The German aircraft industry excelled in producing efficient aircraft for high altitude reconnaissance duties and pioneered the use of aircraft specifically designed for the ground attack role.
The AEG C.II was a German two-seat biplane reconnaissance aircraft produced in small numbers from October 1915. It was a slightly smaller version of the C.I with better performance, redesigned cockpit for both pilot and observer/bombardier, new rear mounting for a 0.312 in (7.92 mm) Parabellum MG14 machine gun, and the ability to carry four 10 kg (25 lb) bombs for light attack duties.
The AGO C.I was a German reconnaissance biplane of World War I of pod-and-boom configuration. The C.1 was designd by A. Haefeli and manufactured by AGO Flugzeugwerke. The AGO C.I entered service in 1915. The design is notable in the fact that it is one of the few pusher aircraft designs coming from Germany. The central nacelle contained the cockpit and pusher configuration powerplant. The twin booms carried the tail and the four-wheeled landing gear. The observer sat at the nose and was armed with a single 7.92 mm Parabellum machine gun.
A single example was fitted with floats for coastal patrol duties for the German Navy (designation C.I-W).
The AGO C.II was a German reconnaissance biplane that entered service in 1915 during the early years of World War I. It was essentially a slightly redesigned version of Aerowerke Gustav Otto Flugzeugwerke's C.I design with a more powerful 220 horsepower Benz VI 6-cylinder liquid-cooled inline engine. The C.II only served in the German air force for about one year before being replaced by more conventional and modernized aircraft. In spite of this fact many considered the C.II as one of the best reconnaissance aircraft of the First World War.
The AGO C.II fulfilled its role capably, even though technological advancements shortened the length of service for this revolutionary aircraft. The basic design was a conventional biplane layout with accommodations for two crew members. Armament was limited to one trainable 0.312 in (7.92 mm) Parabellum machine gun operated by the observer for self-defense. The AGO C.II utilized the same "pusher-type" powerplant configuration as the C.1, instead of the more traditional puller systems German designers prefered. The distinctive twin boom construction was a radical design for its time, but would reemerge in World War 2 on several highly successful aircraft. Performance for the C.II was above average in terms of maneuverability and overall speed. The top speed for the aircraft was listed at 86 miles per hour, assisted along by the single. The AGO C.II's range was a respectable 360 miles. Overall, the C.II performed admirably well from 1915 on. replaced before the end of the war.
Two examples were equipped with floats (designation C.II-W) and operated by the German Navy for coastal patrol.
The Albatros C.I was the first of the successful C-series of two-seat general-purpose biplanes built by Albatros Flugzeugwerke during World War I. Based on the unarmed Albatros B.II, the C.I reversed the pilot and observer seating so that the observer occupied the rear cockpit which was fitted with a ring-mounted 0.312 in (7.92 mm) Parabellum MG14 machine gun.
When the C.I first appeared in early 1915, its good handling and powerful 150 hp (110 kW) Benz Bz.III engine gave it an edge over most Allied aircraft. During development of the type, successively more powerful engines were fitted, culminating in the 130 kW (180 hp) Argus As III which allowed the final version of the C.Ia to achieve 87 mph (140 km/h) at sea level with an operational ceiling of 9,840 ft (3,000 m). A dual-control variant, designated the C.Ib, was built as a trainer aircraft by Mercur Flugzeugbau. Improvements to the C.I resulted in the Albatros C.III which became the most prolific of the Albatros C-types.
While the C.I was operated mainly in a reconnaissance and observation role, it also had some success as an early fighter aircraft - Oswald Boelcke claimed his first victory while flying a C.I with Lt. von Wühlisch as the gunner. Germany's most famous World War I aviator, Manfred von Richthofen, also began his career as an observer in the C.I on the Eastern Front.
The Albatros C.III was a German two-seat general-purpose biplane of World War I, built by Albatros Flugzeugwerke. The C.III was a refined version of the successful Albatros C.I and was eventually produced in greater numbers than any other C-type Albatros. It was used in a wide variety of roles including observation, photo-reconnaissance, light-bombing and bomber escort.
