Pfalz E.V

The Pfalz E.V was the only version of the series of Pfalz monoplanes to use an inline engine, but by the time it entered production in 1916 it was already obsolete, and only 20 were ever built.

Pfalz E.V from the Right Rear
Pfalz E.V from the Right Rear

Before the outbreak of war Pfalz had gained a licence to build the Morane-Saulnier Type H monoplane. In 1915, when Fokker began to produce the Fokker E.I with its synchronised forward firing machine gun, Pfalz were soon able to follow, with the Pfalz E.I. This was an armed version of the Type H, powered by an Oberursel rotary engine, and armed with a single machine gun. It was followed by the Pfalz E.II, with a more powerful engine, and Pfalz E.IV, with a twin row rotary engine and two machine guns. However all of these aircraft were considered to be inferior to their Fokker contemporaries, and they were produced in smaller numbers.

Probably in an attempt to keep production of one of their own designs going, in 1916 Pfalz installed a 100hp six cylinder inline Mercedes D.I engine in the airframe of an E.IV. The new engine was heavier than the twin row rotary Oberursel engine it replaced, but it did allow for a more streamlined nose, with a curved radiator at the front of the aircraft. The E.V was slightly faster than the E.IV, but probably only because it only carried a single machine gun. 

A single contract, for fifty aircraft, was placed in February 1916, but only twenty of these aircraft were built. The E.V passed its Type Test in July 1916, by which time the first German biplane fighter, the Halberstadt D.II, had been in service for six months, and the superior Albatros D.I was almost ready for production. The Halberstadt aircraft was no faster than the E.IV, but it was more manoeuvrable, and was preferred to any of the monoplane fighters by most pilots.

Three E.Vs were listed on the front line inventory on 30 June 1916. However it is unlikely that they saw any combat, and the entire family of Pfalz monoplanes were withdrawn by August after suffering from a series of structural failures. However the E.V was unlikely to have been produced in significant numbers even if this hadn’t happened.

Pfalz E.V from the left
Pfalz E.V from the left

One final member of the family, the Oberursel powered E.VI. was built, but again only in tiny numbers, and it was only used for training.

Engine: Mercedes D.I
Power: 100hp
Crew: 1
Span: 10.2m
Length: 6.6m
Height: 2.6m
Empty weight: 510kg
Loaded weight: 690kg
Max speed: 165km/ hr
Armament: One Spandau lMG machine gun

Books on the First World War | Subject Index: First World War

How to cite this article: Rickard, J (12 July 2023), Pfalz E.V ,

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