WW1 Planes
An encyclopediae of 1914-18 aircraft types


From shipyards to single obscure prototypes

BFW CL.I support/recce two-seats biplane (sec. flyingmachines.ru)

German aircraft production was no less plentiful than in Entente countries, since the Reich had the industrial capabilities, the engineers and designers required, only lacking materials, due to the blocus, to achieve the staggering production numbers displayed by the West. Some heavy bomber models were produced by airships manufacturers, like Zeppelin, some floatplanes were manufactured by a branch of famous German shipyards, other were small workshops that started working for other manufacturers and created their own model, or some were just one-off projects in the hope to answer an official specification. At that early stage of aircraft technologies, development times were very short as the machines were rudimentary. Also the "cheese" that was constituted by state orders spawned many enterprises as of opportunity, hiring engineers and borrowing everything that was available aroud a specific structure. There was plentiful competition. So here are these brands and manufacturers, which for some will probably receive their own dedicated page.


Alter A.1 (sec. aviastar)
Alter A.1 (sec. aviastar)

The Alter A.1 was a single-seat biplane fighter, which flew in February 1917. It was designed by Kallweit and Ketterer and built by Ludwig Alter-Werke of Darmstadt. This A.1 was a close copy to the Nieuport 11with some differences. It was powered by a 110 hp Goebel Goe II 7-cylinder rotary engine. It had I-type inter-plane struts and a wood-framed, fabric and plywood covered fuselage. It was armed by two synchronised 7.92 mm LMG 08/15 machine guns. However after demonstration to the Idflieg (Inspektion der Fliegertruppe) it was found its performances disappointing and construction too flimsy for service.

General characteristics

  • Weight: 510 kg (1,124 lb)
  • Top speed 117 km/h (73 mph; 63 kn), 3.91 m/s climb rate, 3,000m in 12.8min

BFW - Bayerische Flugzeugwerke

BFW Monoplane 1918
The BFW Eindecker 1918 had a uniquely forward-swept wing design which made it very interesting and avant-garde

BMW's origins can be traced back to three separate German companies: Rapp Motorenwerke, Bayerische Flugzeugwerke and Automobilwerk Eisenach. The history of the name itself begins with Rapp Motorenwerke, an aircraft engine manufacturer. In April 1917, following the departure of the founder Karl Friedrich Rapp, the company was renamed Bayerische Motoren Werke (BMW) and its first engine was the BMW IIIa known for good fuel economy and high-altitude performance. Orders poured in from the German military and BMW expanded very fast. However after the war, BMW cease aircraft-engine productiondue to compliance to the Versailles Treaty and turned to farm equipment, household items and railway brakes. Camillo Castiglioni in 1922, still a major shareholder, purchased the rights to the brand BMW, renamed Süddeutsche Bremse AG (Knorr-Bremse) while he invested in another aircraft company, "Bayerische Flugzeugwerke", renamed BMW while the empty factory served to the Automobilwerk Eisenach, re-opened to produce vehicles engines and also farm equipment and pumps, also under the BMW label. The Bayerische Flugzeugwerke funded on 7 March 1916 is considered the mother company, that's why today's logo still integrates a stylised spinning propeller alternating the blue and white reminding the Bavarian flag checkerboard.

The popular BMW-IIIa
The popular BMW-IIIa aircraft engine

But its not known well that BMW outside engine production also turned to aircraft production for a time. To gain time on this, the factory used its industrial capabilities to help the production or complete aircrafts, but the whole CL.I to CL.III closely related to the Halberstadt models, for reconnaissance and close support (strafing attacks, light bombing) stayed at prototype stage. The B.F.W. CL I designed to CL specification was an improvement on the Halberstadt CL II, but remained only a prototype. It was propelled by the 160 h.p. Mercedes D III. The CL II stayed also at Prototype stage, propelled by a 175 h.p. MAN III and flown in July 1918. The B.F.W. CL III was also a prototype powered by a 200 h.p. Benz Bz IV. The interesting BFW monoplane of 1918 had wings making a forward sweep and reused the CL II/III fuselage, propelled by a 180 hp Argus III. The night bomber BFW N.I studied at the end of the war was a two-seat triplane able to carry a bomb load of 744 kg. (1,636 lb.) and powered by a 260 h.p. Mercedes DIVa. Weight ranged from 1,500kg.(3,300 lb.) to 2,500kg.(5,500 lb.) and the gunner had a Parabellum machine-gun.
  • BFW CL.I - light reconnaissance/close support 1917 (1)
  • BFW CL.II - light reconnaissance/close support 1918 (1)
  • BFW CL.III - light reconnaissance/close support 1918 (1)
  • BFW Monoplane 1918 (1)
  • BFW N.I - night bomber 1918 (1)


Caspar U-1
Caspar U.1 (wikimedia commons)

