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Gotha G.V

Gotha G.V

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    Primary Function:
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heavy bomber
Mercedes D.IV
2 x 260 hp ea.
6,050 lbs.
10,000 lbs.
2 or 3 - 7.92 mm
1,100 lbs.
40 ft. 9 in.
77 ft. 9 in.
75 mph
88 mph
400 fpm
16,000 feet
500 miles

Gotha G.V bombers were introduced by Germany as an improvement over Zeppelins in speed and maneuverability. They had the ability to fly at relatively high altitudes and at night.

Unique to large aircraft of the time was a somewhat streamlined, narrow fuselage. The bombers were fabricated from wood and steel, covered with plywood and fabric. Gotha G.V bomber in-line piston engines were placed close to the fuselage. That enabled easier handling in case a single engine was disabled. The engines, mounted between the wings, drove pusher propellers. The trailing edge of the upper wing had a large section removed to give clearance to the propeller blades.

Some aircraft were equipped with a rear machine gun that fired through an opening in the lower rear deck of the aircraft. This made it more difficult to attack from below and to the rear, formerly a blind spot, and a favorite position of fighter aircraft.

The bombers were deployed on the Eastern Front starting in November of 1916. However, engine problems limited their use until more reliable engines were introduced in early 1917.

Estimates are that Germany had a total of 36 available for missions at their peak of operations.

From May of 1917 through May of 1918 they attacked England some twenty two times and dropped some 166,000 lbs. of ordnance.

The first major raid on England was by some 21 aircraft and took place on May 25, 1917 over Kent. A total of 14 Gotha's attacked London for the first time on June 16, 1917 in a bold daylight raid.

These were relatively high level flights, taking place at altitudes of up to 16,000 feet.  Defending fighter aircraft of the day had a difficult time intercepting the Gotha's at those altitudes. However, bomber ordnance loads had to be lessened in order to achieve those heights.

The effectiveness of the Gotha G.V bombers was greatly reduced when the fast climbing British interceptor was introduced in the latter part of 1917.

Approximately 60 Gotha G.V bombers were destroyed during this period, either from enemy fire, bad landings, or other accidents.

It became common practice for the bombers to fly in close formation. This enabled each aircraft to provided a defensive umbrella of covering machine gun fire for other aircraft in the formation.

A total of over 200 Gotha G.V bombers were produced.

Gotha G.V
Gotha G.V

Pictured above and in the first two photos below is the Gotha G.V from Arizona Model Aircrafters. They have two Gotha G.V models for sale. One is 1/12 scale with a 84" wingspan. The other is 1/6 scale with a 156" wingspan. Both are from laser cut kits and are for twin pusher electric power. The kits include guns and detailed cockpits.

The third picture below is of the Gotha G.V built by Von Jaerschky. The scratch built radio control airplane has a wingspan of 78" and is powered by geared 400 motors. Weight is 3 lbs. 2 oz.

The bottom picture is of the Gotha G.V foamy built by Wildweasel09 of RC Groups. Its wingspan is 40". Power comes from a pair of 38 Watt motors. It weighs just 12 oz.

Cleveland Model has Gotha G.V plans with wingspans of 29", 39", 59", 78", giant scale 117", 156 1/2", and 235".

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Gotha G.V
Gotha G.V

Gotha G.V
Gotha G.V - Arizona Model

Gotha G.V
Gotha G.V - Von Jaerschky.

Gotha G.V
Gotha G.V - Wildweasel09