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Aviatik B.I / B.II / B.III



 On the outbreak of the First World War, the company moved from Miffilhausen, which was near the Western Front, to Freiburg im Breisgau, on the other side of the Rhine. Here the B.I was designed, and flown in late 1914 (probably in November). A two-seat biplane, it was powered by a 100-hp Mercedes D.1 six-cylinder water-cooled engine. A small series was built for the Imperial Air Service, supplementing the pre-war aircraft of similar design, one of which became the first aircraft to be shot down in air combat, on October 5, 1914.

The design of the B.I was basic for the time, of a biplane nature and utilizing a crew of two to handle piloting and observation duty. The crew sat in tandem, though the observer was kept in the front portion of the fuselage with the pilot behind him. In theory, this would have afforded the observer a pretty good view of the front forward facing though it would handicap the pilot by being seated further back than was the norm (the engine was fitted before both seats, pushing the pilot's overall perspective rearwards even more).

The B.I was conceived of from an original racing biplane design appearing in 1913. This was a pivotal undertaking for the Automobil und Aviatikwerke bureau as their previous designs were nothing more than copied French designs. Nonetheless, the Aviatik B.I served during the war up until early 1916.

During the winter of 1914-15 the company's Austro-Hungarian subsidiary, Oster-reichisch-Ungarisch Flugzeugfabrik Aviatik of Vienna, designed and went into production with a developed version, the B.II. Powered by a 120-hp Austro-Daimler, this differed mainly from the B.I in having angular elevators and rudder with large horn balances; it could also carry two 10-kg (22-lb) bombs, but guns were not originally fitted. Limited production, designated Serie 32, was undertaken for the Austro-Hungarian Flying Service, and from about April 1915 the B.II was an observation machine on the Russian Front.


B.II Series 32


In the spring of 1915 produc-tion switched to the more powerful B.III, with a 160-hp Austro-Daimler with the radiator repositioned above the cylinders. The wings were larger, with swept-back tips, and pilot and observer sat in a single large cockpit, the observer having a rifle or often a 7.92-mm Schwarzlose machine-gun either on an infantry tripod or a spigot mounting on the upper longerons. The B.III had a sluggish response to control, so production reverted to the Serie 34, which was virtually a B.II with the 160-hp engine (but B.II side radiator) and machine-gun; most Serie 33 (B.III) and Serie 34 had racks for three 10-kg bombs. Hundreds were delivered, but by 1916 they were all being relegated to training.




Aviatik B.I
Engine: 1 x Mercedes 6-cylinder, 100hp.
Length: 26.15ft (7.97m) (small variations according to sub-type)
Wingspan: 45 ft 11 in (13.97m)
Height: 10.83ft (3.30m)
Maximum Speed: 62mph (100kmh; 54kts)
Service Ceiling: 15,000ft (4,572m)
Accommodation: 2
Maximum Take-Off Weight: 2,399lbs (1,088kg)

Aviatik B.II
Length: 26.15ft (7.97m)
Wingspan: 45.83ft (13.97m)
Gross weight (B.II) 870 kg (1918 lb)
Maximum speed: 110 km/h (68 mph) approx

Aviatik B.III
Length: 26.15ft (7.97m)
Wingspan: 45.83ft (13.97m)
Maximum speed: 110 km/h (68 mph) approx



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