Aviation C types

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Aviation CI

The Aviation C types - not to be confused with the later C types of the Austrian Aviation - were military aircraft of the German air force in the First World War . The Aviation CI was of particular importance , as it was the first two-seater fighting machine armed with a machine gun with a pull propeller to be used in combat on the German side.


When more and more German aircraft were attacked by opponents armed with machine guns on the Western Front from October 1914 and at the beginning of 1915 the machine gun was almost standard equipment for Allied machines, the German field pilots urgently demanded that their own aircraft be armed.

The first appropriately armed aircraft was the Aviatik CI (factory designation P.25), easily recognizable from the ground by the heart-shaped altitude control typical of the Aviatiks. Its manufacturer, the Aviatik Automobil- und Flugapparatefabrik , had only slightly modified the unarmed "cavalry double-decker " Aviatik BI reconnaissance missions, which had been in use at the front since 1914 : Its radiator was changed and moved from the fuselage sides under the upper wing to make room for the mobile observer -MG to create.

In the C.Ia version , the observer and machine gunner (in aviator jargon: " Franz "), like the B-types, was placed in front of the pilot (in aviator jargon: " Emil "), which made handling of the machine gun between wings and struts and tension wires made considerably more difficult. At the C.Ib , " Franz " and " Emil " swapped places; the pilot was placed in the forward cockpit and the observer in the aft cockpit. This arrangement became the standard for all armed two-seaters.

The wings, the fuselage and the tail unit of the two-legged biplane consisted mainly of wood with fabric covering. The engine cell deviated from it. It was planked with aluminum up to the leading edge of the lower wing. The aircraft had a solid tail skid.

The Hannoversche Waggonfabrik (Hawa) were also involved in the production of the Aviatik CI , which alone manufactured 146 aircraft of this type under license .

The CI, intended as a transitional solution, was further developed in 1915 to the C.II with a more powerful engine. About 40 aircraft were built.

It was followed by the C.III . Compared to the CI, it received a modified exhaust system and a propeller hood. The wing area was reduced. The observer received a second machine gun so that one machine gun was available on both sides of the cockpit. The aircraft again received the Mercedes D.III engine, which was already installed in the CI. Despite the low engine power, the redesign enabled a 13 percent higher speed to be achieved. In addition, the rate of climb had almost doubled to 1000 m.

Nothing is known about a C.IV.

In 1916 the Aviatik CV followed with 180 HP Argus As.III in-line engine with fairing. The armament consisted of a forward-facing MG Spandau (LMG 08/15) and a movable Parabellum MG. Only a prototype was built.

The even stronger C.VI was a license replica of the DFW CV .

The C.VIII followed in 1917 , again with the 160 hp Mercedes D III engine. The aircraft was equipped with a large propeller hood. It was a single-handled biplane with a cutout in the trailing edge of the upper wing. This resulted in a better view for the pilot. The tail section and landing gear were similar to the previous aviation models.

In 1918 the C.IX finally appeared with a 200 hp Benz Bz.IV in-line engine. Aviatik only built three prototypes of this pattern. Two of these machines had ailerons on both wings, one only on the upper wing.


Little is known about the use of the Aviation C types . However, they were used as reconnaissance and observation aircraft, but also as bombers on all fronts. Due to the better armament, the C.III was used as an escort aircraft for unarmed reconnaissance aircraft.

An aviation two-seater fell into Russian hands and served as a model for the Russian Anatra D two -seater in 1916 . Another was hit by Belgian troops in 1916 and forced to land; This aviation CI with the serial number C 227/16 is exhibited today in the Musée Royal de l'Armee in Brussels and is the only surviving machine of this type.

Technical data Aviation CI – III and C.IX

Parameter CI C.II C.III C.IX
commitment 1915 1915-1916 1916 1918
crew 2
length 7.93 m 6.95 m 8.08 m
span 12.50 m 11.80 m
height 2.95 m
Wing area 43.0 m² 35.0 m²
Empty mass 750 kg 980 kg
Takeoff mass 1242 kg 1340 kg
water-cooled six-cylinder in- line engine Benz Bz III , 160 hp Benz Bz IV , 220 hp Mercedes D III , 160 hp Benz Bz.IV, 200 hp
Top speed 142 km / h 155 km / h 160 km / h
Climbing time to 1000 m 12 min 7 min
Climbing time to 2000 m 21 min
Ascent time to 3000 m 25 min
Climbing time to 3500 m 55 min
Climbing time to 4500 m 55 min
practical summit height 3500 m 4500 m
Range 450 km 480 km
maximum flight time 3 h 3 h
Armament (MG) 1 MG 7.92 mm Parabellum 1 rigid, synchronized LMG 08/15 7.92 mm
1 movable MG 7.92 mm Parabellum

See also


  • Angelucci, Enzo; Matricardi, Paolo: Airplanes from the beginnings to the First World War , Wiesbaden 1976, ISBN 3-8068-0391-9
  • Kens, Karlheinz; Müller, Hanns: The aircraft of the First World War 1914-1918 , Munich 1973, ISBN 3-453-00404-3
  • Kroschel, Günter; Stützer, Helmut: The German military aircraft 1910–1918 , Wilhelmshaven 1977
  • Nowarra, Heinz: The development of the aircraft 1914-18, Munich 1959
  • Pawlas, Karl: Deutsche Flugzeug 1914–1918 , Nuremberg 1976, pp. 63–65, ISBN 3-88088-209-6
  • Sharpe, Michael: Doppeldecker, Dreifachdecker & Seaplanes , Gondrom, Bindlach 2001, ISBN 3-8112-1872-7
  • AERO, issue 16, p. 443

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. cf. the flier term " verfranzen verorientieren" for themselves
  2. built by Hawa CI were also with the 160-hp Mercedes D III equipped
  3. Aviation CI (Hawa) 140 km / h