View Full Version : Fokker triplanes in action.

04-21-2008, 06:27 PM
The Fokker Dr 1 is probably the most overrated aircraft in the entire ww1. Just ask anybody with a passing interest in the Great war wich german aircraft comes to his mind, and probably he would tell you the DR 1. Even is likely that in the same breath the Red Baron is named.

The fast association between Richthofen and Fokker brand is undeniable, however a little know fact is that the mithic blonde ace flew just in the late stage of his career with this type, and achieved only 19 of his total 80 victories with the triplane. Even more unknown is the fact that the allies introduces first a succesful triplane in action.

Little has beed said about his teeting troubles and catastrophic structural failures. In here we will made a brief history of this strange fighter.


04-22-2008, 08:01 PM
Design and Development:

In april of 1917 the Royal Naval Air service introduced the Sopwith triplane for teh first time in teh skies of Flanders and France. The british triplane impressed the geramn pilots because proved itself better than the Aldatros and Halbertstadt scout in use by the central powers.

Von Richthofen wrote after an encounter with one:

" The Sopwith triplane is definately the best aircraft the enemy pocess, it climb better than the Albatros , is more maneouvrable and did not loose altitude in a bank , also it can be dive straigh down ..."

Sopwith Triplane N5449
No. 8(N) Sqn RNAS
April 1917


The Dutch designer Anthony Fokker had gaines international reputation with the introduction of the "Eindecker" in mid 1915, however the E-1 reign was short , in The battle of Somme in July 1916 the Fokker type was wiped out by the more modern and faster Nieuports and DH-2s.

After the Idflieg ( inspectore of flying troops) requested design for a new triplane fighter to deal with the Sopwiths and SPADs.

Some people thought that Reinhold Platz had copied the design of the Sopwith Triplane but in fact Reinhold hadn't seen the Sopwith Triplane before he started to design the Fokker Dr 1.

During the designing he made a prototype called V3 which suffered from severe wing vibration. So the next prototype (V4) was fitted with hollow struts to minimize the vibration. The final design had redesigned ailerons and elevators. Fokker, Anthony Herman Gerald was the manufacturer of the Fokker Dr 1. He was ordered to produce 320 Fokker Dr 1's on July 14, 1917. Tony Fokker personally delivered the first Fokker Dr 1 to the Red Baron.

The first Fokker Dr 1's appeared over the 'Western Front' in 31 August 1917.

Anthony Fokker in the cockpit of the pre-series Werk Nummer F1 102/17, Marckebeeke airfiled, 31th august 1917.


05-01-2008, 06:42 PM
In combat:

Manfred Von Richthofen was a major component in the entry in service of the Fokker DR 1 ( called F1 in the pre-serie stage), as early as july in 1917 he said to the Jasta 1 pilots: "You will soon receive the new Fokker triplanes that climb as monkeys and area maneouvrables as hell..."

Some aditional drag created by the third wing and the not really powerful Oberusel engine (110 hp ) gave as result a lesser maximum speed compared with the lineal engine Albatros DV.


However the tactical approach of Manfred von Richthofen to air combat was pretty simple, get close and shoot straight, as the supreme doghfighter the new triplane was perfectly suited for that.

The 1th september 1917 finally he took off in the very first combat mission of the Dr 1. Here an extract of " Fokker DR 1 aces of WW1" by Franks/Vanwyngarden, Osprey Aircraft of the Aces series:


05-02-2008, 06:59 PM
Footage of MvR dressing and taking off. September 1917.



And a profile of the aircraft used in September 1917, as you might note the cammo scheme is somewhat uninspiring, a farcry from the all red machines of 1918.