I recently found the following family pictures from ca. 1925 and have been trying to identify the aircraft in them:

enter image description here

A second picture of the same aircraft was taken shortly after the first one:

enter image description here

Both of the occupants supposedly walked away unharmed - my guess is that confident look in the first image didn't linger.

Judging by the inscription on the top of the second image they were taken in Lausanne, Switzerland.

Bonus Question: Does the registration number of 85 mean anything in particular? For example, is this the 85th aircraft registered in Switzerland? Or the 85th aircraft of this type made by the manufacturer?


2 Answers 2


Looking at the holes in the engine cowling, landing gear, struts and wires configuration and general geometry, it may very likely be a 1918 Halberstadt C.V

halberstadt cv (source)

halberstadt cv (source)

Horizontal stabilizer and elevator shape, handles on the upper wing, "square grid" on the upper wing, also tells it is a Halberstadt CV

This document explains how swiss military aircrafts/airships are numbered.

Aircrafts numbered 64 and 703 were supposed to be DFW C.V But the one in the pictures you provided is definitely a closer match to Halberstadt C.V, anyway there were also DFW C.V built by Halberstadt company. Most surprising is the fact that number 85 is missing.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Amazing you knew or found this aircraft. $\endgroup$
    – mins
    Commented Feb 19, 2019 at 11:42
  • $\begingroup$ Yeah, the DFW is clearly out due to major differences in both the vertical stabilizer and the entire engine area. $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 19, 2019 at 12:18
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @mins found it in this fantastic book chronicle of aviation $\endgroup$
    – user21228
    Commented Feb 19, 2019 at 12:22

http://www.airhistory.org.uk/gy/reg_CH-.html lists 85 as a DFW C.V Halberstadt - suggesting a Halberstadt C.V built by DFW.

Halberstadt C.Vs were built by Halberstadt, Aviatik, BFW and DFW and possibly others so this fits.

The 85 refers to the number it was registered as (CH-85), in Switzerland, which was probably assigned in sequence but may not have been.

A single example of this type of aircraft survives, in Belgium.


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