Roden Aircraft 1/72 Albatros D II Oeffag s53 German BiPlane Fighter Kit
In early 1917 the Hansa Brandenburg D.I was still the main fighter of the Austro-Hungarian Königlich und Kaiserlich Luftfahrtruppen (Royal and Imperial Air Service). This aircraft designed by Ernst Heinkel and often nicknamed "Spider" or "Starstrutter" had many technical limitations as well as a dangerous vibration during flight. The increasing strength of the Italian Air Force made it urgent to replace the obsolete Hansa D.I.
The Oesterreichische Flugzeugfabrik AG (Oeffag) in Wiener-Neustadt, had built reconnaissance planes and flying boats for the Austro-Hungarian Army since 1915. After the successful debut of the German Albatros D.I and D.II in late 1916, Austro-Hungary obtained the license rights for D.II production. Because each Austrian aircraft manufacturer had its own identification figure (Oeffag had number 5) and each aircraft type had an individual key, Albatros D.II (Oeffag) received the serial number 53.
Oeffag designers improved German development: the construction of wings and airframe was strengthened; and the more powerful (185 h.p.) Austro-Daimler engine was installed which gave additional maneuverability to the Oeffag design (it was slightly heavier than the German Mercedes D.IIIa, and top speed was unchanged). The most noticeable feature was the complete enclosure of the engine cylinders by detachable panels, although these were often removed during the warmer months to prevent overheating.
In total, 16 aircraft of the D.II (Oeffag) type were built, with the serial numbers 53.01-53.16. Together with the more modern D.III (Oeffag), these planes were intensively used until the last days of World War One. At least, two Oeffag D.IIs survived the war and served in post-war Czechoslovakia and Hungary.