Rumpler Taube

Rumpler Taube

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The Etrich Taube, also known by the names of the various manufacturers who build versions of the type, such as the Rumpler Taube, was a pre-World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

 monoplane
Monoplane
A monoplane is a fixed-wing aircraft with one main set of wing surfaces, in contrast to a biplane or triplane. Since the late 1930s it has been the most common form for a fixed wing aircraft.-Types of monoplane:...

 aircraft. It was the first mass-produced military plane in Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

. As Imperial Germany's first practical military aircraft, the Taube ("dove
Dove
Pigeons and doves constitute the bird family Columbidae within the order Columbiformes, which include some 300 species of near passerines. In general terms "dove" and "pigeon" are used somewhat interchangeably...

") was used for virtually all military aircraft applications, as a fighter
Fighter aircraft
A fighter aircraft is a military aircraft designed primarily for air-to-air combat with other aircraft, as opposed to a bomber, which is designed primarily to attack ground targets...

, bomber
Bomber
A bomber is a military aircraft designed to attack ground and sea targets, by dropping bombs on them, or – in recent years – by launching cruise missiles at them.-Classifications of bombers:...

, surveillance aircraft
Surveillance aircraft
A surveillance aircraft is an aircraft used for surveillance — collecting information over time. They are operated by military forces and other government agencies in roles such as intelligence gathering, battlefield surveillance, airspace surveillance, observation , border patrol and fishery...

 and trainer
Trainer (aircraft)
A trainer is a class of aircraft designed specifically to facilitate in-flight training of pilots and aircrews. The use of a dedicated trainer aircraft with additional safety features—such as tandem flight controls, forgiving flight characteristics and a simplified cockpit arrangement—allows...

 from 1910 until the start of World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

 in August 1914.

The Taube was very popular prior to the First World War, and it was also used by the air forces of Italy
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

 and Austria-Hungary
Austria-Hungary
Austria-Hungary , more formally known as the Kingdoms and Lands Represented in the Imperial Council and the Lands of the Holy Hungarian Crown of Saint Stephen, was a constitutional monarchic union between the crowns of the Austrian Empire and the Kingdom of Hungary in...

. Even the Royal Flying Corps
Royal Flying Corps
The Royal Flying Corps was the over-land air arm of the British military during most of the First World War. During the early part of the war, the RFC's responsibilities were centred on support of the British Army, via artillery co-operation and photographic reconnaissance...

 operated at least one Taube in 1912. On November 1, 1911, Giulio Gavotti
Giulio Gavotti
Giulio Gavotti was an Italian Lieutenant and pilot, who fought in the Italo-Turkish War. He set two firsts in the history of aerial warfare of heavier-than-air flyers: he was the first man to make an aerial bombardment, as well the first to perform a night mission.-Aerial bombardment:On the 1...

, an Italian aviator, had dropped the world's first aerial bomb from his Taube monoplane over the Ain Zara oasis in Libya
Libya
Libya is an African country in the Maghreb region of North Africa bordered by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, Egypt to the east, Sudan to the southeast, Chad and Niger to the south, and Algeria and Tunisia to the west....

. Once the war began, it quickly proved inferior as a serious warplane and as a result was soon replaced by newer and more effective designs. There were reports of later use however, including reports of Taube's bombing Broadstairs
Broadstairs
Broadstairs is a coastal town on the Isle of Thanet in the Thanet district of east Kent, England, about south-east of London. It is part of the civil parish of Broadstairs and St Peter's, which includes St. Peter's and had a population in 2001 of about 24,000. Situated between Margate and...

 in Kent
Kent
Kent is a county in southeast England, and is one of the home counties. It borders East Sussex, Surrey and Greater London and has a defined boundary with Essex in the middle of the Thames Estuary. The ceremonial county boundaries of Kent include the shire county of Kent and the unitary borough of...

 early in 1917.

Design and development



The Taube was designed in 1909 by Igo Etrich
Igo Etrich
Ignaz "Igo" Etrich , Austrian flight pioneer, pilot and fixed-wing aircraft developer.- Education :...

 of Austria-Hungary
Austria-Hungary
Austria-Hungary , more formally known as the Kingdoms and Lands Represented in the Imperial Council and the Lands of the Holy Hungarian Crown of Saint Stephen, was a constitutional monarchic union between the crowns of the Austrian Empire and the Kingdom of Hungary in...

