Austro-Hungarian fighter WW I
In produce since June 2010!
The robustly-built fighter biplane Phoenix D.I was produced by
Phoenix Flugzeugwerke AG, Wien´s aircraft factory. It was
derived in the middle of 1917 year from the licence-built Hansa
Brandenburg D.I type by the Phoenix design department, guided by Diplom-
Ingenieur Leo Kirsten. Wing system was created by Diplom-Ingenieur
Edmund Sparman, Austria prewar pilot and designer. The wooden fuselage
was derived from the Hansa Brandenburg D. I but it was a few inches longer
to accommodate the 200hp Hiero engine. Armament consisted of twin
synchronized Schwarzlose 8.8 mm machine guns. There were mounted
well forward alongside the engine. Inward-sloping wing struts were typical
for Sparman-designed wing cellule. Flight comparsions performed in
September 1917, showed that Phoenix D.I was faster in speed and climb
than the Albatros D.III and possessed better flight characteristics than the
Aviatik (Berg) D.I.
The Phönix D.III was developed from the Phönix D.II and IIa. The
modifications included a revised wing planform and a fuselage designed for
accessible machine guns mounted at eye level. It was also up-engined from
a 200 hp to a 230 hp Hiero engine. The ailerons on both wings gave it the
power and manueverability its predecessor lacked. Austro-Hungarian pilots
found the Phönix D.III to be a sturdy and dependable airplane which could
handle steep dives. Armed with two Schwazlose machine guns, it was an
excellent fighter. A hundred were approved for production and were
scheduled to be delivered on October 27, 1918, however, there was a delay,
and the war's end put a stop to the planned delivery. In 1919 and 1920, the
Swedish Army Air Force purchased a total of 20 Phönix D.IIIs. The Phonix
D-series was utilized by the Imperial and Royal Aviation Troops (KuKLFT) of
Austria-Hungary as well as their naval branch. The air force and naval
versions both entered service at the same time. Sweden became the only
other operator of the aircraft, this in a post-war role and of the D.III variety.
The main difference between the Swedish examples and those from the
First World War was the gravity-fed fuel tanks on the top wing.
Phönix D.IIIs in Austro-Hungarian Naval Air Service were finished in overall
light gray with the Austro-Hungarian colors on the rudder in red and white.
The code is in black and narrow straight crosses are on the fuselage and
wings. The Phönix D.IIIs in troops service had two shades of gray
camouflage scheme with the serial number written in black on the fuselage.
The first D. III used by the Swedes was finished in a light gray dope, the
Swedish flag is on the tail and the black crowns on the fuselage are on
a white rectangle. A red scorpion emblem was the only other marking on this
aircraft. A standard Swedish Air Force D. IIIs were marked as J.1. The
planes were camouflaged in chestnut brown, khaki, and a dark grayish
green. The standard Swedish roundel is on the fuselage, consisting of
a white circle with three black crowns. The rudder was striped in the national
colors of yellow and blue.
Wingsapan: 9,80 m
Lenght: 6,62 m
Height: 3,01 m
Wing aera: 25,00 m²
Max. weight: 951 kg
Max. speed: 185 km/h
Ceiling: 6800 m
Endurance: 2 hodiny
Power plant: Six cylinder in line Hiero engine, 230 HP
Armament: Two Schwarzlose M.07/12, 8 mm machine guns