|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!
In spite of 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.
|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 November 13, 2009. Updated October 14, 2013.