The Albatros D.III was developed in 1916 from the Albatros D.II. The "one and a half" wing construction of the successful Nieuport fighter was adopted for this new fighter. The lower wing was narrower than the upper wing.
First flight, with a Mercedes D.II engine, rated 160 hp, was in August 1916.
The first examples were delivered in December 1916.
Soon problems with the lower wing occurred. It tended to twist and break.
During February 1917 a modification of the lower wing was adopted and those aircraft already operational were sent back to the factory for modification.
Further the radiator was added straight above the pilot on the upper wing. The pilot was sprayed with coolant when the radiator was shot leak, so the radiator was moved to the right to solve this problem.
Albatros built about 500 examples in their own factory at Johannistal. During spring 1917 the new Albatros D.V entered production, so the production of the Albatros D.II was moved to OAW, Ostdeutsche Albatros Werke.
OAW received five orders to built 840 D.IIIs. The OAW built D.III differed from the original machine in the enlarged rounded rudder.
Autumn 1916 the Oesterreichische Flugzeugfabrik AG (Oeffag) received a license to built the Algbatros D.III.
Oeffag built three versions of the D.III, series 53.2, 153 and 253. These differed from each other in the type of engine, an Austroe-Daimler rated 185 hp, 200 hp or 225 hp respectively.
These more powerful engines gave the Oeffag D.III a much better performance than the original aircraft. The spinner was often removed, later Oeffag introduced an new, more rounded nose.
The Oeffag aircraft were armed with two 8 mm (.315 in) Schwarzlose machine-guns, which were less reliable than the original LMG machine-guns. Further the lower wings had thicker ribs and flanges, so the problems with the lower wings were solved.
Oeffag built about 526 examples.
|Length:||7,33 m||Wingspan:||9,05 m|
|Height:||2,98 m||Wing area:||20,5 m2|
|Empty weight:||661 kg||Max. start weight:||955 kg|
|Max. speed:||165 km/u||Rate of climb:||4 min to 1000 m|
|Range:||300 km||Service ceiling:||5485 m|
|Engine type:||One Mercedes D-III rated 160 hp|
|Armament:||Two fixed, forward firing 7,9 mm Spandau LMG 08/15 machine-guns|