Aviatik (Berg) D.I Fighter
The Aviatik (Berg) D.I. fighter first flew on October 16, 1916 and was designed as a replacement for the Hansa-Brandenburg D.I fighters. Unfortunately the prototype crashed killing the pilot. After some modifications and testing the D.I. began to enter service making it the first Austrian-Hungarian designed and built fighter. The D.I. was a single engine, single seat fighter biplane that was arranged in the conventional biplane arrangement. Wings were equal span with parallel struts and single bays. The engine was fitted to the extreme forward portion of the fuselage and powered a two blade propeller. It was a decent combat aircraft with excellent flying characteristics and maneuverability, good speed and could reach higher altitudes than most of its opponents. However, there were some problems with the D.I. There were structural deficiencies and the machine guns were installed beyond the reach of the pilot so that in case of a jam, the pilot was not able to un-jam them. Later the guns were moved back and the airframe was strengthened. The engine also had a tendency to overheat. Most pilots simply removed the engine covers to fix the problem. Austro-Hungarian units used the D.I widely until the end of World War I on Eastern, Italian and Balkan fronts. It was mostly used for reconnaissance escort and as a supplement to the Albatros D.III as a fighter. It continued to be used until the early 1920's. D.I had a maximum speed of 115 mph, a ceiling of 20,177 ft and carried two 8 mm Schwarzlose machineguns. This model shows an Aviatik (Berg) D.I. flown by Oberleutnant Frank Linke-Crawford commander of flieger kompanie 60/j in July 1918. Linke-Crawford was an ace with 14 victories when he was killed in combat on July 30, 1918.