The Caspar-Werke was a German aircraft manufacturer of the early 20th century. It was founded in 1911 by Karl Caspar under the name Zentrale für Aviatik in Fuhlsbüttel. In its early years, the firm built Etrich and Rumpler types under licence, and was dissolved following World War I. In 1921, Caspar re-established the firm at Travemünde with Ernst Heinkel as chief designer. Heinkel left in May the following year after a dispute over rights to a design, and was replaced by Ernst Ritter von Lössl. Later, Hans Herrmann from the former Udet Flugzeugbau, was the designer. The company ceased operations in 1928.
  • Caspar D.I - twin-engine single-seat fighter 1918 (1)
  • Caspar U.1 - submarine aircraft 1918 (1)

Daimler Motoren Gesellschaft

Daimler G.II
Daimler G.II Bomber - Only eight were produced (wikimedia commons)

Daimler Motoren Gesellschaft (DMG) of stuttgart started operations in 1890, until 1926. It has been founded by Gottlieb Daimler and Wilhelm Maybach and was a proficient car manufacturer. Of course cars and innovative engines, patented and licenced appeared, and one licence was acquired in UK, which became the The Daimler Motor Company Limited. Daimler built engines for the first airship, fuelled by petrol, in 1888. From 1899 to 1907 DMG provided Maybach designed engines for Zeppelin airships. Wilhelm Maybach quitted DMG in 1909. After 1909 Maybach and his son Karl founded their own enterprise in Württemberg and took over supplying engines. During the First World War, from 1915 onwards, the Sindelfingen factory produced large numbers of winged aircraft and aircraft engines. The air and ship activities led both sons of Gottlieb to create the "three pointed star" in reference to the "land, water, and air" covered by the company and its subsidiaries which became later Mercedes-Benz. The four-patented star they also deposed can still be seen with the European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company (EADS). Production was prohibited after the conflict under the Treaty of Versailles conditions. The company produced only 18 aircrafts, starting in 1915 by improving a heavy bomber delivered by Union Flugzeugbau, and a few fighters, biplanes and Parasol in 1917-18 of which none really had to time to be operational.

About the R.I/G.I heavy bombers

Daimler ordered a Union G.I from Union Flugzeugbau, for testing, which disintegrated shortly before landing due to severe engine vibrations. So Daimler started to redesign it, which resulted in the Daimler R.I. The company benefited also from former Union designers Baurat Rittberger and Engineer Karl Schopper. They soon strengthened the structure and replaced the faulty inverted engines with Mercedes D.IIIs. Assembly of the R.I/II series took place at Sindelfingen, but parts weresent from Schiedmayer of Stuttgart for final assembly. Flight trials started late in 1915 which showed the structure needed to be strengthened while several wing arrangements were tested until 1917. A larger tail was also tested and adopted on the second R.I built, and six almost identical improved R.II were manufactured in 1916. But only two flew, while the the remainder were crated and stored. Their large wooden fuselage housed the pilot, navigator and bomber, and had a gunners cockpit in the nose, while other gunners took place on each side, and one more aft of the wings. The tailplane supported a fin and rudder and two additional rudders at half span. The massive undercarriage comprised a nose-wheel assembly with four main-wheels with two in the engines nacelles plus a rear tail-skid. Initially these engines were placed in push-pull nacelles on the lower wing. The R.II however had these nacelles streamlined and mounted on struts between the wings. But generally Idfielg tests showed poor performances and no large production was ordered, while at least one R.I and two R.IIs has been accepted by Idflieg for more tests throughout 1917.

About the CL.I (or L8) escort fighter

At the end of 1917, Daimler Motorengesellschaft Werke introduced an escort fighter receiving the internal designation Daimler L.8. A two-bay biplane propelled by an eight-cylinder Daimler D.IIIb engine rated for 185 hp (138 kW). It was armed with two forward synchronized 7.92-mm machine gun LMG.08/15 on the nose and a rear 7.92-mm machine gun Parabellum scarff-mounted on the observer's cockpit. Only a single prototype was built and tested by the military in 1917 which gave it the designation CL.I. There was no further development although in 1919 there has been prospects to sell it to the Chilean Air Force.

About the D.I fighter (1918)

Daimler D.I
Daimler D.I Fighter

The Daimler D.I (factory L6) was a conventional fighter biplane design with a very small interplane gap as the top wing nearly touched the top of the fuselage, allowing for better visibility, while it was powered by a Daimler D.III engine. The initial L6 prototype competed in the second Idflieg competition for a new fighter for 1918 held at Adlershof from 22 May through 21 June. It was well placed, and resulted in an order for 20 aircraft. However production was long to setup and only six were built when the Armistice came and it went no further. There is not known service record, it's likely they were stored and never saw any affectation in a service unit.
The D.II (L9) was an early summer attempt to improve the L7 prototype, differing from its predecessor by revising the design of the wing and vertical tail, following the ideas of Hans Klemm who became the chief designer of the company on April 1, 1918. It was officially tested by the Idflieg as the Daimler D.II in July 1918. but the test program was not completed when the armistice came. In 1920, Hans Klemm proposed its conversion as a postal plane, but it found no willing customer.

