Category Royal Danish Army

Royal Danish Army

The Royal Danish Army Flying School was first established on the 2nd of July 1912, when the B&S Monoplan was donated to the Army. This was the exact same aeroplane that Lieutenant J.B.Ussing had used when he acquired his flying certificate. The Army Flying School was situated at Klovermarken, just outside Copenhagen.

The Army Flying School only had two airplanes at the outbreak of World War I. It proved very difficult obtaining equipment during the war, but the Army arranged aerodromes at Avedore, Ringsted, Odense, Viborg and Lundtofte.

The first proper aerial wing of the Royal Danish Flying Corps, was the “Recognoscerings-eskadrille” (Spotter Wing) , established during 1923, as a result of a new government budget.

Flying at the Flying School was re-established during 1925 at Lundtofte Aerodrome, using borrowed aircraft from Dansk Luftrederi. The Flying Corp was relocated to Kastrup Lufthavn, where a Rohrbach Hangar had been erected.

The Royal Danish Flying Corps, was renamed the Royal Danish Army Flying Troops. The Flying Troops consisted of two departments, Sjælandske and Jyske, with a total of two fighter and three spotter wings, plus the flying school, technical department, the tool-shops and the balloon wing. The entire Sjælandske Eskadrille was moved to a new aerodrome at Værløse during 1934-35.

Berg og Storm in the Army

Lieutenant J.B. Ussing, as the first Danish pilot, acquired his license on the B&S III on January 1st 1912. The B&S III was then donated to the Army. This was the beginning of the Army Flying School, which was located on Kloevermarken, just outside Copenhagen. The B&S III was decomissioned two years later, in 1914.

The B&S Monoplane had a long civilian career before being donated to the Royal Danish Army. For a detailed description of the B&S Monoplane, click here.

Maurice Farman

The second army aircraft type was a Maurice Farman, bought in France in 1913. It was numbered M.F.1. and was very similar to the Maurice Farman owned by Ulrik Birck, but used by the Royal Danish Navy.

The Maurice Farman was a pusher plane and proved a very stable flyer for its day. As a safety feature, all control cables were doubled up.

The plane had two elevators, one in-front of the main wings and one at the rear. Both were connected to the steering columns using push-rods, and moved when the pilot pulled the steering wheel back and forth. The elevator at the rear of the plane was unique in giving considerable lift.

It is worth noting that the control column of the Maurice Farman bought was arranged slightly differently than today. The rudder was controlled by the steering wheel on top of the column, and the ailerons by foot pedals.

At the center on the lower plane was placed a frame enclosed in canvas. The pilot sat at the front, well protected from the wind. Maurice Farman was the first biplane constructor to adopt full protection from the head wind. For training purposes, a passenger seat was fitted behind the pilot and was also equipped with a second set of controls.

An additional 3 Maurice Farman planes were built under licence at Tøjhusværkstederne in 1917. They were numbered M.F.2 to M.F.4. In general, Maurice Farman aeroplanes were equipped with Renault eight-cylinder 60 horse-power air-cooled engines. However, those build in Denmark had a variety of engines installed. A Chauviere Integrate propeller was mounted directly on the engine’s cam shaft. It was 9.8 feet in diameter, with a 5.2 feet pitch, and revolves at 850 r.p.m. The plane was a pusher configuration, and the engine was placed behind the petrol tank, which was at the rear of the seats.

The majority of Danish Army pilots up until 1922 were trained on the Maurice. The last was scrapped in 1926.

Specifications:

Construction: Wood and Canvas
Engine: 60 HP Renault, 85 HP R.A.W. Engine or 100 HP Mercedes in-line.
Wing-Span: 15.50 m
Length: 11.20 m
Height: 3.75 m
Weight – Empty: 450 kg
Weight – Laden: 690 kg
Speed: 82 km/h max
Flying Time: 3 hours

Henri Farman

The Danish Army took delivery of it’s first Henri Farman biplane during 1913. It was manufactured by the Farman factory in Paris and numbered H.F.1. An additional two (H.F.2 and H.F.3) were delivered from the Södertälje Verkstäder in Sweden in 1915, followed by H.F.4, also from the factory in Sweden, in april 1917.

