Archive digitization



Aviation and Diplomacy

Frank Piasecki

NATO 1949-2009 Projekt ekspozycji w Muzeum Lotnictwa Polskiego w Krakowie



Polish Aviation Museum

31-864 Kraków,
al. Jana Pawła II 39
phone: (12) 640 99 60,
(12) 642 40 70
e-mail: info@muzeumlotnictwa.pl

a cultural institution of the Malopolska Region

Małopolska – Kraków Region


Patronage

Kraków Airport







Aeroplane: Albatros H.1

Albatros H.1
Germany
high-altitude research plane
1918



  • Technical data


Span 5.7 m
Length 12.56 m
Take-off weight
Maximum speed
Ceiling
Range
Armament
Powerplant :
11-cylinder radial, counter-rotating Siemens-Halske Sh-IIIa,160 hp (118 kW) (the engine, after restoration at the museum, was started).
Virtual tour :

 

Experimental variant of a successful World War I fighter.

In the first months of 1918, Albatros fighters were the mainstay of the German Air Force. These machines, however, could no longer keep air superiority over the Western Front, so the German High Command was undertaking desperate efforts, aimed at changing the situation. More and more competitions for a new fighter were organised, aviation build-up was also planned. Since April 1918, the Fokkers VII started to enter the units, however their production was too small for the demands.

The next problem was the power unit. The rotary engine, despite its popularity, possessed one big disadvantage: the torque. The Siemens Works created a counter-rotary engine, in which the crankshaft turned opposite to the rotations of the crankcase with the propeller. These improved versions were assembled on the Siemens-Schuckert D.III and D.IV versions. Supplies started in 1918. These fighters featured the best climbing characteristic among all the First World War fighters. Despite the barrel-like silhouette, they featured formidable manoeuvrability.

The Versailles treaty, ending the First World War, imposed over Germany, the duty of total destruction of all the combat aircraft. The SSW D.III and the SSW D.IV met the same fate. However, a single example of the SSW D.IV was handed over with the permission of the Allies authorities to the German Aeronautical Experimental Institute (Deutsche Versuchsanstalt fur Luftfahrt). The aim of the research was the use of the machine's abilities into civil aviation. In 1926, the Institute directed the Albatros Berlin-Johannisthal Works, to build the high altitude research aircraft based on the SSW D.IV airframe.

The design was worked out by Martin Schrenk. It envisaged the enlargement of the wings to a significant span, its reinforcement with two pairs of struts, changing of the empennage outline and the use of the specially designed, high altitude propeller. After rebuild, the aircraft received the Albatros H-1 marking and bore the 10114 factory number. The aircraft, however, never flew, as during the ground tests the wing construction appeared too delicate to ensure a safe flight. The project was phased-out and the machine reached the Berlin exhibition.

Discovered in Poland in 1945, eighteen years later it reached Krakow's museum in a state of serious destruction with a dismembered fuselage and no wings but with undercarriage, empennage, upper wing canopy struts, power plant and propeller. The integration of the fuselage was one of the most difficult restoration projects, undertaken at the museum. Out of the loose pieces of the broken plywood, about 1/4 of the fuselage's structure was recreated. The remainder of the original fabric was also saved and restored. The restored fuselage, along with the undercarriage struts, the Siemens-Halske counter rotary engine and the Heine propeller is currently on display. These are the only preserved fragments of this airframe in the world.


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Dofinansowano ze środków Ministra Kultury i Dziedzictwa Narodowego
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