Brandenburg W12

Manufacturer:Hansa-Brandenburg / Germany / 1917
Number Built:146

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Engines 6—cyl. inline Benz III
Power (h.p.): 160
Height (mm): 3300
Lenght (mm): 9600
Wing span (mm): 11200
Wing surface (sq.m.): 35.3
Empty weight (kg): 1056
Takeoff (kg): 1550
Speed, (IAS: km/h)
sea level - 153
1000 m - 143
2000 m - 132
3000 m - 120
Climb rate
1000 m — 11 min. 24 sec.
2000 m — 29 min. 49 sec.
Service ceiling (m) 3850
Endurance, h. 3h 30min
Forward firing: 2xLMG 08 Spandau 7.92mm, 500 rounds per barrel
Turret: 1 х LMG 14/17 Parabellum 7,92mm, 4 boxes with 250 rounds each

The Brandenburg W.12 was designed in response to a request for a seaplane with defensive armament installed, as existing single-seat fighters, such as the Albatros W.4 and others, were defenceless against attacks from behind. A specially constructed fuselage with inverted-style fin and rudder gave an excellent field of fire for the rear turret, as well as good weight and size design to good speed and manoeuvrability..

The first prototype flew on January 1917 at Warnemünde. Its designer - Ernst Heinkel - later became a widely-known constructor for his own factory's production; although he mainly became famous for WWII warplane design. The basic W.12 model was fitted with a Mercedes D.III engine with leading-edge radiator, or a Benz Bz.III with car-type radiator at the extreme nose. Armament consisted of two fixed forward-firing 7.92mm MG's, and one 7.92 Parabellum on the ring mount at the rear position behind pilot.

The first machines entered frontline service in numbers during September of 1917. Its first operational success - on December 11 1917 - was in the shooting down of the British coastal airship C.27 by three W.12's, lead by Oblt d.R.Friedrich Christiansen, and for which he was awarded the Pour le Mérite. The W.12 was mostly used for sea patrols - hunting submarines, convoys and enemy seaplanes.

  1. Windsock Datafile 61 - Brandengurg W12, P.M.Grosz

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