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Remembered Today:

German/Austrian Floatplane 529 - Black Sea


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Part of a lot of photos I recently acquired some of which appear to have been taken in Varna.

There is an internal shot of what I think is a sea-plane with the number 529 on the side, and a crewman in the rear cockpit




Beneath is a chalk-board which appears to give the name of the crew


Flugzeug 529.

Nr 1. - Dietrich

Nr 2 .- Nestler (?)

klar. (?)


There is an additional picture which also shows a float-plane on the water (I cannot see a number although crosses are visible on the wings) and a rather chilly looking man in a waterproof (?) suit.





The back is annotated "      ????  im hafen von Varna" (I assume "floatplane" in Varna harbour)



Can anything more be gleaned from these regarding the crew and or a/c type? I am substantially out of my area of knowledge so any pointers would be much appreciated.




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Looks like it could be a Friedichshafen FF33.


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Its an area I am not sure of but do record a number of airmen there


Kessel Walter    LtzS Marine    Pilot Aircrew Airforce I. Seeflieger-Abteilung and German Seaplane Sqn (Wasserfliegerabteilung) at SFS Varna to SFS Constanza to SFS Chanak to SFS Sevastopol      1916-18    (born 1893 died 22-6-29) from SMS "Mecklenburg" to pilot training 12-15 to 4-16 to Seaplane Tender "Santa Elena" at Stralsund awarded EK II & EK I shown in Klaus Wolf's Book (not identified)?


Pohrt Hermann    ObltzS deR Marine    Airforce German Seaplane Sqn (Wasserfliegerabteilung) - I Seeflieger-Abtl Seeflugstation Varna Bulgaria 9-16 to Kommandiert zur SFS in der Türkei 4-18    1917-18    from Marineinfanterie awarded EK II & EK I and Lübeck Hanseatic Cross and Ottoman Medijde Order and Silver Imtiaz Medal with swords and War Medal 


Redern Claus von    LtzS Marine    commander of the Assault in special forces 9-15 in SMS Goeben (Yavuz) 11-15 in Varna 12-16 - Sdr-Kdo (Sonderkommando) - Hücümbot komutani (Powerboat commander)    1915-16    (not identified)? shown in book by Klaus Wolf


Weber Eugen    Flugzeugober maat Marine    Airforce possibly German Seaplane Sqn (Wasserfliegerabteilung) - I Seeflieger-Abtl Seeflugstation Varna Bulgaria    1916-    (1892 at Barop-Hörde died 17-10-16) at Mic Tatlage Varna (Bulgarien) cause not stated

The German Seaplane unit in Turkey opened up a number of sub bases along the Black Sea coast, one of these was at Verna.


I have no record of the two men you show, I will need to check them out, but these small units, mostly around two planes, were all over the Black Sea coast, others along the Turkish coast were Ottoman.


These German bases were at


St. Stefano

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Known German Aircraft 


934 12.Feb.16 GNSG/Chanak
1085 Oct.16 GNSG/Chanak 9.Apr.18 crashed
1086 Oct.16 GNSG/Kavak
1087 Oct.16 GNSG
1088 Oct.16 GNSG/Kavak
1120 Oct.16 GNSG/Kavak
1124 13.Apr.17 GNSG/Chanak 17.Jan.18 shot down
1125 13.Apr.17 GNSG/Chanak 17.Jan.18 shot down
1158 5.Apr.17 GNSG
1159 5.Apr.17 GNSG
1160 5.Apr.17 GNSG
1161 5.Apr.17 GNSG
1162 5.Apr.17 GNSG
1163 5.Apr.17 GNSG
1164 5.Apr.17 GNSG
1165 5.Apr.17 GNSG/Chanak 25.Mar.18 crashed
1166 5.Apr.17 GNSG
1172 1917 GNSG/Kavak
1255 14.May 17 GNSG/Mersin
1256 14.May 17 GNSG/Kavak/Mersin 1.may.18 wrecked
1257 14.May 17 GNSG/Mersin
1258 1917 GNSG/Mersin 1.may.18 wrecked
1275 11.Jun.17 GNSG
1276 11.Jun.17 GNSG
1277 1917 GNSG/Chanak
1585 1917 GNSG
1595 1917 GNSG/Chanak




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12 hours ago, 4thGordons said:

????  im hafen von Varna" (I assume "floatplane" in Varna harbour)

The missing word is Marineflugzeug = Naval aircraft, a floatplane is a Wasserflugzeug

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KizmeRD - thank you for the ID

Stevebecker - Thanks very much for all this, excellent stuff.

