YouTube – Fokker D.VIII
2 – 7.92 mm
19 ft. 4 in.
Fokker D.VIII aircraft were the last production fighters of the company to be built prior to the end of World War I. Small numbers were deployed beginning in August of 1918. The War officially ended on Nov. 18, 1918.
The Fokker D.VIII had a thick, highly under cambered wing meant to produce excellent lift at slow speeds. The aircraft was among the most maneuverable of the time. Although its engine only produced 110 h.p., the aircraft had less drag than biplanes and was reasonably fast. Pilots found its flight characteristics forgiving and enjoyed excellent visibility from its cockpit.
The Fokker D.VIII was designed to be uncomplicated and quick to assemble. It was supposed to be the fastest building German aircraft of the entire war. However, the rush to produce the aircraft has been named the major cause of weakness in the wings that caused at least two pilots to lose their lives when wings failed during flight.
It was found that moisture penetrated the wooden parts of the wings, eventually rotting them. Wing spars were also found to be poorly assembled. Stronger rear main spars were added to the wings and assembly techniques modified to correct the problems. Replacing defective wings resulted in delays, limiting the amount of aircraft that were produced before the war ended. Many aircraft were grounded awaiting new wings.
We are told of only a single encounter of the Fokker D-8 where it downed an enemy aircraft. It was on August 17, 1918 and is said to be the last such encounter of World War I. Ironically the same victorious aircraft crashed, killing its pilot, two days later when its wings failed.
By some accounts the Fokker D.VIII is said to be the best dog fighter of World War I. However, there were not enough of the aircraft in service for any reliable record to be established.
A total of 289 Fokker D.VIII aircraft were built. After the war a few were exported to countries around the world to be exhibited. Seven of the aircraft were used by Poland. The remainder were disassembled and their parts sold per the German surrender agreement.
RC Fokker D.VIII
The 1/4 scale RC Fokker D.VIII built from a Balsa USA kit has a wingspan of 81 in. and length is 59 1/2 in. Power can come from .90 to 1.20 four cycle engines. Weight is around 13 lbs.
The RC Fokker D.VIII park flyer from Kavan RC available from Bob Holman Plans has a 34 in. wingspan, a 24 in. length and weighs around 13 1/2 oz.
RC Fokker D.VIII
The RC Fokker D.VIII is built from an Aerodrome kit of wood construction. Its builder is Edi Werner. Wingspan is 55 in. and all up it weighs about 3 lbs. AXI 2220 or 2826 motors can power it.
Cleveland Plans has the RC Fokker D.VIII with wingspans of 40, 53 and a giant scale 80 inches.
Manzano Laser Works has RC Fokker D.VII kits with wingspans of 21, 36 and 55 inches.
Arizona Model Aircrafters has RC Fokker D.VII plans that build to wingspans of 28, 55, giant scale 83, and 111 inches.
Dare Hobbies has a RC Fokker D.VIII kit. It is designed by Pat Tritle. Wingspan is 47 in. and length is 33 in. All up weight is about 20 oz.