Please help me identify this world war 1 fighter.



2 Answers 2


Pretty sure it's an Albatros C.I. Look at the access hatch with the double gills directly behind it, the three metal covers on the engine, the horizontal and vertical black marks on them, the upper wing support ending right between the two metal covers, the front support for the undercarriage ending right before the second gill.

Albatros C.I Albatros C.I (Picture copied from the link above)

The Albatros C.III has a different tail, but that's invisible in the picture above.

Here is another picture, showing the plane from the other side. Note the flush radiator on the side of the fuselage. (image source) Albatros C.I of the first production batch

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    $\begingroup$ The wing bracing looks wrong - notice how OP's wires go all the way to the center wing struts. $\endgroup$
    – egid
    Jun 25, 2015 at 15:28
  • $\begingroup$ This is a great find! I think you are right. $\endgroup$ Jun 25, 2015 at 15:54
  • $\begingroup$ Hope you don't mind that I embellish your answer - this is to strengthen your point. $\endgroup$ Jun 25, 2015 at 16:50
  • $\begingroup$ @egid: I don't see the problem. The OP's picture crops the outer struts, as well as the rear inner strut. Still, all pictures show 3 wires going to the bottom of the front inner strut. $\endgroup$
    – MSalters
    Jun 26, 2015 at 7:43
  • $\begingroup$ All three photo's seem to show different arrangements of cover etc. above the engine, but that is probably just "local mods" $\endgroup$
    – MikeB
    Jan 12 at 13:27

First of all, this is not a fighter, but a C-type airplane. A C-type was a two-seater and was mostly used for reconnaissance or ground attack. That it is a German plane is obvious, but the picture leaves out the details like propeller, wings and fin shape which would help in identifying it.

Noticeable is the six cylinder in-line engine, the triangular fin and the boxy fuselage. Of particular interest is the position of the horizontal tail which starts well ahead of the vertical. This restricts the selection to these types:

  • Albatros C.III
  • AEG C.IV (but the tail details don't match well)
  • DFW C.V
  • Rumpler C.I
  • Rumpler C.IV to C.VII (they all looked very much alike)

From the limited information available, my best guess is the Rumpler C.I. See below for a side view from this source: side view of a drawing of the Rumpler C.I

EDIT: Now that MSalters has posted his answer, I think that he is right. It looks indeed like an Albatros C.I. I did not include this one in my search. Silly me.

  • $\begingroup$ The diagram doesn't include the hatch and two vents on the nose. Is that likely to be significant, or just missing detail on the diagram / a modification to the photographed plane? $\endgroup$ Jun 25, 2015 at 8:31
  • $\begingroup$ The last source quoted has a picture which very clearly shows the tail section of a Rumpler C.I, and it doesn't have the offset between horizontal and vertical tail planes. Also, note the sharp upper edge of the boxy fuselage. It runs from the engine to the tail. On the Rumpler C.I this appears smoother. $\endgroup$
    – MSalters
    Jun 25, 2015 at 8:57
  • $\begingroup$ wwiaviation.com/rumpler.html shows the C.IV having the frons access panel and the step behind the wing. $\endgroup$
    – MSalters
    Jun 25, 2015 at 9:05
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    $\begingroup$ @DavidRicherby: You're right, but those details were not common to all planes of one type. Successful designs were built in several factories, and even with different engines, and each factory tried to add their own improvements. However, this might indicate that I am wrong. $\endgroup$ Jun 25, 2015 at 9:58
  • $\begingroup$ @MSalters: … and the same link shows a horizontal starting well ahead of the vertical tail for the Rumpler C.I. I am not sure, the answer was just my best guess. $\endgroup$ Jun 25, 2015 at 10:01

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