The A.E.G. D.I was the first single seat fighter to be produced by A.E.G., and wasn't a great success with a small production contract being cancelled after two prototypes had crashed.
A.E.G. was a successful producer of observation aircraft (most notably the A.E.G. C.IV) and twin engined bombers (A.E.G. G.IV). The D.I, its first fighter, didn't appear until 1917. It used the same construction methods as the larger A.E.G. aircraft, with a welded steel tube fuselage, wooden wing ribs and a fabric covering. The larger aircraft had two steel tube wing spars, the D.I only had one spar.
The D.I was a single bay biplane, powered by a 160hp Daimler D.IIIa engine, with the upper part of the engine jutting out of the fuselage, as was usual on A.E.G. designs. It was armed with twin 7.92mm LMG 08/15 machine guns. It had swept back wings, with a slightly wider wingspan on the upper wing. The lower wing was level with the base of the fuselage, which had a rectangular cross-section, and the upper wing was raised above the fuselage. The pilot's cockpit was level with the trailing edge of the upper wing.
Three prototypes were produced. The first was ready for tests in May 1917. This had a square radiator mounted in front of the engine, and a long exhaust pipe that ran along the right-hand side of the aircraft. After early tests the fuselage was lengthened by 15 3/4in, and the first prototype was then used for type tests in August-September 1917. During these tests one prototype crashed, but despite this an order was placed for twenty pre-production aircraft, to be used for front line evolution.
The second and third prototypes used cheek-type radiators. One of these aircraft crashed on 5 September 1917, and the production contract was then cancelled. The D.I was used as the basis for the A.E.G. Dr.I triplane, which was no more successful.
Engine: Daimler D IIIa six cylinder water cooled engine
Span: 27ft 10 5/8in
Length: 20ft 0 1/8in
Height: 8ft 8 1/3in
Empty weight: 1,510lb
Loaded weight: 2,072lb
Max speed: 127mph
Climb Rate: 2.2min to 3,280ft
Armament: Two 7.92mm LMG 08/15 machine guns