The A.E.G. J.I was an early ground attack aircraft, designed to fill the new infantry support units created by the German air service in 1916.
These Infanterie-Flieger units needed aircraft that could survive at low levels. A.E.G. responded by modifying their successful C.IV design. This was an armed reconnaissance aircraft, with one flexibly mounted machine gun and one fixed forward firing machine gun, and using AEG's standard welded steel tube fuselage construction. Production J.Is were given extra ailerons to compensate for the extra weight of the armour.
The J.I was given a more powerful 200hp Benz Bz.IV engine. The extra power was used to carry 860lb of 5.1in thick armour, which protected the crew and engine. The J.I kept the flexibly mounted rear gun, but replaced the fixed forward firing gun with two belly mounted LMG 08/15 machine guns carried in the flour of the observer's cockpit. These were mounted at an angle of 45 degrees and could thus fire forwards and down to allow the aircraft to strafe ground targets while flying level.
The J.I was something of an interim design, produced quickly in 1916, but it was successful enough to be produced in large numbers. Over 600 J.I and A.E.G. J.IIs were built, with the J.II introduced in 1918.
Engine: Benz Bz.IV
Span: 44ft 2in
Length: 23ft 7 1/2in
Height: 10ft 11 7/8in
Empty weight: 3,201lb
Loaded weight: 3,828lb
Max speed: 93.75mph
Climb Rate: 6min to 3,280ft
Service ceiling: 14,760ft
Endurance: 2.5 hours
Armament: One flexibly mounted machine gun, two fixed forward and downwards firing machine guns.