Hannover CL.III

The Hannover CL.III was a German military aircraft of World War I. It was a two-seat multi-role aircraft, primarily used as a ground attack machine. Like the other Hannover "light-C-class", or "CL" designated aircraft designed by Hermann Dorner, it included an unusual biplane tail, allowing for a greater firing arc for the tail gunner. Until the introduction of the aircraft, such tails had only been used on larger aircraft.

Hannover CL.III
Class Aircraft
Type Attack
Manufacturer Hannoversche Waggonfabrik
Origin Germany
Country Name Origin Year
Germany 1917
Country Name Operational Year Retirement Year
Germany View
Latvia View
ManufacturerName Production From Production To Quantity
Hannoversche Waggonfabrik 617 View

Compared to the preceding CL.II, the CL.III had redesigned ailerons with aerodynamic balances that overhung the wingtips, a modification that provided greater manoeuvrability, especially at the low levels that the CL.III was expected to be operating at in its new ground-attack role as the Schutzstaffeln (escort squadrons) were re-assigned as Schlachtstaffeln (battle squadrons). It was also intended that it should use the excellent Mercedes D.III engine, but the Idflieg gave priority for these engines to fighter production, and most CL.IIIs were produced with the same Argus engine that the CL.II had used. The Argus engined variant was designated CL.IIIa.

Role Ground attack aircraft
National origin Germany
Manufacturer Hannoversche Waggonfabrik
Designer Hermann Dorner
First flight 1917
Number built 617
Variants Hannover CL.II

General characteristics

  • Crew: 2
  • Length: 7.58 m (24 ft 10 in)
  • Wingspan: 11.7 m (38 ft 5 in)
  • Height: 2.8 m (9 ft 2 in)
  • Wing area: 32.7 m2 (352 sq ft)
  • Empty weight: 717 kg (1,581 lb)
  • Gross weight: 1,081 kg (2,383 lb)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Argus As III 6-cyl. water-cooled in-line Piston engine, 130 kW (180 hp) (CL.IIIa)
  • or 1x 119.3 kW (160 hp) Mercedes D.III (CL.III)


  • Maximum speed: 165 km/h (103 mph; 89 kn) at 5,000 m (16,404 ft)
  • Endurance: 3 hours
  • Service ceiling: 7,498 m (24,600 ft)
  • Rate of climb: 3.145 m/s (619.1 ft/min)
  • Time to altitude: 1,000 m (3,281 ft) in 5 minutes 18 seconds


  • Guns: 3 × 7.92 mm (0.323 in) LMG 08/15 machineguns (two ring-mounted in observer's cockpit, one fixed forward)

End notes