by: tripping the rift [ ]
Originally published on:
Brief History In 1847 Siemens Halske started out manufacturing telegraphic equipment and in 1873 the Siemens-Schuckert title was founded by merging with Nurnberg Schuckert. 1907 and the firm moved into aeronautical work with the construction of non-rigid airships.
Between 1907 and 1911, three monoplanes were built, but aircraft manufacturing ceased until 1914 when German Military officials were in need of more aircraft. The aircraft department was reopened, directed by Dr. Walter Reichel, Dr. Hugo Natalis, Messrs Forssman, Wolff and the Steffen brothers - Bruno and Franz whose roles were leading assistants.
In 1916 several captured French Nieuport aircraft were readily available to Albatros , Euler and SSW. Siemens made a copy with a few difference to the engine, landing struts, prop and spinner, and the tailskid. This aircraft was designated the SSW D.I. In November 1916 production was cancelled due to superior aircraft by German and Allied manufacturers. Trials continued with the SSW D.II /a/b/c leading to the development of the D.III.
On Jan. 20, 1918 the D.III was entered into fighter competitions with aircraft going to the front for evaluation. The aircraft suffered numerous engine failures due to the use of the wrong type of oil (Low viscosity oil mislabeled at the factory) which played havoc on the engines, causing them to seize and disintegrate in flight.
These initial airframes assigned to JG II were sent back to the factory for refits and recommended modifications. These included altering the cowl by cutting out the lower half and adding a vented spinner. The control surfaces were also changed; the rudder was given a larger area, the elevator area was also enlarged, and balances added to the ailerons.
Note: Not all aircraft were retrofitted in the same way and one needs to check references to see which changes were made and not for your specific build.
The conversion setLoon Models’ late conversion comes with the following parts:
2 x cowlings - 1 straight cut , 1 curved lower edge
1 x tail plane
1 x un-vented spinner
1 x front engine mount with 6 supports (two are spares)
The parts do have some flash which needs very careful clean up on the motor cowlings. These parts are really thin and bend easily. The straight cut cowl has see through spots, and if you’re not careful when sanding, you will go right though the resin leaving a nasty hole to fix. My sample does have some fit issues. The both motor cowls are undersize by 2mm and do not fit on Roden’s part 20a. Clean-up and test fitting will need care and attention in this area.
The horizontal tail surfaces have finely raised ribs for the elevator with hinge detail as well. Overall fit is nice, but it is also too short by a few millimeters, resulting in the rear fuselage overlapping the elevator. Here, plugging and filling will require care for a neat job and a lot of test fitting.
The spinner fits perfectly on the backing plate, the engine front mounting is nicely detailed with the supports (it’s very nice to have two extra in case of accidents). For placement of these parts use the Roden cowl / instructions as a guide .
Conclusion Overall, I'm impressed with this conversion set. One has many options for a variety of late model D.III configurations. With some care working with the parts one shouldn’t have too many troubles.
Windsock Datafile #29 - SSW D.III / DIV, 1991
Profile Publications #86 - The Siemens Schuckert D.III / D.IV, 1966
WW 1 Aero Journal articles from issues 109, 123 and 132 by Dick Bennet
Scale Aircraft Drawings Vol 1, #1 - pages 94 - 97.
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