Lohner L40 Flugboot

Lohner Flugboot Type L (L40)
Austro-Hungarian Naval Air Service, Pola, Spring 1915. Flugboot L40 has a Plywood fuselage, with Clear Doped Linen covered flying surfaces. These remain in a natural finish. The fuselage is, typically for a Naval aircraft, overpainted with glossy oil varnish. The serial L40 appears in White on the fuselage sides.National markings are typical of the August 1914 to January 1916 period: the wing tips, elevators and rudder have the Red/White/Red stripes of the Naval Air Service. The White stripe of the rudder also bears the Austro-Hungarian coat of arms, with the Royal Crown and shield border in Gold or Yellow. The shield contains horizontal Red.White/Red stripes.

Background
The first factory in the Austro-Hungarian Empire to manufacture aircraft was that of Lohner, founded by Ludwig Laurenzin in 1821. Their first aircraft was assembled in 1910, under the guidance of the pioneer flyer and designer Rittmeister Hans Umlauf, and design engineer Leopold Bayer (who became the Lohner factory technical director in 1916). Supplying aircraft for both the Army and Navy, several types were produced prior to the outbreak of war, including the Pfeilflieger seaplane and E, R, M and L series aircraft.

In November 1914 the Lohner factory received an order for six new seaplanes from the Naval Air Service. Working with engineers and technicians from the Arsenal in the port of Pula, the new Type L was proposed, which was a development of the earlier Type M and Type Mk. The first two Type Ls were ready for delivery at the end of 1914, bearing the serial numbers L40 and L41, each powered by a 150hp Rapp engine. Further development continued apace, with the L42, L43, L44 and L45 following shortly thereafter. These were powered by 140hp water cooled six-cylinder inline engines. These six machines formed a pre-production run which developed into the following series: the Type L (serials L46-L51), Type T (serials L52-L57), Type Te (serials L58-L119) and Type T1 (serials L120-L143). A total of 104 Flugboots of these types were thus produced, with the first six aircraft (L40-L45) differing mainly in the type of cabin used, these aircraft having glazed windows at the front, side and top, with no glazing at the back.

Full details of the subsequent career of L40 can be found in Issue 7 of Insignia Magazine.

All pictures and text © Blue Rider Publishing 2013