Other Daimler fighter prototypes

Daimler L11
Daimler L11 Fighter

The next L11 and L14 were never tested. They were both monoplane parasol fighters as it seems this was the way forward back in 1918. The L11 was a single-seat fighter powered by a 185 hp (138 kW) Daimler D.IIIb eight-cylinder engine. It flew on 8 November 1918, but even with the armistice, continued testing through to February of the following year. Of course Versailles treaty interdiction doomed its development, as well as its successor the Daimler L14. The latter was basically a two-seat version, aerodynamically improved with a well-designed blended nose and fuselage. It was powered by a Daimler IIIb water-cooled engine and armed with two 7.92 mm machine guns, one firing forward and one rearward from the observer's cockpit, scarff-mounted. The sole prototype built was tested in 1919 but it went no further for the same reason as above. The L14V was a project conversion mail carrier variant offered to Chile.
  • Daimler G.I/R.I heavy bomber 1915 (2)
  • Daimler G.II/R.II heavy bomber 1916 (6)
  • Daimler D.I (L6) fighter 1918 (6)
  • Daimler CL.I (L8) fighter (1)
  • Daimler D.II (L9) - fighter (1)
  • Daimler L11 - parasol fighter 1918 (1)
  • Daimler L14 - parasol fighter 1919 (1)


Geest 1916 single-seat fighter

Geest Single-seat Fighter Built by Aviatik firm, to designs of Dr. Geest, during the winter of 1916-17. Something of the pre-war Mowe wing profile was perpetuated. Engine, 160 h.p. Mercedes D III. Speed, 160 km.hr. (100 m.p.h.). Climb, 3,500 m. (11,480 ft.) in 17 1/2 min. Armament, probably twin fixed Spandau machine-guns.


Germania Type C
Germania Type C
  • Germania type B - reconnaissance, 1915
  • Germania type C/K.D.D. - fighter
  • Germania C.I - reconnaissance
  • Germania C.II - reconnaissance
  • Germania C.IV - trainer
  • Germania JM - unarmed single-seater, 1916


Hannuschke monoplane
Hannuschke monoplane.

Hannuschke Eindecker - single seat scout (1912). This was a near-copy of the French "Demoiselle", Santos-Dumont airplane. Also known as the Hanuschke Typ populaire it was used as a private plane and trainer during the war. Bruno Hanuschke, Flugzeugbau, was created at Johannisthal, near Berlin. His 1913 model was produced to just 22 units. They were 24 feets (7.50m) in length and 27 feets (8.25) in span, 17m2 wing area, and weighted 716 Ibs (325 kgs) up to 385 Ibs (175 kgs)propelled by a 35 ihp Anzani 50 Gnome and 62 mph (100 kph) fast, capable of flying two hours.

Src: Bruno Hanuschke (1892-1922) - "Das Küken" vom alten Startplatz. Aus dem Leben eines Flugzeugführers und Unternehmers


Hergt Monoplane prototype
Hergt monoplane 1918 (wikimedia commons)

The Hergt monoplane was a prototype fighter of 1918. A late one-seat eindecker that was characterized by a wide fuselage to accomodate a Gnome engine and stubby, short wings. Apparently both the fuselage and wings were covered in plywood so the plane had an excellent structural sturdiness. It was built at F.E.A. 1 Altenburg as a private venture by F. D. Hergt during 1918 and flown by Mario Scherff. It was propelled by a 80 h.p. Gnome for a top speed of 125 kph and had a span of only 6.0 m. (19 ft. 8 1/4 in.). and was 5.2 m. (17 ft. 0 3/4 in.) long. Needless to say by 1918 standards these were not impressive figures and after official tests no orders followed.

Fabrik und Jeannin Flugzeugbau

Jeannin Doppeldecker 1915
Jeannin Doppeldecker 1915

The company built some racing Nieuport type monoplanes before the war at Johhanistal near Berlin. The company also built their own version of the Taube based on their prewar monoplanes, and their only other significant aircraft was a rigidly braced biplane of 1915. A single prototype powered with 150 h.p. Benz Bz III engine was built. It was tested but not accepted by the Air Force. The company went in liquidation afterwards and its assets were taken into a new company, the National Flugzege Werke or NFW. Src: Google Books: Kites, Birds & Stuff - Aircraft of GERMANY - I to M
  • Jeannin Taube - reconnaissance monoplane, 1914 (c20 built ?)
  • Jeannin doppeldecker - reconnaissance biplane, 1915 (single prototype)

Kondor Flugzeugwerke GmbH

The original Kondor D.VI fighter of 1918
The original Kondor D.VI fighter of 1918 (wikimedia commons). Note the cut open upper wing for visibility.

