13 Dec., Fldwbl Karl Arnt Lofthoven reporting. I have completed 5 training flights in the Aviatik BII. However, I have several issues with it that may prove insurmountable. Foremost is that it requires over half forward control lever to just maintain level flight! If I relax my hand (and indeed whole arm) even the slightest, the tail immediately drops, the nose goes up, and the plane goes into a stall. I managed only briefly to look back at the tail and confirmed that there is considerable negative deflection on the elevators, so it's not just a control stick/cable problem. Also, I was afforded the opportunity to test a captured British Be2, and found able to be hands-off the stick completely, something that would be fatal in my craft. I gather that the rest of you are Entente pilots (!), but perhaps one of you has at some time tested an Aviatik and can confirm or deny my observations? I find it too incredible to believe that such unstable behavior would be allowed on a production craft. Maybe my tailplane was misaligned during construction?
Unfortunately, what this leads to is that I can only fly this beast for an hour tops before my arm is too fatigued, as well as being able to only fly in clear, daylight skies, as I need a horizon for reference if the nose starts to creep up. Obviously these are restrictions not suitable for a front-line unit. Does anyone know perhaps of a field mod that KoFL issued that my mechanic should be aware of?
Also, the captured RAF plane had a timepiece, altitude meter,and an airspeed meter, all of which should be on every German plane. Why aren't they? Of course we're better fliers that the British (or anyone else) and don't explicitly need these gauges, but they sure would be operationally quite useful.