Albatros D.V

The Albatros D.V was a fighter aircraft used by the Luftstreitkraefte (Imperial German Air Service) during the First World War. The D.V was the final development of the Albatros D.I family, and the last Albatros fighter to see operational service. Despite its well-known shortcomings and general obsolescence, approximately 900 D.V and 1,612 D.Va aircraft were built before production halted in early 1918. The D.Va continued in operational service until the end of the war. 

Albatros D.V
Class Aircraft
Type Fighter
Manufacturer Albatros Flugzeugwerke
Production Period 1917 - 1918
Origin Germany
Country Name Origin Year
Germany 1917
ManufacturerName Production From Production To Quantity
Albatros Flugzeugwerke 1917 1918 2500 View

In April 1917, Albatros received an order from the Idflieg (Inspektion der Fliegertruppen) for an improved version of the D.III. The resulting D.V prototype flew later that month.

The D.V closely resembled the D.III and used the same 127 kW (170 hp) Mercedes D.IIIa engine. The most notable difference was a new, fully elliptical cross-section fuselage which was 32 kg (70 lb) lighter than the partially flat-sided fuselage of the earlier D.I through D.III designs. The new elliptical cross-section required an additional longeron on each side of the fuselage. The vertical fin and tailplane initially remained unchanged from the D.III. The prototype D.V retained the standard rudder of the Johannisthal-built D.III, but production examples used the enlarged rudder featured on D.IIIs built by Ostdeutsche Albatros Werke (OAW). The D.V also featured a larger spinner and ventral fin.

Compared to the D.III, the upper wing of the D.V was repositioned 4.75 inches closer to the fuselage, while the lower wings attached to the fuselage without a fairing. The D.V's wings themselves were almost identical to those of the standard D.III, which had adopted a sesquiplane wing arrangement broadly similar to the French Nieuport 11. The only significant difference between wings of the D.III and D.V was a revised linkage of the aileron cables, which in the new aircraft was contained entirely in the upper wing. Idflieg therefore conducted structural tests on the fuselage, but not the wings, of the D.V.

Early examples of the D.V featured a large headrest, which was usually removed in service because it interfered with the pilot's field of view. The headrest was eventually deleted from production. Aircraft deployed in Palestine used two wing radiators, to cope with the warmer climate.

Idflieg issued production contracts for 200 D.V aircraft in April 1917, followed by additional orders of 400 in May and 300 in July. Initial production of the D.V was exclusively undertaken by the Johannisthal factory, while the Schneidemühl factory produced the D.III through the remainder of 1917.

Role Fighter
Manufacturer Albatros-Flugzeugwerke
Designer Robert Thelen
First flight April 1917
Primary user Luftstreitkräfte
Number built approximately 2500

General characteristics

  • Crew: one, pilot
  • Length: 7.33 m (24 ft 1 in)
  • Wingspan: 9.04 m (29 ft 8 in)
  • Height: 2.70 m (8 ft 10 in)
  • Wing area: 21.20 m (228.5 ft)
  • Empty weight: 687 kg (1,515 lb)
  • Loaded weight: 937 kg (2,066 lb)
  • Powerplant: 1 x Mercedes D.IIIaue 6-cylinder water-cooled inline engine, 134 kW (180 hp)


  • Maximum speed: 187 km/h at sea level (101 knots, 116 mph)
  • Service ceiling 3,000 m (9,840 ft)
  • Time to climb: 4.35 min to 1,000 m (3,600 ft)
  • Endurance: 2 hours


  • 2 x forward-firing 7.92 mm LMG 08/15 machine guns

End notes