Fokker D.VII

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Primary Function:
Weight Empty:
Max. Weight:
Machine Guns:
Cruise Speed:
Max. Speed:
Initial Climb:
First Flight:
Year Deployed:
160 hp
1,620 lbs.
1,940 lbs.
2- 7.92 mm
22 ft. 10 in.
29 ft. 3 in.
90 mph
125 mph
800 fpm
22,950 feet
135 miles

Fokker D.VII

Fokker D.VII

Many historians say that the Fokker D.VII is the best overall aircraft of World War I. It probably was the best German fighter of World War I.

Fokker Aircraft was founded by Dutchman Anthony Fokker. When his designs were rejected by Great Britain and France, he offered them to Germany and the Central Powers.

The Fokker D.VII was the successor to the Dr.1. It is arguably the most famous German fighter aircraft of WWI. The Fokker D.VII was designed primarily by Reinhold Platz, who designed the Dr.1, and it retained some features of its predecessor.

The new engine of the Fokker D.VII, that produced 160 h.p., was a major step upward in terms of power.

The Fokker D.VII was first flown in January of 1918 by Manfred von Richthofen, the Red Baron. He suggested some changes to it that the manufacturer complied with. The results was an aircraft that was praised by its pilots as being especially easy to fly.

The Fokker D.VII was deployed to front line service by April of 1918. The first unit to receive the aircraft was Jagdesdchwader 1 that was headed by Ricthofen. After Ricthofen’s death, Herman Goering commanded the unit.

Quick response to controls, stall resistance, excellent maneuverability, a high service ceiling, the ability to out climb and out dive most other aircraft, were all characteristics of the Fokker D.VII. Indeed, few Allied aircraft could match its overall performance. The fighter achieved numerous air to air combat victories in a short period of time.

Germany’s first dedicated naval fighter unit, Marine-Feld-Geschwader was formed in May of 1917. On August 12, 1917, equipped with Fokker D.VII aircraft, the unit downed 19 British aircraft without sustaining a single loss.

The factory could not produce sufficient numbers of the Fokker D.VII for the war effort, so production was outsourced to Albatros and Ostdeutsche Albatros Werke.

A total of some 3,300 Fokker D.VII aircraft were produced.

When an Armistice Agreement was signed in November of 1918, one of its conditions was that “all first-line Fokker D.VII aircraft” should be surrendered to the Allies. Such was the regard for the abilities of the Fokker D.VII.

After the War, Anthony Fokker was able to smuggle some disassembled D.VII aircraft and components into Holland. Eventually he resumed production of the aircraft. Fokker D.VII aircraft were flown by the Dutch Air Force in the Netherlands East Indies through 1929. A number of former German Fokker D.VII aircraft also served with European air forces for several years after the War ended.

Bill Gordon, air show pilot, restored a Fokker D.VII.  “My first flight in the Fokker D.VII was on a sunny afternoon with the wind blowing from the south right down the bumpy grass runway at the Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome.  I was surprised at how fast the aircraft became airborne.  I flew around for about 30 minutes, getting the feel of and making friends with it.  I did some slow flight, some stalls, then moved on to steep turns and wing-overs. 

For a World War I aircraft, the Fokker D.VII is very easy to fly.  It has a steerable tail skid and a long fuselage that make for a very docile aircraft during landing.  The D.VII has a very thick airfoil, producing great lift and a much slower stall speed compared to other fighters of the era.  But it would be a big jump for a nose wheel Cessna pilot to fly the Fokker D.VII, as modern pilots are used to such luxuries as forward visibility, brakes, and an airspeed indicator.

I have flown Rhinebeck’s Fokker D.VII for 25 to 30 hours over six years.  There’s no doubt it was the best fighter of the war.”

RC Fokker D.VII

RC Fokker D.VII

The RC Fokker D.VII from Hangar 9 is an ARF of all wood construction.  It has a wingspan of 87 in., and length of 72 in. You can power it with from 30 cc to 60 cc gas engines or the electric equivalent motor.  Ready to fly weight is around 28 lbs.

Aerodrome has a RC Fokker D.VII  all wood kit of a 1/9 scale model with a 36 in. wingspan. You will need a Speed 400 motor geared 2.33:1 and a 10 x 6 propeller for power.  Weight is about 25 oz.

There is a 58 1/2 in. wingspan RC Fokker D.VII all wood kit from Aerodrome RC.  Recommended power is an AXI 3826/10 motor.  Weight, ready to fly, is around 70 oz.

Balsa USA has a RC Fokker D.VII that builds to an 88 in. wingspan and 69 in. length. Recommended engine is a G-26. Ready to fly weight is about 19 1/2 lbs..

Balsa USA has a Fokker D.VII kit with a 118 in. wingspan. It is 91 in. long and weighs around 45 lbs. It will take from 50 to 80 cc gas engines.

Brodak Mfg. has the Dare Hobbies RC Fokker D.VII kit.  It is all wood, designed by Pat Tritle.  Wingspan is 36 in. and length is 30 in.  Power can come from an .049 engine or Speed 400 size motor.  Weight is about 18 oz.

The RC Fokker D.VII built from a Proctor Museum Scale kit has a wingspan of 88 in and length of 69 in. It can be powered by a 2.0 c.i.d. or larger four stroke engine. All up weight is around 23 lbs.

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