Brandenburg W.12 in Profile

By Bob Pearson

Mention 'Camel' to any First World War aviation buff and you will get replies "Oh, yes, the Sopwith ....", however there was another aircraft that went by the same name .. the German Brandenburg W.12 'Kamel', shared the moniker with the more known Sopwith aircraft. The type was constantly beiong modified, to the point that very few shared the exact same arrangement of engine, radiator, armament, fuselage length. Counting prototypes, there were 156 W.12s built in nine batches varying from 3 to 30 aircraft per batch between October 1916 and June 1918.

The standard finish was a gray fuselage, struts, and floats. WIngs, fuselage decking and tail upper surfaces were in the three colour naval hex pattern. These were regular six sided hexes in either a Blue pattern (Light violet grey blue, Light blue and Mid blue), or a Brown' pattern (Deep blue, Purple, brown). Which was which is open to conjecture, I have chosen to use the blue pattern. the bottom of the wings and tailplane was in CDL. Some W.12s had their floats covered in a dark grey waterproof finish.

Brandenburg W.12 1184
1 Staffel
SeeFlugstation Flandern I
Zeebrugge NAS
Source: W.12 Datafile

A short fuselaged W12 with a Benz Bz.III engine, ailerons on the upper wing only.

Brandenburg W.12 1407
Nordernay NAS
July 1918
Source: C&C(GB) 13/3

1407 has the waterproofed finish on its floats. The fuselage and tail crosses show the earlier Eisernes kreuz painted over by the Balkan kreuz.

Brandenburg W.12 1409
Zeebrugge NAS
Source: W12 Datafile

Brandenburg W.12 1414
Ltn Brecht
Zeebrugge NAS
December 1917
Source: W.12 Datafile

Brandenburg W.12 2002
III Staffel
NAS Borkum
Source: W12 Datafile

2002 was a long fuselaged W12. Changes to this variant include: Ailerons on all wings (note the struts), lengthened fuselage for better directional stability. The marking is the coat of arms for the City of Bremen.


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