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Dutch Modelling and Aviation

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In Memoriam

Klaas Willem Jonker
(Wilko)
† April 30, 2018

On Monday 30 April 2018, Wilko Jonker died after a long illness at the age of 58. He leaves behind a wife and two children. The Dutch military aviation and plastic modeling were his hobby and on this website he shared all the knowledge he has collected over the years. His hobby has been able to distract him from the persistent disease in his body until the last week of his life. The contacts with other hobbyists were a major support for him.

This website will be maintained by different people for as long as possible, so that other enthusiasts can continue to benefit from extensive content.

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Sunday, 17 November 2019 23:31

Pfalz D.IIIa

History

Pfalz Flugzeugwerke had only experience in license building of e.g. 20 Roland D.I and 200 Roland D.II fighters, when it started to develop the Pfalz D.III

November 1916 Rudolph Gehringer a designer of Flugzeugbau Friedrichshafen GmbH was hired. He designed Pfalz D.III, which was released in April 1917. The aircraft had a plywood monocoque fuselage, expensive and labour intensive to produce, but a smooth and strong construction.

IDFLieg ordered to end the production of the Roland D.II and to built the rest of the order of 70 aircraft as Pfalz D.III. After extensive tests several modifications were added, such as enlarged rudder and balanced ailerons.

A second order for 300 aircraft was received in June 1917.

The aircraft proofed to be better than the Roland D.III, but less than the Albatros D.III and D.V. Complaints were the weak engine, heavy controls, low speed and low rate of climb.  Further the armament was covered in the fuselage, so the pilot was hardly able to fix problems with the guns. Advantage was the strength of the aircraft.

The Pfalz D.IIIa introduced some improvements. The armament was placed more upwards, the horizontal stabilizer was enlarged, the wings of the lower wing were clipped and it was equipped with a more powerful Mercedes D.III. Pfalz built 260 examples of the D.III and 750 examples of the Pfalz D.IIIa.

 

Technical information
Dimensions:
Length: 7,1 m Wingspan: 9,4 m
Height: 2,67 m Wing area: 22,17 m2
Weights:
Empty weight: 725 kg Max. start weight: 905 kg
Performances:
Max. speed: 185 km/hr Climbing speed: 3,25 min to 1000 m
Cruising speed: - km/hr    
Range: 2,5 hour Service ceiling: 5180 m
Miscellaneous:
Engine type: One Mercedes D-IIIa rated 180 hp
Crew: One aviator
Armament: Two fixed, forward firing 7,9 mm Spandau LMG 08/15 machine guns