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The Pfalz D.III was a fighter aircraft used by the Luftstreitkräfte
(Imperial German Air Service) during the First World War, it was the first
major original design from Pfalz Flugzeugwerke who up until that point had
mainly manufactured aircraft for Roland. Though generally considered
inferior to contemporary Albatros and Fokker fighters, the D.III was widely
used by the Jagdstaffeln from late 1917 to mid-1918. It continued to serve
as a training aircraft until the end of the war.
Their Pfalz D.III incorporated many design features and construction
techniques learned whilst manufacturing Roland aircraft, the most obvious of
which was the extremely streamlined fuselage and their innovative
construction method. Each fuselage half was created from 2 layers of long
plywood strips of between 70mm to 100mm wide, each layer applied at an
opposing angle, formed over a buck. Once completed each half of the fuselage
was glued and tacked onto the internal framework, the centreline seams were
taped and then the whole fuselage was finally covered with doped on fabric.
This technique allowed the lightweight construction of a sleek fuselage
featuring many compound curves without resorting to the many small panels of
Albatros’ D.V design. The 2 LMG08/15 ‘Spandaus’ were positioned inside the
fuselage out of the air stream contributing to the very sleek lines of the
Despite all this the Pfalz D.III was received with mixed reactions from
Jasta pilots when it entered front line service in September 1917. The
manoeuvrability was excellent but performance in other areas was lacking
when compared to its contemporary the Albatros D.V. One area which raised
much concern was the internal gun arrangement which made clearing a jam
particularly inconvenient during combat. Part way through the initial
production run the specifications were altered to include a tailplane of
larger cord and raising the guns so they were mounted externally, thereby
creating the improved D.IIIa.
This lozenge pattern 1/30 scale aircraft is one flown by Hans Muller, an Ace
with 12 victories to his name. 15 pieces of this iconic aircraft are
available at a price of $499 which includes free figure of GW077A German
infanteer as per the photos.