Like its predecessor, the C.III was a popular aircraft with rugged construction and viceless handling. The most prominent difference between the two was the revised tail, the C.III having a lower, rounded tail compared to the large, triangular tail of the C.I, granting the C.III greater agility. The powerplant was either a 110 kW (150 hp) Benz Bz. III or a 120 kW (160 hp) Mercedes D.III inline engine and, like numerous other two-seaters of the war (such as the British Royal Aircraft Factory R.E.8) the cylinder head and exhaust manifold protruded above the front fuselage, limiting the pilot's forward visibility.
The observer, who occupied the rear cockpit, was armed with 7.92 mm (.312 in) Parabellum MG14 machine gun. Some C.III aircraft were fitted with interrupter gear and a single forward-firing 7.92 mm (.312 in) LMG 08/15 machine gun. The C.III could also carry a bombload of up to 90 kg (200 lb) in a small internal bomb bay.
The Aviatik B.II was a reconnaissance aircraft built in Germany and Austria-Hungary during World War I. It was a two-seat biplane of conventional configuration that seated its pilot and observer in tandem, open cockpits. Compared to its predecessor, the B.I, the B.II had a more powerful engine and revised nose design that faired the powerplant in more neatly, and a single "rhino horn" collector stack for the exhaust. A variety of two- and three-bay wing designs were utilised during production.
While originally no armament was fitted (in common with other B - class aircraft), later production versions received a machine gun for the observer. All were withdrawn from front-line service by early 1916, however the type continued in use as a trainer for a time with advanced flying training units
The Aviatik C.I was a World War I observation aircraft which first came into service in September 1915 . It was the successor to the Aviatik B.I and B.II models. The observer sat in front of the pilot in this model which limited the gunner's field of fire. However, the opportunity was presented for more aggressive aircrews to take an increased offensive approach in engaging enemy aircraft. The positions of the pilot and gunner were reversed in the C.Ia version. Later models, the C.II and C.III were produced in large numbers and had more powerful engines.
The LVG C.I was a 1910s German two-seat reconnaissance biplane designed by Luft-Verkehrs-Gesellschaft (LVG) for the Luftstreitkräfte.
The C.II was developed from the LVG B.I, with the pilot and observer positions reversed, adding a ring-mounted machine gun to the rear. The increase in weight required a larger engine, the Benz Bz.III. Few C.I's were built before the C.II was introduced. It incorporated structural improvements and a more powerful engine.
The C.II was the first fixed-wing aircraft to bomb London, when six bombs were dropped near Victoria station on 28 November 1915. (The first air raid on London was by the Zeppelin LZ 38, in the early hours of 1st June 1915.)
Otto C.I reconnaissance biplane Twin-boom pusher reconnaissance biplane, built by Gustav Otto in 1915, with box-shaped booms and fuselage gondola, powered by a 165 hp Benz Bz.III pusher engine. The design was renowned for its stable, reliable yet nimble behaviour and good handling characteristics both on the ground and in the air.
Thirteen Otto C.I 2 seat twin-boomed biplane bombers (150 hp) delivered to Bojurishte Bulgaria in the spring of 1916. Used by 2 Aeroplane Otdelenie at Udovo airfield in the bombing and reconnaissance roles. Still used at the start of 1917 for reconnaissance but soon withdrawn in favour of the Albatros C.III.
Entering service in 1915, the Rumpler C.I, a two-seater single-engine reconnaissance biplane, was one of the first German C-type aircraft, and also one of the longest serving in its class during World War I, being retired from the last front line units only in early 1918.
The C.I was a successful design, and it was used on Western and Eastern Fronts, Macedonia, Salonika and Palestine. Early production examples were armed only with a single Parabellum machine gun on a Schneider ring mounting, but later aircraft had additionally a synchronised Spandau gun on the port side of fuselage. When used as a light bomber the C.I could also carry 100 kg of bombs.
In addition to the parent company, the Bayerische Rumpler-Werke, the Rumpler C.I was also produced by several other companies, including: the Germania Flugzeug-Werke, the Märkische Flugzeug-Werke, the Hannoversche Waggonfabrik and Albert Rinne Flugzeug-Werke. Variants included the C.Ia, which used a 180 hp Argus As.III engine instead of Mercedes D.III, the C.II, of which there's no evidence that any were actually built, 6B-1 single-seat floatplane fighter, and a Rumpler-built batch of C.Is intended for training which omitted the gun ring in the rear cockpit and was powered by a 150 hp Benz Bz.III.
It was this training role in which the C.I was latterly used, its friendly handling qualities making it suitable to be flown even by inexperienced pilots.