LVG had been involved in the operation of dirigibles before it started design, in 1912, of the company's first original design, the B.I. The B.I was an unequal-span two-seat biplane with a fixed tailskid landing gear. It was powered by a nose-mounted 80 kW (100 hp) Mercedes D.I engine. After entering service an improved variant, the B.II was developed with a cut-out in the upper wing to improve visibility for the pilot in the rear cockpit to help spot ground infantry and fitted with a 90 kW (120 hp) Mercedes D.II engine. The B.II entered service in 1915 and although mainly used as a trainer it was also used for unarmed reconnaissance and scouting duties. A further variant was the B.III which had structural strengthening to allow it to be used as a trainer.