Albatros D.II


With the phasing out of the Fokker Eindeckers when superior French and British fighters wrested air supremacy from them, German pilots began clamouring for faster, better-armed aircraft. The indigenous Fokker and Halberstadt factories obliged, but the best designs to emerge in 1916 were the Albatros D.I and D.II which arrived at the Front simultaneously. With their powerful in-line 160-hp Mercedes engines, strong ply-covered fuselages and twin synchronised ‘Spandau’ machine guns, the new Albatros biplanes were warmly received by German Jadgstaffeln pilots. From a fighting standpoint the D.II, with its wings mounted closer together, was preferred over the D.I; it was undoubtedly the better aircraft. Now the Germans had a weapon equal to any Allied type they would encounter – and Albatros fighter designs would dominate the German air service until 1918.