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WW1 era Swedish bi-plane


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Nice shot of a crashed Swedish bi-plane. WW1 to post WW1 era. Came from photos from my mom's father who was in the Swedish army prior to him coming to the states.


Any idea or way to ID the plane?  

Swedish bi-plane.jpg

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  • 11 months later...

Sorry for being late on the ball! But I just joined this forum.


This is really a nice and interesting photo and it sparked my interest to find out more about it. Although being an aircraft guy all my life the early Swedish airplanes are not my area of expertise. Anyhow this is what I found out:


As I didn’t immediately could tell what aircraft it was I started with the national emblem. The marking with three black crowns on a square white background and the blue and yellow Swedish flag on the rudder turned out to place the aircraft/photo between 1917 and 1927. Before 1917 the fuselage didn’t have the three crowns and after 1927 the black crowns had a round background and the flag was replaced by a yellow and blue vertical stripe on the rudder. 1927 was also the year when the army- and navy aviation units were transformed into the air force (Flygvapnet).


The uniforms on the picture is most likely m/1910 (except the guy sitting on the aircraft which seems to wear a coverall, maybe the pilot?), a grey uniform with blue details that preceeded the m/1923 uniform. This is however not a secure way to date the photo as the m/1910 often was used after 1923 as well.

Some more internet search finally identified the aircraft as an Albatros type B.II.a. The distinct delta shaped horisontal and vertical tail was a clue when identifying the aircraft. The story behind the Albatros in Sweden was also interesting. It started with a promotion tour by the Albatros Flugzeugwerke Gmbh from Berlin-Copenhagen-Stockholm-St Petersburg-Warsaw-Berlin in late July 1914. The goal was to sell some aircraft. Well, as the pilot landed in Stockholm one of the wheels sank in the soft ground and the aircraft was damaged. Spare parts was sent from Germany which didn’t fit. Then Svenska Aeroplanfabriken (The Swedish Aeroplane factory) assited in making new parts and repair the aircraft. In that process they also made exact measurements of the complete aircraft.


Soon enough, the first world war broke out and the Albatros pilot had to return to Germany in a hurry leaving the still broke aircraft behind. After being repaired the aircraft was used as a trainer until 1918. The drawings was used to make copies of the Albatros by four different Swedish manufacturers: Svenska Aeroplanfabriken (The Swedish Aeroplane factory), Södertelge Werkstäder (Södertelge Workshops), Nordiska Aviatikbolaget (The Nordic Aviation Company) and finally Flygkompaniets Verkstäder Malmen (The Air Company Workshops at Malmen). In total 41 copies of the Albatros was manufactured in Sweden besides the orignal that was left behind in Sweden for use by the Swedish Army. Furthermore another 5 aircraft was bought from the Albatros factory by the Swedish Navy. The Swedish designation of the aircraft was Sk1 (Skolflygplan 1, Trainer 1) and Ö2 (Övningsflygplan 2, Practice aircraft 2).


The aircraft on the picture with individual number 1144 was manufactured by Flygkompaniets Verkstäder Malmen in Februari 1922 and was officially scrapped in January 1923, most likely due to the crash in the picture! The lack of snow in the picture could indicate that the photo was taken before the winter of 1922, maby October-November? After some further search the same photo was found in Digitalt museum (the Digital Museum which hosts a database of objects found in a large number of Swedish museums). There it was noted that the aircraft had crashed in Skillingaryd in Småland. Given that Flygkompaniet was based in several locations in Sweden at that time the most likely bases would be Vänersborg in Västergötland or Malmen outside Linköping in Östergötland. It also states that on-board the plane was Ivar Lysén and a guy named Mörling.


One last thing to reflect on. Normally an aircraft travels in the direction the nose points at. It is very hard to understand how they actually flew to end up in that position on the photo, with a sturdy pine tree close to the fuselage and behind the wing! I can’t get it.

It would be very interesting to hear more about your grandfather and his service in the Swedish military. Any more connection to the photo and the aircraft would also be nice to know.


Information came from these sources (unfortunately only in Swedish):











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Two pictures of the sister aircraft number 1140. One in the air and one in front of the administrative building at Malmen in Malmslätt just outside Linköping. This leads me to belive that also 1144 was based at Malmen.


FVMF.005120 framför kanslihuset på Malmen.jpg

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On 2/10/2021 at 1:55 AM, easterneagle87 said:

Any idea or way to ID the plane?  

I have a book Air Aces of the Austro-Hungarian Air Force by O'Connor.  I was trying to match the tail rudder, which has the top or rudder that runs forward like an Albatros fighter.  

This doesn't match the Albatros B.1 and it surely doesn't have the tall rudder of a Hansa-Brandenburg.  It is no match for an Aviatik D.I, or a Loehn or a Lloyd C.II.  

It has a radiator mounted on the top wing like many of their planes.  


I will go with a Swedish aircraft.  

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