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Following a sea crossing from New Zealand, World War One aircraft collector Oliver Wulff’s Albatros D.Va, placed on the UK register as G-WAHT, arrived on 19 September at Old Warden, Bedfordshire, where a team of engineers from Flying Restorations is expected to have the exquisite Vintage Aviator-built reproduction machine flying within weeks.
The Mercedes D.IIIa-powered fighter will be operated by the World War One Aviation Heritage Trust from several different airfields, including Old Warden and the historic Great War Royal Flying Corps and RAF base at Stow Maries near Maldon, Essex. Built during 2017, the Albatros was previously registered ZK-ALB in New Zealand.
“A team of engineers from Flying Restorations is expected to have the exquisite reproduction flying within weeks “
The scheme chosen for G-WAHT is that of D2263, flown by Otto Kissenberth, the commander of Jasta (Jagdstaffel) 23b during August 1917. Kissenberth — who had previously scored six victories flying with Jasta 16b — was to gain another 14 aerial successes, his final kill coming on 20 May 1918 at the controls of a captured Sopwith Camel. Nine days later, he suffered serious injuries while flying the Camel, and was not to return to combat prior to the November 1918 armistice, going on to command a flying school at Schlessheim near Munich until the end of the war. Unusually, he achieved ace status despite having to wear spectacles. Kissenberth died in a mountaineering accident in the Bavarian Alps at the age of 26 on 2 August 1919.