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AEG GIV bomber.jpg
AEG G.IV (wartime photo)
Role Bomber aircraft
Manufacturer Allgemeine Elektricitäts-Gesellschaft (A.E.G.)
First flight 1916
Introduction 1916
Retired 1918
Primary user German Air Force
Number built 320
Developed from AEG G.III

The AEG G.IV was a biplane bomber aircraft used in World War I by Germany. It was developed from the AEG G.III, with refinements to power, bomb-load and dimensions. Coming into service in late 1916, it featured a bomb capacity twice as large as that of the AEG G.II, but was still considered inadequate in terms of offensive capacity and performance. Further improvements led to the development of the G.V, but the Armistice came before the replacement could become operational. Serving late in the war, the AEG G.IV managed to achieve some operational success in reconnaissance and combat roles.[1]

Design and development[edit]

The Allgemeine Elektricitäts-Gesellschaft (A.E.G.) G.IV was derived from the earlier G.III. Designed as a tactical bomber, the relatively modern technology included onboard radios and electrically heated suits for the crew. Unlike the other German twin-engined Großflugzeug-class ("G") bombers such as the Gotha G.V and the Friedrichshafen G.III, the AEG featured an all-metal, welded-tube frame, making it a more rugged aircraft.[2][N 1] Well equipped with armament, although the rear gunner's cockpit was on the top of the fuselage, the position was equipped with a hinged window in the floor for viewing and fending off pursuing aircraft.[3]

AEG G.IV crash 23 December 1917.

The AEG G.IV medium bomber was converted into an armored, antitank gunship, the G.IVk (Kanone) with two 20 mm Becker cannon. It never saw service.[4]

Operational history[edit]

A captured AEG G.IVk in British markings, Bickendorf, 1919

The AEG G.IV bomber entered service with the German Air Force in late 1916.[5] Because of its relatively short range, the G.IV served mainly as a tactical bomber, operating close to the front lines. The G.IV flew both day and night operations in France, Romania, Greece and Italy, but, as the war progressed, the AEG G.IV was restricted increasingly to night missions. Many night operations were considered nuisance raids with no specific targets, but with the intention of disrupting enemy activity at night and perhaps doing some collateral damage.[6]

The AEG G.IV carried a warload of 400 kg (880 lb).[5] While Gotha crews struggled to keep their heavy aircraft aloft, the AEG was renowned as an easy aircraft to fly. Some G.IV crews of Kampfgeschwader 4 are known to have flown up to seven combat missions a night on the Italian front. A notable mission involved Hauptmann Hermann Köhl attacking the railroad sheds in Padua, Italy in his G.IV bomber.[7]


AEG G.IV at Canada Aviation and Space Museum

A single example (number 574/18) is preserved at the Canada Aviation and Space Museum. This example is significant not only as the only one of its kind in existence, but as the only preserved German, twin-engined combat aircraft from World War I.[8] The aircraft was brought to Canada in 1919 as a war trophy. It has been at the museum since 1970.


Tactical bomber
Fitted with an increased span three-bay wing.
Armoured ground-attack aircraft fitted with two 20 mm Becker cannon, one in a dorsal mounting and one in a turret under the nose. Five built.[9]


 German Empire

Specifications (AEG G.IV)[edit]

Data from German Aircraft of the First World War[10]

General characteristics

  • Crew: 3
  • Length: 9.7 m (31 ft 10 in)
  • Wingspan: 18.4 m (60 ft 4 in)
  • Height: 3.9 m (12 ft 10 in)
  • Wing area: 67 m2 (720 sq ft)
  • Empty weight: 2,400 kg (5,291 lb)
  • Gross weight: 3,630 kg (8,003 lb)
  • Fuel capacity: 560 L (150 US gal; 120 imp gal)
  • Powerplant: 2 × Mercedes D.IVa 6-cylinder water-cooled inline piston engine, 194 kW (260 hp) each
  • Propellers: 2-bladed wooden fixed pitch tractor propellers


  • Maximum speed: 165 km/h (103 mph, 89 kn)
  • Endurance: 4–5 hours in cruise
  • Service ceiling: 4,500 m (14,800 ft)
  • Time to altitude: 1,000 m (3,300 ft) in 5 minutes
  • Wing loading: 54.2 kg/m2 (11.1 lb/sq ft)
  • Power/mass: 0.0986 kW/kg (0.0601 hp/lb)


See also[edit]

Aircraft of comparable role, configuration, and era

Related lists


  1. ^ Photos of AEG crashes usually show the wings crumpled while the crew compartments stayed intact, allowing the crew to walk away from the crash in many cases.
  1. ^ Grey and Thetford 1962, p. 7.
  2. ^ Grey and Thetford 1962, pp. 6–7.
  3. ^ "A.E.G. G.IV." Archived 2010-09-16 at the Wayback Machine Canada Aviation and Space museum. Retrieved: 14 April 2011.
  4. ^ Johnson, Robert Craig. "Plan 1919." Archived 2016-03-03 at the Wayback Machine Plan 1919, 1997. Retrieved: 14 April 2011.
  5. ^ a b Sharpe 2000, p. 15.
  6. ^ Grey and Thetford 1962, pp. 7–8.
  7. ^ "His life in brief." Hermann Koehl. Retrieved: 14 April 2011.
  8. ^ Molson 1988, p. 98.
  9. ^ Williams and Gustin 2003, pp. 96–97.
  10. ^ Grey and Thetford 1962, p. 8.
  • Grey, Peter and Owen Thetford. German Aircraft of the First World War. London: Putnam, 1962. ISBN 0-370-00103-6.
  • Molson, Kenneth M. Canada's National Aviation Museum: Its History and Collections. Ottawa, Canada: National Museum of Science and Technology, 1988. ISBN 0-660-12001-1.
  • Munson, Kenneth. Aircraft of World War I. Shepperton, UK: Ian Allan, 1967. ISBN 0-7110-0356-4.
  • Sharpe, Michael. Biplanes, Triplanes, and Seaplanes. London: Friedman/Fairfax Books, 2000. ISBN 1-58663-300-7.
  • Williams, Anthony G. and Emmanuel Gustin. Flying Guns: World War I and its Aftermath 1914–32. Ramsbury, Wiltshire, UK: Airlife Publishing, 2003. ISBN 1-84037-396-2.

External links[edit]