I’ve been a bit busy as of late and have not posted on this blog for a while. I hope to back soon but in the meantime I hope my readers will enjoy this guest blog from my friend Paul, a bit of an authority on WW1 airplanes. Enjoy!
An often overlooked theater in WWI was the Austro-Italian front. Often miss-identified as a German Albatros D III is this Austro-Hungarian variant, the Oeffag (Albatros) D III. This replica was built from the ground up and is photo chronicled at: http://s306.photobucket.com/user/kolomay/library/?sort=3&page=1
The following press release is taken from the Aerodrome forum, Fight in the Skies Society:
Schleißheim (DE) 11th April 2012, Koloman Mayrhofer and Eberhard Fritsch announced that yesterday in the late morning, after a 94-years-long break, a WWI designed Albatross fighter has flown again.
On the Schleißheim aerodrome (Munchen, DE) the OEFFAG Albatross D.III s/n 253.24 replica produced by the two friends, started the test flight operations.
“We’re very happy we reached our goal of making the plane flying” says Koloman Mayrhofer “especially because the replica is historically accurate and it’s fitted with and original six in line cylinders Austro Daimler engine, produced in 1917!”
“We would like to thank all the people involved in the project” continued Mayrhofer “without their passion and devotion, this 20-years-long journey wouldn´t have reached its natural end”.
The text pilot Roger Louis “Tex” Texier, after all the pre-flight inspection controls were done by his C.S. Francis DePenne, performed two flights over the day and afterward declared: “together with Mayrhofer we scheduled to use the first flights just to gain confidence with the aircraft characteristics, but” continued the well experienced test pilot “already on the second flight I felt so connected to the aircraft that I couldn’t help by doing some acrobatics manoeuvres”. These manoeuvres included a series of touch-and-go, a stall, some close turnings and a Immelmann, that aroused the enthusiasm of the crowd on the ground.
The pilot also gave his first impressions: “the Albatross it’s really different from all the other WWI aircrafts I was able to flight: the tail surfaces are extremely sensible unlike the ailerons; the powerful engine grant good acceleration and climbing characteristics…. A real race horse!”.
As the flight program developed, despite bad weather conditions, it was possible to achieve a total of nearly 3 hours of flight by the end of the week.
The flight test activities of the aircraft are carried under the experimental certification of the LBA (German NAA) supervision, and are scheduled to last until 22nd of July.
The aircraft, serial number 253.24, is shown above as it appeared in 1918. A personal aircraft of Oblt. Franz Rudorfer (11 v.), also used by Zgsf.Eugen Bonsch and Oblt.Benno Fiala-3rd highest scoring Austo-Hungarian ace with 28 victories.