, with its first flight in 1910. It was licensed for serial production by Lohner-Werke in Austria and by Edmund Rumpler
Rumpler
The Rumpler Tropfenwagen was a car developed by Austrian engineer Edmund Rumpler.Rumpler, born in Vienna, was a designer of aircraft when on the 1921's Berlin car show he introduced the Tropfenwagen. It was to be the first streamlined car . The Rumpler had a Cw-value of only 0.28...

 in Germany, now called the Etrich-Rumpler-Taube. Rumpler soon changed the name to Rumpler-Taube, and stopped paying royalties to Etrich, who subsequently abandoned his patent.

Despite its name, the Taube's unique wing form was not modeled after a dove, but was copied from the Zanonia macrocarpa
Zanonia
Zanonia is a monotypic genus in the flowering plant family Cucurbitaceae .The only species is Zanonia indica, a medium-sized liana found in the Indian Subcontinent and Southeast Asia east to New Guinea. It has a number of subspecies.-External links:*** * KBD: Kew Bibliographic Databases of Royal...

 seeds, which float to the ground in a slow spiral caused by a single wing. Similar wing shapes were also used by Karl Jatho
Karl Jatho
Karl Jatho was a German pioneer and inventor, performer and public servant of the city of Hanover.On August 18, 1903 he flew with his self-made motored gliding airplane 4 months before the first flight of the Wright Brothers. He made his first attempts with a plane with three lifting surfaces, but...

. Etrich had tried to build a flying wing aircraft based on the Zanonia wing shape, but the more conventional Taube type, with tail controls, was much more successful.

Etrich adopted the format of crosswind-capable main landing gear that Louis Blériot
Louis Blériot
Louis Charles Joseph Blériot was a French aviator, inventor and engineer. In 1909 he completed the first flight across a large body of water in a heavier-than-air craft, when he crossed the English Channel. For this achievement, he received a prize of £1,000...

 had used on his Blériot XI
Blériot XI
The Blériot XI is the aircraft in which, on 25 July 1909, Louis Blériot made the first flight across the English Channel made in a heavier-than-air aircraft . This achievement is one of the most famous accomplishments of the early years of aviation, and not only won Blériot a lasting place in...

 cross-channel monoplane for better ground handling, and gained biplane
Biplane
A biplane is a fixed-wing aircraft with two superimposed main wings. The Wright brothers' Wright Flyer used a biplane design, as did most aircraft in the early years of aviation. While a biplane wing structure has a structural advantage, it produces more drag than a similar monoplane wing...

-like strength for the Taube's monoplane wing with a cable cross-braced, orthogonal-layout Brücke, or "bridge", beneath each wing panel, which often carried small wire-spoke wheels or skids at its outboard ends, for wingtip protection. Later Taube-type aircraft from other manufacturers would eventually replace the Blériot-style crosswind main gear with a simpler V-strut main gear format, and also omitted the underwing "bridge" structure for somewhat better aerodynamic efficiency.

Like many contemporary aircraft, especially monoplanes, the Taube used wing warping
Wing warping
Wing warping was an early system for lateral control of a fixed-wing aircraft. The technique, used and patented by the Wright brothers, consisted of a system of pulleys and cables to twist the trailing edges of the wings in opposite directions...

 rather than aileron
Aileron
Ailerons are hinged flight control surfaces attached to the trailing edge of the wing of a fixed-wing aircraft. The ailerons are used to control the aircraft in roll, which results in a change in heading due to the tilting of the lift vector...

s for lateral (roll) control, and also warped the rear half of the stabilizer
Tailplane
A tailplane, also known as horizontal stabilizer , is a small lifting surface located on the tail behind the main lifting surfaces of a fixed-wing aircraft as well as other non-fixed wing aircraft such as helicopters and gyroplanes...

 for use as an elevator
Elevator (aircraft)
Elevators are flight control surfaces, usually at the rear of an aircraft, which control the aircraft's orientation by changing the pitch of the aircraft, and so also the angle of attack of the wing. In simplified terms, they make the aircraft nose-up or nose-down...

 control surface's function. Only the vertical, twinned triangular rudder surfaces were usually hinged.

