Aviatik D-1 (oz4047)


Aviatik D-1 (oz4047) by Bill Noonan 1979 - plan thumbnail

About this Plan

Aviatik D-1 / Berg D-1. Free flight scale model WWWI biplane fighter

Quote: "Another lesson in the fine points of outstanding free flight scale construction, by one of the recognized experts. Even if you don't plan to build this model, you can learn a lot by reading about it. Aviatik D-1, by Bill Noonan.

The Aviatik D-1, sometimes called the Berg D-1, after its designer, was of Austro-Hungarian origin, and was used on the Italian front in considerable numbers between autumn 1917, and the armistice in 1918. It was a compact, single-seat fighter with a wingspan a little over 26 feet. The hatchet-like fuselage provided relatively good protection and ac-commodation for the pilot. The D-1's robust appearance belied a somewhat fragile structure, which was subject to constant modification during its short-lived production by no less than five manufacturers.

The Austro-Hungarian army assigned a complex numbering system to its aircraft. The system identified the air-craft constructor, model type, and aircraft number in the series. As an example, our reproduction is of Aviatik D-1, 138.43. The number identifies the 43rd plane produced by Aviatik in the second production order (Aviatik was assigned 38, 138, 238, and 338 prefixes). The source for all of our information in preparation of the model is Profile Publication number 151. You may wish to consult it for color schemes, etc.

The Aviatik company, and its chief designer. Julius von Berg, were the orginators of the D-I, but the design was always being changed during production by other contractors. This accounts for the varied appearance, particularly in the radiator area and placement of armament. Pilots found the D-1 responsive and pleasant to fly, but the cooling was its Achilles Heel; hence the fiddling around with the radiator design.

Production documentation in Austro-Hungary was a bit careless in 1917, so it is not known exactly how many D-I aircraft were built by the five contractors, but it is thought to number about 700 to 800.

CONSTRUCTION Fuselage construction follows the time-honored method of building the sides over the plan. Hold the main (top and bottom) 3/32 sq longerons on the wax-paper-covered plans by using plastic 'pin-downs' (available through Peck Polymers). These handy little gizmos secure the balsa in place without the hazard of splitting the wood. The upright and diagonal components are hard 1/16 square balsa, with the exception of the nose and tail uprights, which are 3/32 square. Use of 1/16 stock allows the 1/32 sheeting to be inset into the fuselage, forming flush sides. Be sure to make a right side and a left side, one built over the other, separated with Saran Wrap or wax paper to prevent surplus glue from causing problems.

When thoroughly dry, remove the sides from plan and cement them to-gether at the tail post, holding with a weak clamp. Set the fuselage on bottom longerons and cement in the 3/32 cross braces at the widest point in the fuse-lage, forward of the cockpit. Check the fuselage for alignment by sighting from the front..."

Direct submission to Outerzone.

Update 12/06/2020: Added article transcript, thanks to JanNovick.

Supplementary file notes



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Aviatik D-1 (oz4047) by Bill Noonan 1979 - model pic

  • (oz4047)
    Aviatik D-1
    by Bill Noonan
    from Model Builder
    January 1979 
    26in span
    Scale Rubber F/F Biplane Military Fighter
    clean :)
    all formers complete :)
    got article :)
  • Submitted: 18/02/2013
    Filesize: 820KB
    Format: • PDFbitmap
    Credit*: theshadow
    Downloads: 2158

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User comments

“During 1918, a single Aviatik Berg D.I was forced down in an undamaged state on the Italian font; this undamaged example was later shipped back to the United Kingdom where it was subject to an extensive evaluation, which found it to be comparable to its various peers of the time, being particularly light, strong, and simplistic in terms of its construction. The captured aircraft was later put on public display in London.”
Many years ago I saw a full-sized reproduction of this aircraft at the International Fighter Museum (Champlin Museum) in Mesa, Arizona…and of course, the feature that literally jumped out at me was that enormous radiator. I’ve changed. Since then, this little fighter…the Aviatik Berg D-1 (oz4047) has become far more attractive to me. Maybe it’s all those colors, a veritable artist’s palette!
My model is of 18” wingspan, inspired by the Outerzone plan, available research materials, and a wonderful 3-view drawing [pics 006-010]. I’ve simplified Noonan’s plan to suit my temperament and abilities. Finish was achieved via computer graphics, i.e., printed “skins.” Be advised that most printer inks are water-soluble and therefore demand great care while applying and shrinking tissue. The end result has the potential of either being a great disaster or totally satisfying.
Thank you, Steve and Mary. I truly enjoy Outerzone.
Neal Green - 15/02/2021
What a wonderful thing this is! As we say here "each spadeful a worm", I haven't seen one picture of yours I liked less. If this model is kept behind glass I suppose the printed hex-pattern will be in a decent state, with varnish on top and all that. UV radiation is very bad on unprotected inkjet print (as older charts on my office walls can attest!). I may be mistaken but Perspex is even better than common uncoated glass at blocking UVs.
Miguel - 15/02/2021
A while back, I had submitted full color plans and the article, mostly reproduced from the January 1979 issue of Model Builder, including color pictures of a beautifully painted model (I don't know who made the model or the scale), to be added as supplements, hoping other modelers might find them of some value. My guess is that they got lost in the overwhelming barrage of e-mail that Steve and Mary receive.
It's regrettably true that most consumer inkjet inks are neither waterproof nor archival. Both Canon and Epson make truly archival inkjet inks but they are usually reserved for high-end printers. Electrostatic printers (e.g. color laser) produce prints that are permanent and colorfast. Unfortunately, most consumer and commercial printers of this type require that the substrate follows a convoluted print path that is not conducive to very light media, such as tissue. Flatbed electrostatic printers, which can handle virtually any kind of medium (thick, thin, paper, plastic, metal, ceramic, etc) also tend to be limited to the purview of specialty graphics shops. If you can find a professional print house in your area, they can probably advise you and may do small runs of tissue to your specifications. Finally, glass will block most UV radiation but will not guarantee against fading from other wavelengths, which may also have an effect on some inks and dyes. Perspex (acrylic) will not block UV unless it is specifically coated for this purpose.
Jan Novick - 16/02/2021
I remember the photos of the model with the stunning paint scheme. It was a plastic model (from Flashback) at 1/48 scale, found it here on the Hyperscale site at: http://www.hyperscale.com/2009/galleries/aviatikbergd1hl_1.htm it's great inspiration.
SteveWMD - 16/02/2021
Jan, in the contest between your word and my sputtering memory you take the prize :-)
Thank you for your informative post.
Miguel - 16/02/2021
Wow, this is beautiful Neal! The hexagons of colour are stunning.
Mary - 19/02/2021
You're discerning eye is so very much appreciated, Mary. As for the hexagon colors...those colors are for YOU. :-)
Neal - 21/02/2021
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  • Aviatik D-1 (oz4047)
  • Plan File Filesize: 820KB Filename: Aviatik_Berg_D-1_oz4047.pdf
  • Supplement Filesize: 3667KB Filename: Aviatik_Berg_D-1_oz4047_article.pdf
  • Supplement Filesize: 37KB Filename: Aviatik_Berg_D-1_oz4047_transcript.pdf
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