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Breaking of Albatros D.III wing

Event ID: 605

09 April 1917

50.367639, 3.03435
La Brayelle

Source ID: 31

Manfred von Richthofen, The man and the aircraft he flew, David Baker, 1990, Outline Press

ISBN: 9781871547061

To the Engineer Department, Berlin, Adlershof, via C.O. Air Forces, 6th Army.

Subject: Breaking of wing of Albatros D.III 2-23-16.

On April 8th, 1917, Sergeant Festner’s machine broke its left lower wing at an altitude of 13.000 ft without previous straining. In spite of the fact that the wing was torn to pieces and diminished by more than one third of its surface, Sergeant Festner is submitting a detailed report of how it happened.

Technical examination: From the second rib up to the V strut, the lower surface was folded upward.

Cause: breaking of ribs. 

Locality of the break: entirely near the forward part of the wing, where the factory had applied special rib-supporting braces. The fabric covering of the wings was torn to pieces by the current of air through the broken parts. The naked wing was thus strained in front by the wind, causing it to bend backward and then to move loosely frontward again. This, of course, was too much strain for the V strut. The machine is being sent home as useless for warfare.

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