The Henri Farman biplanes were two-seaters and used for reconnaissance. The pilot was sitting in the rear and the front seat was used by the spotter. The plane could carry an 8 mm machine gun (most likely a Madsen 7.92 mm), although it’s not clear how this was mounted, or whether it was hand-held. No available photo shows a machine-gun mounting ring.

Although contemporary to the Maurice Farman, it has using steel-tubing, had a more powerful engine, was faster, lighter, had a modern aircraft layout, and could carry heavier loads.

Denmark was not directly involved in WWI and had very little access to foreign technology during the 4 years from 1914 to 1918. The Henri Farman was state-of-the-art when the war started, but hopelessly obsolete in 1918. The last Henri Farman was scapped in 1919 when more modern aviation technology became available again.

Specifications:

Construction: Steel tube, wood and Canvas
Engine: 80HP Gnome Rotary or 90 HP Thulin Engine.
Wing-Span: 13.25 m
Length: 8.30 m
Height: 3.20 m
Weight – Empty: 350 kg
Weight – Laden: 625 kg
Speed: 100 km/h max
Flying Time: 3 hours

Caudron G.3

The Danish Army had a single Caudron G.3 at the start of WWI. It was left in Denmark by the French pilot Chanteloup when he rushed home to France at the outbreak of the war.

The aircraft had a short crew nacelle, with a single engine in the nose of the nacelle, and twin open tailbooms. The “Danish” Caudron G.3 was one of the early G.3’s using wing warping for lateral control. On the Caudrons mass-produced in France during the Great War, wing-warping had been replaced by conventional ailerons fitted on the upper wing.

The Danish Army bought the plane from Mr. Chanteloup for 13,000 Kroner in 1914. It was used as a trainer until it crashed at Kløvermarken Aerodrome on April 11th, 1922.

Hugin & Munin (Morane-Saulnier)

Morane-Saulnier was a reputable company that had many records and world’s firsts. During 1913, the French flyer Roland Garros had crossed the mediteranean in a Morane-Saulnier. The trip took 7 hours and was more than 20 times further than the Bleriot channel crossing. During WWI, it was the first airplane to be fitted with machine guns that could shoot through the propeller arch, thereby creating the world’s first real fighter plane.

Thus, two single-seater trainiers were bought from A.B. Enoch Thulins Aeroplanfabrik in Landskrona in Sweden for money donated to the Army. They were named M.S.1 “Hugin” and M.S.2. “Munin”, after Odin’s two raven from Nordic mythology. The planes were delivered in October 1915 and June 1916 respectively.

Both aircraft crashed within two years of their delivery. M.S.1 Hugin on the 8th of October 1919 at Kløvermarken in Copenhagen, and M.S.2 on the 1st of Octover 1917 near Viborg.

The planes were delivered with 50 HP Gnome rotary engines, but they were upgraded to 80 HP during 1917. It’s very likely the “Gnome” engines were in fact the rather un-reliable Enoch Thulin Gnome copies.

Specifications
Construction: Wood and canvas
Engine: 50 HP, upgraded to 80 HP during 1917
Wingspan: 10.2 m
Length: 6.5 m
Height: 2.55 m
Weight Empty: 370 kg.
Weight Full: 582 kg.
Max speed: 135 km/h
Endurance: 2 hours

D.K.I (Dansk Konstruktion I)

D.K.I was a two-seat reconnaissance aircraft designed by Permier Lieutenant Ussing and built by the Army Flying School. It was designed based on “guess-timates”. No real drawings or calculations were made. Test-flights started on the 8th of June 1918, but the aircraft suffered from poor design, and crashed 3 months later.