The condor aircraft company was headquartered in Essen and founded on June 15, 1912.The main plant was located on the site of the former airfield Essen-Gelsenkirchen-Rotthausen. Kondor had its own flight school to form pilots, giving them the necessary license and creating a potential customer base. Before the First World War, Kondor launchd their own model of the Taube. This Kondor Taube resembled the other monoplanes made by the many manufacturers which produced this popular model, it was even closer to the original Etrich Rumpler Taube. It first flew 12th October 1912. Afterwards, Kondor looked upon Albatros to procure licence-built models, and mass-manufactured the B.II from October 1916. Until 1918 the company delivered around 480 aircraft of various designs in Rotthausen, the company had a staff then composed of about 1,200 personal. Models included reconnaissance, training and fighter aircraft and also a few proper experimental models. These originals were under the responsibility of chief designer Walter Rethel (1892-1977). After the war, Kondor went on producing a few commercial aircraft but none met success and went into large production. As a result, Kondor Flugzeugwerke GmbH was liquidated but its assets were maintained and it continued produce furniture from 1920 onwards, and joined in 1993 the Lemgo/Ostwestfalen-Lippe Gruppe. Former Kondor plants can be visited in Lemgo house, with the advertising agency sagner-heinze.

The Kondor Taube
The Kondor Taube, 1914.

The Kondor flying school in 1913
The Kondor flying school, prewar.

Kondor W 1: Appeared in the spring of 1915, conventional two-seater, plywood-covered fuselage. Unusual interplane bracing with two pairs of struts converging to form a vee. It was propelled by a 120 h.p. Mercedes D II. It had a 13 m span. (42 ft. 7 1/8 in.) and was 7.95 m (26 ft. 1 in.) long, Weighting 900 kg (1,980 lb.).
Kondor W 2 C: Flew in the spring of 1916, first aircraft to be fitted with the 220 h.p. Mercedes D IV "straight-eight" geared engine, but only tested, no production apparently.
Kondor B I: A trainer with a large two-seat open cockpit tested in January 1918. Conventional two-bay biplane, plywod fuselage with large "ear"-type radiators on the sides, ailerons on both the upper and lower wings. Production simplification was at its core, with the minimum number of parts needed and interchangeability of components plus serial modular pre-fabrication. it was propelled by a 120 h.p. Mercedes D II. Production figures unknown (if any).
Kondor D.6: Prototype fighter aircraft flown in 1918. It had its upper wing split in two halves over the central fuselage but its development was soon abandoned.
  • Kondor Taube - reconnaissance (c100 ?)
  • Kondor W.1 - two-seater 1915 (?)
  • Kondor W.2C - reconnaissance 1916
  • Kondor B.I - trainer 1918 (?)
  • Kondor D.I - sesquiplane fighter 1918
  • Kondor D.II - biplane fighter 1918
  • Kondor D.6 - biplane fighter 1918 (Proto)
  • Kondor D.7 - sesquiplane fighter, 1917
  • Kondor E.III & IIIa - monoplane fighter, 1918 (10)

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Kaiserliche Werft Danzig

KWD N°1105
KWD N°1105

A well-known and reputed German shipbuilding company founded in 1852 as Königliche Werft Danzig and extended and renamed when the German Empire was proclamated in 1871. The yard built several cruisers, gunboats and the Odin-class coastal battleships, but was also one of the three German yards to produce U-boats for the Kaiserliche Marine, 62 in all or 12% of total German submarine production. It also soon tried aircraft production delivering nine planes known by their serial numbers as they were never intended for the Army, but the Navy instead, usually given obsolete or damaged planes for training duties. The 404 and 405 were modern trainers created for the Navy in 1917, unarmed two-seaters that were supplied to the naval base at Putzig. The 467–470 series were four 1916 training biplane with floats also for the naval base at Putzig. The No. 1105–1106 of 1917, had staggered wings of unequal span and empennage included a sizable ventral fin. These unarmed two-seaters were remarkable for their innovative brace-less interplane strut arrangement. They were delivered to Putzig in the fall of 1917. The last, 1650, was a reconnaissance seaplane, armed with a trainable 7.9 mm machine gun and powered by a Mercedes D.IV, 160 kW (220 hp), and remarkably carryiing a radio equipment for transmission and reception (and gaining the naval CHFT classification).
  • Kaiserliche Werft Danzig 404 - floatplane trainer (2)
  • Kaiserliche Werft Danzig 467 - floatplane trainer (4)
  • Kaiserliche Werft Danzig 1105 - floatplane trainer (2)
  • Kaiserliche Werft Danzig 1650 - reconnaissance floatplane (1)

