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.IV was a two-seat biplane reconnaissance aircraft produced by Allgemeine Elektrizitats-Gesellschaft (AG). The C.IV was based on the C.II, but featured a larger wingspan and an additional forward-firing LMG 08/15 Spandau-type 0.312 in (7.92 mm) machine gun.
The C.IV was a conventional biplane. The wings featured and equal span upper and lower wing assembly with double bays and parallel struts. The forward portion of the fuselage was contoured , producing a n aerodynamic look while the rest of the body maintained a box-like appearance. Performance was good for the time with the C.IV yielding a top speed of 98 miles per hour with a service ceiling of 16,400 feet.
The C.IV entered active service during the spring of 1916. By June of 1917, no fewer than 150 examples were operating along the Western Front .
The AEG C.IV primarily served as reconnaissance aircraft from 1916 onwards though it also served as a bomber escort and saw service with the German air service until the end of the war. The design proved to be seriously under-powered for the bomber escort role. Nevertheless, the C.IV was easily the most successful of AEG's World War I B- and C-type reconnaissance aircraft, with some 400 being built and remaining in service right up to the end of the war.
A variant, the C.IV.N was designed specifically as a prototype night bomber in 1917, with the Benz Bz.III engine used in other C-types and a lengthened wingspan. Another variant, the C.IVa, was powered by a 180 hp (130 kW) Argus engine.
C.IV aircraft saw service with the Bulgarian Air Force and the Turkish Flying Corps.
The Albatros C.V was a German military reconnaissance aircraft which saw service in early 1916.
The C.V was Albatros Flugzeugwerke's first revision of their B- and C-type reconnaissance aircraft since Ernst Heinkel left the firm for Hansa-Brandenburg. While retaining the same basic layout as the Heinkel-designed aircraft, the C.V featured considerably refined streamlining. The forward fuselage was skinned in sheet metal and a neat, rounded spinner covered the propeller boss. Power was provided by the new Mercedes D.IV, a geared eight-cylinder engine.
The initial production version, designated C.V/16, suffered from heavy control forces and inadequate engine cooling. Albatros therefore produced the C.V/17 with a new lower wing, as well as balanced ailerons and elevators. The fuselage-mounted radiators were replaced by a single flush radiator in the upper wing.
These changes improved both handling qualities and engine cooling, but the downfall of the C.V was the unreliable Mercedes D.IV engine, which suffered from chronic crankshaft failures. The C.V was therefore replaced in production by the Albatros C.VII.
The Albatros C.VII was a German military reconnaissance aircraft which saw service during World War I. It was a revised and re-engined development of the C.V which had proved disappointing in service.
The C.VII replaced the C.V's unreliable Mercedes D.IV inline water-cooled 8 cylinder engine with the dependable Benz Bz.IV 200 hp (150 kW) 6 cylinder inline water-cooled engine.Once again the radiators were placed on the fuselage sides and the lower wing reverted to the raked tips of the C.V/16. The complete tail assembly was identical to that of the C.V/17.
The refinements made to the control surfaces, created an aircraft with excellent handling characteristics. The Albatros C.VII soon made up the bulk of German reconnaissance aircraft, with as many as 350 serving on all Fronts by February of 1917. The Albatros C.VII played an important role in the 1916/17 winter campaigns.
The C.VII was popular with German pilots who found the aircraft to be reliable, comfortable and easy to fly. It was easier to land than many aircraft of comparatively light wing-loading. The Albatros C.VII excelled at medium range reconnaissance, artillery spotting and light bombing operations, and served in large numbers on the Western Front for many months. It remained in service up until mid 1917 until replaced by the DFW C.V, LVG C.V and Rumpler C.IV reconnaissance biplanes.
The DFW C.IV, C.V, C.VI, and F 37 were a family of German reconnaissance aircraft first used in 1916 in World War I. They were conventionally configured biplanes with unequal-span unstaggered wings and seating for the pilot and observer in tandem, open cockpits. Like the DFW C.II before them, these aircraft seated the gunner to the rear and armed him with a machine gun on a ring mount. Compared to preceding B- and C-class designs by DFW, however, the aerodynamics of the fuselage were more refined, and when coupled with more powerful engines, resulted in a machine with excellent performance.
The C.IV had a single-bay wing cellule and was powered by a 150 hp (112 kW) Benz Bz.III. It was soon replaced in production by the definitive C.V with a two-bay wing cellule and either a 150 hp (112 kW) Conrad C.III or 200 hp (149 kW) Benz Bz.IV. Predictably, the more powerful Benz engine gave significantly better performance.
The C.V's main designer was Heinrich Oelerich, and it was produced in larger numbers than any other German aircraft during World War I. About 2000 were manufactured in DFW and about 1250 licence maufactured by the Aviatik (DFW C.V (Av), designated also as Aviatik C.VI), Halberstadt, LVG, and Schütte-Lanz.
The D.V and its related designs were used as a multirole combat aircraft, for reconnaissance, observation, bombing by Germany and Austro-Hungary during World War I. They were also used by the Ottoman Empire in Palestine. In the hands of a skilled pilot it could outmaneuver most allied fighters of the period. It remained in service until early 1918 though 600 were still in use by the Armistice of 11 November 1918. Most were thereafter scrapped according to Versailles Treaty in 1919.
It was a biplane of mixed, mostly wooden construction. A fuselage of a wooden frame, covered with plywood. Two-spar rectangular wooden wings, canvas covered. Upper wing of slightly greater span, with extended ends with ailerons. Tail of metal frame, covered with canvas. Straight engine in a fuselage nose, with a chimney-like exhaust pipe (LVG-produced planes had horizontal exhaust pipe). Engine was initially covered with an aerodynamic cover, but it was often abandoned. Two-blade wooden propeller, 2.8 m diameter. Water radiators on both fuselage sides, later water radiator before upper wing. Fixed conventional landing gear, with a straight common axle and a rear skid.
The Halberstadt CL.II was the first German purpose designed aircraft for the ground attack role. The Halberstädter Flugzeug Werke began supplying the German Halberstadt D-II during the summer of 1916. The plane was created to provide air support for ground troops.
The CL.II was powered by the reliable 160 hp (120 kW), 6 cylinder in-line, watercooled Mercedes aircraft engine. and armed with three machine-guns and five 22-pound (10 kg) anti-personnel bombs, the plane soon established itself as the best ground attack fighters of the war.
The LFG Roland C.II, usually known as the Walfisch (Whale), was an advanced German reconnaissance aircraft of World War I. It was manufactured by Luft-Fahrzeug-Gesellschaft G.m.b.H.
The C.II featured a monocoque fuselage built with an outer skin of two layers of thin plywood strips at an angle to each other (known as a Wickelrumpf, or "wrapped body" design). The deep fuselage completely filled the gap between the mainplanes and gave the aircraft its nickname.
The C.II was powered by a single 160 hp (120kW) Mercedes D III, providing a top speed of 165km/h, a ceiling of 4000m, and an endurance of four hours. The thin wings gave a mediocre rate of climb.
The C.II entered service in the spring of 1916. Operationally, handling was reported as difficult but performance was relatively good. It was also used in a fighter escort role and had a crew of two, pilot and observer/gunner.
A centrally mounted synchronized Spandau 7.92mm gun was provided for the pilot on later models. The observer had a Parabellum gun on a ring mounting. A tubular half-hoop was fitted between the cockpits to prevent possible damage to the airscrew from depressing the gun too much when firing forward.