Fokker D.VII

Manufacturer: Fokker Flugzeug-Werke, Albatros Werke, Ostdeutsche Albatros Werke / Germany / 1918
Number Built: 2029

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Engine 6 cyl. inline Mercedes D.IIIa
Power 180 hp
Height (mm): 2950
Length (mm): 6950
Wing span (mm): 8700
Wing surface (sq.m): 20.4
Empty weight (kg): 700
Takeoff weight (kg): 909
Fuel capacity (l): 91
Oil capacity (l): 11
Climb rate
1000 m — 3 min. 38 sec.
2000 m — 7 min. 40 sec.
3000 m — 12 min. 53 sec.
4000 m — 20 min. 19 sec.
5000 m — 33 min. 50 sec.
Maximum airspeed
(IAS: km/h)
sea level — 190
1000 m — 180
2000 m — 168
3000 m — 156
4000 m — 142
5000 m — 125
Service ceiling (m) 5600
(h.,min.) at 1000m
combat — 1 h. 10 min.
cruise — 2 h. 50 min.
Armament 2хLMG 08/15 Spandau 7,92mm, 500 rounds per barrel.

This famous plane was designed in Anthony Fokker's design department. The head designer was given a task to create a fast fighter capable of beating the French Spad-XIII and British S.E.5a. The result was one of the best fighters of the war. Notable design features include: a metal airframe structure, thick-sectioned wing and lack of bracing wires.

From January 21st to February 12th 1918, at Adlershof airfield, a fighter competition took place to determine the winner of the next big fighter contract. Whichever plane proved to be the fastest, most durable and having highest climb rate would be declared the winner. Manfred von Richthofen, a close friend of Anthony Fokker, took the prototype on a test flight and noted some of its minor flaws. Of particular concern was some instability during a long dive. This issue was later fixed by Fokker's team. The success of the aircraft's design led to it being produced on a wide-scale in a number of factories: Fokker Flugzeug-Werke, Albatros Werke, Ostdeutsche Albatros Werke all built the new aircraft. The Fokker D.VII as it was officially known, became one of the best, if not the very best fighter by the end of the war. There were 2,029 airframes produced and sent to front by the end of 1918.

In April 1918 it reached the frontline airfields of the Bavarian squadrons. The Fokker D.VII was used to escort bombers, engaging enemy fighters and bust balloons. They were rarely used for strafing enemy supply columns near the front or for recon. During service it became clear that the liquid water radiator did not cool the engine sufficiently. A simple modification was made, the radiator was turned to face the engine cowling, which increased airflow through the radiator grill, thus eliminating the problem.

Pilots like its good climb rate and speed and when combined with excellent cockpit visibility, stability in maneuvers and good handling at low speeds - the Fokker D.VII was a deadly and dangerous foe at any altitude. Early D.VII pilots shouted with excitement, "The plane can hang on its propeller!" The Fokker D.VII was a welcome addition to German fighter squadrons and it helped carry out countless offensive and defensive operations. The Fokker D.VII was in service until the very end of war. German squadrons equipped with this type were the main opponents of allied aviation during the final months of the war.

Known Aces
Buelow-Bothkamp (Bülow-Both, Harry von)
Huebner (Hübner), Alfred
Jacob, Kurt
Quandt, Theodor

Recommended opponent
SPAD 13.C1

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