The LVG B.II was an important German reconnaissance aircraft of 1915, and was an improved version of the pre-war B.I. The LVG B.I was a two-bay biplane with a reputation for being sturdy, stable and easy to fly, and it was the most important German reconnaissance aircraft at the outbreak of war.
The differences between the B.I and the B.II were fairly minor. The B.II had a semi-circular cut-out in the upper wing to improve the pilot's view (from the rear cockpit). Most B.IIs were powered by the 120hp Mercedes D II engine. The wing span was reduced, and the pilot's cockpit moved slightly backwards. The position of the gravity fuel tank also changed.
The B.II used the same construction methods as the B.II. The fuselage was built around four spruce longerons with wire bracing and cross-members to give more strength. The rear fuselage had a rectangular cross-section, narrowing to a sharp end. The wings also had spruce main spars, with wooden compression members and steel cables for more strength. Both fuselage and wings were fabric covered.
The B.II was built by LVG, Otto and Schütte-Lanz. It was originally used as a reconnaissance aircraft, but later became a trainer. The first twelve were recorded at the front on 31 December 1914. At its peak on 31 October 1915 a total of 165 were at the front, but the numbers quickly dropped off - 77 by 31 December, 40 by 28 February 1916 and single figures for the rest of 1916. After being withdrawn from the front the B.II was used as a training aircraft, a role at which it excelled. It was so successful in this new role that production resumed in 1917 as the LVG B.III, with a stronger fuselage structure.
For some reason there is little agreement on the exact statistics of the B.II (or B.I) with different sources giving different figures for weight and dimensions in particular. The aircraft was built by three firms with several engine types, so it is possible that the dimensions did change over time.
Engine: Mercedes D.I or D.II
Power: 100hp or 120hp
Span: 39ft 9 1/8in
Length: 27ft 2 3/4in
Height: 9ft 8in
Empty Weight: 1,597lb
Loaded Weight: 2,363lb
Maximum Speed: 65mph at 3,280ft
Climb rate: 12mins to 3,280ft
Duration: 4 hours