20 June 1917 – Albatross Test

Today British pilots tested a captured Albatross DIII against a Sopwith Camel and Pup. Captain Charles Phillip Oldfield Bartlett wrote:

“After lunch we all went to the Depot to examine a captured Albatros Scout and witness its performance against a Camel and a Triplane. Casey flew the Albatros (160 hp Mercedes), Le Mesurier the Triplane and Allen the Camel. The Albatros was outclassed for speed and climb but manoeuvred well and doubtless in the hands of an Albatros expert would have shown up better. She is very much on the lines of a Nieuport but more heavily loaded, fuselage in three-ply throughout and finely streamlined.”

IMG_1070

The captured Albatross

Lieutenant Cecil Lewis, now with 56 Squadron RFC also tested it, remarking that it was sluggish, yet strong and reliable. Compared to the SE5, the cockpit was cavernous, and the aircraft altogether seemed large. However, he did not feel able to throw it about the sky in gay abandon, and he found it hard work compared with the lightness of the SE5 he normally flew.

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