by: Lance Carroll [ ]
Author and historian Mr. Colin Owers provides updated and revised coverage of these iconic types in 40 pages replete with many previously unseen (by this reviewer) photos, informed text, colour photos and Profiles, and detailed scale drawings. Given the original Albatros D.V / Va Datafile (number 3) has been out of print for years this proposed two volume series is bound to prove popular among those not having the original release; for those fortunate who do, this set will ultimately provide a tremendous compliment to it and to the previously released Datafile Special, “Albatros Fighters”. Although both volumes will cover the D.V and the D.Va versions volume 1 contains D.V scale drawings and colour profiles. The D.Va version drawings and profiles will be contained in volume 2. The book is up to the normal high standard of information, presentation, and content presented by Albatros Publications. The text is presented as follows:
The history of the D.V / Va Series is well documented from its’ development from the original D.I through most significantly, the D.III version. The author provides numerous quotes and anecdotal accounts of the service introduction, design problems (the lower wing failures and upper wing tip failures, the cause(s) of the former which to this day have not been determined) and service as the mainstay of the German Fighter Forces until replaced mainly by the Fokker D.VII near war’s end. Despite these, at times, serious problems the aircraft served with distinction until the middle of 1918 when the numbers of Fokker D.VII types serving in front line units surged past those of the Albatros “Vee Strutters”.
Although brief the technical description of the D.V and D.Va Models contains a wealth of information and provides a complete description of the construction features of the aircraft. Further, this short engineer’s summary of the designs contains many tiny “snippets” of, to me, previously unknown qualities and/or attributes of the design. Metal wheel covers recorded on the Albatros D.Va. Also it was 80 kg heavier overall than the D.V. The text notes horizontal stabilizers, rudder and elevator interchangeable with D.III. These are just a few examples.
Very brief accounts of experimental versions, the Albatros Dr.I and a further development, the Albatros quadraplane along with a short commentary on its foreign service of the D.V / Va appear at the end of the book.
There are seven of Ronny Bar’s colour plates included in this book: one three view of Karl Thom’s Jasta 21 mount and six side views including the aluminum/silver with red fuselage bands on Ltn. Robert Greim’s D.V of Jasta 34b. They are all up to the artist’s excellent standards of subject choice, colour, and detail.
As already mentioned this production, Volume 1, contains scale drawings for the Albatros D.V, the D.Va version drawings will appear in Volume 2. Martin Digmayer’s drawings, in both 1:72 and 1:48 Scale are in a word, outstanding. The degree of detail far exceeds those previously published by this producer on the subject, and significantly more information is presented. The inclusion of interior details cover cockpit and flight control layout, the Daimler-Mercedes D.III and D.IIIa, the different propellers fitted, upper and lower views of the various radiators, and numerous other areas of interest take these scale views to a standard not often seen. Of particular note to Wingnut Wings builders, there is a spectacular single page of 1:32 containg these same items.
There are 91 original black and white photos in this volume, approximately 15 to 20 of which I personally had not seen previously. Of particular interest are the four “half page size” cockpit view close-ups (one is a D.V and three of the D.Va) which, in the catalogue on-line, are represented as previously unpublished. They are excellent and the best cockpit views I have seen. The preceding does not include some 40 impressive colour photos of TVAL’s two D.Va types, the Joseph Mai and Adolph Schreder versions which offer a wealth of detail for the scale modeller.
This is a very well researched and presented reference on the subject; a “must have” for the serious modeller and enthusiast alike. Provides a perfect complement to the earlier published Albatros Fighters Datafile Special.
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