High quality Cartograf decals included for 5 colour schemes;
Less famous than the Gotha G.IV, the 520hp AEG G.IV (Allgemeine Elektricitäts-Gesellschaft Grossflugzeug 4) tactical and strategic bomber was nevertheless able to carry a heavier bomb load and was considered to be the easiest to fly of all the German First World War bombers. Twin engine German bombers like the AEG G.IV evolved from an early concept that heavily armed twin engine Kampfflugzeug (battleplanes) were the way to fight in the air. As a result of this the sole 200hp AEG K.1 (later re-designated G.1), subsequent 300hp AEG G.II of 1915 and, to a lesser extent, the 440hp G.III were primarily used as heavily armed escorts for two-seat reconnaissance and bombing aircraft from late 1915. In mid 1916 a report came out that concluded, correctly, that lighter more agile single seat fighters were better suited to this task and the role of the G type aircraft was fully transitioned to that of bombing.
The prototype AEG G.IV rolled out in September 1916 followed by the first production machines in January 1917, but it wasn’t until after the middle of 1917 that they were available to front line units in significant numbers. Initially employed for daylight tactical and strategic bombing this was changed to night operations following substantial losses due to enemy action. Similar to its AEG predecessors the G.IV featured a sturdy welded steel tube frame fuselage, tailplane and certain parts of the wings and proved popular with its crews. All struts and wing spars were also made from steel tube. The nose was covered by moulded plywood with the rest of the fuselage, tailplane and wings covered with fabric. The crew of 3 consisted of a rear gunner, pilot and commander. A fold away seat was positioned to the right of the pilot for the commander to sit in during take off and landing to prevent him being crushed in the almost inevitable nose over accident. Up to 3 Parabellum machine guns could be carried with 1 positioned in the commander’s ‘Kanzel’ (pulpit) and 2 for the rear gunner, one of which was fitted to the floor and fired through a trapdoor in the bottom of the fuselage. On night operations the crew was frequently reduced to 2, with the rear gunner’s position only fitted with a single gun firing through the bottom of the fuselage. Two 260hp Daimler-Mercedes D.IVa engines were positioned in nacelles between each wing which enabled the AEG G.IV to lift upwards of 800kg of bombs which were carried both internally and externally. By comparison the similarly powered long range Gotha G.IV had a maximum bomb load of only 600kg. An early variation of the AEG G.IV was the G.IVb which had extended 3 bay wings with additional ailerons on the bottom wings which was intended to carry a 1000kg bomb. The later G.IVb-Lang featured an extended fuselage, biplane tailplane and two 300hp BuS.IVa engines which formed the basis for the AEG G.V that went into production in August 1918. Another development was the G.IVk armed with 20mm Becker cannons for attacking ground targets which featured armoured crew positions and engine nacelles. Only 5 AEG G.IVk were produced and none are thought to have seen active service.
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