Specifications:

Construction: Wood and Canvas
Engine: 70 HP Renault.
Wing-Span: 14.50 m
Length: 9.6 m
Height: 3.75 m
Weight – Empty: 550 kg
Weight – Full: 800 kg
Speed: 95 km/h max
Endurance: 4.5 hours

Nielsen & Winther Type Aa Jager

The Type Aa fighter aircraft was the first aircraft manufactured by Nielsen and Winther – a large machine shop in Copenhagen at the time. Six were sold to the Danish Army,  but three later crashed, and the remaining planes were then banned from flying.

The aircraft first flew during 1917, and was armed with a Madsen machine gun mounted on the top wing. It was modified during 1918 with an interrupter gear, so the Madsen machine gun could be repositioned, and shoot through the propeller arc.

Rumour has it that the pilots had long been worried about the safety of the construction, but the ban was apparently due to the poor reliability of the Thulin engine used.

Although this plane was the first indigenous aircraft in the Danish army, it has come to light that at least some of the drawings were from the Thulin factory in Sweden. In fact, some of the plans I have seen, were marked named the Thulin ‘L’  aircraft.

Specifications:

Crew: 1
Length: 6.60 m (21 ft 8 in)
Wingspan: 7.70 m (25 ft 3⅛ in)
Height: 2.8 m (9 ft 2¼ in)
Empty weight: 350 kg (772 lb)
Gross weight: 550 kg (1212 lb)
Powerplant: 1 × Thulin rotary engine, 67 kW (90 hp)
Maximum speed: 150 km/h (93 mph)
1 x 8 mm Madsen machine gun

 

Orlogsværftet H-Maskinen

H-maskinen was an aircraft designed and build by Orlogsværftet (Naval Dockyards) in Copenhagen. The first flight was in 1917 and it was in service from 1917 to 1924. A total of 9 were built. It was armed by a Madsen machine gun.

Very little is known about the aircraft, and only a handful of photos exist. However, after a lot of research at the national archives, other museums, and with help from private individuals, I have managed to acquire enough information to build a 1:5 scale model. You can see the scale build here.

Specifications

Crew: 2 (pilot + observer)
Length: 8.0 m
Wingspan: 11.54 m
Engine: Argus 140 HP
Cruise Speed: 120 km/h
Max Speed: 139 km/h
Empty Weight: 786 kg
Full Weight: 1111kg

Orlogsværftet O-Maskinen

The O-maskinen was designed and built by Flyvetroppernes Værksteder (The Flying Corps’ Toolshops). There were two models of the O-Maskine. I O and II O. I O was a two-seater biplane designed and test-flown during 1926, and the II O was a single-seater. They were mainly used for training purposes, but they could be armed with one fixed and two movable 8mm Madsen machine guns. O-maskinen was painted white and grey except for a brief period before WWII, where the standard Danish Army camouflage colours were used.

The table below shows the specifications.

SpecificationI OII O
ConstructionWelded steel tubing and canvasWelded steel tubing and canvas
Seats21
Wing span10.66 m10.66m
Length8.4 m8.4 m
Height2.7 m2.7 m
Weight empty1000 kg?
Weight full1400 kg?
Max speed200 km/h?
Cruise Speed150 km/h?
Distance500 km?
Max altitude6000 m?
Armament1 x fixed and 2 x movable 8 mm Madsen Machine Gun 1 x fixed 8 mm Madsen Machine Gun.

I am presently designing a 1:5 remote-controlled model of the O-Maskine. You can see the build-process here.

Fokker D.XXI

The Danish Army bought the rights to manufacture the Fokker D.XXI, and had just started assembly of the first aircraft when the Germans invaded Denmark. Allegedly one exists in storage somewhere in the Royal Danish Air Force archives, but it might simply be the internal wire-frame of the fuselage that I saw at the Royal Danish Airforce centenial airshow last summer.

Fokker G.I

The Danish Army had just bought the rights to manufacture the Fokker G.I, and had just started the manufacture of the first aircraft when the Germans invaded Denmark.

