Military Wiki
Role Bomber
National origin Germany
Manufacturer AEG
First flight 1916[1]
Primary user Luftstreitkräfte
Number built 1 completed and seven more partially built.[1]

The AEG R.I (Riesenflugzeug - giant aircraft) was a four-engined biplane bomber aircraft of World War I.[1]

Design and development

The R.I was unusual for a multi-engined aircraft in that rather than mounting propellers directly to the engines and mounting these in nacelles, the R.I carried all its engines within the fuselage and turned its propellers via a system of drive shafts. A single prototype was completed and flew in 1916. Initial flights were quite successful, the aircraft being considered very manoeuvrable, but on 3 September 1918, a newly assembled propeller, which had not been given sufficient time for glue to cure, disintegrated. The vibrations resulting from that failure caused the complex transmissions and shafting connecting all four engines to both propellers to tear loose, which then cut a center section strut, resulting in the break up of the aircraft, killing all seven crew on board. Of the seven further AEG R-1's planned or under production when the war ended (R.21, R.22, R.59, R.60, R.61, R.62, R.63 and R.64) only the R.21 was finished and R.22 partially complete.[1]

Specifications (AEG R.I)

Data from The German Giants[1]

General characteristics

  • Length: 19.5 m (64 ft 0 in)
  • Wingspan: 36 m (118 ft 1 in)
  • Height: 6.35 m (20 ft 10 in)
  • Wing area: 260 m2 (2,800 sq ft)
  • Empty weight: 9,000 kg (19,842 lb)
  • Gross weight: 12,700 kg (27,999 lb)
  • Fuel capacity: 2,750 litres (605 Imp.Gall.)
  • Powerplant: 4 × Mercedes D.IVa 6 cyl. water-cooled in-line piston engines, 194 kW (260 hp) each
  • Propellers: 2 x 2-bladed, 5.2 m (17 ft 1 in) diameter


  • Guns: 5 × 7.92 mm (.312 in) machine guns
  • Bombs: up to 3,800kg (8,377lb)

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Haddow, G.W.; Peter M. Grosz (1988). The German Giants - The German R-Planes 1914-1918 (3rd ed.). London: Putnam. ISBN 0-85177-812-7. 

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