Collection Highlights

A.E.G. G.IV

Artifact no.: 1967.0632 


Highlights:

  • A German biplane (built by Allgemeine Elektrizitäts Gesellschaft) used for bombing operations during the First World War
  • Used primarily for short-range nighttime bombing missions
  • Along with Junkers (another German aircraft manufacturing company), A.E.G. pioneered the use of metal rather than wooden construction (the G.IV was an early attempt at using metal in larger aircraft)
  • Displays a distinctive dark geometrical pattern on its fabric covering, which was designed to camouflage the aircraft during nighttime raids
  • First flight was in early 1915 (A.E.G. G.I)

Image Gallery:

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History:

The Allgemeine Elektrizitäts Gesellschaft (A.E.G.) G.IV bomber went into general use with the German Air Force during 1917. Because of its relatively short range, the G.IV served mainly as a tactical bomber, and operated close to the front lines. The G.IV flew both day and night operations, but, as the war progressed, was restricted increasingly to night missions. A.E.G. units operated in France, Romania, Greece, and Italy.

Many night operations were nuisance raids with no specific targets, but with the intention of disrupting sleep and perhaps doing some damage. The crew was equipped with electrically heated suits and the aircraft fitted with radios. The G.IV is the only surviving aircraft displaying the distinctive German First World War "night lozenge" camouflage pattern. Although the rear gunner's cockpit is on the top of the fuselage, his position was equipped with a hinged window in the floor for viewing and fending off pursuing aircraft.

Current Location:

First World War Exhibition, Canada Aviation and Space Museum

Provenance:

Transfer from Canadian Forces

The Museum’s G.IV is the only surviving multi-engine German aircraft from the First World War. It was shipped to Canada as a war trophy in 1919; over the next forty years its movements were not well documented and its two 260 hp Mercedes engines were lost. The aircraft was stored in a warehouse operated by the Canadian War Museum in the 1950s. Between 1968 and 1969, it was restored by No. 6 Repair Depot, RCAF, at Trenton, and its original engines were replaced with 160 hp Mercedes engines. It was transferred to the Museum in 1970.

Technical Information:

Wing Span 18.4 m (60 ft 4 in)
Length 9.7 m (31 ft 10 in)
Height 3.9 m (12 ft 8 in)
Weight, Empty 2,488 kg (5,486 lb)
Weight, Gross 3,664 kg (8,079 lb)
Cruising Speed 145 km/h (90 mph)
Max Speed 165 km/h (103 mph)
Rate of Climb 1,000 m (3,280 ft) / 5 min
Service Ceiling 4,500 m (14,760 ft)
Range 652 km (405 mi)
Power Plant two Daimler Mercedes D.IVa, 260 hp, in-line engines (specification), two Daimler Mercedes D.III, 160 hp in-line engines (museum example)

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