The LVG E.I of 1915 was the first original fighter design produced by LVG, which was better known for its observation biplanes. The E.I was two-man monoplane, which was destroyed during the evaluation process.
LVG produced a series of fighter designs during the First World War, most of which had at least one advanced or unusual feature and none of which entered production. The E.I had two unusual features - it was the first German aircraft to be armed with a fixed forward firing gun for the pilot and a ring mounted gun for the observer, and it was a rare example for 1915 of a monoplane with ailerons rather than with wing warping controls.
The tail surfaces were all long and basically triangular, with small control surfaces at the back each with a curved end.
The single wing was supported by bracing wires above the wing (attached to the tip of a pyramid of four struts above the pilot) and by rigid struts below the wing.
The E.I was powered by a 120hp Mercedes D II engine.
The sole prototype of the E.I demonstrated enough potential for it to be sent to the Front for operational assessment, but it was destroyed while being ferried west. The fault was found to have been with the under-wing struts, which were not properly screwed in. After this disaster work on the E.I came to an end. In 1916 LVG began work on a series of biplane fighter designs, starting with the LVG D 10, but none of the six biplane designs entered production.
The military LVG E.I should not be confused with LVG-built Nieuport biplanes, which had the company designations LVG E.I to E.VI. The company used a similar designation system for its pre-war biplanes, with the D.I to D.III being Farman pusher types and the D.IV the company designation for the Military LVG B.I. Later on LVG shifted to Arabic numerals for their own designations, so their first biplane fighter was the D 10.
Engine: Mercedes D II
Guns: Fixed forward firing synchronised machine gun and ring mounted machine gun