Roden Aircraft 1/72 Albatros D III Oeffag s153 (Early) German BiPlane Fighter Kit
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The first license-built versions of the Albatros fighter produced in Austria-Hungary by the Oeffag plant used the185 h.p. Austro-Daimler engine. The appearance of the more powerful 200 h.p. engine and its successful testing in a series 53 airframe showed improvements in all main technical data. Construction of wings and airframe was unchanged, but the new aircraft received the official designation D.III (Oeffag) series 153. The first order was placed for 111 planes, but this quantity was quickly increased to 281 aircraft. Virtually identical at first to the series 53 aircraft, 153 series Oeffags soon obtained differences: spinners on most of the aircraft of the first batch (153.01-153.111) were removed because they could fly off in time of flight. After the 112th aircraft, series 153 planes were built with a rounded nose (without any spinner). This improvement increased maximum speed by 15 km/h. As previously, Schwarzlose machine guns were installed under the upper panel, firing through blast tubes mounted alongside the engine. An unreliable synchronization system as well as slower-rate incompletely cowled machine guns demanded a new type of installation. Some D.III (Oeffag) series 153 had a gun installation at eye level but this improvement was not adopted on all series 153 aircraft.
Excellent flight characteristics, easy control, and ease of maintenance on the ground soon made the D.III (Oeffag) series 153 a favorite among pilots. The most successful Austria-Hungarian aces gained many victories flying the D.III. Production ended in June 1918, when the more improved D.III series 253 appeared. Many aircraft flew until the last days of the Great War and even after the end of war many D.III series 153 machines were still in service in Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Poland, Ukraine and some other countries.