Albatros D.V

Entering service in May 1917, the Alhatros D.V was Germany’s answer to the British S.E.5 and French SPAD fighters, which were dominating the air war on the Western Front.
Broadly similar to its forebear, The Albatros
D.III, the D.V had an elegantly streamlined monocoque fuselage with a cowled Mercedes water-cooled engine and a large spinner over the propeller boss. It was an excellent combat aircraft despite a disconcerting tendency to break up in a prolonged dive, owing to a design fault of the lower wing. The fighter initially equipped Manfred von Richtrofen’s Jadeschwader 1 – known as “Richtrofen’s Circus” because of their gaudily painted aircraft – but its performance failed to restore the balance of power in the German Air Corps’ favour. In July 1917 Richthofen privately denounced the D.V as “inferior to the English in a downright ridiculous manner”.
In the late autumn the improved D.Va was inreduced. Externally very similar, the D.V and D.Va often served together in the same units. Both types were built in large numbers – by May 1918 more than a thousand were in service, operating in Italy and Palestine as well as on the – Western Front.

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