Ukrainian Air Force, Czechoslovakian Air Force
The Gotha G.VII. a.k.a.GL.VII, was a bomber aircraft produced in Germany during the final months of World War I. With the strategic bombing campaign effectively over, it was intended to be a high-speed tactical bomber with a secondary reconnaissance capability. It was a conventional two-bay biplane design with tractor-mounted engines, and a conventional empennage with twin fins and rudders. The bombardier's position in the nose of the aircraft that had featured on earlier Gotha designs was removed, and the nose of the aircraft severely truncated and fitted with a streamlined nose-cone. This allowed the engines to be located further inboard than on previous designs, bringing them closer to the aircraft's centreline and therefore minimising the effects of asymmetric thrust in the event of an engine failure. The engine nacelles also featured careful streamlining.
The Idflieg ordered around 250 of these aircraft, 50 from Gotha and 50 from LVG, and 150 from Aviatik. At least some of the LVG and Aviatik machines had been completed before the Armistice, with some reaching operational service. One G.VII survived the war to see brief service with the Ukrainian Air Force before being impounded by Czechoslovakia and used by the Czechoslovakian air force for a short time.
- Gotha G.VII prototype - The original prototype with short nosed fuselage was intended for long-range photographic reconnaissance.
- Czechoslovakian air force (one aircraft taken from Ukrainian Air Force)
- Ukrainian Air Force (one aircraft)
Specifications (Gotha G.VII production)
- Crew: Three
- Length: 9.63 m (31 ft 7-1/8 in)
- Wingspan: 19.27 m (63 ft 2-3/4 in)
- Height: 3.51 m (11 ft 6 in)
- Wing area: 63.8 m2 (689 ft2)
- Empty weight: 2,419 kg (5,333 lb)
- Gross weight: 3,139 kg (6,920 lb)
- Powerplant: 2 × Mercedes D.IVa, 194 kW (260 hp) each
- Maximum speed: 180 km/h (112.3 mph)
- Range: 540 km (340 miles)
- Endurance: 3 hours
- Service ceiling: 7,000 m (23,000 ft)
- Rate of climb: 2.63 m/s (518 ft/min)
- 1 × 7.92 mm (.312 in) Parabellum machine gun in dorsal ring mount
Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era
- Gray, Peter & Thetford, Owen. “German Aircraft of the First World War”. London, Putnam. ISBN 0-370-00103-6
- Taylor, Michael J. H. (1989). Jane's Encyclopedia of Aviation. London: Studio Editions. p. 427.
- World Aircraft Information Files. London: Bright Star Publishing. pp. File 895 Sheet 08.
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