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Brandenburg D.I.
(Great War Aircraft in Profile, Volume 2)
by K. Meindl
Paperback: 68 pages
Dimensions (in inches): 0.19 x 12.02 x 8.92
Publisher: Flying Machines Press; 1st edition (January 1997)

"With its star struts and "baby coffin" gun mount atop the wing, the Brandenburg D.I probably retires the trophy for Funkiest Airplane of the Great War. The Heinkel design brought "modern" biplane fighters to the Austro-Hungarian air arm in January 1917, at which time no less an authority than Hptm. Adolf Heyrowski pronounced the Kampf Doppeldecker (KD) "obsolete upon arrival." Poor performance, tricky handling and appalling armament severely limited its success. Of the 122 KDs produced in three variants, apparently operational losses proved eight times greater than combat attrition, and only three experts (Brumowski, Fiala, and Arigi) "made ace" in the type.

The authors have assembled unquestionably the definitive treatise on the KD, including concise histories of each airframe. Operational use, unit assigments, and technical data all are covered in sufficient detail to please almost any nuts and bolts addict. There are also victory lists for the Brandenburg and Phönix-built aircraft and entries from Julius Arigi's logbook.

However, the main appeal of the volume is its extraordinary illustrations. Nearly 200 photos, 30 color profiles, and numerous scale drawings provide historians, buffs, and modelers a wealth of information on the most distinctive fighter of WWI.

For all its faults, the KD showed the way to the Phönix D.I which became the mount of so many KuK Luftfahrtruppe aces. We hope that Flying Machines Press will continue this excellent series with a companion volume on that airplane as well.

The KD was a poor excuse for a combat aircraft, but this study of the type rates five stars."

Reviewed by Barrett Tillman

Buy it now!

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