Orlogsværftet J.1 Jager Naval Fighter

As WWII was approaching, Denmark’s air defences were based on outdated biplanes like the Hawker Nimrod. Despite of the Labour government cutting funding to the military, there were some developments. First and foremost, Denmark bought the rights from Fokker, to build the G1 Twin-Boom fuselage heavy fighter. Orders were also about to be signed for the Macchi M.200 fighter. The Danish government also showed interest in the Heinkel He-114, but that didn’t work out, for obvious reasons. Licenses had, however, been acquired for production of the Fairey p. 4/34, as well as the Fokker D.XXI. Both were under construction when the Germans invaded.

People at Orlogsværftet (Naval Dockyard) had, in all secrecy, started the design of an indigenous all-metal monocoque fighter aircraft named the J.1 Jager. The initiative came too late, and the J.1 Jager aircraft was never built. After extensive research, I have found additional information about the J.1 Jager, including some construction drawings.

It turns out that there were in fact TWO indigenous aircraft being designed, when the Germans invaded Denmark. Both aircraft had the same spitfire-like fuselage, but with two different wing configurations. The first configuration was pretty standard for a fighter aircraft of its time. The other wing configuration was a gull-wing arrangement similar to the one used on the Stuka. With that configuration, the aircraft would have been ideal for a light (dive) bomber. It is interesting to see that the designers had both type of aircraft in mind, but due to time pressures decided to go for a common fuselage.

The J1 Jager aircraft would have had an all-metal monocoque fuselage very similar to that of a spitfire, but with a very long deHavilland-like motor cowl. The aircraft would have had retractable landing gear and a nice smooth aerodynamic shape – a real fighter. Nothing is said about the engine, but the outline drawn unmistakably looks like a Rolls Royce Merlin. With a proposed wing-span of only 8.75 m, or about 75% the size of the Spitfire, this would have been a really small, and nimble aircraft. In fact, it might just have been the aircraft with the highest power/weight ratio of all the aircraft available at the start of the war. Obviously at this early stage of the design, details like exhaust stacks and air coolers were not known. With a big-ass exhaust stacks on each side of the cowl and a belly-mounted cooling radiator, this aircraft would have really looked the part.


Specifications – J1 Fighter configuration:

Crew: 1
Wing-span: 8.75 m
Length: 7.76 m
Engine: (Outline looks like water-cooled V-12 engine)
Cruise Speed: –
Max Speed: –
Empty Weight: –
Armament: 4 x wing-mounted Madsen machine guns.

Specifications – J1 Bomber configuration:

Crew: 1
Wing-span: 8.75 m
Length:  7.76 m
Engine: –
Cruise Speed: –
Max Speed: –
Empty Weight: –
Armament: 4 x wing-mounted Madsen machine guns, 1 x bomb of unknown size.

I am presently designing a 1:5 remote-controlled model of the J.1 Jager. You can see the build-process here.

The following photo is of the S.A.I. Ambrosini S.107 fighter, which gives an idea of what the J.1. Jager might have looked like.

Comments

  • Jimmy Waehrens  says:

    Thanks for the interesting J1 fighter article.

    It is amasing how closely the J1 resembles the Italian SAI Ambrosini 107 and its SAI 207 light fighter variant (built in wood however).
    The SAI was powered by a 750 hp Isotta-Fraschini engine and with the J1 being even a bit smaller in size than the SAI 207, I do not believe it would have had a larger engine like the Merlin.

    Best regards
    Jimmy

  • Jimmy Waehrens  says:

    P.S: Also the nose shape clearly indicates that the engine is an inverted-Vee engine, which the Merlin is not.

  • admin  says:

    Hi Jimmy,

    The story of the J1 fighter is indeed very interesting, and you are of course right, the cowl indicates an inverted Vee engine.

  • Jimmy Waehrens  says:

    Hello,

    I understand you are building a 1:5 model of the J.1.
    Do you have a plan view showing the wings from above (or below)?
    I build models in 1:72 and would be interested in doing one of the fine J.1

    Thank and best regards
    Jimmy Waehrens


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