Jump to content

Recommended Posts

My interest with Austrian Aviation (we're talking mostly WWI, to be clear - mounting parts of HE162 in some caves in the south of Vienna is not what I consider "Aviation") started, when I found that an old factory building, I regularily went by as a kid, nearby my home was initially the home of Phoenix Flugzeugwerke - then unknown to me. The original building was torn down I think in 2010 for some modern condominiums, before that I think a trucking company had their fleet there. So I started a bit of investigation on this.

 

Another company I was rather familiar with was Bombardier, who build Tramways, and whose plant in Vienna I visited somtimes for business reasons. Also not far from my childhood home, I was familar with since my very youth from passing by. I've learned that this was initially the Lohner Werke, building some small scooters in postwar Vienna, but before 1919 they build Aeroplanes as well.

 

So, when I found out I litterally grew up what once was Austrias home of aviation, I started to read what I could find, and information is quite rare. But in the last say ten years some pieces fell together and here's a bit. And true, of course, many stories are onyl available in german.

 

While lurking around here a bit, I now and then found some builds of K.&K. stuff, most recently @Marklo's mad and great WIP on scratchbuilding the Etrich Taube in 1/48, I thought I could add some glimpses I've read. But not to hijack his thread (Go There! Read it! Like it! It's great!) I thought I start something more general here.  


 

  • Like 6
Link to post
Share on other sites

To make a start and also as a replay to Marklos build, a few things I gathered around the Etrich Taube. But let me be frank -  I'm no expert by any means, and of course all of this is available round the web somewhere, but thought it could be help to bring those various pieces here together. So forgive me if I don't tell anything new. Also, some things might not be correct, so any remarks and corrections are welcome.

 

Like many Austrian pioneers from these days, Igo Etrich wasn't born in what's know as Austria today, but in a town of todays Czech republic, Horní Staré Město. He started building gliders, then, in 1907 his first motor plane, the Etrich I, a rather ulgy plane, which he evolved into the much more elegant Etrich II, which, after it's much more elegant shape, was called the Taube, or dove. He received a patent for the Taube in Austria, and, due to it's qualities he made a contract with another Austrian automotive and aviation engineer, Edmund Rumpler, who founded the Rumpler LuftfahrzeugbaugmbH 1909 in Berlin. This contract was about building the Taube under licence, but Rumpler refused to pay licence fees after the german patent office refused the patent on the german market, as Etrich's design is based on the shape of the Zanonia seed, which has been described as an ideal shape for flying devices, so no genuine design, it's common knowledge, anyone could use it. Being on the dawn of WWI, he shyed away from a large lawsuit and the costs involved and declared the design as what we would today call creative commons.

 

Rumpler frm that on marketed the Etrich design as the Rumpler Taube, which was the most widely variant of the Taube, Etrich founded the Etrich Werke in todays Poland and build the first passenger plane with closed cabin, the Luft-Limousine (air-saloon). Head of engineering was one Ernst Heinkel. Together with Heinkel he founded Brandenburgische Flugzeugwerke in 1914, close Berlin.    

  • Like 4
Link to post
Share on other sites

The Etrich Taube, or Etrich II, had it's successful maiden flight at 06.04.1910 in Wr. Neustadt, about 50km south of Vienna, pilot was Karl Illner.

 

The Etrich Taube had no elevator or ailerons, but was controlled via "warping" of the entire plane over all three axis, therefore a lot of power was necessary for steering and it was rather difficult to turn and land. However, apart from the exhausting control, it's flight characteristics where extremly good. A story has it that a mechanic once pushed the power lever to full throttle while grounded, dropped out of the plane, and the Taube took off, flew until it ran out of gas and landet safely then on a meadow. 

 

The Taube was never meant as a military aircraft, although it left a few marks in the history of military aviation; in 1911 the first bombing was executed out of an Italien Taube, where the pilot dropped a 2 kg bomb on aturkish camp. Due to its common use as a training plane a lot of german aces learned to fly on a Taube. It was also quite capable as a surveillance plane, a mayor role of aviation in the very beginning of flight. The covering was almost transparent, so extremly hard to spot when flying in some hundred meters. The first air victory of the RFC, when on 25th April 1914 a Taube was forced to land.