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Kaiserliche Werft Dantzig

Kaiserliche Werft Kiel

Kaiserliche Werft Kiel 463 - floatplane trainer
Kaiserliche Werft Kiel 463 - floatplane trainer (wikimedia commons)

Apart from having built German's coastal battleships, armored cruisers, light cruisers and submarines for two decades, the venerable German shipbuilding company was founded in 1867 and renamed in 1871. Like Dantzig it was concerned as having no reconnaissance seaplanes. They would eventually built three, numbered 463 to 466 of the roughly same design for the Navy's flying service during War, based locally at at Kiel-Holtenau for training in 1915, while four serial numbers were allocated. These were conventional, two-bay biplanes with unstaggered wings of equal span, two open cockpits in tandem and twin pontoons undercarriages. The square rudder was hinged to the rear end, extended below the ventral line of the fuselage and the inline engine was well cowled in, with the exhaust truncated and located above the upper wing. These seaplane were sent first at the testing unit (SVK – Seeflugzeug-Versuchskommando) at Warnemünde and accepted for service the next summer of 1918 only. On the other hand, the No 461–462 were built also to substantially the same design.
  • Kaiserliche Werft Kiel 461-462 - floatplane trainers (2)
  • Kaiserliche Werft Kiel 463-466 - floatplane trainer (3)

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Kaiserliche Werft Kiel

Kaiserliche Werft Wilhelmshaven

Kaiserliche Werft Wilhelmshaven 401
Kaiserliche Werft Wilhelmshaven 401 (wikimedia commons)

The Kaiserliche Werft Wilhelmshaven (funded 1853) was one of the most prominent German Imperial yard, delivering many dreadnoughts for the Navy and started with the Ironclad turret-ship SMS Grosser Kurfürst in 1873. Its designed would remain famous well after the war, its groundbreaking SMS Hindenburg battlecruiser design being the forerunner, well-studied by British engineers, of modern fast battleships in many ways. But during the conflict, it had been producing also a small numbers of training seaplanes for the German Navy, then badly equipped with old reformed models. A small serie numbered 401 to 403 was commenced in April 1915 and were were delivered to the Navy in August 1915. These were conventional two-seat biplanes propelled by a Mercedes D.I, 80 kW (107 hp). The next 461-462 were built in October 1916 and in September 1917 respectively also for training. These were propelled by the Benz Bz.III, 110 kW (150 hp) engine and were capable of a speed of 143 km/h (90 mph), with a rate of climb of 1.6 m/s (310 ft/min).

They also delivered a small number of armed types for local defense, including the unique Number 945. The latter's general layout was conventional but its single-bay wings were braced with single, large I-struts, and almost no vertical stabilizer, just a a stub on the dorsal side of the rear fuselage. The rudder was also partly ventral. It was classified C3MG type by the Navy, with an armament both fixed and trainable. There has been only one photograph of the completed aircraft but there is no record of it entering service in 1918. The 947 was an armed reconnaissance aircraft, two-bay biplane of conventional design classed CHFt by the navy, as equipped with a radio gear capable of both sending and receiving, and which strongly resembled the Nos 461–462. It was long used by the SVK – Seeflugzeug-Versuchskommando at Warnemünde.
  • Kaiserliche Werft Wilhelmshaven 401-406 - floatplane trainers (3)
  • Kaiserliche Werft Wilhelmshaven 461-462 - floatplane trainer (2)
  • Kaiserliche Werft Wilhelmshaven 945 - floatplane fighter (1)
  • Kaiserliche Werft Wilhelmshaven 947 - reconnaissance floatplane (1)

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Kaiserliche Werft Wilhelmshaven


Linke-Hofmann R.I
The very unusual Linke-Hofmann R.I (wikimedia commons)

Linke-Hofmann-Busch of Breslau produced locomotives and rolling stock and originated in the wheelwright business of Gottfried Linke created in 1834 (now part of Alstom since 2009 as ALSTOM Transport Germany GmbH). It was drawn into the aircraft industry even though they had no prior experience in aircraft design, first by repairing and constructing aircrafts under licence like the Roland C.IIa, Albatros B.IIa, C.III and C.X. In 1916 Linke-Hofmann-Busch designed and build a four-engined heavy bomber under the Riesenflugzeug ("giant aircraft") designation. The two designs remained prototypes only, the R.I and the R.II; They were really unconventional and only the R.II flew relatively well but the war ended before any order was passed and post-war attempts to build an airliner conversion was prevented by the Allied Control Commission and the company returned to its prewar activities.
  • Linke-Hofmann R.I - heavy bomber (1)
  • Linke-Hofmann R.II - heavy bomber (1)

Luft Torpedo Gesellshaft Johannisthal

LTG FD.1 - flyingmachines.ru (wikimedia commons)

This company from Berlin, Luft Torpedo Gesellschaft (LTG) delivered for the German Navy the FD.1, a fighter seaplane. It was developed from specifications a total of six were ultimately delivered from 1917 to early 1918, one being tested for lifting various loads. It was propelled by a single Benz Bz III series engine (150 hp) driving a two-bladed propeller. It was a traditional biplane with a streamlined, slab sided fuselage, enlarged nose spinner, long vertical fin and low horizontal planes. The single seat was aft of the upper wing with a cutout opening in the wing. The undercarriage had two floats with struts for rigidity. It was armed with two synchronized 7.92mm machine guns in the upper forward fuselage. Service records are unknown.

