The Albatros D.III was a biplane fighter aircraft used by the Imperial German Army Air Service (Luftstreitkräfte) during World War I. A modified license model was built by Oeffag for the Austro-Hungarian Air Service (Luftfahrtruppen).
The D.III was flown by many top German aces, including Wilhelm Frankl, Erich Löwenhardt, Manfred von Richthofen, Karl Emil Schäfer, Ernst Udet, and Kurt Wolff, and Austro-Hungarian ones, like Godwin von Brumowski. It was the preeminent fighter during the period of German aerial dominance known as “Bloody April” in 1917.
Albatros D.III was piloted by Hauptmann Benno Fiala von Fernbrugg from an old Austrian aristocratic family who joined the air force one day before the declaration of war with Serbia.
He served first as an observer but, after being wounded in the summer of 1916, he decided to start pilot training in October. He started his fighter pilot career in June 1917 and became a commander of Flik 51J quite fast.
He achieved 28 confirmed kills, four of them on May 1st, 1918, and another three on June 20th, 1918. He ended the war as a staff officer in the high command of the aviation corps.
After the war, he finished his engineering degree and worked for Junkers company for some time. In 1927 he quickly became an airline director in Poland but later moved to Japan as a representative of Junkers to the Mitsubishi company to help them to start construction of a full metal aircraft.
later he returned to Austria and served there during WWII as an airfield commander near Linz. Today, Aigen im Ennstal airbase (east of Aigen im Ennstal, Steiermark, Austria) of the Austrian Air Force is named after him.
About the aircraft: The Albatros D.III was one of the best German fighters (of the time), responsible, for example, for “Bloody April” in 1917 and was license-produced later by OEFFAG in Austro-Hungary with several modifications.
Series 53., 153., and 253. were designed with gradually more powerful Austro-Daimler engines. They have also eliminated the propeller spinner, as it was often badly balanced and was prone to falling off in flight. During production of the 153 series, they replaced it with a rounded nose which improved aerodynamics and raised top speed by 14 km/h (9mph).
This plane belongs to the early 253 series which have MGs buried in the fuselage. This solution was making it difficult to fix jammed guns during flight so they changed it soon after producing this plane.
I purchased this kit after watching a tutorial about building WWI fighters which I found on David Damek’s Plasmo youtube channel, and I closely followed his steps there. It was really fun to build and not as difficult as it might seem. One of the mistakes I made was about the artificial shadows of wing spars on the bottom surfaces of wings. First I forgot about the spars, painting just the ribs, and later painted two spars instead of one on the lower wing.
Apart from that, I also had problems with wire bracing. I spent a long time working on it and there are several accidental drops of CA glue in a few places where I regret I didn’t use 3D printed tensioners for those wires.
I am now about to start working on Halberstadt CL.IV in Polish service, which also has an unpainted natural wood fuselage where I hope to avoid such mistakes.
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