by: Stephen T. Lawson [ ]
Originally published on:
Their D.I was the first armed single seater built by Albatros of their own design. As a power plant it used the Mercedes D.III 160hp inline engine. Considered the cat's pajamas for 1915. The main problem seemed to be the side mounted radiators created drag and the high location of the top wing limited the pilot's upward vision.
The kitGavia has used the plastic sprues found in Eduard's Albatros D.II kits (#8080, # 8081 & 8082) and provided a smaller third sprue that has the center cabane trestle and longer interplane struts found on the D.I type. All of the D.I type had the "ear" radiators, so there are several parts that Gavia recommends you discard.
The instructions are compiled in a 12 page slick paper booklet. These are an improvement over those found in the earlier Gavia Pfalz E.I kit. The PE is discussed with the appropriate step rather than being in a separate section in the back of the booklet. Note to all readers this kit is only found on the Eduard site. Gavia does not show it listed on theirs.
Plastic parts = 73 pieces.
Photoetch = 41 pieces.
No masks are included with this kit.
Decal optionsThere are markings for 4 aircraft:
D.435/16 thought to be flown by Ltn. Spitzhoff of Jasta 5 originally. Here with this altered paint scheme it is believed to be represented later in its career at a training unit.
D.446/16 represents a front line machine but the unit is unknown. Peter Grosz sent me the images of this original machine many years ago. Even he was not sure what unit it served with.
D391/16 represents a Jasta 2 machine flown by Ltn. Karl Heinrich Otto Büttner which was captured on 16 Nov. 1916.
D.381/16 - 392/16 flown by the Crown Prinz of Prussia. Original images of this machine show the early type water header tank. First flown by Ltn. Diether - Collin of Jasta 2, he claimed 13 victories on this machine. Later it was "given over" to the Crown Prince Friedrich Karl von Prussen who served as deputy commander of Flieger Abteilung (A258). The Prince attached himself to Jasta 2 and flew patrols with them. He was brought down on 21 March 1917 flying this very aircraft. First WIA, became a POW and DOW on 6 April 1917. He had been shot in the back while trying to escape at the crash scene.
The reason he flew this machine is unclear as it had been replaced by the improved D.III types. Photo images of this machine both in service and in captivity verify the over all light (Brunswick?) green.
The kit is basically the Alb. D.II kit with replacement struts.
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