Flugzeugwerft Lübeck-Travemünde GmbH (FLT)

FLT. F2 (wikimedia commons)

FLT. blueprint

Flugzeugwerft Lübeck-Travemünde GmbH was a subsidiary of Deutsche Flugzeug-Werke founded in May 1914 at Travemunde Privall, specifically to built seaplanes. The F.1 was the first product, a four-bay two-seater with tapered wings. Only three numbered examples were built, (282-284) propelled by a 160 h.p. Mercedes D III. The Lübeck-Travemünde F.2 was a reconnaissance floatplane, improved version of the F.1 and first armed one. It was a twin-float biplane powered by a 220 hp (164 kW) Mercedes D.IV engine and two seats, the observer being armed with a scarff-mounted 7.92 mm (0.31 in) Parabellum MG. The next F.4 was used by the Royal Norwegian Navy Air Service from 1919 onwards. This version was the most produced with 34 delivered in 1917-18, used for patrol reconnaissance in the north sea. They carried a radio was carried and were numbered by the Navy 1971-1973, 2135 and 7001-7030. The F.4 was propelled by a 200 h.p. Benz Bz IV and were armed by a single Parabellum machine-gun on the observer rear cockpit, scarff-mounted.
  • Lübeck-Travemünde F.1 - floatplane reconnaissance (3)
  • Lübeck-Travemünde F.2 - floatplane reconnaissance (11)
  • Lübeck-Travemünde F.4 - floatplane reconnaissance (35)
  • Lübeck-Travemünde 844 - single-seat seaplane (1)

Märkische Flugzeueg-Werke (MFW)

Märkische MFW D.I
Märkische MFW D.I

The Company produced about 700 Rumpler C.Is under licence, which was also produced by the Germania Flugzeug-Werke, Hannoversche Waggonfabrik and Albert Rinne Flugzeug-Werke. In 1917, it started its own model, the D.I. A conventional biplane, it was designed by Hillmann, as a single-seat fighter. It was propelled by a 195 h.p. Benz Bz IIIb engine. Apparently one was built, tested but not ordered. The Märkische MFW D.I would remain a prototype.

Naglo Bootswerfte

Naglo D.II
NG.II - David Horn coll. (wikimedia commons)

The D.II was the only fighter built by Naglo, a prototype designed by the designer Gnädig, from Albatros Flugzeugwerke. So his design had some influences. However it was one of the very few quadruplanes ever designed. There three upper wings indeed, all similar, with constant chord and squared tips, same span without sweep. The lowest wing, of shorter span,was mounted independently under the fuselage belly, behind the undercarriage. it was fixed to a dorsal keel extension and branced with V-struts. Interplane struts N-form held the upper plane high over the fuselage and more were placed between each wing and ailerons on all three upper wings, and was indeed dangerously close to the ground. This plane was propelled by a 160 hp (120 kW) 6-cyl. water-cooled Mercedes engine driving a two-blade propeller. The large domed spinner was blended into the fuselage but the Mercedes cylinder heads and exhausts were exposed to the air, above the fuselage very close in cosntruction (with plywood sections) to the Albatros D.V. The Naglo Bootswerfte D.II first flew on 24 May 1918 and took part in a D-type contest at Adlershof soon after. It ranked well and impressed for its construction quality but left to desire in many areas and Naglo was pressed to make modifications for a second test which apparently never came or was not followed by any order.

National Flugzeug-Werk GmbH Johannisthal (NFW)

NFW E.I (wikimedia commons)

The National Flugzeug-Werk GmbH based at Berlin, was a local repair workshop and training school which tried three experimental planes but soon left aircraft manufacture aside. The B.I was a conventional biplane, two-seats, built in 1915 at Johannisthal, and used as trainer, a single prototype being produced by a 120 h.p. Argus As II. The E.I (Eindecker) fighter was a small monoplane prototype which emerged in the spring of 1916 designed by the Ingineer Hergt. This plane has plywood-covered cantilever wings which passed through the fuselage, the pilot seated between them. The NFW E.I was tested but never really evolved as a production machine. It was propelled by a 80 h.p. Oberursel UO, was 428/620 kg and could fly at 156 kph (97.5 m.p.h.). The next E.II was built in 1917, similar in construction but different in appearance, fitted with the more capable inline 160 h.p. Mercedes engine. Weighing 558/768 kg it was capable of 180 kph (112.5 m.p.h.) and climbed to 2,900 m. in 6.3 min. only one photo of the E.I exists apparently.
  • NFW B.I - trainer (1)
  • NFW E.I - experimental monoplane (1)
  • NFW E.II - experimental monoplane, 1917 (1)


