AEG produced two models of fighter plane, the first model number the C. IV, a twin seater biplane initially fielded to be a reconnaissance plane from 1916 and onwards, simultaneously served as bomber escort while remaining in service until 1918, at the end of the first world war. The pilot and observer/bomber were seated in tandem, a pilot in front armed with one single Spandau fully automatic machine gun offset to his right. The machine gun, synchronised for firing through the plane’s spinning propeller blades, employed an interrupter gearing system to avoid damaging the propeller blades. The plane was by far the most effective of its kind, eventually the company built in excess of 658 before the end of the war.
The second model called the G. IV became a highly successful medium-range tactical bomber, serving from 1914 until 1918; it came equipped in a twin engine configuration sporting the conventional, for the period, biplane wing assembly as well as a three-man aircrew. Its bomb capacity doubled that of the previous model, but it was still lacking in offensive capabilities. The plane considered to be equipped with cutting-edge modern technology such as on-board radios, with the crew treated to electrically heated air suits. Additional improvements expanded its range of capabilities but the end of the war arrived before they could become operational.
The Albatros, built D I was received into service in 1916, was instrumental in returning Germany’s air superiority in no small measure due to her stellar climbing rate, and aerodynamic design refinements, as well as its lethal set of synchronised fully automatic machine guns. The plane had a comparatively reduced operational lifespan due to it being surpassed by the latest technological advances in aircraft of the then present day. which were heavily driven by wartime requirements for superiority. Its replacement the D II had a nominally improved rate of climb as well as an upper wing that was lowered to improve the pilot’s line of sight from its cockpit. It earned a British nickname of the V-Strutter due to its V shaped struts joining the lower and upper wing assemblies.
Albatros produced a second model designated the D V fighter plane which proved to be equally effective in assisting Germany to regain air superiority, and continued to excel after its predecessor the D III came to the end of its design lifespan. Since its inception the Albatros D series fighter plane proved to be a stellar gun platform, remaining in the Imperial German Army Air Services from January of 1917 until the end of the war in 1918, with 1612 planes ordered from its Johannesthal assembly lines. However its brilliance did not arrive without a number of serious design flaws manifesting themselves, such as a wing design that broke up in flight due to its innovative but untried V shaped inner wing struts, as well as a Mercedes D III engine that proved fickle and unreliable. Legendary World War I aviator and fighter ace Manfred von Richthoven publicly criticised the new plane to be inferior in comparison to the latest British machinery.