Ago C.IV

From Wings of Linen
Ago C.IV
Role Reconnaissance
Manufacturer Ago
First flight early 1916[1]
Introduction late 1916
Primary user Germany
Number built 70[2] to 330 [3] to ≥342[1]
Wingspan 11.9 m (39 ft 1 in)[4] to 12.0 m (39 ft 4 in)[5]
Engine 220hp Benz Bz.IV inline
Armament sync. fixed LMG08/15 and
rear flexible Parabellum
Crew 2
Max Speed 153 km/h (95 mph)[5] to 190 km/h (118 mph)[6][4]
Climb 1,500 m (5,000 ft) in 9:00[5]
3,000 m (9,840 ft) in 22:00[6][5][4]
4,000 m (13,000 ft) in 50:00[5]
Ceiling 5,500 m (18,000 ft)[6][5]
Endurance 4:00 [6]

The Ago C.IV is instantly recognizable by its sharply tapered wings. While aerodynmically efficient (as hundreds of WWII designs proved), it made the C.IV difficult to manufacture. Their crews found them difficult to fly and with limited climbing capability, which is surprising given their excellent Benz engine.[3]

In early use there were crashes due to fuselage failures and control problems. The addition of double ailerons, a curved fin, and extra wing bracing improved its handling, but by that time (mid-1917) there were much better two-seaters available.[2] The flight dynamics of the tapered wing were not as well understood as a conventional washed-out rectangular wing, and unpopularity and crew resistance resulted in the Ago C.IV being permanently grounded on 7 September 1917.[1]

The tapered wings were not the only innovation on the C.IV: it omitted the normal fuselage-wide inner struts in order to maximize the field-of-fire of the observer in the forward direction, adding a pair of wires to limit the travel to the propeller arc.[1]

For more information, see Wikipedia:AGO C.IV.

Timeline [note 1]


  1. German numbers are from bi-monthly Frontbestand records (Effective Frontline Strength).[7]
  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Herris'19, p.165.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Lamberton, p.114.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Gray, p.13.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Herris'19, p.95.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 Lamberton, pp.220-221.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 Gray, p.16.
  7. Grosz'85, p.60 and Grosz'86, p.66.
  • Peter Gray and Owen Thetford. German Aircraft of the First World War. Great Britain, Putnam, 1962, 1987. ISBN 0-85177-809-7.
  • Peter M. Grosz, "Archiv -- Frontbestand". WW1 Aero, № 107, Dec 1985 and № 108, Feb 1986. Poughkeepsie, NY: World War I Aeroplanes, Inc.
  • Jack Herris, Otto, AGO, and BFW Aircraft of WWI. USA: Aeronaut Books, 2019. ISBN 978-1-935881-78-0.
  • W.M. Lamberton and E.F. Cheesman, Reconnaissance & Bomber Aircraft of the 1914-1918 War. Great Britain: Harleyford Publications Ltd., 1962. ISBN 9780900435027