Oertz W.4
Oertz W.4 floatplane (wikimedia commons)

Built by Max Oertz's successful prewar Hamburg Yacht firm this serie of floatplanes started with the prewar FB.3 (Naval number 46) of 1913 propelled by a 100 h.p. Argus engine, and was followed by the two W4 in 1914, numbered 63 and 75. The W.4 had a 160 h.p. inline, liquid-cooled Daimler engine. The W.5 (4 built numbered 275 to 280) followed by the W.6 Flugschoner twin seater (281), W 7 (474 and 475) and W 8 (1157). They were relatively similar to the Macchi floatplane design, biplane pushers, with very marine hulls crafted with much care with Max Oertz. They gave the perfect lateral stability on the water and had a complex spring-loaded hydrovanes fitted on the wingtips to prevent submersion. Also, the chord of the lower wing was much greater than that of the upper wing, also with greater span and inward rake to the interplane struts, and lower wing ailerons. Apparently they were unarmed and served for reconnaissance from the Zeebruge naval base, kept at the railway station hall at the end of the Mole, assembled on flat railway cars with the Locomotives kept steaming up and to bring the planes to the cranes, lift and lower them to the water from the Mole by calm weather.
  • Oertz FB.3 1913 - flying boat (1)
  • Oertz W 4 1914 flying boat (2)
  • Oertz W 5 1916 flying boat (4)
  • Oertz W 6 1916 tandem double biplane flying boat (1)
  • Oertz W 7 1916 flying boat (2)
  • Oertz W 8 1917 flying boat (1)

Gustav Otto Flugmaschinenfabrik

Otto Pusher
Otto Pusher biplane 1914 (wikimedia commons)

In 1910, Gustav Otto founded the "Aeroplanbau Otto-Alberti" workshop at Puchheim airfield. Renamed "Gustav Otto Flugmaschinenfabrik", was moved from 37 Gabelsberger Strasse to the 135 Schleissheimer Strasse while another factory was set up at 76 Neulerchenfeldstrasse and In 1915, "Otto Werke, Gustav Otto, München". Soon a subsidiary was created near Berlin, AGO. Unfortunately Gustav Otto was no manager, and his production was jeopardized by small cadences and no profit to make it viable. His company was taken over and stat-run by the military and later joined to the ancestor of BMW. The 1915 C.I was unveiled in the summer of 1916, a twin-boom aircraft delivered to the Bulgarian Air Force. The Otto C.II was the last model delivered before the liquidation of the company. A conventional two-seater of wood and canvas, propelled by a 160 h.p. Mercedes D III. engine.

Otto B.I
Otto B.I

  • Otto pusher - reconnaissance pusher biplane, 1914 (1)
  • Otto B.I - reconnaissance tractor biplane, 1914 (1)
  • Otto C.I - reconnaissance pusher, 1915 (13)
  • Otto C.II - reconnaissance tractor biplane (1)
Otto Pusher
Bruno Büchner with his Otto/AGO biplane and native honor guard on an improvised flying field near Daressalam (wikimedia commons).

Flugmaschine Rex GmbH

Rex D6
Rex D.6 1916

Early on, Cologne's enthusiasm for the innovative aviation industry traduced first in sports balloon, and multiplied flight tests. But soon it was felt that heavier-than-air were more promising, and Cologne inventor, car manufacturer and engineer Nicolaus August Otto started right away after the Cologne Flight Week on September 30, 1909. French pilots showcased their creations, and the first German pilots showed their own planes from 1911 on the racetrack in Weidenpesch, like pioneers Werntgen and Signos. On December 1, 1914, local businessman Walter Gutbier founded the "flying machine REX GmbH" in Cologne-Ossendorf, to build monoplanes and biplanes. The company's co-owner was Dr. Engineer Friedrich Hansen from Aachen which had already constructed in 1909 an aircraft in Zurich and worked on rotary engines.

His workshop was housed in the Bickendorfer airship hangar and later the company was renamed "REX" and received the approval and building supervision number 42. But soon the company was found unable to design a plane and chossed instead to concentrate in the maintenance of military hardware and later turned to licence-production of Albatros types. Butzweilerhof factory was setup nearby for this purpose. Orders for aircraft repairs and maintenance rose to new heights, and the company acquired the gas factory Widdersdorfer Str., creating another plant. Jakob Bungartz was in charge of the production setup. By 1918 Rex had about 300 workers but production was stopped after the end of the war as there was no market for aircraft due to the Versailles Treaty. However aircraft fuselages and wings were still lying on the property of REX for a long time, possibly waiting for a Royal Australia Air Force and British Royal Air Force orders at the Butzweilerhof airfield.

