Fokker DVII WW1 Fighter
By 1918 it was clear that Germany was on the verge of losing WW1, Allied fighters had gained aerial dominance over the whole of the Western Front, the Germans realised it would necessary to have a new high performance fighter to replace the totally obsolete Albatros D.V if all was not to be lost. The German solution was to initiate a fighter competition with aircraft submitted by all the major aircraft producers.
The competition was held in January 1918 at Johannisthal, Germany's first ever airfield, located 10 miles to the southeast of Berlin and the home of German Experimental Institute for Aviation. Competition entries included designs from both the best known German fighter producers, Fokker and Albatros, the Fokker DVII designed by Reinhold Platz, which had only made it's maiden flight days earlier, was the outright winner. Fokker immediately put the DVII into to production, and Albatros had to face the indignity of being ordered to manufacture it's main competitors new aircraft under licence rather than it's own.
Reinhold Platz's Fokker DVII design was one of the most outstanding fighters of the First World War, it had a welded steel tube fuselage braced with steel wire, the rest of the airframe was the usual fabric covered wood, the first batch of production aircraft re-equipped Jagdgeschwader Nr. 1, Richthofen's "Flying Circus" who were able to convert to the Fokker DVII in time to successfully field them against Allied air- forces at the Second Battle of the Aisne in May 1918. By November forty-five German fighter units had been equipped with the Fokker DVII fighter.
Fokker DVII Specifications:
- Wing Span: 8.9 m (29 ft 2 in)
- Length: 7 m (23 ft)
- Height: 2.75 m (9 ft)
- Weight, Empty: 700 kg (1,544 lb)
- Weight, Gross: 850 kg (1,874 lb)
- Max Speed: 186 km/h (116 mph)
- Rate of Climb: 1,000 m (3,280 ft) / 3.8 min
- Service Ceiling: 6,980 m (22,900 ft)
- Engine: single but varied, most aircraft used one of these -
Mercedes 160 hp or 180 hp water-cooled straight 6 (or)
BMW 185 hp water-cooled V12
Fokker DVII Armament:
- Twin synchronized Spandau machineguns firing through the propeller arc
Although the Fokker D VIIís made it's first flight in January 1918 and hostilities ended in November 1918 the aircraft left such a lasting impression on the forces that opposed it that it was the only piece of military equipment to be specifically named in the Treaty of Versailles Armistice Agreement in the section which detailed war material to be surrendered in total to Allied forces. Surrendered Fokker D VII's found their way into numerous Allied Air-forces, the USA alone receiving nearly two hundred Fokker DVII aircraft.
Fokker D.VII Fighter
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Fokker DVII WW1 Fighter Picture and Information