Re: Boelcke's plane, September '16]

Bill Shatzer (
Wed, 7 Dec 1994 01:06:33 -0500

From: (Mick Fauchon)

> Doug,
> Good to see so much activity on the list. Haven't we got
>anything better to do? 80) [the answer is: of course not!]
>> I believe the first number is the production number as you indicate. The second
>> *I* thought was the year the unit was produced.
> That's certainly the way I understood it worked.
> Mick.

To quote my source ("Triplanes", Bowers and McDowell): "The German Air
Force serial numbers were issued on an annual basis within designated
types. By 1917, each number series started at 100 followed by a slash
and the last two numbers of the year. For example, F.I 100/17 was the
first F-type contracted for in 1917.... The full range of serial numbers
covered by the F.I and Dr.I models (was) 100/17 through 220/17 and 400/17
through 599/17." (See Mick, I am capable of walking over to my reference
shelf occasionally!)

This, of course, raises as many questions as it answers. For instance,
what were the 179 triplanes between serial numbers 220/17 and 400/17?
I am aware of the (approximately) 50 Pfalz triplanes built in 1917 and
a handful of experimental types built by other manufacturers (Albatros,
Euler, DFW, etc.) but nothing close to 179 aircraft - what are the
missing serial numbers - tentative contracts which were later canceled?

Secondly, the Windsock publication has a photo of a
Halberstadt CL.IV serial number 9470/18. Now, I'm almost positive
that the Germans *never* even contemplated the production of some 9400
CL types during 1918 (much less actually built that many). So, if
my quote above is correct, how did we ever get up to the 9400's in
serial numbers? I *think* the general scheme described in the "Triplanes"
quote is more or less correct but there is something else going on as
well - but what? Oh, well, cheers anyway. Bill

PS: Just revisited my reference shelf! *Maybe* the number of Pfalz
triplanes was only 25, not 50


Bill Shatzer - -