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In early 1917, the Brandenburg D.I had reached the limit of its development. The need for a better design prompted Phönix Flugzeug-Werke to build a fighter which might benefit from the heavier, more powerful engines that were becoming available. This led to the introduction of the Phönix D.I, D.II, D.IIa, and D.III biplane fighters. A small, stocky biplane with a single bay, the D.I climbed poorly and was slower and less maneuverable than its opponents, but it offered good visibility and was well armed. When the structural weakness evidenced in early production models was overcome, the Phönix fighters proved to be sturdy, dependable aircraft and Austro-Hungarian pilots soon found they could dive as fast as they wanted without fear of tearing the wings off the plane.
Austro-Hungarian Army Air Service: 60J
Phönix D.I Specifications
Country: Germany
Manufacturer: Phönix Flugzeug-Werke
Type: Fighter
First Introduced: 1917
Number Built: 50
Engine(s): Hiero, liquid cooled, 6 cylinder inline, 200 hp
Wing Span: 29 ft 6½ in (9 m)
Length: 21 ft 7½ (6.62 m)
Height: 9 ft 2 in (2.79 m)
Empty Weight: 1,466 lb (665 kg)
Gross Weight: 1,775 lb (805 kg)
Max Speed: 112 mph (180 km/h)
Ceiling: 19,685 ft (6,000 m)
Endurance: 2 hours
Crew: 1
Armament: 2 machine guns, 8 mm Schwarzlose
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