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World War One: Halberstadt D.IV

The D.IV was the final single-seat fighter model produced by the Halberstadter Flugzeug-Werke in 1917. The Halberstadt D.I and D.II models were originally produced in 1916, and while they were maneuverable and enjoyed a period of superiority over the available Allied aircraft of the time, they were reported to be somewhat underpowered.


The D.II was eventually fitted with a larger 120hp Argus As II engine, and after a few additional minor modifications was renamed the D.III. This type was used through-out 1917, but as numbers of the better performing Albatross fighters became available to frontline units, the Halberstadts' were withdrawn and relegated to a training role.

D.IVThe D.IV was Halberstadts' attempt to improve the design, with a larger engine, and twin machine-guns, in order to compete with the Albatrosses.

A report from early 1917 illustrates that this was not successful:

The model IV bears the same classic design of the earlier single seat Halberstadts in this series. In keeping earlier elements within the design, the Halberstadt D-IV has fallen behind the times and can no longer compete with the others that have advanced passed this technology. This model has been given a new engine of 150 H.P. That is 30 more than the D-III, but also too little and too late.

Approximately 110 Halberstadt D.II and D.III's were built during 1916 and 1917, but only three D.IV's were produced.

After the failure of the D.IV to gain acceptance, in mid-1917 Halberstadt went on to produce the two-seat Halberstadt CL.II, based on their earlier single-seat designs. A report from mid-1917 shows that this aircraft was received much more favourably:

The production orders have been placed within just days of it passing the acceptance tests. This new model of aircraft is destined to place the Halberstadt Flugzeugwerk company close to the top once again. This was no easy task considering the dismal showing of the model D.IV fighter that just preceded it. This aircraft is a combination of the successful multipurpose C-class with qualities of the all fighter D-class mixed in. The CL.II is not a fighter, but is reported to handle like one. The hope is that this will allow the rear seat gunner to engage an enemy fighter on more equal terms. The first aircraft are due to arrive at the front in August (1917).





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