About This ContentThe history of the Albatros D.III started in the spring of 1916 when the Imperial German Air Force ordered several factories to design a new single seater biplane capable of competing with the new Allied designs in order to gain air superiority over the Western Front. New aircraft were desperately needed and Albatros presented the Albatros D.I. powered by the 160HP Mercedes D.III inline engine and heavily armed with twin Spandau machine guns. The Albatros quickly earned the reputation of a very good scout. Subsequently, Albatros Werke soon released another version, the Albatros D.II, which had a smaller gap between the upper and lower wing.
In the autumn of 1916, Oesterreichische Flugzeugfabrik AG (Oeffag) obtained a licence to start manufacturing these fighters. The Oeffag D.II’s and D.III’s appeared on the Italian Front in June 1917 after being certified by the Fliegerarsenal only a month before. Peak service was in November 1917, with 446 D.IIIs on the Western Front.
The Bauart 253 (Series 253) was introduced in May 1918. There were 230 aircraft ordered, but only 201 were delivered before the Armistice. The Oeffag Ba.253 was the final version of the successful series. It was said to be the best Austro-Hungarian fighter aircraft of the time, boasting a reasonable level speed close to 200 kph (120mph) as well as an impressive climb ratio. The Oef Ba.253 could reach 5000 meters in 20 minutes, while the 153 series reached the same in 3. Sadly, no Oeffag-built Albatros survived to the present times, however two Oeffag Ba.253 replicas have been constructed which use many original parts, such as gauges and Austro-Daimler engines.
So this model is based off of a pretty interesting aircraft, the D.iii. This plane is basically just the D.ii except for stealing the idea of a smaller lower wing on a different chord line, from the French Nieuport's . It was a cool concept, and made the plane a breeze to pilot, but the lower wing was getting way too stressed. Manfred von Richthofen scored quite a few kills in this plane.
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