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"Prettiest aeroplane of the Great War?" Topic

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17 Oct 2017 12:07 p.m. PST
by Editor in Chief Bill

  • Crossposted to Biplanes board

18 Jul 2018 6:58 a.m. PST
by Editor in Chief Bill

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Winston Smith16 Oct 2017 11:16 a.m. PST

A heated argument has broken out on another thread.
Suffice it to say that I am right and he is wrong.

So, the question is "What was the prettiest aeroplane that fought in the Great War?"
Note. Great War is of course WWI. Anyone nominating a Spitfire or a Mustang is an idiot.

I nominate:
Albatros DVa

"Some other guy" nominated the Pfalz DIII.

The Albatros has much more leeway for the noted Teutonic whimsy with which the pilots decorated their aeroplane with personal markings, etc.
The Pfalz DIII, I admit, had nice lines, but the tail was a bit off, spoiling its good looks. Besides, most were just silver, with little scope for Teutonic Whimsy.

dampfpanzerwagon Fezian16 Oct 2017 11:24 a.m. PST

I've always liked the Camel.


willthepiper16 Oct 2017 11:26 a.m. PST

Since your question is "prettiest" rather than, say, actually effective, safe to fly, or any performance-based metric, I will nominate the Etrich Taube (Dove). Prettiest little thing, looks like it would crumple in a strong breeze (and pretty much did as far as I can tell!)


Timmo uk16 Oct 2017 11:28 a.m. PST

Nieuport 17

Mick the Metalsmith16 Oct 2017 11:31 a.m. PST

Sopwith Triplanes or the Fokker dr3.

Texas Jack16 Oct 2017 11:35 a.m. PST

Im with Timmo, the Nieuport 17 was lovely.

wrgmr116 Oct 2017 11:37 a.m. PST

I'm with Winston Albatross DV.

rmaker16 Oct 2017 12:05 p.m. PST

Sopwith Pup.

Personal logo Herkybird Supporting Member of TMP16 Oct 2017 12:06 p.m. PST

Whoo, that's a tough one!

If pushed, I would suggest the Morane-Saulnier L


Shagnasty Supporting Member of TMP16 Oct 2017 12:24 p.m. PST

I agree with Winston, the D V. It was the first WW I plane I built as a model and always thought it had very advanced design. It just looks cool!

skedaddle16 Oct 2017 12:48 p.m. PST

Sopwith DH2

Ceterman16 Oct 2017 12:51 p.m. PST

Winston & ALL others that agree with him are, again… DEAD PLAIN FLAT OUT WRONG. Everybody, who's anybody KNOWS the absolute PRETTIEST plane in the sky is a Pfalz D3. Again, sorry Winston. You are completely WRONG on 2 threads. What a nincompoop! End of story.
Some Other Guy

Legbiter16 Oct 2017 12:53 p.m. PST

Roland CII Walfisch. BEAUTIFUL aircraft, streamlined, respected by its enemies [at one point in 1916 Albert Ball called it the best enemy machine], but hated by its crews because the view down and front was very poor, so it was a bitch to land. The Bristol monoplane is another good candidate, or the late-war Fokker monoplane.

Ceterman16 Oct 2017 12:53 p.m. PST

PS… Albatross's come in (a close) second.

Joes Shop Supporting Member of TMP16 Oct 2017 1:05 p.m. PST

Fokker DVIII.

Sgt Slag16 Oct 2017 1:36 p.m. PST

Russian Sikorsky Ilya Muromets: so big, so many crewmen, so many guns, so much wing, tail, and body… World's first strategic bomber, world's first gunship. Hai, curumba, Baby! Cheers!


Big Red Supporting Member of TMP16 Oct 2017 6:03 p.m. PST

Nieuport 28. A beautifully proportioned death trap.

Frederick Supporting Member of TMP16 Oct 2017 7:09 p.m. PST

Prettiest – I think the D V is a great candidate

My favourite is the quirky Airco DH-2 pusher – maybe not pretty but I think kind of neat (also the first biplane I built as a model kit)

Personal logo miniMo Supporting Member of TMP16 Oct 2017 7:51 p.m. PST

+1 Nieuport 28 for the best proportions and lines of that family.

Kind of butch, but still very cute: S.E.5 / S.E.5a

Winston Smith16 Oct 2017 8:34 p.m. PST

Naming no names, but some of the aforementioned planes "have a great personality."

Sundance16 Oct 2017 9:17 p.m. PST

Albatross DIII/DV and the a variants. Beautiful planes.

Personal logo Doctor X Supporting Member of TMP16 Oct 2017 9:23 p.m. PST

Fokker DVII in lozenge pattern

charliemike17 Oct 2017 4:51 a.m. PST

I always liked the Macchi M.5.

