Engine: Siemens-Halske SH.III Rotary
Top Speed: 112 mph (180 km/hr)
Gr. Weight: 1598 lbs (725 kg)
The Siemens-Schuckert D.III entered service in spring 1918 powered with an unusual 160 HP rotary engine. The 11-cylinder engine, developed by Siemens-Halske, offered two counter-rotating masses that cancelled out gyroscopic forces. A clever application of bevel gears allowed the crankcase, cylinders and propeller to rotate in one direction at 900 rpm, while the inner workings of the engine (crankshaft, pistons, connecting rods, etc.) rotated in the opposing direction at 900 rpm, delivering a combined 1800 rpm. The aircraft climbed fast and performed well at altitude, but cooling issues combined with the poor grade of lubricant available reduced engine life to a handful of hours.