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Aviatik D.I — the rare Berg Scout

27 August 2014

Aviatik D.I — the rare Berg Scout

Aviatik D.I — photo by Joseph May

Aviatik D.I on exhibit on the upper floor of the Personal Courage Wing at the Museum of Flight — photo by Joseph May

The Aviatik D.I sits in the Personal Courage Wing of the Museum of Flight and, like the Caproni Ca.20 which is also in the same display area, is a rare surviving example of as World War I fighter aircraft. Designed by Julius von Berg as fighter in Austrio-Hungary— explaining why it was more commonly known as the “Berg Scout” — the Aviatik D.I is the first Austrian fighter aircraft. It was especially reputed to possess excellent climbing ability with its 200 hp / ~150kN Austro-Daimler six cylinder in-line engine designed by Ferdinand Porsche (yes, the person who founded the Porsche car company). The fighter weighed 1350 pounds / 610kg empty and was a formidable aircraft which had 2½ hours flight endurance, a maximum level speed of 115 mph /185kph and an operational ceiling of 20,200 feet / 6150 meters. Five companies manufactured this aircraft type with this specific aircraft produced by the Thone and Viala company of Vienna.

The restoration of this Aviatik is quite a story beginning with its rescue by Art Williams and subsequent restoration after acquisition by famed restorer Doug Champlin. Famed for original restoration to flight condition Chaplin did no less with this Aviatik D.I — including the complicated hand-built radiator as well as the rare pair of 8mm caliber Schwarzlose aircraft machine guns (the fighter’s primary armament).

Aviatik D.I cockpit — Museum of Flight photo

The Aviatik D.I cockpit where both of the Schwarzlose machine guns are plain to see as is the double grip control column — Museum of Flight photo

Aviatik D.I — photo by Joseph May

Aviatik D.I’s right profile — photo by Joseph May

Aviatik D.I — photo by Joseph May

A common view of the Aviatik D.I as seen by ground crew — photo by Joseph May

Aviatik D.I — photo by Joseph May

Aviatik D.I’s left profile view — photo by Joseph May

Aviatik D.I — photo by Joseph May

The Aviatik D.I’s engine section with one of the Schwarzlose machine guns in view just forward of the cockpit — photo by Joseph May

Aviatik D.I — photo by Joseph May

Closer view of the Aviatik D.I’s Porche designed Austro-Daimler in-line engine — photo by Joseph May

The review of the Museum of Flight can be read here 🙂

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. shortfinals permalink
    27 August 2014 07:00

    A rare bird indeed, Joe! Yes I had heard of this one (they tangled with RFC-flown Camels on the Italian front). The Aviatiks were let down by the relatively poor performance of their Schwarzlose machine guns – not one of the better machine guns of WW1,

    • travelforaircraft permalink*
      27 August 2014 15:56

      You win the game Ross 🙂 I agree regarding the Schwarzlose machine guns and kudos to the restorers for including them in this rare restoration 🙂

  2. 27 August 2014 08:22

    I wonder, looking at it, how difficult it must have been to fire one of those guns at the time with the obvious need to hold on to the grips while doing so; as off-centered as they seem to be in the picture. Read the additional info from the museum…it’s obviously another work of art!..craftsmanship…that radiator is exquisite…if a machine of war can be termed so!…but I’m in love with the Warthog..so I’m not a good judge of same! 🙂
    That museum is unbelievable!..wow!

    • travelforaircraft permalink*
      27 August 2014 15:57

      Perhaps the machine gun triggers were linked with a bar or other device?

  3. 27 August 2014 08:28

    Would you happen to know if that device on top of the radiator is? Am assuming radiator cap, but wondered because of it’s shape if it served any other purpose as it seems somewhat decorative/ornamental?

    • travelforaircraft permalink*
      27 August 2014 15:58

      I don’t really know. It stands tall so it may be the radiator fill access and the cylinder seems large for decoration so maybe it was a temp gauge of some type?

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