The Gotha G.V was a heavy bomber used by the Luftstreitkraefte (Imperial German Air Service) during the First World War. The initial G.V bombers offered no performance improvement over the G.IV. The G.V entered service in August 1917.
Operational use of the G.IV demonstrated that the incorporation of the fuel tanks into the engine nacelles was problematic. In a crash landing, the tanks could rupture and spill fuel onto the hot engines. This posed a serious problem because landing accidents constituted 75 percent of all operational losses. In response, Gothaer produced the G.V, which housed its fuel tanks in the center of the fuselage. The smaller engine nacelles were mounted on struts above the lower wing.
In February 1918, Gothaer tested a compound tail unit with biplane horizontal stabilizers and twin rudders. The resulting G.Va incorporated the new tail as well as a slightly shorter forward fuselage with an auxiliary nose landing gear. A total of 25 G.Va bombers were produced. The G.Va was replaced in production by the G.Vb, which carried an increased payload and operated at a maximum takeoff weight of 4,550 kg (10,031 lb) as well as having improved landing gear. Idflieg ordered 80 G.Vb aircraft, the first being delivered in June 1918.