Air Force

ALBATROS B.II


Albatros B.II #5 Albatros B.II #20 Albatros B.II Albatros B.II Albatros B.II

 

Albatros B.II #15, Spilve, May 1920

Source: #5: Abandoned by retreating Germans at Jelgava.
              #20: captured from Germans

Acquired: 1919

Type: 2-seater reconnaissance

Engine: 100 hp Mercedes D.I

Dimensions
Length: 8.6 m
Wing Span: 12.8 m
Height: 3.5 m

Max Speed: 110 km/hr

Range: 650 km

Maximum Ceiling: 2000 m

Known Serial Numbers: 5, 20

Notes

  • July 17, 1926 - A.S.Christine Backman produces two Albatros B.II trainers, built from scratch using the captured German aircraft as templates for the build.
  • #5 (6161/17)
    • Albatros B.II #6161/17 is abandoned at Spilve when the Germans retreat in 1919. It is examined by the Latvians, and their report finds it to be in generally good condition - wings, controls, and propeller all in good shape. The engine had been overheated and required some work. Tyres missing. It would require a small amount of work to make it airworthy. This Albatros eventually became the Aviation School's first aircraft on January 20, 1920.
    • 1920, January 17 - the B.II 6161/17 makes its first flights with Latvian pilots (J.Prieditis & V.Jakubovs)
    • Aircraft is assigned to the aviation school.
    • In 1920 the Albatros flew an impressive 1083 flights totalling 167 hours of student training without a single crash.
    • February 13, 1921 - Forced landing
    • May 26, 1921 - Aircraft nose-stands on landing
    • May 27, 1921 - Aircraft crashes immediately after takeoff
    • August 26, 1921 - Forced landing
    • June 15, 1924 - participated in the Aviation Festival at Spilve, Riga. (This may not be correct, as we have photos of this aircraft being used in the funeral of Edvins Bitte, who died on Feb.25, 1924. Is it possible that the aircraft flew again, after having its wings removed and being used as a funeral carriage?)
    • When no longer airworthy or repairable, fuselage #5 had its wings removed and served as a funeral carriage for airmen.
  • #20 (2545)
    • January 9, 1921 - After rebuild, this aircraft is returned to duty.
    • Aircraft is assigned to the aviation school.
      Date Personnel Duration Notes
      May 11, 1923 p - Putnins
      o - Gulbis
      10 min training flight over aerodrome
      May 12, 1923 p - Putnins
      o - Gulbis
      25 min training flight over aerodrome
      May 16, 1923 p - Putnins
      o - Gulbis
      15 min training flight over aerodrome
      May 17, 1923 p - Putnins
      o - Gulbis
      20 min training flight over aerodrome
      May 19, 1923 p - Putnins
      o - Gulbis
      5 min training flight over aerodrome
      May 19, 1923 p - Putnins
      o - Gulbis
      10 min training flight over aerodrome
      May 25, 1923 p - Zarins
      o - Gulbis
      10 min training flight over aerodrome
      May 29, 1923 p - Zarins
      o - Gulbis
      15 min training flight over aerodrome
      May 30, 1923 p - Zarins
      o - Gulbis
      10 min training flight over aerodrome
      May 31, 1923 p - Zarins
      o - Gulbis
      10 min training flight over aerodrome
      June 1, 1923 p - Zarins
      o - Gulbis
      10 min training flight over aerodrome
      June 11, 1923 p - Zarins
      o - Gulbis
      10 min training flight over aerodrome
      June 13, 1923 p - Zarins
      o - Gulbis
      15 min training flight over aerodrome


Sources

- Bruvelis, Edvins Latvijas Aviacijas Vesture
- Gray & Thetford German Aircraft of the First World War
- Humberstone, Richard Latvian Air Force 1918-1940
- Jane, Fred T. Jane's All the World's Aircraft 1919
- Latvians.lv virtual museum website (now withdrawn)
- Windsock Datafile #93 (Albatros B.II)
- Additional information (dates of flights) taken from R.Gulbis' log book

Profiles courtesy of Arvo Vercamer

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