Operational history



The design provided for very stable flight, which made it extremely suitable for observation. In addition, the translucent wings made it difficult for ground observers to detect a Taube at an altitude above 400 meters. The French called it "the Invisible Aircraft", and it has been referred to as the "world's first stealth plane". The first hostile engagement
Italo-Turkish War
The Italo-Turkish or Turco-Italian War was fought between the Ottoman Empire and the Kingdom of Italy from September 29, 1911 to October 18, 1912.As a result of this conflict, Italy was awarded the Ottoman provinces of Tripolitania, Fezzan, and...

 was by an Italian Taube in 1911 in Libya
Libya
Libya is an African country in the Maghreb region of North Africa bordered by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, Egypt to the east, Sudan to the southeast, Chad and Niger to the south, and Algeria and Tunisia to the west....

, its pilot using pistols and dropping 2 kg bombs. The plane was also used for bombing in the Balkans
Balkans
The Balkans is a geopolitical and cultural region of southeastern Europe...

 in 1911, and in late 1914 when German 3 kg bomblets and propaganda
Propaganda
Propaganda is a form of communication that is aimed at influencing the attitude of a community toward some cause or position so as to benefit oneself or one's group....

 leaflets were dropped over Paris
Paris
Paris is the capital and largest city in France, situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region...

.Taube spotter planes detected the advancing Imperial Russian Army in East Prussia
East Prussia
East Prussia is the main part of the region of Prussia along the southeastern Baltic Coast from the 13th century to the end of World War II in May 1945. From 1772–1829 and 1878–1945, the Province of East Prussia was part of the German state of Prussia. The capital city was Königsberg.East Prussia...

 during the World War I Battle of Tannenberg
Battle of Tannenberg (1914)
The Battle of Tannenberg was an engagement between the Russian Empire and the German Empire in the first days of World War I. It was fought by the Russian First and Second Armies against the German Eighth Army between 23 August and 30 August 1914. The battle resulted in the almost complete...

.

During World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

, Imperial German units stationed at Qingdao
Qingdao
' also known in the West by its postal map spelling Tsingtao, is a major city with a population of over 8.715 million in eastern Shandong province, Eastern China. Its built up area, made of 7 urban districts plus Jimo city, is home to about 4,346,000 inhabitants in 2010.It borders Yantai to the...

, Shandong
Shandong
' is a Province located on the eastern coast of the People's Republic of China. Shandong has played a major role in Chinese history from the beginning of Chinese civilization along the lower reaches of the Yellow River and served as a pivotal cultural and religious site for Taoism, Chinese...

, China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

 only had one operational aeroplane, the Rumpler Taube piloted by Lieutenant Gunther Plüschow
Gunther Plüschow
Gunther Plüschow was a German aviator, aerial explorer and author from Munich, Bavaria. His feats include the only escape by a German prisoner of war in either World War from Britain back to Germany; he was the first man to explore and film Tierra del Fuego and Patagonia from the air...

, to face the attacking Japanese, who had with them a total of eight. On October 2, 1914, Plüschow's Taube attacked the Japanese warships with two small bombs, but failed to score any hits. On November 7, 1914, shortly before the fall of Qingdao, Plüschow was ordered to fly top secret documents to Shanghai
Shanghai
Shanghai is the largest city by population in China and the largest city proper in the world. It is one of the four province-level municipalities in the People's Republic of China, with a total population of over 23 million as of 2010...

, but was forced to make an emergency landing at Lianyungang
Lianyungang
Lianyungang is a prefecture-level city in northeastern Jiangsu province, People's Republic of China. It borders Yancheng to its southeast, Huai'an and Suqian to its south, Xuzhou to its southwest, and the province of Shandong to its north...

, where he was interned by a local Chinese force. Plüschow was rescued by local Chinese civilians under the direction of an American missionary, and successfully reached his destination at Shanghai with his top secret documents, after giving the engine to one of the Chinese civilians who rescued him.

Poor rudder and lateral control made the Taube difficult and slow to turn. The aeroplane proved to be a very easy target for the faster and more mobile Allied fighters of World War I, and just six months into the war, the Taube was removed from the front lines and used to train new pilots. Many future German aces would learn to fly in a Rumpler Taube.

Variants


Due to the lack of license fees, a total of no less than 14 companies built a large number of variations of the initial design, making it difficult for historians to determine the exact manufacturer based on historical photographs. An incomplete list is shown below. The most common version was the Rumpler Taube with two seats.


