Night Bomber

Author's photo. Canada Aviation and Space Museum, Ottawa, AEG GIV bomber no. 574/18.

Author’s photo. Canada Aviation and Space Museum, Ottawa, AEG GIV bomber no. 574/18.

The AEG G IV bomber was a twin-engine German biplane medium bomber. An improvement on earlier AEG G types, It entered service in late 1916 and served, mostly as a tactical and night bomber, for the rest of the war. The aircraft could carry almost 900 lbs. of bombs and had two parabellum machine gun positions for self-defence, with the rear-gunner able to crouch and also fire downward through a trap-door to defend against threats from below. Like the Junkers, it made revolutionary use of an all-metal skeleton. Today, the AEG in the Canada Aviation and Space Museum’s collection is the only intact twin-engine German First World War bomber in existence. Aircraft no. 574/18 was brought back as a war trophy, and early war trophies exhibit photos show that it did not have engines, and propellers were simply hung in about the right spot with nothing behind them! Since I already was featuring two 1920s era photos of this aircraft in various states, and also found an official photo of a similar type, outside of the Namur zeppelin sheds after the Armistice, including this was a must! In the interwar era it can be seen in pieces along the side wall of the Public Archives’ War Trophies Annex. Eventually, less powerful engines were acquired to fill the voids. This aircraft also is the only survivor showing the distinctive night-lozenge camouflage paint scheme.

AEG German medium bomber outside of Namur, Belgium Zeppeliln shed, Nov. 1918

AEG German medium bomber outside of Namur, Belgium Zeppelin shed, Nov. 1918 (Australian War Memorial image number H06932, a print of Canadian War Records Office Official photo O-3698.

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4 thoughts on “Night Bomber

  1. Pingback: Junkers Trench Raider now on display at CASM! | Warsearching: Military History in the Digital Age

  2. Fascinating contemporary photographs Alex, do you happen to know whether there are any photos in existence of the AEG taken from the side when it was displayed at Moosejaw, ie before it’s restoration?

    • Hi Dave, thanks for the comment. That AEG is certainly a unique bird! I will forward you on the contact info to someone who I have recently met and who is the best source for the war trophy aircraft. If he hasn’t seen it, then the folks at the archives/library of the Canada Aviation and Space Museum are probably your only shot. Cheers!

      • Many thanks Alex!

        I look forward to receiving the contact details to see whether any more information can be found about the original state of the AEG.

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