Albatros

The Albatros Flugzeugwerke was founded in 1909 and is noted mainly for the fighter and reconnaissance aircraft it produced for the German military during the First World War.  The company survived until 1931, producing trainer and general purpose aircraft, when it merged with Focke-Wulf.

During World War I, Albatros was noted for its clean, aesthetically appealing and efficient use of wood monocoque construction to produce smooth, strong fuselages.  Some of its fighters were hampered, however, by Albatros’s use of the sesquiplane layout, with a lower wing much smaller than the upper one, and especially the inadequate strength provided by this format as implemented by Albatros.  During the war, Albatros was able to maintain supremacy over Fokker as a German aircraft producer by using its political connections to monopolize the supply of excellent Mercedes-Benz aircraft engines until Fokker finally secured the right to use such engines in its D.VII at the end of the war.  Albatros never succeeded in producing a fighter of that caliber.

A few original Albatros aircraft survive.  The monocoque construction makes it difficult to build replicas, but some builders have met this challenge, and a few replica Albatros fighters are flying worldwide.

D.V