1918 Fokker D-VII

AD 11 Fokker D-VII.jpg
AD 11 Fokker D-VII.jpg

1918 Fokker D-VII

15.00

Anthony Fokker built his first aircraft in Holland. Better opportunities took him to Berlin where he founded Fokker Aeroplanbau. The legendary Fokker D.VII is considered the best German fighter aircraft of the Great War. It was the only aircraft specifically requested to be surrendered in the Allies armistice terms. In early 1918 the young Jagdstaffel pilots had been equipped with Albatros D.Va, Pfalz D.IIIa and the Fokker Dr.1 Triplane which were no match for the SE.5a, SPAD 13 and Sopwith Camels they faced each day. Fokker’s prototype D.VII impressed the front-line pilots present (including Baron von Richthofen) at the Trials in early 1918. So great was the need for this new fighter that Albatros were ordered to manufacture it under license building nearly twice the number of D.VII as Fokker. From late April in 1918 the D.VII started to make a name and allied pilots found they were more vulnerable at higher altitudes. In mid-1918 the plane was plagued with mid-air fires variously attributed to overheating, fuel tank stress damage and the volatile incendiary ammunition used for ‘balloon busting’. The top cowlings were removed for improved cooling with modified side cowlings with louvers. By the end of the Great War the D.VII was the main equipment used by the German Jagdstaffel and despite the Daimler-Mercedes powered D.VII being very well received, it was the Fokker D.VII fitted with the coveted BMW IIIa ‘altitude’ engine that all Jagdstaffel pilots sought.

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