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Thread: Aircraft Service Dates

  1. #1

    Default Aircraft Service Dates

    I am hoping some members can help with some info.

    I'm looking for the operational service dates (as close to the month as possible) of the following aircraft:

    Friedrichshafen FF.22 German 1914-
    Friedrichshafen FF.29/FF.29a German Nov 14-mid 15
    Gotha WD.1/WD.1a German Aug 14-1915
    Gotha WD.2 German Oct 14-1915
    Hansa-Brandenburg NW/GNW German 1915-1916
    Lohner Type L Flying Boat German 1914-1917
    Lubeck-Travemunde F.2 German 1915-1916
    Lubeck-Travemunde F.4 German 1917-1918
    Rumpler 4B (11/12/13) German Aug 14-1915
    Zeppelin LZ.93 (LZ-63) P-Class

    Albatros B.II A-H 1915-late 16
    Halberstadt B.I/B.II/B.III A-H early 15-
    Hansa-Brandenburg B.I (Type FD) A-H 1914-Jul 16
    Lohner B.VII A-H Aug 15-1917
    Rumpler B.I A-H Sep 14-
    Albatros C.III A-H -
    Aviatik C.I/C.Ia/C.II/C.III A-H Sep 15-
    Lloyd C.V A-H mid 17-Nov 18
    Lohner C.I A-H mid 16-1917
    Oeffag C.I A-H Mid 15-mid 16
    Oeffag C.II A-H Jun 16-mid 17
    Fokker D.III mid 16-
    Friedrichshafen FF.33C/FF.33E/FF.33J A-H -
    Hansa-Brandenburg W.13 A-H 1917-

    I'm hoping a member might have access to "Austro-Hungarian Army Aircraft of World War One [Peter M. Grosz]",
    as the A-H info might be in that book; I can't find a copy in the local library.

  2. #2

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    Hi,
    This isn't aimed at you in particular; it's more of a general commentary. It's convenient to think of service dates in a binary way (start - stop). But a lot of planes had a long lead-up time with only a few in service (due to slow initial production or service trials), a "bulk of service" where they were at their highest numbers, and a long tail where again there were only a few (sometimes used on an obscure front or even as a squadron "hack" to fly around from one place to another but never for combat missions).

    Or most reliable data is on German planes at the front (the Frontbestand counts). The counts for the German Albatros C.I might be a good example:
    • April 1915: 1
    • June 1915: 36
    • Aug 1915: 91
    • Oct 1915: 184
    • Dec 1915: 278
    • Feb 1916: 349
    • Apr 1916: 213
    • Jun 1916: 165
    • Aug 1916: 143
    • Oct 1916: 125
    • Dec 1916: 90
    • Feb 1917: 52
    • Apr 1917: 37
    • Jun 1917: 46
    • Aug 1917: 13
    • Oct 1917: 4
    • Dec 1917: 2
    • Feb 1918: 0
    • Apr 1918: 1
    • Jun 1918: 0
    • Aug 1918: 1


    It's pretty easy to say it first appeared in late spring or early summer of 1915, but where do you draw the line for the stop date? The numbers started decreasing in early Spring 1916, and it fell off rapidly in 1917, but evidently there were a few still kicking around the front lines (probably as hacks) all the way through 1918. It's an arbitrary call to say when it was rare enough not to count as "in service" any longer. And for most planes our data is much less accurate than the numbers above.

    Where I've been able to get service dates I've been adding them to the Wings of Linen WIKI (one plane at a time), including Grosz' Austro-Hungarian book. Examples:
    https://linen.miraheze.org/wiki/Albatros_B.I(Ph)
    https://linen.miraheze.org/wiki/Brandenburg_W.13
    https://linen.miraheze.org/wiki/Fokker_D.III

    For instance the Fokker D.IIIs built by MAG as the "Fokker D.I(MAG) Series 04.4" was so delayed (relative to the German version, which wasn't a great plane either) that only one made it to the front lines in October 1917, by which time it was quite obsolete and promptly retired.

  3. #3

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    Albatros C.III A-H
    According to Windsock data file - first dozen Alb C.III arrived at the front in Dec1915 to replace the C.I as the most numerous C class bet May1916 & Apr1917 number s dropped off rapidly after Jun1917 when it began to be replaced by other more powerful machines.
    The authors also give the rider that available records are incomplete and lists are not comprehensive - a common problem with many aircraft types - that the records have not survived intact and they don't break it down into A-H marks.

    "He is wise who watches"

  4. #4

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ReducedAirFact View Post
    Hi,
    This isn't aimed at you in particular; it's more of a general commentary. It's convenient to think of service dates in a binary way (start - stop). But a lot of planes had a long lead-up time with only a few in service (due to slow initial production or service trials), a "bulk of service" where they were at their highest numbers, and a long tail where again there were only a few (sometimes used on an obscure front or even as a squadron "hack" to fly around from one place to another but never for combat missions).


    It's pretty easy to say it first appeared in late spring or early summer of 1915, but where do you draw the line for the stop date? The numbers started decreasing in early Spring 1916, and it fell off rapidly in 1917, but evidently there were a few still kicking around the front lines (probably as hacks) all the way through 1918. It's an arbitrary call to say when it was rare enough not to count as "in service" any longer. And for most planes our data is much less accurate than the numbers above.
    Thanks Daryl,

    The info from your links certainly helps.

    I agree with what you're saying here...the 'retired' from active service date cannot necessarily be easily deduced; it depends a lot on how you define 'retired'. I am not writing a book or trying to be an authority, this was the evolution of something I started examining and my personal OCD won't let it go until I've completed it as best I can.

    I originally started with the Frontbestand data and it was very helpful to a point.
    For example, from your Albatros C.I example, I would say Apr/May 15 - Sep/Oct 17 would be the "Effective Operational period".
    The C.I may have still been found at the front until the end of the war but was very unlikely to be encountered (and was likely used as a squadron 'hack'/trainer by this point).
    Last edited by Darknight; 09-28-2017 at 19:30.

  5. #5

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    From le Circle Volant (Translated):

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Click image for larger version. 

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    Originally from here: le Préfous Volant - Evolution chronologique
    Mike
    "Flying is learning to throw yourself at the ground and miss" Douglas Adams
    "Wings of Glory won't skin your elbows and knees while practicing." OldGuy59



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