Albatros B.II (Reconnaissance aircraft/trainer, 1914-1935)
Page 1 (of 4)

In summer 1914, the German aircraft manufacturer Albatros-Flugzeugwerke GmbH of Berlin-Johannisthal, sent the military aviator Lothar Wieland on a tour to several countries in northern Europe to display their type B.IIa. This aircraft was one of the best basic trainers of its times.

On the 25th of July, the Albatros landed at Malmen. Next day, the journey continued to Stockholm. But Wieland made a misjudgement and landed in a muddy field. During the landing, the aircraft turned around and was damaged. 

Before repairs managed to be accomplished, the WWI broke out. Lothar Wieland was sent home to Germany, but the aircraft was kept and later bought by the Swedish authorities. The Albatros was copied and built by FVM and three other Swedish aircraft manufacturers. A total of 42 Albatros B.II were built for the Army Aviation Company in different variations.

In the beginning, the Albatros was used as a reconnaissance aircraft, but later many were rebuilt with dual command and used as trainers. In 1926, when the Swedish Air Force was founded, the Albatros got the designation Sk 1. (Sk = Skolflygplan/Trainer). The more powerful ”160-trossen”, fitted with a 160 hp engine, got the designation Ö 2 (Övningsflygplan/Advanced Trainer).

The Albatros was built in Sweden (with or without license) by the following manufacturers:

FVM (Workshop of the Army Aircraft Company) - (Albatros 120, 1918-1925, 120 hp Mercedes engine; Albatros 160, 1929-24, 160 hp Mercedes engine).

Svenska Aeroplanfabriken - (SAF 3, 1915, 100 hp Mercedes engine). One of the owners of SAF was Lars Fjällbäck, known as the designer of Nightingale (”the Hybrid”). It was Fjällbäck who, during the repairs of Wieland’s B.IIa, made detailed drawings of the aircraft which made it possible to copy it in Sweden.

Södertelge Verkstäder -  (SW 12, 1915-16, 100 hp Mercedes engine; SW 20, 1916-17, 110 hp Scania-Vabis engine).                           

Nordiska Aviatikbolaget - (NAB 9, 1916-18, 110 hp Scania-Vabis engine).

 When the Air Force was founded in 1926, not only the Army Albatrosses were inherited, but also three German-built machines from the Navy. It was decided that the Air Force would keep eight 120 hp aircraft ”120-trossar” (Sk 1) and nine ”160-trossar” (Ö 2). The last Ö 2 made service into 1935.  

The Albatros on the photo at top was built at FVM in 1925 and was written off in 1929. It is fitted with a 120 hp Benz engine. Exhibited at Flygvapenmuseum (Swedish Air Force Museum). Note that the markings are from the Air Force era.

Length: 7,8 m. Span: 13,1 m. MTOW: 1.135 kg. Max. speed: 116 km/h.          


For the Model Builder

Choroszy Modelbud, Poland, has a resin model kit of the similar Albatros CIa. Swedish markings are not included. Scale 1:72. Kit # A50. Click on the thumbnail for larger image.

Choroszy resin model kit in scale 1:72 of Albatros CIa. Katalouge no. A50.





Stamp from Bulgaria issued in 1981 depicting an DAR Unuzov-1 (almost the same design as Albatros B.II)

Stamp from Bulgaria issued in 1981. The aircraft is a DAR/Uzunov-1, a design inspired of the well-known Albatross B.II. DAR ( Dargeavna Aeroplanna Rabotilnitsa) in Bulgaria built six of these aircraft  in 1926.






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© Lars Henriksson

Updated 2010-07-17


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