Gotha G.V

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.

Gotha G.V
Class Aircraft
Type Bomber
Manufacturer Gothaer Waggonfabrik
Origin Germany
Country Name Origin Year
Germany 1917
Country Name Operational Year Retirement Year
Germany 1917 View
ManufacturerName Production From Production To Quantity
Gothaer Waggonfabrik 105 View

General characteristics

  • Crew: 3
  • Length: 12.42 m (40 ft 8 in)
  • Wingspan: 23.70 m (77 ft 9 in)
  • Height: 4.5 m (14 ft)
  • Wing area: 89.5 m (963.6 ft)
  • Empty weight: 2,739 kg (6,039 lb)
  • Max takeoff weight: 3,967 kg (8,745 lb)
  • Powerplant: 2 x Mercedes D.IVa inline engine, 260 hp (191 kW) each


  • Maximum speed: 140 km/h (87 mph)
  • Range: 840 km (522 miles)
  • Service ceiling 6,500 m (21,325 ft)


  • 2 or 3 x 7.92 mm Parabellum LMG 14 machine guns

End notes