• Review: Albatros D.III From Aircraft Factory

    Albatros D.III

    Publisher: Aircraft Factory

    Review Author:
    Dominic Smith

    Suggested Price:
    $12.99

    Buy Here

    The Albatros D.III was a fighter aircraft built by Albatros-Flugzeugwerke and used by both the Imperial German Army Air Service and the Austro-Hungarian Air Service during World War I.

           

    Flight trials of the Albatros began in August and September of 1916, and in December of that year the plane was delivered to numerous German fighter squadrons. During the first few months of combat though it was revealed that the aircraft would often lose its lower wing in a steep dive or in a sharp turn. On top of this, scalding water from the radiator, which was placed on the upper wing, poured out onto the machine guns making firing them impossible. To fix this, the radiator was placed to the right side of the pilot.

    Once these problems had been eliminated, the Albatros gained a reputation for being an exceptional aircraft, and in the right hands, a formidable adversary. In April 1917 the Albatros showed its air superiority by outclassing its opponents in the Battle of Arras.

    With the arrival of the British Sopwith Camel a few months later, air superiority would change in favor of the Allies, but by this time, the Albatros D.III's reputation was firmly cemented in the history books, as one of the greatest fighters of World War I.

    The D.III was flown by numerous German fighter aces during the war, such as Manfred von Richthofen, Ernst Udet, Erich Lowenhardt, Kurt Wolff, and Karl Emil Schafer.

           

    When the Albatros entered service in December 1916, it was hailed by its pilots for its rate of climb (886 ft/min) and its fantastic manoeuvrability.

    The design of the D.III followed the same semi-monocoque plywood skinned design of the Albatros D.II. Unlike the D.II though, the D.III implemented a sesquiplane wing arrangement, with the top wing having a greater span than the bottom.

    The engine used in the D.III was of the same type used on the Albatros D.II known as the Mercedes D.III (F1466), but with a higher power setting (174 hp compared to 160 hp). Top speed was 109 mph at sea level and service ceiling was around 18,000 feet. Aircraft Factory describes their plane as the Oeffag version, built in Austro-Hungary and using the more powerful 185 hp Austro-Daimler DM 185 engine.

    Armament consisted of two LMG 08/15 machine guns mounted in front of the pilot which fired through the propellor. The 'L' in the prefix meant luftgekuhlt (air-cooled).

    In total, just over 1800 of the D.III were built. After of the Armistice of 1918, Poland acquired some 38 of the aircraft as did the newly formed Czechoslovakian air force, and held them in high regard.

    The Albatros D.III being reviewed here today is designed by the Aircraft Factory, which is a division of A2A Simulations.

           

    The FSX aircraft created by the Aircraft Factory includes the following features:

    • High resolution textures
    • High quality, naturally animated pilot figure
    • 3D gauges
    • Six historical paint schemes
    • Paint kit (to be released a bit later) as a separate download
    • Detailed manual
    • All the cockpit instruments are clickable
    • Separate pop-up panel which enables wheel chocks and engine cover, which keeps the engine from overcooling in cold weather

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