The failure of each of the three phases of the Knoller Programme was followed by decisions in favour of alternatives in order to acquire the urgently required aircraft suited for war service from other sources. The aircraft that became the type flown most by the Imperial and Royal Aviation Corps was the Hansa-Brandenburg C I two-seater biplane.
In view of the precarious state of the Aviation Corps’ equipment, from 1915 it was decided to take sweeping measures to ensure the supply of aeroplanes. Particular importance was given to the ‘Knoller Programme’.
As a result of technical and budget problems the aviation corps had an urgent need for new aircraft when the war began. The aging Pfeilflieger and Etrich Taube had to be replaced by more modern aircraft, with aircraft technology developing at a rapid pace.
Before the First World War approximately half a dozen companies tried to set up in aircraft manufacture, but they all had to give up.
In the years before the First World War Austria-Hungary lagged behind the industrialized states of Western Europe as regards both economic performance and military expenditure. As a result the new field of military aviation had very modest funds at its disposal. However, the gradual development of the air force took place in a way that was similar to that in other states.
It was only in the course of the war that specific types of aeroplane for specific forms of aerial warfare began to appear. What remained in people’s memory was above all the fighter planes and the aerial combat of the ‘flying aces’, who were also instrumentalized by wartime propaganda, which presented them as heroes.
The first successful powered flight had taken place just eleven years before the First World War. The entire industry was still in a tumultuous phase of development during which numerous companies were competing with one another to come up with innovations.