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: DFW C.V

DFW C.V
Germany
reconnaissance plane
1917



  • Technical data


Span 13.27 m
Length 7.87 m
Take-off weight 1430 kg
Maximum speed 155 km/h
Ceiling 5000 m
Range 3.5 hours
Armament One fixed MG 08/15 Spandau machine gun, one 7.92 mm Parabellum machine gun on ring mount
Powerplant :
6-cylinder inline Mercedes Bz IV, 200 hp (148 kW)

 

The use of the aircraft for reconnaissance met the counter action of an adversary. The "getting on the aircraft's tail" and a successful attack on the ubiquitous recon machine became a goal of fighters. A need arose to design a machine whose performance and armament could efficiently oppose an enemy plane.

The German DFW C.V was a two-seat reconnaissance all wooden biplane. It was designed by Karl Saberski-Mussigbrodt in 1916 at the DFW Works in Leipzig as the development of the earlier DFW D.I. The DFW aircraft characterized by their stability and durability, and their performance matched that of fighter planes. Stiff and light construction of the fuselage was achieved through the use of multi-coated stressed skin, made of fabric reinforced veneer strips; also, the boards and the bottom were made of the glued veneer – it allowed to avoid the use of the scarce plywood. Aerodynamically refined fuselage housed the Benz Bz IV, or the compression ratio upgraded Bz IVa Benz engines, which enabled the aircraft to operate at an altitude of 5000 metres, beyond the reach of many fighter types.

The DFW aircraft were produced in the years 1916–1918, at the mother works as well as on licence at the Aviatik Works, the LVG Works, and the Halberstadt Works. The total number of the aircraft built is not known, however the estimative data mention some 3250 aircraft. The DFW C.V's were used for reconnaissance, observation, liaison and photo intelligence. They flew on the Western front, in Italy, Macedonia, Palestine and on the Eastern front. Everywhere, they were praised as excellent machines. By the end of the war, they were used as school aircraft. After the end of the hostilities, some of the remaining machines were handed over to a civil company, the Deutsche-Luft-Rederei.

In Poland, following the regaining of independence in 1918, about 63 captured or bought aircraft were used. Because of their flight characteristics they earned good reputation among Polish pilots, even though the upgraded compression ratio engines were troublesome. During the Polish–Bolshevik War, the aircraft were used for combat missions. Apart from being in service with combat squadrons, they were also flown at the Higher Officer School in Poznań and at the Air Observer Officer School in Toruń. As training aircraft the DFW C.V remained in use until 1923.

The displayed example, serial number 17077/17 is the only remaining DFW C.V. It was manufactured in 1917 at the Aviatik Works. The destroyed fuselage without wings was restored in Krakow in the years 1998–1999. The original multi-layered fuselage construction was recreated and the aircraft was brought back to the original appearance of the aircraft after the last war overhaul at the Bork & Mark Workshops in 1918.

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