Pfalz D.VIII

By Bob Pearson

With a phenomenal climb the Pfalz D.VIII sadly never lived up to its potential due to the unproven and faulty Siemens-Halske contra-rotary engine. This highly innovative engine featured the propellor and cylinders both rotating around the crankshaft - but in oppostie directions - allowing higher power for lower RPMs. However the ersatz oil used by the Germans wasn't of a quality to allow this engine operate properly and it suffered many failures in flight. Because of this very few D.VIIIs reached operational units.

Pfalz D.VIII
Ltn Paul Baumer
Jasta Boelcke
August 1918

One of the few D.VIIIs used was flown by Paul Baumer at Jasta Boelcke. His D.VIII features the unit marking of a white/black tail and cowl. As on his Fokker Dr.I, Baumer had the national colours of red/white/black around the fuselage.

Note the four-bladed propellor on this aircraft. This was in fact two two-bladed props bolted together. Contest judges take note .. this is correct, and not a builder's mistake.

Pfalz D.VIII
Ltn Harald Auffarht
Jasta 29
August 1918

One unit that recieved a few D.VIIIs was Jasta 29. Ltn Harald Auffarht was photographed in front of one of them, although the fuselage marking is unclear, Auffarth's Albatros and Fokker fighters also carried this marking.

Pfalz D.VIII
Jasta 29

Anothe Jasta 29 machine is seen here. This one features what appears to be a Fleur-de-lys on the fuselage.

References:

Various photos used in the preparation of the forthcoming Pfalz volume from Flying Machines Press
Research by Dan-San Abbott

All content 1996-2002 Bob Pearson & Chris Banyai-Riepl. All rights reserved.
Site design by ALGA