This Day in History
Albatross D.V.

On a day like today in the 1917…

If an award had been made to the most beautiful aircraft of World War I, it would been given to the Albatros D III. Trim, neat, and beautifully streamlined, the D III was in a class by itself. Together with its predecessors, D I and D II, it had wrested control of the air from the Allies that had eventually been lost to the Eindekker.

The Albatros D III was the first of its line to have “V” struts which were said to have been copied from the Nieuport. It rapidly became the prime fighter in the Richthofen Jagegeschwader and the other Jastas.

England and France did not sit idly by and leave the mastery of the skies over the Western Front to the Albatros D III. In short order they were turning out Sopwith Pups, SE 5a’s and Spads. The Germans in turn produced the Albatros D V and D Va as successors to the D III.

These later Albatros models, although more streamlined and with a fully rounded rudder, had a weakness in the wing structure and were a slight improvement, if at all, over the Albatros D III.

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All illustrations by Mort Künstler. Text by Michael Aubrecht, Dee Brown, Henry Steele Commager, Rod Gragg, Mort Künstler, Edward Lengel, James McPherson, and James I. Robertson, Jr. - Copyright © 2001-2019. All Rights Reserved. No part of the contents of this web site may be reproduced or utilized in any form by any means without written consent of the artist.