The following types of aircraft were built in Ossendorf: A 1916 single-seater biplane designed by Friedrich Hansen, with a five-cylinder radial engine 80 HP U O Oberursel: Only one built, possibly based on the British Bristol Scout. with its lower wing ender the fuselage. Also in 1917 another fighter biplane able to move the swimmers up or down to reduce the immense air resistance, lost in April 1917 at its first flight. These four types were the D6,followed by D7, a single scout airplane, and a biplane floatplane of 1917, designed by Ursinus (see below). More

  • Rex 1915 Scout - fighter, 1915 (1)
  • Rex D.6 1916 Scout - fighter, 1916 (1)
  • Rex D.7 1917 Scout - fighter, 1917 (1)

Flugmaschine Fabrik Franz Schneider GmbH

Schneider fighter 1918
The rare Schneider Fighter 1918 (flyngmachines.ru)

Flugmaschine Fabrik Franz Schneider G.m.b.H. was founded by Franz Schneider in 1917. First the company was specialized in repairing and servicing Albatros. D.F.W. and L.V.G. planes. However prior to the war Schneider was associated with Edouard Nieuport, and later responsible for some of the best L.V.G. designs. In 1918 the company launched itself in the creation of its own single-seater about no details are available. It was obviously closely related to the Nieuport 11 although the ailerons were unusually placed at the lower wingtips. It was propelled by a 200 h.p. Goebel Goe III, much more powerful than the original Neuport, and was armed with two Spandau machine-guns on the nose, also a quite heavier armament. But we do not known if it was even officially tested. At least two photos exists of this rare plane. What's clear is that kind of fighter was already obsolescent by 1918 standards.

Schwade Flugzeug und Motorenbau GmbH

Schwade Kampfeinsitzer NR.2 (airwar.ru)

Little is known of the company, which produced two planes at the beginning of WW1. Schwade of Erfurt worked on a new biplane fighter simply named "Nr.1". It relied on a traditional frame braced with cables and parallel struts. The pilot was seated in a small circular nacelle, open to air. The tail was held by triangular struts supporting the tail surfaces. The nacelle housed the engine in a pusher configuration and a single 7.92mm Bergmann LMG 15 machine gun on a flexible mounting. The undercarriage was a simple two-legged, two-wheeled and a tailskid was fitted to the fuselage rear. The flexible mounting proved a failure, as it was hard for the pilot to fly and at the same time trying to aim and train his weapon on a moving target. The engine was a Schwade Stahlherz 7-cylinder rotary piston rated for 80 horsepower. Only one prototype was built, but the company turned to the improved Nr.2, a twin-boom biplane fighter. At the end of 1916 Otto Schwade built the NR.2 equipped with a seven-cylinder rotary Schwade Stahlherz 80 hp engine, French Gnome copy, and the same 7.92-mm machine gun Bergmann LMG 15 on a mobile mounting. it was tested in early 1916, but there is no record of any production ordered.
  • Schwade 1914 fighter (1)
  • Schwade 1915 fighter (1)

Oskar Ursinus Gmbh

Ursinus floatplane
Ursinus Floatplane (flyingmachine.ru)

This fighter seaplane prototype of 1916-17 was designed by Oskar Ursinus. The latter tried to improve speed and lower drag by creating retractable floats which could be raised and lowered manually. This also required that the propellor was mounted on an extension shaft to prevent interference with the floats. One prototype was built, and production by Gotha was planned. Unfortunately, the prototype was destroyed early on and development was halted. This Seaplane fighter prototype was propelled by a 150 hp Benz BZ III, 29 ft 6.385 in (9 m) in wingspan by 25 ft 6.5 in (7.77 m) long, 9 ft 6.25 in (2.9 m) high floats extended, and weighted 1,649 lb (749.5 kg) up to 2,205 lb (1,002 kg) fully loaded. Top speed was 124 mph (200 km/hr) as estimated.

Flugzeugbau Friedrichshafen

Manufacturer of Zeppelin airships - see dedicated page


Gödecker B type
Gödecker B type 1915

This early 1915 type trainer became no more than a prototype. It was a perfectly orthodox wood and fabric machine, built first as a single-bay aircraft and later rebuilt with two-bay wings. Engine, 120 h.p. Mercedes D II.

Read More

List of German Military Aircrafts by manufacturers
WW1 central power aircrafts
German and Austro-Hungarian Military Aircraft Designations (1914-1918)
German and Austro-Hungarian Aircraft Manufacturers 1908-1918 By Terry C. Treadwell
Br 14 Aircraft Challenge
Overthefront.com - WWI Anglo-American Abbreviations