WWI Central Powers'Aircraft

Aviation advanced rapidly during World War I, 28 June 1914 to 11 November 1918. The following photographs in alphabetical order illustrate the improvements in aircraft during the war. The Central Powers were led by the Austro-Hungarian, German, Bulgarian and Ottoman Empires.

Operational details,specifications and historical facts on these aircraft are available at http://www.wikipedia.org under the subject "Aviation in WWI".

A.E.G. Dohr-Scheffer (unknown pilot)

A.E.G. G.IV Bomber

Albatross D.1, 1916, 50 built
The Albatross fuselage was constructed of plywood which tended to warp, as can be seen in the photo to the left. Powered by 160 HP Mercedes inline, water-cooled engine.
Albatross D.III, 1916, "V-Strutter", 1900 built

Albatross D.II, 1916
Albatross D types formed the bulk of the fighter squadrons of the German and the Austrian air services for the last two years of the war, 1916-1918.
Albatross D.IIIB

Albatross D.III Fighters, 1916
The D.III was the preeminent fighter during the period of German aerial dominance known as "Bloody April" 1917.
Albatross D.III, August 1916

Ernst Udet (62 victories) with Albatross III
The Fokker D.VII entered squadron service in May 1918 and was vastly superior to existing Albatross and Pfalz fighters. It quickly proved superior to Allied fighters, leading to a second "Fokker Scourge".
Herman Goering's (22 victories) Fokker D.VII

Fokker D.VII of Jasta 66, 1918
The Fokker D.VII had a 180 HP Mercedes engine and was an advance in construction, with a fuselage of welded steel tubeing and cantilever wings without bracing wires.
Fokker D-VII, 1918, 1700 built

The "Red Barron's" (80 Victories) Fokker DR.IA
Introduced in 1917, the Fokker triplane was more maneuverable and superior to Albatross and Halberstadt fighters. However, wing failures destroyed any prospect of large-scale orders. Only 320 were produced.
Fokker DR1A, 1917

Fokker DR.I Triplane Fighter, 1917
Powerplant was an Oberursel 9-cylinder rotary engine of 110 HP.
Fokker DR.I's of Jasta 26, 1917

Fokker D.VIII, 1918, 290 built
The Fokker D.VIII entered service only 3 months before the war ended and saw little combat.

In 1915, Anthony Fokker designed a synchronizer gear to permit firing through the propeller arc without hitting a blade.This led to an immediate surge in German air victories, the "Fokker Scourge" of 1915.

Fokker Eindecker E.II 1915

Fokker Eindecker E.III 1915
The gun synchronizer was first fitted to the Fokker Eindecker, making it devastating and giving the Germans almost total control of the air until the Allies came up with a counter in the form of the Nieuport fighter.
Fokker M.V prototype, 1914

Gotha Bomber
Gothas carried out 22 raids on England, dropping 187,000 lb of bombs for the loss of 61 aircraft.

The Halberstadt D.II was superceeded by superior Albatross fighters by autumn 1916.

Halberstadt D.II, 1916, 85 built

Junkers J.I, 1915
The Junkers J.1 was the first all-metal aircraft.
Junkers J.I (only surviving member)

Pfalz D.III,1917, built 260 D.III and 750 D.IIIa
Pfalz D.III was widely used by German fighter units from 1917 on. German pilots criticized heavy controls, lack of speed, power and climb compared to the Albatross.
The D.XII had redesigned wings and was superior to the D.III

Pfalz D.XII, 1918, built 800

Phalz D.XII Test Pilot Otto August
The unorthodox Siemens-Halske SH.III two-shaft rotary engine of 200 HP was used on the Siemens-Schuckert D.IV fighter to create what many consider the best fighter of the war,
Siemens-Schuckert D.IV

SMS Grosser Kurf Zeppelin
During WWI, there were 51 Zeppelin raids against England, in which 5,800 bombs were dropped, killing 557 people and injuring 1,358.

The R.VI bomber was reputed to be the largest wooden aircraft ever built until Howard Hughes' "Spruce Goose". Wingspan was 138.5 feet. In 1917 and in 1918 it conducted bombing raids against Great Britain.

Zeppelin-Staaken R.VI, 1917

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