23 ft 11 in)
  • Wingspan: 8.8 m (28 ft 11 in)
  • Height: 2.67 m (8 ft 9 in)
  • Empty weight: 519 kg (1,144 lb)
  • Loaded weight: 728.5 kg (1,606 lb)
  • Powerplant:Mercedes D.II six cylinder in-line , 90 kW (120 hp)



See also

Related lists
List of military aircraft of Germany


Template:Idflieg fighter designations

it:Halberstadt D II

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