 

Also, it was the first plane of the Austro-Hungarian Military Administration, who acquired a Taube, build at Lohnerwerke in Wien 1210, at 2.April 1911. These first Lohner Tauben were powered by a Daimler Dm engine with 65 HP, while later models also had Austro-Daimler engines with up to 120 hp installed. In May 2011 the first pilot training course started in Wiener Neustadt by Flugmaschinen-Instruktionsabteilung with 27 officers. 

 

The Etrich Taube was build in various versions by different manufacturers, with alterations on almost any aspect on its construction, with engines from 60 to 200 hp in rebuilds, various kind of landing gears, to alterations to fuselage construction like Jeannine's Stahltaube, which used a steel tube construction instead of a wooden(bamboo) one, or variants with active rudders for steering rather than warping, and even biplanes based on its design (Albatros Doppeltaube) or with closed canopies.

 

Also a German Taube was active in China in the German colony of Tsingtao, when Gunther Plüschow spotted and even bombed Japanese troups at the siege of Tsingtao from August to November 1914. 

 

No exact numbers are available how many Etrich-type monoplanes have been build, but more than 40 companies build variations all over the world, most in Germany and Austro-Hungary, but Japan as well. Rumpler alone build some 200, Jeannin build 37 Stahltauben and the Lohnerwerke 36, among those these for the K.u.K. Luftfahrttruppen. 

  • Like 5
Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for this information: some of this I already knew but a great deal I did not. The early history of Austrian aviation is not well written up in English - more is available than in the past but as you write it is scatted widely and is not easy to find. This is very interesting indeed and I look forward to reading more.

 

BTW I know that modellers on https://forum.ww1aircraftmodels.com

would also be very interested in this and any other information that you post here. Can I suggest that you post it there too as they are a group dedicated to building WW1 types. Some of the models on that site are rather good too!

 

P

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, pheonix said:

BTW I know that modellers on https://forum.ww1aircraftmodels.com

would also be very interested in this and any other information that you post here. Can I suggest that you post it there too as they are a group dedicated to building WW1 types. Some of the models on that site are rather good too!

 

P

Many thanks and glad you find it interesting. It's true, almost all of this is out in the web, but I thought it could be helpful to gather it - and a few information is here due to my personal history, like being raised here in Vienna.

I thought about joining ww1 as well, I already lurk around there, but didn't join yet. Maybe I can share some bits of this over there and am sure, these guys can add some value as well...

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 1 month later...

There are some very good books available on A-H aviation in WWI, particularly the seaplanes. I have "Seaplanes of Bocche" which is an excellent read!

https://www.aircraft-navalship.com/produit/jeroplan-balkan-yougoslavia/2259

I also just bought "Eagle of Trieste" which covers the Adriatic war from both sides.

https://www.amazon.ae/Eagle-Trieste-Adriatic-Gottfried-Banfield/dp/1935881612

Then of course there is the ultimate reference for A-H Army aircraft - 

https://www.amazon.ae/Austro-Hungarian-Army-Aircraft-World-War/dp/1891268058

 

Not cheap but a fabulous reference for all A-H Army types!

 

 

Very good references and drawings in both!

 

Ian

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
13 minutes ago, pheonix said:

Sorry Ian but you have put the same link in twice!

 

P

Corrected! Thanks!

 

Ian

  • Thanks 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

Chief Cohiba. You told about a runaway taube. In 1972, I met Max Holtzem at Antique Aero in Rubidoux, California which was holding an open public event displaying their replica WWI aircraft. At the time, I only knew that Herr Holtzem was a former German pilot. He told me a story about a pilot who attempted to start a taube by himself. As the throttle was a bit advanced too far, the plane got away from him. The pilot, Max Holtzem, and another man got into an automobile and began to chase after the taube. Eventually the aircraft ran out of fuel and crashed into a tree. 

 I later learned that Max Holtzem died seven years later at age 87 in Torrance, California.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...