Charlie2 - yes I see that now you point it our-- thank you!

There are a lot of pics for me to go through but I did not see any others with a/c on the quick initial review.

Thanks again,


Edited by 4thGordons
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Flugzeug 529 was a FF33e stationed at the German Seaplane Station located at Peynerdjk (near Varna) in 1916.
It (and others) were handed over to the Bulgarian Navy in June 1918. 

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I've not seen the air unit call Flugzug 529 any where at Varna?


Where they part of the I Seeflieger-Abtl Seeflugstation Varna Bulgaria shown there?


These are the known planes set to Turkey?


724 FF33E 13.Jul.16 GNSG
733 FF33H 28.jul.16 GNSG 20.Sep.16 crashed
737 FF33E 13.Aug.16 GNSG
819 FF33H 7.Sep.16 GNSG
928 FF33J 12.Feb.17 GNSG R/T equipped
931 FF33J 12.Feb.17 GNSG R/T equipped
932 FF33K 12.Feb.17 GNSG


Like wise I could not find these two men?



Edited by stevebecker
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You are obviously not a German speaker. ‘Flugzeug 529’ simply translates into English as ‘Aircraft 529’ (the subject of the OP), it is not an air unit, but rather one of the reconnaissance seaplanes flown from the naval air station that was located near to Varna during the war. 


There was an old post some years back detailing the career of Wilhelm Albert Karl August Müldner, born in Berlin 07.11.1887. He was a German seaplane pilot (Leutnant d.R. der Matrosenartillerie) who served in Bulgaria from 23.01.16 to 12.10.16 and again from 01.05.17 to 16.06.17. And in his personal account, he claims to have flown aircraft numbers 507, 529, 530, 723, 738, 780, 835, 861 & 862 during his time at SFS Varna.






Edited by KizmeRD
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Yes your right, I mix up the word form "Zeug or Zug" to be a small unit in the German Military


I forget that the SFS Varna was not part of the German Seaplane unit in Turkey (Wasserfliegerabteilung), even if men and some planes, were sent, and used there from Turkey.


While they were all still part of the  I Seeflieger-Abtl, which covered a large area, from Germany to the Eastern Front (Poland to Bulguria and Turkey, then latter Romania and Southern Russia).





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  • 5 months later...

During an internet research I came across this post. This is my first post on this forum.

#529 was a Fdh FF 33e out of the lot #529 - 533. This plane was sent to Varna on January 1916 and arrived at Varna on 23.01.1916. The airplane was damaged on 28.08.1916 during a landing.

It was one of 4 airplanes (529, 530, 534, 507) when the unit was established under the command of Olt.z.S. Hellmuth Riensberg.

The names on the board Dietrich (Nr. 1) and Nestler (Nr. 2) are not the crew of this plane. This are the "Flugzeugwarte" the mechanics.

"Klar" means that the airplane is ready.



The German Seaplane unit in Turkey opened up a number of sub bases along the Black Sea coast, one of these was at Verna.

This statement is not correct. The SFS Varna was formed as part of Sonderkommando Bulgarien and was named "Seeflugzeugsonderkommando Bulgarien". On 14.02.1916 renamed to Seeflugstation Bulgarien and later Seeflugstation Varna.


Edited by jth
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Thanks for the up date.

Yes, as I said its not an area I'am clear on, and the sources can be confusing here. So any details can only help all of us.

While it was in Bulgaria, other German naval bases on the Black Sea seam to be mixing personal during the war.

A number show up in Turkey, while other go to Bulgeria.

So any details on the known members of this unit or any others on the Black Sea or Turkey would be of interest.



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