1920s airliners... Some are famous, some have fallen into obscurity.
Have you ever heard of the Albatros sleeper - a very unlikely descendant of WWI Albatros fighters?
The Albatros L 73 was a German twin-engined biplane airliner of the 1920s. Of conventional configuration, it featured a streamlined, boat-like fuselage and engine nacelles. Eight-seat passenger cabin was fully enclosed. Two batches were built, the first (D-960 and D-961) named Preussen and Brandenburg, respectively. The pilots (there were two of them) had to settle for an open cockpit fitted with a massive windshield, radio station and gyroscope.
Used for mid-range night flights and appropriately dubbed "sleeper wagons", the L 73's offered their passengers luxury features like reclining seats, heating & ventilation, and also a toilet room in the rear.
Built mainly of metal, the L.73A exhibited by the Albatros Works is a development of the earlier type L.73, which was nicknamed the Schlafwagen on account of the type of seats used, which could be tilted back to form couches for night flying. The machine is of fairly orthodox design if one accepts as such a twin-engined type, which is now disappearing in this country. The L.73 A is powered by two Bristol "Jupiter VI" engines, and is stated to be very pleasant to fly, and to manoeuvre well, even with one engine stopped. Whether the machine is definitely able to fly level on one engine we were unable to ascertain.
The very comfortable cabin has eight seats for the passengers, and these seats are so arranged that when the machine is used for operating a night service they can be tilted back to form not uncomfortable couches. Whether the machine has ever been regularly employed on a night service we do not know. The type is stated to be in service on the lines of the Luft Hansa.
The main dimensions and weights of the Albatros L.73 A are as follows:
- Length o.a., 14-9 m. (48-9 ft.); wing span, 19-7 m. (64-6 ft.); wing area, 92 sq. m. (990 sq. ft.).
- Weight empty, 3,300 kg. (7,260 lbs.); permissible useful load, 2,200 kg. (4,840 lbs.). Total loaded weight, 5,500 kg.
- (12,100 lbs.).
- Maximum speed, 175 km./h. (109 m.p.h.); cruising speed, 160 km./h. (100 m.p.h.).
- Range at full throttle (5 hours), 875 km. (543 miles). Range at cruising speed (6 hours), 960 km. (600 miles). Climb to 1,000 m. (3,280 ft.) in 7 minutes. Ceiling, 3,200 m. (10,500 ft.).
All four manufactured aircraft of that type were operated by Deutsche Luft Hansa, one of which (Brandenburg, D-961) crashed near Babekuhl on 28 May 1928. The 10118 and 10118 were transferred to Bulgaria in 1931, and the Preussen was donated to DVL (German Aviation Laboratory) in 1933.