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    The Albatros D.I and D.II had proved to be superior to any of the available Allied types. German fighter pilots therefore, congratulated themselves in January 1917, when a third and even better Albatros Scout arrived at the front; the D.III.

    Some of the first D.IIIs were supplied to Jasta 11, commanded by Baron Manfred von Richthofen. On January 24th, 1917, when von Richthofen was attacking an F.E.2b, a dangerous crack appeared in the lower wing of his machine. He was able to land safely, but his trust in Albatros designs was temporarily shaken, and he flew a Halberstadt D.II for a time. On the same day two pilots of the Jasta Boelcke were killed through similar wing failures. The source of the trouble lay in the single spar of the lower wing; it was positioned too far back from the leading-edge and tended to twist under stress. The D.III had inherited the structural weakness of the Nieuport Scout!

    Despite this drawback, the D.III had a better rate of climb than its predecessors, and its pilots ran up considerable personal scores. January to May 1917 were successful months for the Jagdstaffeln.

Albatros D.III
Wing span: 29 ft 6 in (9.00 m)
Length: 24 ft 0 in (7.33 m)
Height: 9 ft 6 in (2.90 m)
Empty: 1,532 lb (695 kg)
Max T/O: 2,105 lb (955 kg)
Maximum Speed: 109 mph (175 km/h)
Rate of Climb: 886 ft/min (270 m/min)
Service Ceiling: 18,044 ft (5,500 m)
Range: 300 miles (480 km)
One Mercedes D.IIIa inline water cooled engine, 127 kW (170 hp).
Two 7.92 mm (.312 in) LMG 08/15 machine guns .

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Created May 20, 2011. Updated April 11, 2022.