Albatros Taube
Produced by the Albatros Flugzeugwerke
Albatros Flugzeugwerke
Albatros-Flugzeugwerke was a German aircraft manufacturer best known for supplying the German airforces during World War I.The company was based in Johannisthal, Berlin, where it was founded by Walter Huth and Otto Wiener on December 20, 1909. It produced some of the most capable fighter aircraft...


Albatros Doppeltaube
Biplane version produced by the Albatros Flugzeugwerke.

Aviatik Taube
Produced by the Automobil und Aviatik AG
Aviatik
Automobil und Aviatik AG was a German aircraft manufacturer during World War I. The company was established at Mülhausen in 1910 and soon became one of the country's leading producers of aircraft, relocating to Freiburg in 1914 and establishing a subsidiary in Vienna as Österreichisch-Ungarische...

 firm.

DFW Stahltaube (Stahltaube)
Version with a steel frame.

Etrich Taube
Produced by the inventor Igo Etrich.

Etrich-Rumpler-Taube
Initial name of the "Rumpler Taube".

Gotha Taube
Produced by the Gothaer Waggonfabrik
Gothaer Waggonfabrik
Gothaer Waggonfabrik was a German manufacturer of rolling stock established in the late nineteenth century at Gotha. During the two world wars, the company expanded into aircraft building.-World War I:...

 as the LE.1, LE.2 and LE.3 (Land Eindecker - "Land Monoplane") and designated A.I by the Idflieg

Harlan Pfeil Taube
Halberstadt Taube III
Produced by the Halberstadt.

Jeannin Taube (Jeannin Stahltaube)
Version with a steel tubing fuselage structure.

Kondor Taube
Produced by the Kondor.

RFG Taube
Produced by the Reise- und Industrieflug GmbH (RFG).

Roland Taube
Rumpler-Taube
Produced by Edmund Rumpler, Luftfahrzeugbau.

Rumpler Delfin-Taube (Rumpler Kabinentaube "Delfin")
Version with a closed cabin, produced by Edmund Rumpler, Luftfahrzeugbau.

Isobe Rumpler Taube
A Taube built in Japan by Onokichi Isobe

Operators

  • Two units were ordered by Chinese revolutionaries to fight Imperial Qing China, but when the they reached Shanghai
    Shanghai
    Shanghai is the largest city by population in China and the largest city proper in the world. It is one of the four province-level municipalities in the People's Republic of China, with a total population of over 23 million as of 2010...

     in December, 1911 with other Taube airplanes ordered by Imperial German forces stationed in China, the Imperial Qing dynasty had already been overthrown and the airplanes did not have the opportunity to participate in the battle.

  • Austro-Hungarian Imperial and Royal Aviation Troops

 German Empire
  • Luftstreitkräfte
    Luftstreitkräfte
    The Deutsche Luftstreitkräfte , known before October 1916 as Die Fliegertruppen des deutschen Kaiserreiches , or simply Die Fliegertruppen, was the air arm of the Imperial German Army during World War I...


 Ottoman Empire
 Italy
 Norway
  • Royal Norwegian Navy Air Service
    Royal Norwegian Navy Air Service
    The Royal Norwegian Navy Air Service was alongside the Norwegian Army Air Service the forerunner to the modern-day Royal Norwegian Air Force.- History :...


Survivors and flyable reproductions


The Technisches Museum Wien
Technisches Museum Wien
The Technisches Museum Wien lies in Vienna , in Penzing district, on the Mariahilferstraße 212....

 is thought to have the only known remaining Etrich-built example of the Taube in existence, an early enough example to have a four-cylinder engine powering it, and is potentially a twin to Gavotti's Taube aircraft from 1911, also said to have been powered with a four-cylinder inline engine. Other examples of original Taubes exist, such as one in Norway, which was the last original Taube to fly under its own power in 1922, over a Norwegian fjord.

The Owl's Head Transportation Museum in Owls Head, Maine USA, is so far the only known museum to attempt the construction of a flyable reproduction of the Etrich Taube in North America. Their example first flew in 1990, and it still flies today with the power of a 200 hp Ranger L-440 inline-6 "uprighted" air-cooled engine.

Specifications (Rumpler Taube)



See also


External links

Article describing German aircraft types available at the start of World War One, Specific Taube models are on p. 880 (Albatros), pp. 897–899 (D.F.W., Etrich), pp. 922–924 (Goedecker, Gotha, Halberstadt, Hansa, Harlan), pp. 939–940 (Jatho, Jeannin, Kondor), and p. 958 (Rumpler).