Hannover CL.III

Hannover CL.III - 1917
Hannover CL.III

The Hannover CL.III was a German military aircraft of World War I. It was a two-seat multi-role aircraft, primarily used as a ground attack machine. Like the other Hannover “light-C-class”, or “CL” designated aircraft designed by Hermann Dorner, it included an unusual biplane tail, allowing for a greater firing arc for the tail gunner. Until the introduction of the aircraft, such tails had only been used on larger aircraft.

Compared to the preceding CL.II, the CL.III had redesigned ailerons with aerodynamic balance areas that overhung the wingtips, a modification that provided greater maneuverability, especially at the low levels that the CL.III was expected to be operating at in its new ground-attack role as the Schutzstaffeln (escort squadrons) were reassigned as Schlactstaffeln (battle squadrons). It was also intended that it should use the excellent Mercedes D.III engine, but the Idflieg gave priority for these engines to fighter production, and most CL.IIIs were produced with the same Argus engine that the CL.II had used. The Argus engined variant was designated CL.IIIa.

Hannover CL.IIIa
  • Type: Ground attack aircraft
  • Manufacturer: Hannoversche Waggonfabrik
  • Entered Service: 1917
  • Number Built: 617
  • Powerplant:
    • Hannover CL.III: Mercedes D.III, water cooled 6-cylinder in-line 160 hp (119 kW)
    • Hannover CL.IIIa: Argus As.III, water cooled 6-cylinder in-line 180-hp (134-kW)
  • Wingspan: 38 ft 5 in (11.70 m)
  • Length: 25 ft 7 in (7.80 m)
  • Height: 9 ft 2 in (2.80 m)
  • Empty Weight: 1,720 lb (780 kg)
  • Loaded Weight: 2,469 lb (1,120 kg)
  • Maximum Speed: 90 knots, 103 mph (165 km/h) at 16,400 ft (5,000 m)
  • Service Ceiling: 24,600 ft (7,500 m)
  • Endurance: 3 hours
  • Crew: Two, pilot & observer/gunner
  • Armament:
    • 1 × 7.92 mm (0.323 in) LMG 08/15 machinegun, fixed forward
    • 2 × 7.92 mm (0.323 in) LMG 08/15 machineguns ring-mounted in observer's cockpit.


  1. From Wikipedia Hannover Cl.II, "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hannover_Cl.II"
  2. Grosz, Peter M, "Hannover Cl.III Windsock Datafile No.23", Albatros Publications, 1990. ISBN 0-948414-27-8