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Today in History

Ordered to copy the Nieuport 17, the Albatros company developed the impressive D.I. Unlike other fighters at the time, its fuselage was covered with sheets of plywood rather than stretched fabric. This gave the aircraft great strength and rigidity. When Jasta 6 was re-equipped with the D.I in the fall of 1916, Vizefeldwebel Carl Holler was noticeable impressed:

"Its rate of climb was excellent. Because of its heavy in-line engine, it had a tremendous diving speed which gave us great advantage when attacking the enemy flying below. Now we did not have to wait very long to obtain a few victories. In short order, one after another, two of my comrades obtained a victory."

Despite poor visibility to the front and above, Oswald Boelcke used this plane to achieve 11 victories in 16 days. The Albatros D.I reestablished German air superiority and made the British "pusher" designs obsolete.
German Air Service: Jasta 2, 6
Albatros D.I Specifications
Country: Germany
Manufacturer: Albatros Werke GmbH
Type: Fighter
First Introduced: August 1916
Number Built: About 50
Engine(s): Mercedes D.III, 160 hp
Wing Span: [8.6 m]
Length: [7.3 m]
Height: [2.9 m]
Empty Weight: [645 kg]
Gross Weight: [898 kg]
Max Speed: 115-120 mph
Ceiling: 17,000 ft
Endurance: 1.5 hours
Crew: 1
Armament: 2 machine guns
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