Appearing just after the middle of 1918 the Pfalz D.XII, with its nose mounted radiator and square tipped wings, was frequently confused by the Allies with the infamous Fokker D.VII. However, among the young Jasta pilots required to fly them there was no such confusion. The Pfalz D.XII was essentially a reworking of their moderately successful D.III/IIIa with SPAD inspired ‘low drag’ wings replacing it’s Nieuport inspired sesquiplane wings and a nose mounted Teves & Braun radiator in place of the wing mounted version. Production began in March 1918 but the Pfalz D.XII only began entering front line service in July 1918 after lengthy delays caused by persistent overheating problems associated with the new radiator. Reaching front line service after the superb Fokker D.VII, the otherwise quite capable Pfalz D.XII was never going to be the favoured mount of Jasta pilots, that position being filled by its more famous stable mate.
The Pfalz D.XII was as fast as the Fokker D.VII in level flight and was faster in a dive but could not climb well over 3000m and was not as maneuverable in combat. In mid 1918 Pfalz D.XII 1387/18 was fitted with a BMW IIIa engine for the 2nd Fighter Competition and compared quite favourably with a similarly powered Fokker D.VII but in reality very few, if any, Pfalz D.XII were powered by this engine in Jasta service (only one photo possibly showing a Pfalz D.XII fitted with the BMW engine is known to us). Like all other late war German fighters the Pfalz D.XII was no match for a Fokker D.VII fitted with the coveted BMW IIIa engine, the machine all Jasta pilots longed to fly. Any history here is of necessity very brief, therefore we encourage you to seek out any, or all, of the reference books mentioned below (plus the new Windsock Datafile 146 ‘Pfalz D.XII at War, Colin Owers, 2011) for a more thorough understanding of this important aircraft.