The Aircraft

Albatros DV.a ZK-TGY

  • Aircraft Type: Albatros DV.a
  • Operator: Oliver Wulff Collection, loaned to the WW1 Aviation Heritage Trust in the UK
  • Year of Manufacture: 2015, (original 1917)
  • Powered by:  180 HP Mercedes D IIIaü 6 cylinder in-line engine displacing 14.8 litres
  • Colour Scheme: Luftstreitkrafte Jagdstaffel 5 flown by Paul Baumer (Edelweiss flower emblem)


Designed by Robert Thelen, the Albatros D series introduced the distinctive ‘V’ strut braced sesquiplane arrangement borrowed from the French Nieuport scouts. This served the design well providing even further improved speed and climb performance. Throughout 1917, Albatros D.IIIs enjoyed sustained success over the front and production of this model continued until early 1918, even though the new D.V and D.Va began to appear at the front in July. The D.Va introduced heavier spars and visible steel tube braces between the lower front strut and the leading edge of the lower wing and this helped considerably although it did not eliminate the problem completely in some elements of combat flying. Over 4,600 Albatros D series fighting scouts were built.

The Albatros scout was flown by many top German aces, including Wilhelm FranklErich LöwenhardtManfred von RichthofenKarl Emil SchäferErnst Udet, and Kurt Wolff. It was the preeminent fighter during the period of German aerial dominance known as “Bloody April” 1917.

Bäumer, nicknamed “The Iron Eagle”, flew with a personal emblem of an Edelweiss on his aircraft. He was one of the few pilots in World War I whose lives were saved by parachute deployment, when he was shot down in flames. He received the Blue Max and Pour le Mérite shortly before the Armistice and was finally credited with 43 victories, ranking ninth among German aces. After the war, he became a dentist and continued flying.

This flying replica was built by the New Zealand Company ‘The Vintage Aviator Ltd’ (TVAL) and is operated in the UK by the Oliver Wulff Collection, loaned to the WW1 Aviation Heritage Trust (WAHT).


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Images:  © Avpics / Alamy Stock Photo