Etrich Taube

The Etrich Taube, also known by the names of the various later manufacturers who build versions of the type, such as the Rumpler Taube, was a pre-World War I monoplane aircraft. It was the first military aeroplane to be mass-produced in Germany.

The Taube was very popular prior to the First World War, and it was also used by the air forces of Italy and Austria-Hungary. Even the Royal Flying Corps operated at least one Taube in 1912. On November 1, 1911, Giulio Gavotti, an Italian aviator, dropped the world's first aerial bomb from his Taube monoplane over the Ain Zara oasis in Libya. Once the war began, it quickly proved inferior as a serious warplane and as a result was soon replaced by newer and more effective designs.


Etrich Taube
Class Aircraft
Type Utility
Manufacturer Rumpler
Origin Germany
Country Name Origin Year
Germany 1910
Country Name Operational Year Retirement Year
Argentina View
Bulgaria View
China View
Germany View
Italy View
Switzerland View
Turkey (Ottoman Empire) View
Norway View
Austria-Hungary View
ManufacturerName Production From Production To Quantity
Rumpler View

The Taube was designed in 1909 by Igo Etrich of Austria-Hungary, and first flew in 1910. It was licensed for serial production by Lohner-Werke in Austria and by Edmund Rumpler in Germany, now called the Etrich-Rumpler-Taube. Rumpler soon changed the name to Rumpler-Taube, and stopped paying royalties to Etrich, who subsequently abandoned his patent.

Despite its name, the Taube's unique wing form was not modeled after a dove, but was copied from the seeds of Zanonia macrocarpa, which float to the ground in a slow spiral caused by a single wing. Similar wing shapes were also used by Karl Jatho and Frederick Handley Page. Etrich had tried to build a flying wing aircraft based on the Zanonia wing shape, but the more conventional Taube type, with tail surfaces, was much more successful.

Etrich adopted the format of crosswind-capable main landing gear that Louis Blériot had used on his Blériot XI cross-channel monoplane for better ground handling. The wing has thee spars and was braced by a cable-braced steel tube truss (called a "bridge", or Brücke in German) under each wing: at the outer end the uprights of this structure were lengthened to rise above the upper wing surfaces, to form kingposts to carry bracing and warping wires for the enlarged wingtips. A small landing wheel was sometimes mounted on the lower end of this kingpost, to protect it for landings and to help guard against ground loops.

Later Taube-type aircraft from other manufacturers would eventually replace the Blériot-style crosswind main gear with a simpler V-strut main gear format, and also omitted the underwing "bridge" structure for somewhat better aerodynamic efficiency.

Like many contemporary aircraft, especially monoplanes, the Taube used wing warping rather than ailerons for lateral (roll) control, and also warped the rear half of the stabilizer for use as an elevator control surface's function. Only the vertical, twinned triangular rudder surfaces were usually hinged.

The design provided for very stable flight, which made it extremely suitable for observation. In addition, the translucent wings made it difficult for ground observers to detect a Taube at an altitude above 400 meters. The first hostile engagement was by an Italian Taube in 1911 in Libya, its pilot using pistols and dropping 2 kg (4.4 lb) grenades. The Taube was also used for bombing in the Balkans in 1912–13, and in late 1914 when German 3 kg (6.6 lb) bomblets and propaganda leaflets were dropped over Paris. Taube spotter planes detected the advancing Imperial Russian Army in East Prussia during the World War I Battle of Tannenberg.

In civilian use, the Taube was used by pilots to win the Munich-Berlin Kathreiner prize. On 8 December 1911, Gino Linnekogel and Suvelick Johannisthal achieved a two-man endurance record for flying a Taube 4 hours and 35 minutes over Germany.

Role Fighter, Bomber, Surveillance, and Trainer
Manufacturer Various
Designer Igo Etrich
First flight 1910
Primary user Luftstreitkräfte


General characteristics

  • Crew: 2
  • Length: 9.9 m (32 ft 6 in)
  • Wingspan: 14.3 m (46 ft 11 in)
  • Height: 3.2 m (10 ft 6 in)
  • Wing area: 32.5 m2 (350 sq ft)
  • Empty weight: 650 kg (1,433 lb)
  • Gross weight: 850 kg (1,874 lb)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Mercedes Typ E4F[10] 4-cyl. water-cooled piston engine, 64 kW (86 hp)

Performance

  • Maximum speed: 100 km/h (62 mph; 54 kn)
  • Range: 140 km (87 mi; 76 nmi)
  • Service ceiling: 2,000 m (6,562 ft)

Armament

  • Guns: Rifles and pistols
  • Bombs: Hand dropped bombs

End notes