Personal logo brass1 Supporting Member of TMP17 Oct 2017 5:20 a.m. PST

Sopwith Triplane. Just because.


21eRegt17 Oct 2017 6:31 a.m. PST

Tough to narrow down. Favorites would be SPAD XIII and Fokker DVII. Cutest would be the Fokker Dr.1. But for prettiest I'll stick with the Albatross DVa.

DeRuyter17 Oct 2017 7:06 a.m. PST

Here's another vote for Fokker DVIII.

Winston Smith17 Oct 2017 8:26 a.m. PST

According to classically educated British pilots(and weren't they all?), the plural of "Albatros" is "Albatri".
Well, if you swallow Elvi as the plural of Elvis, which I don't, that might be considered clever.

Painted white with rhinestones, the Etrich Taube could be mistaken for a Flying Elvis.

Lonkka1Actual17 Oct 2017 8:30 a.m. PST

Albatross DIII/DV
(wasn't Pfalz very much the same plane?)

Coelacanth17 Oct 2017 8:32 a.m. PST


I nominate the SPAD S.VII.


Old Contemptibles Supporting Member of TMP17 Oct 2017 9:59 a.m. PST

None of them are real beauties but if I had to pick, I would go for the Nieuport 17 and the SPAD.

pvernon Supporting Member of TMP17 Oct 2017 10:34 a.m. PST

Another one for the Albatros DIII/DV family.

Personal logo Parzival Supporting Member of TMP17 Oct 2017 10:38 a.m. PST

Of those suggested, that Roland C2 Walfisch is probably my pick for "prettiest."
But for "funky cool look," I'm also going with the DH2 pusher. Maybe because in the room of models all working off the same fashion plate, she's the one to dare to be truly different.

daler240D17 Oct 2017 2:06 p.m. PST

prettiest? Goodness you guys aren't even close…

The Etrich Taube is my choice hands down.

cplcampisi18 Oct 2017 7:30 p.m. PST

I don't know if there is a model that I've think of as prettiest, but there are some that are definitely in competition.

I agree with those who have suggested the Roland C.II, and even the Taube -- although the complicated bracing distracts a bit from it's sweeping lines.

I would also suggest Ansaldo SVA 5, and the early Aviatik (Berg) D.I's (before they cut down the front decking).

Personally I've always liked the Hanriot HD.1 although I think its looks are more quirky than pretty.

arthur181519 Oct 2017 4:57 a.m. PST

Have to agree the Taube is the 'prettiest' design – as opposed to attractive colour scheme.
For sinister, shark-like elegance, has to be the Albatros DV.

Personal logo 20thmaine Supporting Member of TMP19 Oct 2017 6:24 a.m. PST

One of those rare occasions when I agree with Winston (wink) The albatross is simply gorgeous.

langobard Supporting Member of TMP19 Oct 2017 6:41 p.m. PST

Handley Page Type O. So ugly it is beautiful, but more to the point, probably my favorite WW1 Airfix kit :)

Great War Ace19 Oct 2017 10:08 p.m. PST

Hands down, the Nieuport 17. It was a perfected N.11 or 16, with tastefully enlarged wing area, which only increased its stubby perfection of proportion. The way the nose snugs out barely beyond the leading edge; the way the forward cabanes line up perfectly with the forward landing gear struts; the pert tail; the way the pilot sits tightly right behind the trailing edge, eyes even with the top wing; the sesquiplane layout and "V" struts.

Albatros sesquiplane design just looks odd compared to the Nieuport to me. But I like the look of the Albatros too. The least attractive aspect is that spade tail. I actually like the Pfalz D.3 more; something about the way the parts blend is more akin to the Nieuports, even though they are very different.

Poniatowski Supporting Member of TMP24 Oct 2017 11:19 a.m. PST

Spad VII.

BW195930 Oct 2017 7:27 p.m. PST

I always liked the Hanriot HD1


A French plane used mostly by Belgium and Italy

Elenderil08 Nov 2017 7:15 a.m. PST

I have always had a soft spot for the Seimans Schukert DIII/DIV. So stubby and blunt as to be cute.

john snelling10 Nov 2017 3:31 p.m. PST


tsofian Sponsoring Member of TMP27 Dec 2017 3:22 p.m. PST

Really, so much brain power on this list and no one gets the correct answer


The Bristol MC-1 Monoplane scout

Old Contemptibles Supporting Member of TMP27 Dec 2017 7:38 p.m. PST


Legion 428 Dec 2017 6:57 a.m. PST

Any aircraft with the German Lozenge pattern camo ! evil grin

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