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World War One: Pfalz D.III

This rare Pfalz D.III replica was one of the stars of the classic 1966 motion picture 'The Blue Max', and is shown here in the original movie colour scheme (including the spurious 'seven-colour' lozenge scheme used in the movie).This aircraft was actualy flown by the actor George Peppard, during filming of the motion picture.

 

Pfalz D.III
Photo Copyright © 2003 Chris Boyce

The Pfalz D.III began to appear at the front in August 1917, when the first German units were equipped with the type.Along with its Albatros (D.V) and Fokker (D.VII) contemporaries, this was one of the types that helped improve the German Air Force's fortunes at a time when the Aillies has been enjoy superiority in the air.

Powered by a 160hp Mercedes engine, the Pfalz D.III was found to be a heavier aircraft than the Fokker and Albatros types, and would often lose height during engagements with enemy aircraft. However, the type was structurally very sound, and did not suffer some of the failures that others (such as the Albtaros D.V's) suffered.

This structural integrity also helped to ensure the type was a succesful diving fighter -- being a heavy aircraft it gained speeed rapidly in a dive, and was used with considerable effect to attack and destroy Allied observation balloons.

 

Pfalz D.III
Photo Copyright © 2003 Chris Boyce

 

 


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