Pfalz D.XII and successor aircraft

The Pfalz D.XII was a German fighter plane of the Pfalz Flugzeugwerke, which originated from the prototype of the Pfalz D.XI, which itself originated from studies of the successful and dreaded French SPAD S.VII aircraft.


Development and construction:

At the beginning of 1918, the German Army Command provided aircraft manufacturers with a study on the successful French fighter pilot SPAD S.VII. This should lead to the manufacturers taking advantage of the aircraft's strengths and building their own equivalent aircraft.

The company Pfalz aircraft works was at that time already with several prototypes in the development, under it the Pfalz D.VIII. With the information provided, the designer E. Eversbusch first developed the prototype Pfalz D.XI. This aircraft was based on the Pfalz D.III with the wing construction of the French aircraft, which was very robust and less prone to breakage. Was installed 180 hp Mercedes D.IIIaü engine, the first flight was then in March 1918. The achievements, however, could not convince the army leadership, so further modifications were needed.

From May 27 to June 21, 1918, the two prototypes with the designation Pfalz D.XII were presented, which this time were equipped with a Mercedes D IIIa and a BMW IIIa engine. The aircraft could not keep up with the performance of the competing Fokker D.VII, but after the well-known pilot Ernst Udet and the state of Bavaria had spoken out in favor of the aircraft, the company was commissioned to build it.

Even while production began, other variants of the aircraft were already presented. The Pfalz XIV had a 200 hp Benz Bz.IVü engine, an extended wing with wider wingspan and extended ailerons. However, since there were hardly any improvements compared to the Pfalz D.XII and the engines were needed for the reconnaissance aircraft, this aircraft did not go into production.

The shortly before the end of the war yet presented Pfalz D.XV had a 185 hp BMW IIIa engine and resembled, except for the N-shaped struts below the trunk of the D.XII. The plane had some improvements, but because of the ceasefire negotiations, this was also no longer built.


Pfalz D.XII


Test pilot Otto August in a Pfalz D.XII


A Pfalz D.XII captured by Canada


Pfalz D.XIV


Pfalz D.XV




Use in the First World War:

From July 1918, the first Pfalz D.XII were used on the Western Front. These were mainly introduced in mixed Jagdstaffeln, only on quiet sections were taken only these aircraft.

Although the Pfalz D.XII was superior to experienced Fokker D.VII pilots, many pilots were more likely to use the Fokker aircraft.

After the war, some aircraft were included in the Polish Air Force, which used them in the war against Russia. Around 175 aircraft were also handed over to the victorious powers, who then extensively tested them. Conservative specimens are now in the National Air and Space Museum, the Seattle Museum of Flight, the Musée de l'Air and the Espace in Paris and the Australian War Memorial in Canberra.




Technical specifications:

Designation: Pfalz D.XII
Country: German Empire
Typ: Fighter plane
Length: 6,35 meters
Span: 9 meters
Height: 2,7 meters
Mass: 717kg empty
Crew: Max. 1
Engine: Water cooled inline engine Mercedes D IIIaü 160 hp
Maximum speed: 180 km/h
Reach: 370 kilometers
Armament: 2 x synchronized machine guns 7,92 mm LMG 08/15






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!






This post is also available in: Deutsch (German) Français (French) Italiano (Italian) 简体中文 (Chinese (Simplified)) Русский (Russian) Español (Spanish) العربية (Arabic)

Comments are closed.

error: Content is protected !!