Amercom GW1101 German Albatros D.V Fighter - Uffz. Paul Baumer, Jagdstaffel 5, June 1917 (1:72 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.IIIaü.
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 1:72 scale replica of a German Albatros DV fighter piloted by Uffz. Paul Baumer, attached to Jagdstaffel 5, during June 1917.
Length: 4 inches
Wingspan: 5 inches
Release Date: September 2013
Historical Account: "All Quiet on the Western Front" - Paul Baumer (May 11th, 1896 - July 15th, 1927) was a German fighter ace in the First World War. Baumer learned to fly before the war but joined the infantry and was wounded in 1915. He transferred to the air service as a dental assistant before being accepted for military pilot training. In 1917 he gained experience on two-seaters with FA7 before acceptance as a noncommissioned fighter pilot.
Baumer joined Jagdstaffel 5 in June 1917, scoring three victories in July before going to the elite Jasta Boelcke.
Baumer claimed heavily, reaching 18 victories by year end. He was commissioned in April 1918 and, with arrival of the Fokker D.VII he claimed even more success, including 16 in September. Nicknamed 'The Iron Eagle' and with a personal emblem of an Edelweiss on his aircraft. He was one of the few pilots who saved their life by parachute when he was shot down in flames in September. He received the
Pour le Merite shortly before the armistice. He was credited with 43 victories, ranking ninth among German aces.
Baumer became a dentist and reportedly one of his patients, Erich Maria Remarque, used Baumer's name for the protagonist of his antiwar novel All Quiet on the Western Front.
Baumer died at the age of 31 from injuries sustained in an air crash at Copenhagen in 1927.