Aviatik C.I and successor aircraft

The Aviatik Automobil- und Flugapparatefabrik, called Aviatik produced from the year 1914 reconnaissance aircraft for the German army. The special feature of the Aviatik C.I was the fact that this aircraft was the first armed reconnaissance aircraft on the German side and thus laid the foundation for further models.


Development and construction:

After the first Allied aircraft with mounted machine guns were used on October 1914 on the Western Front, the German pilots turned to the military leadership and also demanded the arming of their aircraft.

The company Aviatik then mounted on the already used reconnaissance B.I at the front seat a machine gun and shifted the radiator of the engine upwards to allow the shooter a better field of fire. Under the name C.Ia this aircraft was taken up and used by the German army. In the variant C.Ib then the pilot and the observer changed places, so that the pilot now sat in front and the observer in the back seat. The machine gun was now also relocated and the observer was now able to shoot as a shooter backwards and to the sides, whereby the risk of hitting his own engine was significantly reduced.

This principle of pilot and observer / shooter arrangement was then adopted by all other manufacturers and introduced as a standard.


Aviatik C.I



As the Aviatik C.I was merely a temporary solution, succession models were used after the start of production. During the war, the following variants were developed:

Aviatik C.II:
The C.II was basically a C.I, with only a stronger engine installed. There were no other changes with this airplane.


Aviatik C.III:
The C.III was fitted with a modified exhaust system and propeller hood, and the stronger C.II engine replaced with the slightly weaker C.I engine. However, as the wing area was also reduced and a few aerodynamic changes were made, the overall speed could be increased. In addition, the observer got a second machine gun, so that he could shoot both backwards, to the sides and forward without having to swing the whole machine gun.


Aviatik C.V:
For the first time, the synchronized machine gun for the pilot was installed at the C.V. and the pilot's second machine gun was removed. In addition, a 180PS Argus As.III in-line engine was installed to improve performance. Except for a prototype, no other aircraft of this type was built.


Aviatik C.VI:
The C.VI was merely a license replica of the DFW C.V of Deutsche Flugzeug-Werke. Since the German army command gave up an order of 1,000 aircraft, not only Aviatik but also Bayerische Flugzeugwerke AG, Luft-Verkehrs-Gesellschaft A.G. and Halberstädter Flugzeugwerke G.m.b.H. used.


DFW C.V (Aviatik C.VI)



Aviatik C.VIII:
The C.VIII was a aircraft that produced again by the Aviatik company. Here, the 180PS Argus engine was swapped for the more mature 160hp Mercedes D III and made some changes to the structure to improve the pilot's view.


Aviatik C.IX:
At the end of the war, the C.IX was developed, which had a 200hp Benz Bz.IV in-line engine. From this aircraft, however, only three prototypes were built until the production had to be stopped because of the surrender.




Use in the First World War:

The Aviatik reconnaissance aircraft were used throughout the war on all fronts, but especially on the Western Front.

The C.I and C.VI versions were built and used particularly successfully and in large quantities.

In 1916, an aviation aircraft that had fallen into Russian hands served the designer Elysée Alfred Descamps as a model for the Russian aircraft Anatra D.

The only surviving Aviatik aircraft is today in Brussels at the Royal Museum of the Army. This aircraft was forced to land by Belgian forces in 1916 and has survived until today.




Technical specifications:

Designation: Aviatik C.I
Country: German Empire
Typ: Armed reconnaissance aircraft
Length: 7,93 meters
Span: 12,5 meters
Height: 2,95 meters
Mass: 750kg empty
Crew: Max. 2
Engine: Water-cooled six-cylinder inline engine Benz Bz III with 160 PS
Maximum speed: 142 km/h
Reach: 450 kilometers
Armament: 1 machine gun 7,92 mm Parabellum






You can find the right literature here:


Fokker Dr I Aces of World War 1 (Aircraft of the Aces)

Fokker Dr I Aces of World War 1 (Aircraft of the Aces) Paperback – Bargain Price, August 25, 2001

Undoubtedly the most famous fighter type to see service on either side during World War 1, the Fokker Dr I was a revelation when it entered service on the western front in 1917. Manfred von Richthofen’s JG 1 ‘circus’ was the first Jasta to completely re-equip with the new fighter, and in the skilled hands of its numerous aces the Dr I proved a formidable opponent. The Dr I remained in service on the Western Front until replaced by the superior Fokker D VII in May 1918. Just weeks prior to that, however, Germany’s leading ace, the great ‘Red Baron’, had been killed at the controls of a Dr I.

Click here!



Friedrichshafen Aircraft of WWI: A Centennial Perspective on Great War Airplanes (Great War Aviation) (Volume 21)

Friedrichshafen Aircraft of WWI: A Centennial Perspective on Great War Airplanes (Great War Aviation) (Volume 21) Paperback – February 16, 2016

This book describes and illustrates the development of Friedrichshafen aircraft of WWI with text, 540 photos, 18 in color, 37 color profiles, production quantities and serial numbers of aircraft, and aircraft dimensions and performance specifications. In addition, there are 26 official SVK drawings and 11 aircraft are illustrated in scale drawings to 1/48 (4) or 1/72 (7) scales. The book has 312 pages and is of interest to aviation historians, enthusiasts, and modelers alike.

Click here!



German and Austro-Hungarian Aircraft Manufacturers 1908-1918

German and Austro-Hungarian Aircraft Manufacturers 1908-1918 Paperback – December 15, 2010

Much has been written about the British aircraft of the First World War, but little has surfaced about the aircraft of the Axis powers, Germany and Austria. Here, Terry C. Treadwell tells the story of the aircraft from companies such as Fokker, builder of the famous triplane, as fl own by Baron von Richthofen's Flying Circus, AEG, Albatros, Junkers and Hansa. From reconnaissance aircraft to state-of-the-art bombers that could reach London, this is the definitive guide to aircraft of the Axis powers during the First World War. The aircraft are explained in detail and a history of each company is provided, making this an excellent source book for aircraft enthusiasts, model makers and those interested in the air war over the trenches of France and Belgium, as well as further afield in the Italian campaign.

Click here!



The Zeppelin in Combat: A History of the German Naval Airship Division

The Zeppelin in Combat: A History of the German Naval Airship Division Hardcover – January 9, 1997

The standard reference now revised and expanded. Dr. Robinson has opened up his vast photo archives to enhance this new edition of his classic work. Much of the new photographic material is published here for the first time.

Click here!






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