Fokker DR1

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Fokker Dr1 Triplane

Fokker DR1 Triplane History
The Fokker DR1 triplane was designed by Reinhold Platz and manufactured by Fokker-Flugzeugwerke in Schwerin, Germany. It was developed, in response to Britainís Sopwith Triplane, as a WW1 fighter aircraft and was fitted with 2 Spandau IMG 08 machine guns. Itís first flight took place on July 5, 1917. The initial prototype was designated V.4 quickly followed by an updated version V.5, which was given the serial number 101/17. Following testing, two pre production aircraft, serial nos 102/17 and 103/17 were designated F.1 and sent to Jastas 10 and 11 for combat evaluation. The pre production aircraft that followed were designated DR1. There were a total of 4 variants, V.4, V.5, V.6 and V.7. Version 6 was fitted with a Mercedes D.II engine and version 7 with a Siemens-Halske Sh.III engine.

The Fokker DR1 Triplane Operational History
German WW1 ace Manfred von Richthofen, aka the Red Baron, flew 102/17 for the first time on September 1, 1917, and, after shooting down two enemy aircraft over the following few days, he reported it to be superior to Britainís Sopwith Triplane. He then made a recommendation that German fighter squadrons should be supplied with the Fokker DR1 triplane as soon as possible. Following successful combat evaluations by Jastas 10 and 11, the Fokker DR1 triplane began to be delivered to other Jastas during October 1917.

The pilots found the this aircraft to be highly manoeuvrable with powerful and light elevator and rudder controls, however it proved to be slower than the allied aircraft of the time. Other flaws included cramped and inferior cockpits, a poor field of vision when landing and taking off, and wing failure. During the inspection of several Fokker DR1 triplanes, that had suffered wing failure, it was discovered that poor manufacture and deficient waterproofing had allowed moisture to penetrate the wing structure and cause it to disintegrate. This led to improved quality control at Fokker-Flugzeugwerke, and repairs and modifications to many of the triplanes, at the manufacturerís expense.

The Fokker DR1 triplane is best know for being the aircraft that German WW1 ace Manfred von Richthofen, aka the Red Baron, scored his final victories in. It was also the aircraft in which he died.

There are no surviving Fokker DR1 triplanes, however many replicas have been constructed for museums, such as the National Museum of the United States Air Force, Dayton, Ohio, and some private owners.

Various scale models, model kits and plans of this aircraft have been available in the market place.

Fokker DR1 Triplane Specifications:

Fokker DR1 Crew:
Fokker DR1 Length:
18ft 11in (5.77m)
Fokker DR1 Wingspan:
23ft 7in (7.19m)
Fokker DR1 Height:
9ft 8in (2.95m)
Fokker DR1 Wing area:
201ft≤ (18.7 m≤)
Fokker DR1 Empty weight:
895lb (406kg)
Fokker DR1 Loaded weight:
1,291lb (586kg)
Fokker DR1 Engine:
Single Oberursel Ur.II 9-cylinder rotary engine, 82 kW (110 hp)
Fokker DR1 Maximum speed:
115mph (185 km/h)
Fokker DR1 Range:
185 mi (300 km)
Fokker DR1 Service Ceiling:
20,000ft (6,100m)

Fokker Dr1 Triplane Armament

2 ◊ .312 in (7.92 mm) Spandau IMG 08 machine guns
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