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Albatros C.I
Role Reconnaissance aircraft
Manufacturer Albatros Flugzeugwerke
Introduced 1915
Retired 1917[1]
Primary users Luftstreitkräfte
Polish Air Force
Lithuanian Air Force
Developed from Albatros B.II
Variants Albatros C.III

The Albatros C.I was the first of the successful C-series of two-seat general-purpose biplanes built by Albatros Flugzeugwerke during World War I. Based on the unarmed Albatros B.II, the C.I reversed the pilot and observer seating so that the observer occupied the rear cockpit which was fitted with a ring-mounted 7.92 mm (.312 in) Parabellum MG14 machine gun.


Design and development

When the C.I first appeared in early 1915, its good handling and powerful 110 kW (150 hp) Benz Bz.III engine gave it an edge over most Allied aircraft.[2] During development of the type, successively more powerful engines were fitted, culminating in the 130 kW (180 hp) Argus As III which allowed the final version of the C.Ia to achieve 140 km/h (87 mph) at sea level with an operational ceiling of 3,000 m (9,840 ft).[1] A dual-control variant, designated the C.Ib, was built as a trainer aircraft by Mercur Flugzeugbau. Improvements to the C.I resulted in the Albatros C.III which became the most prolific of the Albatros C-types.

Operational history

While the C.I was operated mainly in a reconnaissance and observation role, it also had some success as an early fighter aircraft - Oswald Boelcke claimed his first victory while flying a C.I with Lt. von Wühlisch as the gunner. Germany's most famous World War I aviator, Manfred von Richthofen, also began his career as an observer in the C.I on the Eastern Front.


Two-seat reconnaissance aircraft. First production version.
Improved version powered by more powerful Argus As III engine.
Dual-control training version built by Mercur Flugzeugbau.
Experimenal aircraft. One built.


 German Empire

Specifications (C.I)

General characteristics

  • Crew: two, pilot and observer
  • Length: 7.85 m (25 ft 9 in)
  • Wingspan: 12.9 m (42 ft 4 in)
  • Height: 3.14 m (10 ft 4 in)
  • Loaded weight: 1,190 kg (2,620 lb)
  • Powerplant:Benz Bz.III liquid-cooled inline engine, 112 kW (150 hp)



See also

Related development Albatros B.II - Albatros C.III
Comparable aircraft Royal Aircraft Factory B.E.2 - Rumpler C.I

Related lists


  1. ^ a b Cowin, H.W. German and Austrian Aviation of World War I
  2. ^ van Wyngarden, G. Early German Aces


  • Cowin, H.W. German and Austrian Aviation of World War I. Osprey Publishing Ltd, 2000 ISBN 1-841-76069-2
  • van Wyngarden, G (2006). Early German Aces of World War I, Osprey Publishing Ltd. ISBN 1-841-76997-5

External links



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