Corgi AA37802 German Albatros D.V Fighter - Lt. Friedrich Ritter von Roth, Jasta 23B, 1918 (1:48 Scale)
"When you march into France, let the last man on the right brush the Channel with his sleeve."
- General Alfred von Schlieffen, referring to the Schlieffen Plan just prior to his death in 1913
The Albatros D.V was a German fighter airplane used during World War I. In April 1917, Albatros received an order from the Idflieg (Inspektion der Fliegertruppen) for an improved version of the D.III. The resulting D.V featured a new fuselage with an elliptical cross-section. The flat fuselage sides of the D.III were eliminated. The D.V also used the enlarged rudder of the Ostdeutsche Albatros Werke (OAW) D.III. The upper wing was repositioned 4 inches closer to the fuselage, while the lower wings attached to the fuselage without a fairing. The wings themselves were similar to those of the standard D.III, except for a revised linkage of the aileron cables. Early examples of the D.V featured a large headrest, which was typically removed by pilots because it obstructed the field of view. Aircraft deployed in Palestine used two wing radiators to cope with the warmer climate.
The D.V entered service in May 1917 and, like the preceding D.III, immediately began experiencing structural failures of the lower wing. Indeed, anecdotal evidence suggests that the D.V was even more prone to wing failures than the D.III. Furthermore, the D.V offered very little improvement in performance. This caused considerable dismay among frontline pilots. Manfred von Richthofen denounced the D.V as "obsolete" and "ridiculously inferior" to Allied scouts such as the Camel and S.E.5a. Nevertheless, 400 D.Vs were ordered in May and 300 more in July.
In October 1917, production switched to the D.Va, which reverted to the D.III's aileron cable linkage to provide a more positive control response. The wings of the D.III and D.Va were in fact interchangeable. In an effort to resolve continuing problems with wing flutter, the D.Va also featured a metal sleeve to strengthen the lower main spar, as well as a small brace connecting the interplane struts to the leading edge of the lower wing. These modifications increased weight while failing to cure the flutter problem.
While most D.V aircraft were equipped with the 170 hp Mercedes D.IIIa, late D.V and almost all D.Va aircraft used the high-compression 180 hp Mercedes D.IIIa.
The D.Va was the final development of the Albatros D.I family, and the last Albatros fighter to see operational service during World War I. Despite its well-known shortcomings and general obsolescence, Albatros and OAW produced approximately 900 D.V and 1,612 D.Va aircraft. Service numbers peaked in May 1918; 131 D.V aircraft and 928 D.Va were on the Western Front at that time. Numbers declined as production ended and the superlative Fokker D.VII entered service, but the D.Va remained in widespread use until the Armistice.
Pictured here is a 1:48 scale replica of a German Albatros DV fighter piloted by Lt. Friedrich Ritter von Roth of Jasta 23B, during 1918.
Length: 6 inches
Wingspan: 7.5 inches
Release Date: October 2008
Historical Account: "Balloon Busting" - Lt. Friedrich Ritter von Roth was badly wounded while serving with an artillery regiment. He transferred to the German Air Force after recovering from his wounds, but was injured in a flying accident during training. In and out of hospitals for nearly two years, Roth eventually scored his first three victories on January 25th, 1918. On that day, he shot down three enemy balloons in less than 10 minutes. On July 30th, 1918, he scored his 17th victory, shooting down a Bristol fighter flown by Irish ace John Cowell.
Roth was wounded in action on October 14th, 1918. By the end of the war, he was Germany's highest scoring balloon buster. Of his 28 confirmed victories, 20 of them were balloons. Extremely depressed that Germany had lost the war, Roth later committed suicide. His Knight's Cross of the Military Order of Max-Joseph was posthumously awarded in 1919. His Albatross DV was finished in yellow varnished plywood, with all-metal cowling panels, wheel covers and struts being painted grey and spinner white.