SPAD VII vs Albatros D III: 1917-18

Overview

When originally conceived, the French SPAD VII and German Albatros D II represented steps away from an emphasis on maneuver in aerial combat in favor of speed and durability - factors that came into play in hit-and-run tactics. At the end of 1916, however, Albatros tried to have the best of both worlds by incorporating the sesquiplane wing of the nimble Nieuport 17 into its D III. The result combined the better downward view and maneuverability of the Nieuport with the power and twin machine guns of the Albatros ...
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Overview

When originally conceived, the French SPAD VII and German Albatros D II represented steps away from an emphasis on maneuver in aerial combat in favor of speed and durability - factors that came into play in hit-and-run tactics. At the end of 1916, however, Albatros tried to have the best of both worlds by incorporating the sesquiplane wing of the nimble Nieuport 17 into its D III. The result combined the better downward view and maneuverability of the Nieuport with the power and twin machine guns of the Albatros D II, but at a high price - a disturbing tendency for the single-spar lower wing to fail in a dive.

While Albatros (and the Austrian Oeffag firm, which built the fighter under license) sought to alleviate that weakness with various reinforcing measures, the Germans developed tactics to maximize the D III's strengths and minimize its shortcomings. At the same time, the French worked to improve the SPAD VII with more power and a more reliable cooling system before moving on to the twin-gunned SPAD XIII. While all that was going on, the Albatros D III became a mainstay of the German and Austro-Hungarian air services in frequent encounters with SPAD VIIs flown by French, Belgian, British, Italian and American airmen.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Authoritatively researched, documented, and presented... Students of Albatrosen or SPADs in particular, and WWI air combat in general should be thrilled by this book." - Frederick Boucher, AeroScale

"As with all Duel volumes, this one features helpful maps, rare photos and superb artwork. Five Stars." -Barrett Tillman, The Aerodrome

"...this 80-page work contains all that most readers would ever want to know about comparing these two fabled fighters." -Peter Kilduff, Between the Bookends

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781849084758
  • Publisher: Osprey Publishing, Limited
  • Publication date: 4/19/2011
  • Series: Duel Series
  • Pages: 80
  • Sales rank: 801,013
  • Product dimensions: 7.08 (w) x 9.68 (h) x 0.22 (d)

Meet the Author

A resident of Leesburg, Virginia, Jon Guttman is currently research editor for Weider History Publications. Specializing in World War I aviation, he has written eleven titles for Osprey including the popular Balloon-Busting Aces of World War I in the Aircraft of the Aces series.
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Table of Contents

Introduction 4

Chronology 8

Design and Development 10

Technical Specifications 21

The Strategic Situation 35

The Combatants 41

Combat 53

Statistics and Analysis 69

Aftermath 76

Further Reading 79

Index 80

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