Bulgarian Air Force
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Bulgaria
Air Force

Aircraft Types


Albatros B.I 
Two Albatros B.I (100 hp Mercedes) 2-seater biplanes impounded from Ottoman Turks in July 1914 when their crews became disorientated and landed in Bulgaria in error. Used by the Aeroplane Otdelenie at Sofia Station airfield for crew training in the reconnaissance role. Withdrawn from service by early 1916.

Serial c/no. Prev. Identity Delivered Fate/Notes
      July 1914  
      July 1914  

References:

  • Air Power of the Kingdom of Bulgaria Part II by Dimitar Nedialkov, 2001


Albatros C.III 
Twenty-six OAW-built Albatros C.III 2-seater biplanes delivered between early September 1916 and late 1916. Eighteen combat machines and six trainers. Used by Aeroplane School at Bojurishte for pilot and observer training and air defence of Sofia, and by 2 Aeroplane Otdelenie at Udovo in 1917 for bomber/reconnaissance duties. None serviceable on Salonica front by start of 1918, although some trainers may have survived. Serials should be in the range C.2274/16 to C.2373/16. One aircraft used by Gendarmerie Air Otdelenie 10 April 1921 to 30 March 1922.

Serial c/no. Prev. Identity Delivered Fate/Notes
C.2363/16     1916 survived to 26 Nov 1918
      1916  
      1916  
      1916  
      1916  
      1916  
      1916  
      1916  
      1916  
      1916  
      1916  
      1916  
      1916  
      1916  
      1916  
      1916  
      1916  
      1916  
      1916  
      1916  
      1916  
      1916  
      1916  
      1916  
      1916  
      1916  
      1916  
      1916  
One 2 Aeroplane Otdelenie aircraft shot down 2 April 1917 by French Nieuports
One aircraft shot down by British fighters ? 1917.

References:

  • Air Power of the Kingdom of Bulgaria Part II by Dimitar Nedialkov, 2001
  • Wings Palette colour profile
  • Air Power of the Kingdom of Bulgaria Part III


Albatros D.III 
A few Albatros D.III single-seat fighters were acquired from retreating German units in late 1918, but never officially 'taken on charge'. Some Albatros D.II/D.V were also used by Bulgarian pilots only for training and test flying after repairs in the Bojurishte airfield workshops.

Serial c/no. Prev. Identity Delivered Fate/Notes
      1918  
      1918  

References:

  • Bulgarian Fighters Part I


Albatros F.2 
Four Albatros F.2 two-seat pusher biplanes (modified Farman with a small fairing for the crew) ordered from Germany in late 1911. 100 hp Argus engine. One example was destroyed in a crash at Berlin's Johannisthal training airfield when the Bulgarian trainee pilot Poruchik Popristov collided with a Taube monoplane and was fatally injured. The remaining three were shipped to Bulgaria in crates.

The first example was assembled and test flown on 14 October 1912 at Mustafapasa. Used by 1 and 2 Aeroplane Otdelenie for the bombing and reconnaissance roles. Later relegated to training duties. Withdrawn from service in 1914. No serial numbers carried. (Only five of this type were ever built - the fifth example was given to Russia and crashed in 1912 at the Gatchina flight school near St. Petersburg).
Note: The 'Air Power' references listed below consistently refer to this type as the 'Albatros FIII'.

Serial c/no. Prev. Identity Delivered Fate/Notes
n/a     - Crashed at Johannisthal airfield before delivery, ? date
n/a     Oct 1912  
n/a     Oct 1912  
n/a     Oct 1912  

References:

  • Air Power of the Kingdom of Bulgaria Part I by Dimitar Nedialkov, 2001
  • Air Power of the Kingdom of Bulgaria Part II by Dimitar Nedialkov, 2001
  • Insignia Issue 13, Winter 1999
  • Small Air Forces Observer No.64 October 1992


Albatros L.73 
Two Albatros L.73 2-seater biplanes (two 480 hp Wright radial engines) obtained as a gift from Lufthansa in 1929 (other sources say 1932). Used by ? unit for the ? role. Withdrawn from service in 19??

Serial c/no. Prev. Identity Delivered Fate/Notes
      1929  
      1929  

References:

  • Air Power of the Kingdom of Bulgaria Part III


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First Created: 27 January 2002 - Last Revised: 25 June 2005
Copyright © 2002 John Hayles.     e-mail: john@aeroflight.co.uk