The Knoller C.II

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The Knoller C.II was a two-seat multi-role aircraft, and single-engine biplane developed by the Austro-Hungarian Knoller Flugzeugbau in the ten years of the twentieth century and produced under license by some national aviation companies.

Developed by aeronautical engineer Richard Knoller based on previous Knoller C.I, it was intended to Fliegerkompanie of k.u.k. Luftfahrtruppen, the Austro-Hungarian Air Force, during World War I , however, because of its structural fragility was declared unfit for service.

History :

After the first stages of the conflict, after the military aviation was still in its infancy, the reconnaissance aircraft of both hostile parties had become increasingly vulnerable because of possible shots from the floor and installation of front machine guns in scout aircraft, the precursors of fighter planes. In order to protect crews from possible interception of the latter military leaders Austro-Hungarian Empire, as he had ordered the German imperial Idflieg, they issued a notice that called for the creation of a class of armed reconnaissance of a swiveling machine gun defense.

In this context, the engineer Richard Knoller, a professor at k.u.k. Technische Hochschule (Technical University Austro-Hungarian Empire) in Vienna, decided to start the project of a suitable aircraft for the purpose. After the construction of the CI Knoller, started production in a limited number of specimens from the Jacob Lohner & Co., Richard Knoller further developed the original project by introducing some structural changes to adapt to multiple roles, something that would have helped to have the kuk Luftfahrtruppen a smaller number of different models and quickly integrate the still small fleet at its disposal. In the designer's intentions the model would be able to fill the role of air observation, reconnaissance and photographic equipped appropriately with one or more cameras, and light bomber, obtaining a special space inside the fuselage.

The new model, officially identified as Knoller C.II and took over the general approach of most of the time models: single engine in tractor configuration, with mostly wooden structure covered with treated fabric, biplane wing configuration, with the fuselage that can accommodate two crew members, fixed undercarriage and equipped with defensive weaponry.

The prototype was flown for the first time in September 1916 by getting permission to start it as soon as possible to mass production. For this purpose were contacted the Österreich-Ufag Aviatik (also referred to as Aviatik (Berg) or Ö-UF Aviatik), the German branch of the Viennese imperial Aviatik, the Wiener Karosserie- und Flugzeugfabrik (WKF) and Jacob Lohner & Co ., with which the Austro-Hungarian government signed a contract to supply 25 copies each.

However, February 10, 1917, during a test flight with an exemplary just released by the manufacturing establishments, the upper wing structure collapsed plunging the aircraft; in the accident they were killed the two crew members. As a precaution the production was therefore immediately suspended, then he came to the decision to confine to the ground a few dozen specimens hitherto made destinandole education of the ground staff.

Technique : 
Two different views specimen preserved in Prague.
The Knoller C.II retained the overall look, the conventional era, many of the role models and similar products in the same period from other companies: biplane, single-engine two-seater with fixed landing gear.

The fuselage, made with wood structure and covered with plywood panels, except that in the front, in metal, was characterized by a single long open cockpit with windshield with inside two seats placed in tandem, the front intended to pilot and rear gunner observer with even tasks. Inside it was made a section that could accommodate up to three drop bombs. Posteriorly terminated in a classic empennage monoderiva characterized by the element of vertical square shape matched to the horizontal elements, braced both top and bottom, equipped with a double movable element.

The biplane wing configuration was sesquiplana-positive scaling, with the upper wing, the only one with wings, wider than the lower opening, the latter translated towards the tail, and both with wooden frame covered with canvas. The two wing planes were connected by a double pair of uprights on each side, arranged in Warren truss and integrated by tie rods in the steel cable. On the central part, hooked to the top flange, it was placed the fuel tank which fed, to fall, the engine.

The landing gear was fixed, very simple, mounted on a tubular structure to below the fuselage, equipped with large diameter wheels connected by a rigid axle connected to the rest of the structure by a series of elastic elements, and integrated with a rear support shoe.

The propulsion was entrusted to an engine Austro-Daimler 6, a 6-cylinder in-line liquid-cooled capable of providing a power, depending on the installed version, from 160 PS (118 kW) to 185 PS (136 kW), positioned longitudinally, integrated in the fuselage with its earlier peak, and combined with two-bladed wooden propeller fixed pitch.

The armament was constituted by a pair of machine guns Schwarzlose M.07 / 12 caliber 8 mm, mounted in a hunting available to the pilot and the second mounted on pivoting support to the rear passenger compartment ring.

Operational history
The aircraft built never reached the departments first-line but were destined to flight schools for training, mainly for education of the ground staff.

Existing specimens
The only surviving specimen is on display at the museums of the Národní technické muzeum v Praze (National Technical Museum in Prague). It is one of the few aircraft manufactured by the aircraft industry Austro-ungrarica who have come to our days.

Crew : 2 
Length: 8.540 m
Height: 3.020 m 
Wingspan: 10.370 m 
Wing area: 30 m2 
Empty weight: 695 kg 

Powerplant: 1 × Austro-Daimler 185hp 6-cyl., 138 kW

Users :
Austria-Hungary Empire

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