Monday, July 12, 2021

Trippy Triplane

In the course of trying to chase down info on the Supermarine Nighthawk the other day, I stumbled across this oddity:

That's the Lloyd 40.08 Luftkreuzer ("Air Cruiser"), a three-motored triplane intended as a long range strategic bomber to more effectively hit back at the Italians, whose own Caproni trimotors were bombing the Habsburg Empire almost at will. Some madman has scratchbuilt one in 1/72nd scale.

To get a feel for the nature of the Austro-Hungarian air campaign against Italy, I recommend the adventures of the fictional Otto Prohaska in The Two-Headed Eagle: In Which Otto Prohaska Takes a Break as the Habsburg Empire's Leading U-boat Ace and Does Something Even More Thanklessly Dangerous.

Basically, the Luftfahrtruppen were a hot mess, facing an uphill fight against their own military culture as well as production limitations caused by the relatively backwards nature of the empire's industrial base.
Wartime production totaled 5,180 airplanes for four years of war; by comparison, Austria-Hungary's major foe, Italy, built about 18,000 in three years.