Gotha G.IV

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Gotha G.IV
Role Bomber
Manufacturer Gotha
Introduction Nov 1916 [1] to early 1917[2]
Primary users Cross-Pattee-alternate3.svg Germany
Cross-Pattee-Heraldry.svg Austria-Hungary
Number built 232[1][2] German; 40 A-H[1]
Wingspan 23.7 m (77 ft 10 in) [3][4][5]
Propeller Diam. 3.1 m (10 ft 2 in)[6]
Engine 2×260hp Mercedes D.IVa inlines or
2×260hp Hiero inlines
Armament flexible forward Parabellum and
flexible rear Parabellum[note 1]
450 kg (1,000 lb)[3] or 300–500 kg (660–1,100 lb)[7] of bombs
Crew 3[4]
Max Speed 135 km/h (84 mph)[4] - 140 km/h (87 mph)[8][3][5]
Climb 1,000 m (3,280 ft) in 3:00[5]-8:01[9][note 2]
2,000 m (6,560 ft) in 9:00[5]-18:06[9]
3,000 m (9,840 ft) in 16:03[5]-28:00[8] to 33:06[9]
4,000 m (13,100 ft) in 25:00[5]
Ceiling 5,000 m (16,400 ft)[4] - 6,500 m (21,300 ft)[8]
Range 490 km (305 mi)[3] to 700 km (430 mi)[5]
Endurance 3:45[4]-6:00[4]

Fifty-two Gotha G.IV bombers were ordered in August 1916, with additional orders for 150 from L.V.G. and eighty from Siemens-Schuckert. Another forty were built by LVG for Austria-Hungary adapted for Hiero engines. The G.IV was a refinement of the Gotha G.III, with the same engines but the introduction of a tunnel through which the rear gunner could fire downward through the fuselage.[1] The tunnel allowed a firing arc of 25° laterally and 60° vertically.[7]

The G.IV's fuselage was plywood-skinned but still braced as if covered with fabric, making it extremely resilient. Fuel tanks were placed inside the engine nacelles.

Their first successful daylight raid on London occurred on 25 May 1917, spurring Britain to greatly increase Home Defense. Losses through the summer pushed the Gothas into night bombing by autumn of 1917, and the challenges of night landings increased with the need for nighttime bombing runs. Most Gotha losses were due to accidents.[1]

In Austria-Hungary the G.IVs arrived in spring of 1918 but did not fly missions until summer. Most were powered by a pair of 230-240hp Hiero engines. They were designated the Gotha G.IV(LVG) Series 08. While thirty-seven remained on the rolls in August 1918, only a few were serviceable due to problems with the engines, landing accidents, and other problems. [10]

Gotha bombers were said to be fairly stable when fully loaded, but after dropping the bombs the center of gravity would shift and the plane would become somewhat unstable in pitch, making it difficult to land. This became especially true after the Gothas shifted increasingly to night bombing in autumn 1917. In fact, landing accidents accounted for 76% of all Gotha losses.[5]

For more information, see Wikipedia:Gotha G.IV.

Timeline [note 3]

Game Data

Wings of Glory

Unofficial Stats
Availability Maneuver Damage Dmg Points Max Alt. Climb
17Q2-18Q4 XD (S) 22 11 5

Blue Max/Canvas Eagles

Aircraft Chart

Miniatures and Models

1:144 Scale

1:200 Scale

1:285/6mm/1:288 Scale

1:600 Scale

1:700 Scale


Orthographic Drawings


  1. This gun could fire downwards through a tunnel in the fuselage.
  2. The wide disparity in climb speeds suggest that one set if figures was taken with the aircraft unladen and another fully loaded.
  3. German numbers are from bi-monthly Frontbestand records (Effective Frontline Strength).[11]
  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Herris'13, p.118.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Angelucci, p.77.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Lamberton, pp.222-223.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 Grosz'66, p.16.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 5.6 5.7 Herris'14, pp.116-124.
  6. Grosz'66, p.14.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Gray, p.128.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 Gray, p.132.
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 Grosz'93, p.448.
  10. Grosz'93, p.448.
  11. Grosz'85, p.60 and Grosz'86, p.66.
  • Enzo Angelucci, ed. The Rand McNally Encyclopedia of Military Aircraft, 1914-1980. New York: The Military Press, 1983 edition. ISBN 0-517-41021-4.
  • 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, George Haddow, and Peter Schiemer. Austro-Hungarian Army Aircraft of World War One. Flying Machines Press, 1993. ISBN 0-9637110-0-8.
  • Peter M. Grosz, "Archiv -- Frontbestand". WW1 Aero, № 107, Dec 1985 and № 108, Feb 1986. Poughkeepsie, NY: World War I Aeroplanes, Inc.
  • Peter M. Grosz, Profile Publications 115: The Gotha GI-GV. Great Britain: Profile Publications, Ltd., 1966.
  • Jack Herris, Gotha Aircraft of WWI. USA, Aeronaut Books, 2013. ISBN 978-1-935881-14-8
  • Jack Herris, German G-Type Bombers of WWI. Aeronaut Books, 2014. ISBN 978-1-935881-26-1.
  • W.M. Lamberton and E.F. Cheesman, Reconnaissance & Bomber Aircraft of the 1914-1918 War. Great Britain: Harleyford Publications Ltd., 1962. ISBN 9780900435027